Anthony-P Dot Com

DEAR EVERYONE: I'm live-tweeting the Olympics.

Yes folks, you read that correctly. For the next two and a half weeks, or until whenever it is that I get bored, or distracted or forget about it, I'll be live-tweeting various Olympic events. I started last night (and continued into this morning) with the Opening Ceremonies.

You can keep up with me on twitter or on my facebook profile.

If the constant updating annoys you, I suggest you either unfollow/unfriend me or find something to distract me from my duty.

Since I'm unemployed and have no social life, I'll be online pretty much all the time, so if you want to chat I'll be on Facebook and Twitter simultaneously. Drop me a line, we can be cynical jerks who make fun of people who care about things like like "hard work" and "dedication".

Last night's Olympic Cauldron malfunction, and it's indoor setting, reminded me of the various dangers of fire. I feel it wise to re-post my Fire ACTION! plan:

  • Don't have no fires.
  • If you have fires, keep them in a garbage can (make sure the garbage can isn't made of fancy wood).
  • If your fires are in a wood garbage can, put the can in the bath, but not if the bath tub is flammable. Check with your bath tub manufacturer for the flammability rating of your home's bath tub.
  • Always keep a working fire extinguisher in a conspicuous place. By fire extinguisher I don't mean an illegal immigrant with a bucket of water waiting in your pantry at all hours, ready to leap out at the first sign of ignition. Not all fires can be doused with water, so this is very important.
  • Keep your George Foreman Grill away from curtains and out of reach of any children who might be playing with cooking oil.
  • If you smoke, don't do it in your bed unless you just did it, cause that is what they do in movies.
  • Always have a working smoke detector. Like your fire extinguisher, you shouldn't use an illegal immigrant to do this job. He might fall asleep.
  • When your smoke detector goes off or at the first sign of smoke, spark or flame make sure to clear all the illegal immigrants out of your house. You don't want their dead bodies linked to you in any sort of investigation or tribunal.
  • Fire can be your friend but you must respect it. It's kind of like a kid with a learning disability. It can be lots of fun, but you should probably be careful around it because it is very unpredictable and doesn't know what it is doing and might hurt you or give you a disease.

Maybe if you stuck food up your butt you would crap out your mouth

Things aren't working out so well for poor old Harpo. Apparently Canadians were paying closer attention than his brain-trust assured him we were and it turns out we aren't too keen on having our Parliament shut-down every time the Prime Minister doesn't feel like having to answer a question from the opposition. Constitutional or not, repeatedly proroguing Parliament to avoid criticism is cynical and undemocratic. Further, it is counter to the promises of accountability Canadians were given when they gave Stephen Harper the mandate to govern.

Sure, Harper isn't the first PM to prorogue, but he was elected at least in part because Canadians thought he was the kind of politician who had more than his own interest in mind. It turns out he's actually the kind of politician who would compromise almost any value in the name of achieving and maintaining power. Whether it is government accountability or budget deficits or appointing unelected senators it is clear, at least to me, that Harper places very little value in the promises he has made to Canadians, either that or he thinks we're idiots. Given his latest boneheaded move, maybe it's the latter.

If I wanted more evidence to show how little respect the Conservatives have for the intellect of the electorate, the research wouldn't be very difficult since it came in the mail today. My Member of Parliament, the creationist Minister of State for Science and Technology The Honourable Dr. (of chiropracty) Gary Goodyear sent me a leaflet asserting his Government's resolve to make our country safer by changing the law so criminals would serve longer, tougher sentences. There was an important piece of information missing though. What the Honorable Doctor forgot to mention was that the legislation the Government had in mind to reform the justice system had already been debated and passed by the House of Commons and was merely awaiting the rubber stamp of the Senate and Royal Assent before passing into law. That is, until the PM prorogued Parliament and killed the bill, along with every other bill before Parliament at the time of prorogation. When Parliament returns in the spring work on the the crime bill will have to start again at the beginning, setting the process back by months and delaying the Government's own plans to make Canada safer.

If it wasn't bad enough for the Conservatives that the Prime Minister threw all of their own legislation in the trash, recent polls show that the party would be lucky to even hold onto a minority if an election were held today. I have to wonder how many more times Harper can ruin his party's chances at a majority before they get rid of him.

Hopeless Romantic

I'd like to go on record as saying that Claritin fucks my shit up. I popped two of those babies before going over to a friend's house because cats make me wicked itchy and I wanted to be able to focus on nerding out while we played Settlers of Catan. The result was more than a little scary. First I made up a song about the resource based economy of the game. That was followed by the uptempo musical number "Doody in Your Mouth." Then, to slow things down a bit, I crooned "Analingus," which is just the word 'analingus' sung repeatedly the way Sinatra might have sung it. So yeah, Claritin fucks my shit up. FUCKS. MY SHIT. UP.

I leave to reenact National Lampoon's European Vacation with Veronica in a couple weeks. We've planned a three week whirlwind of Munich, Florence, Rome, Venice, London and Berlin. If anybody knows of anything great to do, see or eat in those cities, let me know. Travel tips would also be appreciated.

Ok I haven't posted a blog in months, but I have something I need to say

What form US health-care reform should take and whether it is necessary or not are part of valid debate. What I've noticed, and what really pisses me off, is how that debate has been completely derailed by people who seem to have little or no understanding of the concept of factuality, who dismiss fact in favour of their opinion or the opinions of others and the media and legislative establishment who lend these cretins an air of legitimacy by making their voices heard in the name of "fairness" or "balance".

1. Fact is fact. It is not debatable. Whether health-care reform should be undertaken is debatable. Whether that reform should include a public insurance system is debatable. Whether "the Bill" contains "Death-Panel" legislation that would allow Obama and his bureaucratic minions to pull the plug on granny or Tripp Palin is not debatable. There is no one "Bill" at this point, and none of the proposed bills contain anything like a death-panel. End of life counseling has nothing to do with decided who should live and die, regardless of how poorly the former Governor of Alaska understands that. And for all the screaming about government death-panels are Americans forgetting that they already exist? Private insurers regularly deny coverage to those in need by pricing the poor out of the system, denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions, capping lifetime benefits and through the often arbitrary approvals process for treatments for the terminally ill and elderly.

2. Opinion and fact are not interchangeable. Fact is always superior to opinion. An opinion cannot be contrary to fact. An opinion which is contrary to fact is wrong. Yes, a person's opinion can be wrong. Everyone might be entitled to their opinion, but not every opinion is valid.

The fact is 2+2=4. You might feel that 2+2=5, but you are wrong. You can go through life claiming that 2+2=5 but you are wrong and you always will be.

We live in a time when everyone is right, even when they are wrong. We place far too much emphasis on the way people "feel" about facts. We are living in the time of Sarah Palin. Being loud has replaced being right. Intelligence and experience no longer matter.

But who is to blame for this? Every parent who thinks their average kid is exceptional, which is pretty much every parent. Guess what, most children aren't exceptional, and no child, not even those who are exceptional should be raised to think that they are more important and more deserving than everyone else. That is the recipe for raising the kind of irresponsible, selfish person with no regard for hard work or effort or experience who would quit a job halfway done while claiming success (Sarah Palin, again). What's worse, these parents have hijacked the educational system so that their little princes and princesses can be coddled 24 hours a day. Now every child in the classroom is the most important and smartest and most entitled and prettiest and funniest and coolest, all thirty of them.

3. The idea that media and legislative establishments have a responsibility to promote or hear all opinions in the name of fairness or balance is wrong and dangerous. Whack-jobs who promote ludicrous propaganda such as the idea that Obama is a nazi should rightfully be ignored. They might be entitled to their opinions but like I said earlier, not all opinions are equal. Some opinions should be ignored, and yes the people who try to hijack town-hall meetings with such inane drivel should be cut-off and removed. The first amendment doesn't give you the right to be heard. You can say anything you want, but that doesn't mean everybody else has to listen and it certainly doesn't mean you have to be given a platform to speak from by the media, government representatives or anyone else.

The media's primary political responsibility is to reveal the truth. Everything else is a distraction from that purpose. Sadly, most media outlets have abandoned that responsibility in favour of making stars out of their chosen masters of opinion, turning fact into fiction in the name of ratings and political expediency. The media failed miserably on Iraq, and it is failing again with this debate. The media continues to give voice to the most extreme anti-government and anti-Obama propaganda from the right while making little or no effort to debunk it. That is more than irresponsible, that is dereliction of duty.

And as far as the legislative establishment is concerned, it would be a great disservice to the democratic system and to American voters if Congress allowed this reform to fail because of a few loud dissenters at a couple of meetings. The public was aware of the desire for health-care reform when it elected Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate and Obama as President. Obama and the Democratic legislators were given a strong electoral mandate to pursue reform, and should abandon attempts for opposition support, otherwise what is the use for a majority? What's more, Democratic leaders need to bring pressure on the liberal and conservative fringes of the party to unite. With Obama's popular support and ability to raise money, it shouldn't be so hard to get Democratic House and Senate votes in line.

porno groove

So Nick asked me where I've been.

First of all, like everybody on the internet, I've been twittering. It seems like pretty much everyone has more or less abandoned their blogs as twitter has exploded in the last couple months. Frankly, it's nice to finally have an excuse for typing no more than a line or two.

Secondly, I just moved, so I didn't have internet access for a few days.

Here is the nighttime view from my new place:

Here is my new flatmate George:

I don't have a shot of the daytime view, but it includes the lake and the islands, and on a clear day I can see right across Lake Ontario to New York. That's right, my view is international. Jealous?
I like it to be noted that I ate the Pocky I got in my Christmas stocking from Siobhan for breakfast at 12:30 pm Monday, February 9, 2009.

My life is a shambles.

On the bright side (literally), it is gloriously sunny and my window is open. I think it might be spring already.

A Retraction

I've decided to remove my last post. I've done so because I allowed a few negative things to overshadow all the positive ones. Though I may not have been entirely wrong in my assessment, I certainly assessed with the wrong attitude.

Yes, it didn't all work out quite as planned, but it isn't fair to anyone, not even myself, to dwell on what could have been instead of making the best of a difficult situation.

Yes, I am still very upset with someone, but I'm willing to admit that perhaps I don't know the full story and that either way I chose a terrible way to vent my frustration.

And while I may have spent a far quieter birthday evening than I had hoped, I wasn't entirely alone.

I shouldn't have allowed anger or loneliness or depression or abandonment issues or whatever to outshine the efforts a lot of other people made to make me feel special. I shouldn't have so quickly forgotten a lovely pre-birthday meal with my roommates followed by a party with some great people I really don't see enough of, and a wonderful birthday dinner with my family, no matter how many other people didn't make it out, for whatever reason.


So the holidays are over and I haven't written anything in a month and a half... so, yeah, that's a thing.

The tree is down and my apartment no longer looks like a crazy pakistani party bus. Life is returning to normal. Too bad normal is so fucking boring. Stupid winter.

I've had Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" stuck in my head for a week. i'm pretty sure if it doesn't go away I'll soon become certifiably insane. Don't get me wrong, I love that song, but it's too much of a good thing. I don't know all of the words or even how the whole song goes so it's pretty much just the same part or two over and over and over and over and over and over.

I need a vacation. Please send me money.

inner city pressure

Living in the city can be a emotionally trying experience sometimes. Here are some things I find can make living in a big city difficult:
  1. People who refuse to conform to my preconceived notions. Seriously, gay latinos? Weird and kinda gross. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the gays and few people make better tamales than latinos, but the two mixed together pushes the envelope in a way that even my fairly liberal mind just isn't ready for yet.
  2. Clueless tourists constantly asking for directions and shopping/restaurant recommendations. Get a compass and Fodor's Toronto, I'm not your free tour guide, bitch!
  3. Parades. Big cities have parades like nobody's business. My route to work has been disrupted by a parade, marathon, charity walk or other nonsense every Sunday since time immemorial.
  4. Homeless people cluttering up public spaces with their poverty and whatnot. Hey beardy, if I had spare change sitting around for drugs and alcohol I'd be saving that for the weekend.
  5. Walking dick first into stuck subway turnstiles.