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Monday, March 24, 2014

Tsk, Tsk....

Well, that's almost a two-year absence from this blog for me. Star Trek Into Darkness has come and gone, and was - in my humble estimation - a dismal failure and lost opportunity. Fine, J.J. Abrams, I get it. You're a Star Wars dude, and not a Trekkie/Trekker (don't get me started on that difference). Off you go, then.

Alberta's first female Premier has also come and gone in the same vein as Kim Campbell and Kathy Dunderdale. Instead of six female provincial/territorial leaders, we are down to three, with one looking dodgy as the Quebec election proceeds, and another looking dodgy-ish as an Ontario election looms. Sigh.

This past winter has been one for the record books, and has strengthened my desire to get the hell out of this country for my own sanity during winter. I believe it is a cumulative effect. Canadians only have so many winters in them, and I think that number is round about 50 or so. So I am fast approaching my limit. Call me a coward or a Snow Bird (I prefer Snow Bird, by the way).

In other news, people are nuts. Cannot believe what people are willing to pay for houses in this same country of the Rotten Winter. A place to live should be just that, and not a retirement plan. You'll have far more money to play with if your housing costs are low.

And so I persevere...

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Star Trek Into Darkness

The new trailer is OUT! You're welcome - this is the extra footage Japanese version.

So now the big question is....who is Cumberbatch playing? Khan or Gary Mitchell? 

My money is on Gary Mitchell - 100%. Why? Some people are saying it has to be Khan because of the revenge factor. Well, Mitchell has just as much reason as Khan for revenge. Kirk deserted him - perhaps not quite dead yet - on Delta Vega, just as he left Khan exiled on Seti Alpha V.

And then there's the "little blonde lab technician" that Mitchell aimed at Kirk back in their Academy days when Kirk was an instructor and Mitchell a first-year cadet. Check out Memory Alpha for more info on this. It didn't make it into the final edit of TOS episode - which is just a piece of info that J.J. Abrams would love to play on. And there is a pretty little blonde in the trailer. This could easily be Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, however - played by Sally Kellerman in TOS. Hair is identical. Looks are extremely similar. 

Could it be Khan? Ya, I suppose Abrams could play fast and loose with the new timeline. And the blonde could be a red herring. But I hope it's Mitchell and not Khan. Way more scope for interplay - and it hasn't been done before. 

Oh, and you might be excused for thinking that Abrams brought back Patrick Stewart to do the trailer voiceover. Cumberbatch sounds REMARKABLY like him. Another nuance I like. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Bill That Ate Ottawa

It’s funny how opposition members have an epiphany when an election transforms them into the governing party!  Back in 1994, Stephen Harper expressed very legitimate concerns about Jean Chretien’s gigantic (21-page) omnibus bill.  Among other things, he criticized it for being undemocratic because MPs could not give it the attention necessary. With a second Conservative omnibus bill (almost 450 pages long, which is more than 20 times as large as the Chretien bill) now before the House, we need to ask whether and how the Prime Minister has magically solved the problems he identified almost two decades ago.

Bill C-45 (the monstrous Harper omnibus bill) touches on so many areas that it is astounding that it will not receive the scrutiny it deserves.  From Fisheries and Navigable Waters to the Indian Act and Employment Insurance, the scope of this bill is breathtaking.

It is also an insult to the parliamentary process since the officials we have elected to represent our interests are impotent.  That’s impotent, not important, which they also are. What to do?

One simple strategy might bring the government to its senses:  since our elected officials cannot do their job, perhaps citizens should offer to help.  We should conduct the scrutiny that MPs cannot undertake.  We should demand that hard copies of this monstrous bill be sent to libraries across this country so citizens can examine it.  Reading a document that is 443 pages online is tedious and downloading and printing it off would paralyze most household printers.  However, we do have a right to acquaint ourselves with measures that are going to transform the way the federal government does its job. 

So take action! Contact the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister, your MP, or your Senator and ask for a copy of the printed bill to be sent to your local library. Be sure to .cc the media – the wider the awareness of this monstrous bill, the better.

The other slap in the face is the investment agreement Ottawa is set to sign with China. But that’s a topic for another day.

Monday, May 02, 2011


No words. So upset. Terrible, horrible day for Canada.  I want my country back, and I don`t want to wait another four years!!!

Feel like a six-year-old being dragged along to an uncle`s house who I know will abuse me.

Time to start looking at properties in Spain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The New Solitudes

Most Canadians my age (ahem, no comment...) remember the Two Solitudes: English Canada and French Canada, non-communicative and slightly dysfunctional. Fast forward a few decades, and I believe we are on the cusp of a different transformational change in Canada: the New Solitudes, if you will. As the NDP surge (and yes, I really want to write RCMP "serge" instead...) continues, it seems apparent to me the Canadians are abandoning the traditional middle ground, the safe centrist political space we have lived in for the past few decades. Instead, we seem to be gathering at polar opposite sides of the political spectrum.

The NDP has traditionally occupied the far left of our main political spectrum.They have had their best days in minority governments, where they held the balance of power. That's how they've always thought they could get things done. Then we have the far right - the Harper Conservatives. I say "Harper" because the party is the man here, and conversely the man is the party. Never have we seen this kind of control over a party - a Machiavellian grip that has not lessened throughout this election.

The NDP are the party of the poor and working middle class; the Harper Conservatives are the party of the rich and upper middle class. And that gap between rich and poor in Canada is growing. Is it any wonder that we are playing this out in Election 41?

The NDP actually have a chance to significantly and substantively change the political landscape in Canada in this election. Even if they only form the official minority, this would be groundbreaking. But if the unthinkable happens, and they form a government with the Liberals, with a PM Layton leading the country, it will seismic - nay, biblical. And the country will entrench yet further into left and right.

The New Solitudes - the New Normal.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Votez, Votez, Votez....

So it's election time in Canada again. Our own democractic stimulus program. Hey, what with hiring election workers, renting candidate offices, polling sites, IT support, etc., lots of Canadians are getting more bucks in their jeans. So it's all good, right? For me, no problem. I'm happy to pay my $8.82 to try and get Harpo and the rest of the anti-Marxist brothers out of power in Ottawa. Not that I'm a Marxist - it just sounded good.

It's important to remember that this guy lies for a living. He lies - whenever he opens his mouth. Now, all politicians lie, but he is taking it to a whole 'nother level. Let's take one example: Harper said he's not going to re-open the abortion debate. Really? 'Cuz it really seems to me like you have tried to, but in a really, really sneaky way. Take a look at Joyce Arthur's article to see what I'm talking about.

It's hard being a left-loo in red-neck Alberta. My friend, Jane, tells you a bit about just how difficult in her blog, The Abortion Monologues. Although driving around the neighbourhood today I did see an awful lot of Liberal signs up. Not surprising, I guess, because my riding has a Liberal MLA. Apparently the Conservative candidate keeps skipping the all-candidate meetings too. They keep placing a potted plant in her chair as a symbol.

Ah yes, it's election time in Canada again. You can almost smell the vitriole.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back from the Abyss

Well, it has been a looong time. So much for that. I am back and hoping to blog on a more regular basis. My friend, Stubborn Mule, and I had a bit of reunion with others in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago, and he inspired me to get back at it. So here's a new look blog and I have even managed to get my Twitter feed attached to it. Molto bene. I believe when I interrupted this blog, there was no such thing as Twitter. Ye gods.

I must admit, I really quite enjoyed being back in England again. Not sure if it was the company (stellar); or the weather (spring - much better than Calgary); or just the fact I needed a break (stressed out and punchy). Whatever it was, being back was a tonic. I have resolved to do it again soon.

Of course, it might be that the Canadian election is bringing me down. I really do not wish to live in Harpo-land anymore. But my compatriots seem uninterested and blasé about the whole thing.

More anon, on this topic. It's not over til it's over (or is that until the Fat Lady sings?).