January 26, 2004

...He'll Throw in His Soul for a PlayStation 2

From BBC NEWS | Technology: Boy swaps MikeRoweSoft for Xbox

A Canadian teenager whose website annoyed Bill Gates' lawyers is giving it up in exchange for Microsoft goodies, including an Xbox console.

Ha! Is there any better mental image than the thought of greedy corporate lawyers luring teenagers with games consoles? They might as well have offered to let him stay in Microsoft's giant gingerbread house in the middle of the enchanted forest.

January 25, 2004

Power Struggle

Joy of joys, the power in my building went out again tonight.

This has happened periodically since I got back from my winter break. Usually on the nights when it's -40 gazillion degrees outside and you could really use some working heaters. My landlord tells me it's the Electric Company's fault, invoking the omnipresent mysterious 'they' to explain why I'm sitting wrapped in a blanket, typing only to the glow of my computer screen, because with the power off I can't read, watch TV, talk on the phone, or generally do any of the things I usually do for entertainment.

Apparently, the Electric Company isn't feeding us a line with large enough capacity to supply the whole building. So when too many people use too many appliances at once the system blows. That's why I've been under strict instructions for the last three weeks to turn off all of my heating before using the stove. Which I have dutifully been doing, even on days like today when I have a painful, chesty cough and need to boil the kettle every forty-five minutes.

Nonetheless, it was apparently all in vain, because the lights went out again tonight. The super for my building came and knocked on my door and said it shouldn't be too long before the power was back on again. He also asked ("the only favour I ask") that I not use "too much stuff" in my apartment for the next few days.

Well, I feel a bit unreasonable complaining about his only favour, but does he not realize that with an electric stove, and electric oven and an electric heating system, there's a limit to how little 'stuff' I can use while still staying warm and properly nourished? I mean for God's sake, 'try not to use too much stuff'? Every bloody thing in this forsaken apartment runs on electricity! He might as well come down and ask me if I wouldn't mind curling up in a little ball on my floor for a few days.

Actually, at this point that doesn't even sound so bad.

Adobe(R) Procrastination 1.0

As you have probably deducted by the fancy new blueness, I just upgraded my Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) software. God, do I love Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) software. Everything in your life becomes so much more beautiful when you have Adobe(R) Photoshop(R) software. Why, just yesterday I added a drop shadow/inner glow effect to my apartment, and now it seems positively luminescent.

Now, you may wonder why I have suddenly started to pay attention to the hegemonic and arbitrary ownership-marking conventions of the bourgeoisie capitalist scum(R); quite simply, it's because they won't have it any other way. 'Photoshop', according to their website, is neither a noun, verb, nor an adjective-- in fact, it's not anything except a registered trademark and anyone using it any other way will be hunted down and given a severe wedgie.

I'm also quite proud of myself for making this rather nifty new page template (using fancy-shmancy Cascading Style Sheet HTML, no less) using just my own ingenuity and the hours of 1-3am on a Saturday night (well, okay, I'm not so proud of that last part-- but the fact is, teaching yourself anything on the basis of only one example is a pretty amazing feat).

And now, alas, I must go read about criminology. Which sounds, sadly, far less interesting than it really is.

January 23, 2004

Actually, They've Never Met

From BBC NEWS | UK: Met Office hit in baseball battle

Weather specialist the Met Office has suffered a setback in its battle to stop a US baseball team using its name on merchandise in the UK.

The New York Mets has applied to register its logo, containing the word 'Met', as a trademark in Europe for commercial purposes.

But the Ministry of Defence, which owns the Met Office trademark, says the word is too close to its brand . . .

'We are trying to protect the Met Office trademark in the same way as Barclays Bank or HSBC would protect their image', [an] MoD spokesman said.

'We just do not want to go and have people trade off our reputation.'


I'm sorry, the Met Office's reptutation as what, exactly? What do they think is going to happen?

"Daddy, daddy, will you buy me this baseball paraphernalia?"

"No, son, I won't, it's too... Hey, is this American baseball team affiliated with the British government's department for forecasting the weather? Well in that case, I'll take two!"

I mean, honestly. If anything, the New York Mets are probably doing the Met Office a favour.

January 20, 2004

Cosmo Sex Advice: Kiss my Ass!

God, am I getting tired of reading about how lousy men are in bed. Of course they're lousy in bed! How could they not be when there are five gazillion different sex advice columns out there? With that many people writing sex columns, there's got to be a pretty good chance that the 'quality' of said columns is not always going to be high. Item: from Netscape Love & Personals:

Women's Top Ten Sexual Complaints, By Patty Lamberti

We polled a group of women about what irks them most in the bedroom. Here are their biggest sexual grievances and how you can avoid committing such mistakes:

. . . Foreplay? What foreplay? Think of a woman as a crockpot that needs to be warmed up.


"Honey, I'm feeling amorous. Go turn the oven on." That'll get her in the mood.

He can't find my G Spot It's not a myth. Take some time to explore her body. Ask her over and over if you've found it.

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

He sticks his tongue in my ear to turn me on. What movie made you think this was appealing? Sure, a gentle tongue lap dance on the earlobe can be nice.

A gentle *tongue* *lap* dance on the *earlobe*? I don't even think that's physically possible! Why not throw in a few extra bodypart names, just to make things clearer? "I'm going to give you a sensual back massage on the elbow shin." Christ!

He's done too quickly. What she cares about is your ability to keep going.

...So forget about all that mushy love crap.

We always do it the same old way. Women need variety.

SO WHY DO YOU GIVE THE SAME DAMN ADVICE IN EVERY SINGLE BLOODY COLUMN YOU EVER WRITE?!

Ahem. That is all.

Kerry On, Kerry On...



John Kerry swept to victory in the Iowa caucuses Monday night, thanking Iowans for supporting him, and pledging to "literally give America back its future."

Glad to see Mr Kerry is keeping up the fine tradition of Presidential candidates with a good grasp of English...

January 16, 2004

I Demand to See My Avocado!

From BBC NEWS | Scotland: Chef sues hotel over cut finger

A chef who cut his finger is suing a hotel for £25,000 compensation by claiming no-one warned him about the danger posed by an avocado.

Michael McCarthy, 21, sliced into his hand when the unripened avocado he was trying to cut slipped and he lost control of his kitchen knife.

He claims he had been shown how to cut the fruit, but had not been told the avocado might not be ripe . . .

Mr McCarthy, from Blairgowrie, said the accident killed his dream of becoming an RAF chef and forced him to pursue another career.


Actually, Mikey, I think the thing that probably killed your career as a chef is the fact that you can't cut open an avocado without lopping off one of your fingers! Don't you have anything better to do with your time than taking hotels to court? Christ!

I do apologize for using the Lord's name in vain, but we already put up with far too much ridiculous litigation in the States, without the Scots starting, too. Honestly.

January 08, 2004

Just Chillin'... A Little Bit of Illin'

And now for one of those rare moments when I address the reader directly:

Hello! My, but hasn't it been a while since I've updated properly? The following Treatise in Five Parts should both (a) make the reasons for that clear and (b) bring this humble part of the web up to date.

1. I went home for two weeks over the holiday, which was great but for two things. One, the only connection to the internet at my mum's flat remains dial-up (indeed, dial-up through the ghastly AOL UK, which is a bit of a contradiction if nothing else), so I was down to going online only once a day, if that! Some may claim that my psychological health benefitted, and I certainly did feel less compulsion to look at naked celebrities by the end of the two weeks, but at what cost?

2. The second problem with my having gone home is that it involved flying through Heathrow-- twice. And these days you'd probably be safer playing Russian Roulette with a double-barrelled shotgun. To be honest, I don't know why British Airways even bother having a flight to Washington anymore. Anyway, my point is that I spent much of January 3rd sitting on a BA plane in a state of mortal terror.

3. ...Well, I say 'mortal terror', but what I really mean is 'a wee bit of mortal terror but mostly just nasal discomfort'. But then, that wouldn't have sounded as snappy and as I'm constantly saying, if it doesn't sound snappy then it's not worth writing. Which is, appropriately, pretty snappy-sounding in itself. But I digress; during my flight back to Montreal, my sinuses decided that it would be a bit of a laugh to produce eight gallons of mucus and use said to fill the entire right side of my face-- they're jokers like that-- and ever since I have been feeling diabolical (and not in the entertaining, evil scientist way, either). Ergo, I have been less concerned with updating my blog and more concerned with, say, not drowning in a pool of my own snot.

4. Speaking of snot, that's one thing you don't want to have a lot of in Montreal in January. See, the thing about Montreal in January is that it gets quite cold; cold enough, in fact, that within five seconds of stepping outside the inside of your nose freezes. Which is quite unpleasant, really. It was so cold today that my breath was collecting on my eyelashes in the form of tiny droplets of ice. It was so cold today that the shampoo I keep on the windowsill in my bathroom was partially frozen. Now I understand why bears hibernate.

5. Brrrrrr.

January 05, 2004

Cor, She's a Beauty!

From Netscape TV:

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - ``Crocodile Hunter'' Steve Irwin snapped back at critics who have accused him of endangering his month-old son's life by holding him while hand-feeding a crocodile, saying Monday that he would even do it again.

"What I would do differently is I would make sure there were no cameras around."


That's the spirit, Stevo. As long as the cameras are turned off, maybe you can smack him a little too.