Wednesday, January 31, 2007

IT tidbits - Oh yeah, I love being right.

Oh LB? Did I not say that Rogers would be the preferred carrier of the exclusive and elusive iPhone? Let the mantra flow freely.

Anyhow, ribbing my brother aside, I was up on the Apple website (which only exists in the US version and not the Canadian side). I have to say that if Apple can a) get Outlook/Notes/other useful product synching in place, b) lower the damn price and c) install a slot to be used with SDHC cards for expanison purposes, I would buy one immediately. This unit is off the hook amazing and I really, REALLY want one but my geek side says that this will be version 1.0 and they need to step up and come correct with the features people are telling them right now are wanted. We will not be iPodded to death with models (i.e. new release with the damn features it should have started out with but the bastards just want your very last red cent).

Come on Steve, do the right thing. Otherwise, when Rogers rolls out this near-complete model, and the salesperson asks me, "Deal or No Deal?" I am going to have to answer, "No Deal!"


Note: Ok, that admittedly was a shameless plug at the new Canadian edition being shown next week. Howie Mandel rules! And DW and I will be fortunate enough to see him live tomorrow night.

DailyTech - Rogers to Be Exclusive Apple iPhone Provider in Canada

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Everyone has strong opinions about the show.

So, the world we live in today is definitely and officially different than the one I grew up in. Sure, there is heightened security, but we had that with any major foreign dignitary or royal visit. We have distrust (cold war) and disagreements (Cuba) and ignorance (Iran-Contra). This is something new and different and scary now. How does an ad company run a campaign if the very real threat of the unknown works against any campaign that would be sent out into the public? Think about that for a second.

An ad company cannot drop leaflets on a crowd without being told they are littering and killing trees. Then, they cannot drop anything else for fear that fear will cause a panic. Imagine seeing some kind of food item drop out of the sky, or a liquid without description in a tube or worse yet, a powdery white substance that the CDC eventually identifies as the new Tide(tm)?

These are sad and disturbing times folks. I for one weep at the loss of innocence.


Ad campaign triggers bomb scare in Boston -

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Friday, January 26, 2007

IT tidbits: Play your home computer music where ever you have an Internet connection.

This is something new I recently came across and it is intriguing; if it works as advertised. I will let you know later how well it works as my work environment is a perfect testbed for this: secured, heavily firewalled, monitored and remote. I was able to use another company's product once (Slimserver) but with varying degrees of success. As this uses a browser as the foundation of the transmission, it may be able to jump the hurdles of the past more easily. Stay tuned and I will update this post with how well it works.

AVVENU: Free remote access and sharing service for your PC and cell phone.

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IT tidbits: Let me hear the mantra please.

I told LB that Rogers would be the first Canadian company to deal with Apple and the new iPhone. I based this on the fact that Rogers is currently the largest provider in Canada AND the fact that Bell in all of its backward glory still does not supply phones with SIM cards. Anyhow, I understand the pricing of the phone more now and that is all nice and good. I still say that unless Apple gets more features that at least match current offerings (i.e. sync with Outlook and Lotus Notes, etc.), they are doomed to a niche market share.

C'mon Steve, you can do better than that.

Mac Rumors: Cingular/Rogers Not Subsidizing iPhone Cost?

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I'll tell you what.

If you recognized that quote, you are obviously a fan of "King of the Hill". This animated series is the second longest one to be running behind perennial favourite "The Simpsons". While the latter is over the top and relies on in-jokes, jabs, impossible situations and a twisted imagination at times (just check the Hallowe'en specials to see what I mean), KOTH is more of an everyday story of the everyman, his job, his family and his friends.

In the incredible eleven years it has been on TV, there is nearly a storyline or situation that has not been or could not be duplicated in real life. About the only standout thing is that Dale, no matter how stupid a redneck, could not possible have not figured out by now that John Redcorn diddled his wife and that his son Joesph was not his as a result. Everything else from the mower races (they have them), to the weirdo army dude (they have them), to the misguided substitute teacher who does not really know how to speak Spanish (they have them), to the buxom blond with a somewhat clueless outlook on life (they've got the market cornered), to the obsession with lawn care, to the drinking in the alley to just about everything that has been shown in all the episodes.

If you have not really watched the show, give it a chance with the new season. If it catches on with you, the first few seasons are out on DVD and you can always catch reruns several times a day in syndication (but they won't be in seasonal order).


CANOE -- JAM! Television: 'King of the Hill' returns

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

IT tidbits

iPods are Apple's saving grace and cash cow. They are also the universal choice of MP3 if you ask most people that can afford one. The fact that Apple owns anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the world's portable player market supports this. Part of the reason for this, right or wrong, is their very locked down Digital Rights Management (DRM). This dreaded term is what the movie and music industry tries to use to say they are helping consumers ad their clients by keeping costs down for everybody. Not necessarily the whole truth but we'll let that slide for now.

What is true is that DRM is a pain in the ass when it comes to you the consumer trying to ensure your hard earned cash used to build your library does not go up in smoke when your library does. You see, you are not able to simple copy your music to any medium and to any machine as you can with your store bought CD (and not even then , see Sony and the disaster they caused with the rootkit they installed without your knowledge). Instead, the music you buy at the iTunes store is locked to a maximum five machines "authorized" to play and if you lose your license to the song you bought, TS; you cannot download it again for free indefinitely.

So, what happens when you buy a new computer and now want to sync your iPod to that machine? Previously, you were SOL and had to buy third-party software, or work a set of cheats, in order to get the music you paid for onto the machine you paid for. Apple finally got a clue and now provides a method to do this within Apple iTunes version 7.x onwards. The links below shows you two different ways to accomplish this.

How to use your iPod to move your music to a new computer

How to back up your media in iTunes

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It simply makes sense.

Sure, one can use religion and moral backing to argue as to why legal brothels in Canada is a bad thing. Then, with everyone else, you can turn a blind eye to it happening right in your back yard because it is not YOUR child in immediate danger at the time. As much as the legal system tries to combat it, prostitution has found a way to continue and thrive. Hell, there are a row of dive hotels and motels along Kingston Road in Scarborough that you know most sane human beings would not stay in so how do they stay in business? Oh yeah, you know what goes on there. The same thing that went on in the forest near City Hall in Scarborough, the parks in Etobicoke, the forest behind the police college, the beach downtown... it's everywhere.

So, since we cannot get rid of it, I say go ahead and regulate and tax the damn thing. They get medical benefits, a safe place to work, health inspections and are not prowling the streets showing their wares in the middle of winter. The lure of a half naked body will not be enticing your man to go get some. Rather, he will have to consciously make the effort to go get some; he will have no excuse as to how he ended up there after that so don't blame the workers.

Stop debating this people. Legalize brothels now! Do so before another sick person decides they have a better plan, a similar one to Robert Picton's, on how to clean up the streets.

Ciao. - Kerry Diotte - Time for legal brothels

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The "how would I have known?" defence. Pathetic.

I am not about to pretend that TC has been an absolute angel and has never attempted (and succeeded to some extent) to pull the proverbial wool over our eyes. The difference between us and this story is that it eventually catches up with everyone. We may have been distracted but it only takes one thing out of place to refocus our eyes on the issue at hand (think Sauron in Lord of the Rings as he gaze out over all the orcs). Once refocussed, we are like bloodhounds and all secrets are soon revealed on a time-line of out choosing. Simply put, there was no way a gun was going to be in our house for any extended period of time without us knowing about it. Further, unlike these gonad-less excuse of parents, we would be sure to march her ass right into the police station with it. There is always a line where you stop protecting your child and ours would be if someone else's child was in danger. We would stupidly hope that their parents would do the same but we are not that naive. Anyhow, she may not have known the friend had a gun on him but working multiple jobs is a lousy excuse for not knowing what he has been up to. no one talks in those neighbourhoods; I know because I grew up in one at Victoria Park and Finch. Fear is what rules the place. BUT, when you have the eyes on your community and the police force in droves to help protect it, that is when you take advantage and strike at those causing the fear.

Unless, of course, you are benefiting too greatly from the status quo to want change. Think about it.

Ciao. - News - Evictions target families of gang members

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Today's Funny

Submitted by Redsometimes.

Your morning chuckle to start the day


Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out!

Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.


When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. "

Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him, without opening your mouth.

And this is why there are two school boards in Toronto.

The Toronto District Catholic School Board did not need some halfwit minister to tell them that cell phones do not belong in the classroom and its use to be regulated in the school. TC's schools, elementary and high, both would confiscate phones that went off during class time. They absolutely were not to be open during tests and exams. Personally, I think it should be strictly enforced that they are not to be used during normal school hours on school grounds period. The office is there for a reason; it always has been and suits its purpose well. If you need to get a non-urgent message to a student, you left one and the student would be called down between periods so as to not disrupt the class. In an emergency, the student would naturally be taken out of class immediately.

Why is it in this modern age that common sense has to be mandated to the masses? People complain about living with Big Brother but we make the need for that Orwellian world necessary when we simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing on our own accord. In many instances, I would rather be safe than private. Put cameras all over the city like they have in London. If I do something stupid on the road that could harm someone else (excluding speeding on an open, empty roadway), then by all means come and nab me. Make surer to capture the bloke breaking into TR as well. Want to watch me go to the mall to shop? Have at it but know there will be hours of footage with me drooling in the Sony Store, Bay Bloor Radio, Future Shop and Best Buy. Want to run facial recognition software at the airport? Have at it but don't pull me out of the line because I "fit the profile"; been there, done that, not a happy camper. You better have a damn good reason for delaying my getting my drink on.

Are there chances of abuse? Absolutely. I do not want Revenue Canada adding up how much I spent and determining that I must have work for an extra $100 under the table because my purchases outweigh my income. I do not want my workplace firing me because they "perceive" me hanging out with a competitor far too often at the sports bar. I don't want me put on a watch list for possible diseases because a known carrier is amongst my group of friends. With great power comes great responsibility and any such measures will have to be properly utilized and then those people policed, and the watchers must also be watched. How ever many levels it takes to ensure the people are protected from abuse.

But with more and more reports of these damn sick people walking into our schools and interfering with innocent children, it is time we stop waiting on these idiot ministers and push for common sense to be acted upon now, NOT when the next convenient election rolls around.


Ontario's education minister says students shouldn't have cellphones on in class - Yahoo! Canada News

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Jack Bauer fun facts

some old some new... enjoy (NOTE: Submitted by LB and posted here in case he really knows Jack Bauer)

6.2 billion
Chinese vs. Jack Bauer... sounds like a fair fight."

Jack Bauer could get
off the Lost island in 24 hours.

After running out of ammo, Jack stood in
the line of fire, took 3 shots

to the chest, and used them to

Jack Bauer has been to Mars. That's why there's no life on

Jack Bauer is the reason Waldo is hiding.

When a
convicted terrorist was sentenced to face Jack Bauer, he appealed

to have the
sentence reduced to death.

When bad things happen to good people, its
probably fate. When bad

things happen to bad people, it's probably Jack

The city of Los Angeles once named a street after Jack Bauer

gratitude for his saving the city several times. They had to rename

after people kept dying when they tried to cross the street. No

crosses Jack Bauer and lives.

The 2007 budget for the US
Military covers Jack Bauer, two pistols and

four billion rounds of

Passed out, surrounded by terrorists and nerve gas, and
handcuffed to a

table leg, Jack Bauer laughed to himself and said, "I have
them right

where I want them."

Once, someone tried to tell Jack
Bauer a "knock knock" joke. Jack Bauer

found out who was there, who they
worked for, and where the goddamned

bomb was.

If everyone on "24"
followed Jack Bauer's instructions, it would be

called "12".

Bauer doesn't need to eat, sleep, or use the bathroom because his

organs are
afraid of making him angry.

Jack Bauer's calendar goes from March
31st to April 2nd, no one fools

Jack Bauer.

....and on the seventh
day Jack Bauer said, "I'll take it from here."

When Jack Bauer plays
dodge ball, the ball dodges Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer sleeps with a
pillow under his gun.

When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them
to kill terrorists. Jack

Bauer friggin' hates lemonade.

Jack Bauer
is the only human in the world with the ability to make

Chloe O'Brien drop
the personality disorder and patch him through.

If it tastes like
chicken, looks like chicken, and feels like chicken,

but Jack Bauer says its
beef. Then it's friggin' beef.

If Jack Bauer gives you his word,
return it immediately and run.

Teri Bauer had her tubes tied years
ago. That still didn't stop Jack.

Jack Bauer was never addicted to
heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack


When someone asks him
how his day is going, Jack replies, "Previously,

on 24..."

Bauer set an ordinary flash memory card to self-destruct. Don't

ask how he
did it, he's friggin' Jack Bauer

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I left the following comment on a PETA supporter's website.

I don't know if they will allow it to remain posted or how they will react to it so I am posting what I originally posted on her comment section and I linked to the original post on her site. Basically, when you get two idiots going at it on either side of an argument, all you end up with is two idiots and the message of each side is lost in the exchange. I respect PETA's right to say their message and to recruit people to their point fo view but their tactics have much to be desired and it is a shame that their message gets lost in the revulsion of those tactics (i.e. throwing paint or blood on fur wearers, etc.).

And, for any PETA supporters reading this blog, my personal opinion is that using tits and ass to get your point across is pointless because all I get is the tits and ass. I'm a guy, my focus is shallow, narrow and short. You would have had me at cruelty. You would have had me at deplorable conditions. You throw naked Pam Anderson on a car or the bikini beauties and I start wondering who PETA is and how they can get me that chick's number.

Try another tactic folks.

Here is my posted comment:

I find it interesting that instead of coming up with something intelligent to say, you people defending Nicole resort to the same juvenile behaviour that Jeff H. used. How exactly is that being better than him? How is threatening and insulting him any better than his misguided comment?

While I am sure Nicole is a nice person and believes in what she is doing, I will go so far as to point out that she is a little naive if she thinks some of those guys in the pictures with her with the goofy smiles on their faces are absorbing her message rather than ogling her goodies.

The problem I have always had with a lot of PETA folks is the same ones I have with you here: you insult and demean those who do not have the same opinion as you. Unfortunately, in many people's eyes, that greatly diminishes the message you are trying to put forth.

While I paused to think about what you were saying about KFC, it quickly was replaced with the appalling gall that your organization had with respect to Steve Irwin and his family by basically spitting on the man's grave. How is spouting all that rhetoric, which amounted to a message of "serves him right", ever expected to sway people to listen to you?

I believe that you have a right to say what you are saying and to believe what you are believing. I do not agree with Nicole or Pam or any of the ladies using sex to get that point across. I also do not believe that either side has the right to insult, harass, assault (i.e. throwing paint, etc.) or demean the other side.

The Western world is supposed to be the height of democracy and fairness but we all do a piss-poor job of demonstrating that to the rest of the world. I hope PETA, and those of an opposing view, can do a better job of disagreeing with each other in a civilized world.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tough fence to be on.

If you have seen the movie "So, I Married An Axe Murderer" (one of the few movies LB and I used to agree on), then you will not understand the quote" "The colonel is evil. He puts chemicals in his chicken to make you crave it fortnightly!"

We grew up on KFC as it was better than greasy McD's (who STILL make the best fries of the franchises) and it was near enough for us kids to ride to and come back. One time, AL and I went out for the chicken and some pop. Riding a ten speed with bags of chicken, fresh bread (no longer on the menu and should be brought back, dammit), and sides, plus bottles of pop, was a recipe for disaster. Well, this one time it finally happened as I was wobbling beside the gas station driveway and moved right to avoid the vehicle coming up behind me when I hit the grate and went over the front handlebars, spreadeagled with all the stuff hitting the road. Thankfully the bottles did not burst open and AL had the chicken so we were safe. We get home and mysteriously my family had left to go God knows where. So, AL and I are sitting on the stoop having just ridden with all this stuff back from Birchmount and Sheppard area. The smell is on our noses, our bellies are grumbling and I am tired from the spill. At a half hour, we decided to eat our share; well, we would start with a "taste" of one piece. By the time my family returned, we had finished the bread except for four pieces, went through half a bucket, downed a 2L of pop, dusted half the large fries and was looking for a way to scoop sides out. They simply went out to get more as we were going to finish what we started anyhow.

So, with that in mind, I really am tired of Ms. Anderson and all these celebs who have sudden enlightenment on the intelligence of the things we eat. If fish were smarter, they would not eat a thing dangling from a plastic thread. If animals that can eat us choose not to and get eaten themselves, well T S! And yes, I know the ones we breed are essentially slaves to our bellies but there has to be a reason that God made us learn how to use fire and make Webbers and make tools to rotisserie on said BBQs. Can the chickens be more humanly killed? Geez, uhm, sure. How humane would you like to die unexpectedly to be eaten? I don't bloody think they care and neither do I. I am not saying to injure the things on purpose and let them suffer. I am saying that dead is dead and as long as it is quick and relatively painless, I am good with that. I am not about to give up my sirloin, my breast or my pork chop to satisfy these nutters (Pink, BEP, tell me it aint so) but I will concede better conditions.

After all, the better shape these animals are in when slaughtered, the better presentation on my plate and taste in my mouth on the way to my belly. Thank PETA for making my food taste better. Much appreciated. Oh yes, I also appreciate the bikinis and naked women that you exploit to garner my attention. PLEASE keep up the good work in showing someone's daughter goodies to me for free while getting your message out. I will absolutely think of that shapely one when eating my breast, that red head when I am chowing down on that thigh and that blond when I am eating pie for dessert.

You know, I don't go around yelling that these folks should slap a ham bone in their mouth every thanksgiving and Christmas, why should I be inundated with their message NOT to do so?



Editor's NOTE: Unbelievable but true. I just looked on another page of the site where they had the babes in the bikinis and they actually have a blond, brunette and redhead who match up to my post. Check it out here.

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) Does Chickens Wrong

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I know it is a toy but, damn!

OK, as my profile suggests, we are geeks. That said, this is really cool now that we finally got it working. By "it" I am referring to Microsoft Windows Media Center. Ok, get back on your chair, those of you that fell off. Yes, I am going to praise Microsoft for doing what no one else has done properly. In the living room, attached to the big screen, is the Xbox 360 my loving wife sacrificed to get me for Christmas (still loving you hon!).

In the bedroom-office sits her desktop that I recently rebuilt with Microsoft Windows XP - Media Center Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2 and Rollup 2. Both of those service packs are necessary before the Xbox 360 media extender software can even be installed. For those of you with, ahem, suspect Windows XP installations or simply refuse to buy into the whole "genuine validation" bullshit that Microsoft pushes, you may want to look at this wonderful site that I found. Autopatcher ( is a great site as it has a single file plus some updates that will install ALL, yes ALL, the security, hotfixes, patches and upgrades that one would normally go through Windows Updates website to get.

This is especially essential for those of us that need to go through a clean install (I have about three more to perform here at home) as you do not have to wait for hours and hours through tens of reboots to get the system up to snuff. At the moment, the full install of updates from November plus two updates from December and January will supply your nice new system with everything it needs and a lot of extras you would not get unless you validated (i.e. Windows Defender).

Anyhow, now that it is setup, we can record TV shows on her machine off of Rogers cable and play them back on the big screen through the Xbox 360. It is a bit of a pain to control at the moment as we only have the wireless controllers and not a Xbox360 compatible remote. Once you get the hang of it though, it is not too bad. And now that means we can record shows she may like to watch but I don't and she can watch it at her leisure while I may be doing something else on her machine.

Also in the "toy" department is our recent purchase do the HD-PVR. While we would have not normally gotten this unit, especially with everything else going on with us, this was something we simply could not pass up. As the story goes, Best Buy and Future Shop royally f**ked up! The unit, which is basically a high-definition digital box with a digital video recorder built into it, is normally a $600 piece of hardware. Rogers often puts it on sale for $499 or even $399 with programming credits that come off each month for ten months (though you cough up the whole coin upfront). Well, for some reason, Future Shop had it on sale last week for $299 still with the $100 programming credit!! That means the box is basically $199, two-thirds off the normal retail price! You cannot by a standalone PVR with hard drive that records HD programming for that price. So, after DW MSN'd me this info, I told her to go get it. Sure, we cannot buy bread till Thursday but this was an amazing deal. More amazing is that Best Buy had to match it with ten percent off the difference so she got it for even less.

Now, how do we know this was a major f**k up on their part (Best Buy owns Future Shop, btw)? Because Future Shop pulled the sale off the shelves and Best Buy refuses to honour it any longer (as the unit is $499 at their branded stores). So, we saved over two hundred bucks, and we can carry the rented unit back so we do not have that cost each month anymore either. SCORE!!

For any of you with Xbox 360s, you may want to check the Future Shop flyer as there is a two in a pack for one price sale going on and these are not shit titles either. Gears of War is in there! Super sweet game. I need to get good on it so I can finally regain the Ass-kicking crown back from our nephew.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Quick post from the Raptors game

If you are ever in the ACC, there is a free hotspot named MLSEL that is available to all wireless devices. That is what I am connected to with my laptop to write this from the skybox #6. Yes, it was a special group outing that we participated in that included ticket, unlimited soft drinks, pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, cookies, pretzels and chips. All of this for $68 per person. Not a bad deal, considering.

Anyhow, the Raptors are mounting a comeback. I'll update this later with the final score.


NOTE: Damn Raptors lost to Utah. We need some serious defense lessons!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Hmm. The child has done this before. And the child does not like where they have moved. And the police of local DCF has not stepped in to do anything.

And then to top it off, the child exposes an obvious hole in simple airport security that can (and will) be exploited by someone bad looking to harm innocent people.

Well, I say give the kid a parade. Sheesh.

9-year-old runaway leads police on high-speed chase, sneaks on flight to Texas

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What a tangled web in the Anatomy.

You know, people who are allowed to speak will undoubtedly say stupid things from time to time; I say stupid shit daily if I am allowed to. The more that people listen though is the more one should really either shut the hell up or be ready to stand behind what you say.

Now, Isaiah is in a bit of a pickle. Either he really did not call sweet "George" a faggot (apparently the homosexual equivalent of a black person being called a nigger) and the cast is after his hide for no good reason. Or, and it is very likely as the black community is not at all embracing of homosexuals as it challenges the manly-man image of Mandingo, he really did say it, realized that it should not have been uttered amongst his cast-mates much less in public and is now trying to spin doctor the whole thing to make it go away.

It's not going away Isaiah. Either get the cast together into a powwow and settle the issue once and for all, or, salvage some intestinal fortitude and fess up. Either way, it is hurting the show, your credibility and your working future in Hollywood. This is simply not going away, my "brother". Fix it! Now!


NOTE: With reference to Mandingo, rumour has it that my father stopped going to the movies with my mother because of this movie. Unconfirmed reports had her standing up in the movie theatre and yelling at the scream during a particular heated exchange in which Mandingo was coming out on top finally (see the movie for further details). That kind of behaviour plays well in Compton but not so much in Toronto in the 70's. :)

CANOE -- JAM! - 'Grey's' Heigl fumes over comments

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Sanctum Sanctorum Defiled!.

I've been good. I've been accommodating. I've been patient. I've even educated. All, it seems to no avail. I now have to resort to this, a public outing, to help restore that which is rightfully mine by nature's decree. I must reclaim the sanctity, the peace and especially the privacy and seclusion that is the lavatory!

As the title of this posts suggests, the lavatory (i.e. toilet, office, lounge, sanctum sanctorum, etc.) is a special place. It is where most men go to not only do their business but also to read up on business. It is where we get to read the papers without someone in the family looking to extract as of yet unread sections from you. It is where single thoughts may be carried out without interruption of another's thoughts, actions, sounds. It is where those magazines that have been piling up can get a proper going through (i.e. I can read MaxmiumPC cover to cover without disruption). It is where all bad habits may be exercised in their entirety without an audience (unless that is the sort of thing that you are into).

I used to basically have all that when we were in the old house. Once in a while, a needed interruption would happen to solve, sort or choose where DW and/or TC was stumped. Lately, however, it has been a free for all and I need to put a stop to it. Now having an ensuite in the master bedroom, I admittedly am more apt to leave the door open since the bedroom door is closed. DW somehow believes that this is an invitation to come speak to me. Uhm, how about, hell no?

Is the house on fire? No. Did someone get grievously hurt? No. Was the vehicle stolen? No. Is someone trying to break in? No. So, what you are saying is that you had nothing to do and this could have waited till I was out? Pretty much.

Oh, but it gets better still. Not only does DW decide that my private time is the best time to speak to me, TC seems to have developed the same lost of direction in the matter. The door is closed for a reason, child. It means that what is on one side of the door is not to disturb what is on the other side of the door unless there is a specific emergency (see examples above). DW also expands the issue from the use of the facilities to also include now the soaking in the tub, and my personal favourite (grrrrrrrr), the taking of the shower.

Now men and women will agree with me here. When one is in the shower, decent water pressure beating down on you, temperature close to unbearable but soothing to your aching soul, lost in a myriad maze of thoughts about the day and what still is left to do before sleep is allowed to overtake you, the last thing you want is to have that interrupted. Well, imagine then that I am the one in that blissful state (HEY, imaginations above the waistline section please) and it is abruptly disrupted by a semi-yelling woman, bursting into the bathroom, bitching and moaning about this idiot ADT saleswoman who seemingly has trouble hearing and understanding the English language when it is saying to "go away" (DW can post her lovely experiences with this woman and several other salespeople). Naturally, quite perturbed, I yell back exactly what I am expected to do in the current state of undress that I am. DW's response that she was not yelling AND that she was simply telling me about it gets me even more upset because my thoughts had reached what was the blissful equivalent of running across the fields to join your lost love while sappy music is playing in the background.

LB will tell you that there was little in life that could piss off our father faster than our mother bothering him to speak to someone on the phone while he was preoccupied. And he also smoked at the time so you know how well that went. Many an argument was started due to that defective female gene that has women disturb men in the office.

So, let's review life as it will be going forward. Unless there is a dire emergency, limbs or lives are at stake, an important decision has to be made due to time constraints, or American Idol is about to start, the inner circle, the sanctum sanctorum, the private office, is off limits while it is in use. Do not disturb my shower. Do not disturb my bubble bath (yes, I enjoy them... smartasses). And for the love of monkeys DO NOT disturb me while I am posting a letter, planting a tree, pinching a loaf, floating a log, spraying the field and/or enriching my mind with deep thought, reading and learning.

OK, I think I have some deep thought to go and "process" now. Ciao.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

IT Tidbits

So, you want to know what the little rascals are up to on the Internet eh? Well, here is a simple solution for you. First, dump Microsoft. Yeah, I know but it really does suck for doing anything truly useful when you want to do it and not have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to get it accomplished. Next, run Ubuntu or Suse or Fedora or Mepis or any number of consumer-oriented desktop replacements out there (check for more). Next, make sure that the latest necessary apps are installed for their surfing pleasure. This may or may not include Openoffice, some type of media player, Firefox 2.0 or Opera 9.0. Next, LOCK IT DOWN. Take away all permissions except the ability to run the program and to save and modify their own files. That'll insure the little bastards don't f**k up the installation again. Finally, go to the link below and run this to lock down and lock out what they actually have access to on the Net.

Sure, you can buy various programs out there that does this on Windows, but don't you want to have some fun and learning and a sense of accomplishment in wrecking the little whippersnappers' fun? I know you do. Enjoy.

DansGuardian - True Web Content Filtering for All

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Down honey, I am not talking about the restaurant chain.

While responding to comments of a recent post I did on DW's blog (see sidebar), I happened to go up to my profile to see what I had written there before. Interestingly, almost eighteen hundred views of my profile have occurred since I started blogging in 2004. Also, this post you are reading is my 1230th one, which I am proud of as I did not think I would stick with it this long.

I think I envisioned a specific focus at one point but then found that finding regular things to say was much harder than it seemed. The thing about a blog is that while to strangers it offers anonymity, it is you personally right out there amongst friends and family. This means that there are topics you cannot or will not touch lest sensibilities and feelings come into play. You also cannot bitch and moan about anyone in your inner circle because nothing travels faster than word on the Internet.

The strange thing about blogging is that you are alone in a crowd. Where in person, I can instigate (read shit disturb) to my hearts content and watch the results wobble over like falling dominoes, I cannot do that here. Sink or swim, laugh or cry, titillate or irritate, it is all on me. There is a pressure and stress to be good, entertaining, thought provoking and/or informative in every single post. Sometimes you succeed and most times you throw up yawners that you wish you could take back. And I know I can take it back simply by deleting the post but then it is no longer a conversation with you the reader. I cannot take something back once uttered in personal, face to face conversation, so why should I have that ability to do so now?

I think I like to treat this the same way I do a conversation. If I write a post and the thought is not write, I will rewrite it or delete it entirely. The point is, it is never posted to the actual blog so no one ever sees and reads it. That is much like the conversations I have in my head prior to uttering the things I say. Once I say them, then they arer "posted" into the current conversation I am having and anything that falls from that will ave to be dealt with as it comes. That is indeed an off-putting position to take in a blog but I am proud that I do it that way. My integrity is intact because what you read here is what you will get in person.

Just a lot quieter.


IT Tidbits

I will start my new section "IT Tidbits" with this page that recently came in handy for me. Anyone using Windows from Micro$oft is bound to have the system crash at some point during its lifespan. The cryptic dialogue that get spewed forth from said crash is often not decipherable so tends to get ignored. Well, this site will help you identify what ails your machine a little faster. Naturally, you will need a second functional machine available in order to search the site for your particular error code.


Windows XP Stop messages

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An interesting article from Canoe

A thought provoking article on interracial couples. Does one HAVE to marry within one's own race for the sake of not diluting the gene pool and ethnicity of one's race? Or are we, as a human race, finally moving forward to that point in time when there will have to be something more to divide and segregate us than the colour of our skin?

When you were dating as a teen, what were your parents' view on dating outside of your race or religion? While my folks were always polite and welcoming, and really had friends with all sorts of people when we were growing up, there was always an underlying understanding that the preference for our future mate would be a Trinidadian first, then a black one after that. This is not to say that they treated my girlfriend (an Arcadian descendant) with any disdain or malice. Simply, they wanted the family name to continue with the family traditions and culture.

DW has more than convinced them that "Trini" is a way of life, not a genetic marker. :)


Monday, January 15, 2007

iPhone: Not ready for prime time.

As you know, I love Apple and I love Apple's products. DW and I own two iPods, we gave one away to my Goddaughter for her sweet sixteen (the iPod Nano Red), I have a Mac mini under my desk, an old Mac G3 that I have a project waiting to be implemented on and many a lustful dream of new Apple hardware (i.e. dual 30" Apple Cinemas running from a dual boot Intel Core 2 Duo Mac tower of goodness with 16GB of memory, several terabytes of storage, dual slot-loading optical drives, Gigabit Ethernet pipe plus a fresh install of Leopard and Apple Premiere Pro running). Sorry, I digress.

Anyhow, the new iPhone is one snazzy beyatch of a device. It is a precursor, IMHO, of what the tru Video iPod should end up looking like; 4" screen, touch-screen controls, 100GB storage, built-in Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, the current demoed unit falls sort in the storage department and several other areas. All tis while being tied to one suspect carrier (Cingular) for two years and for mucho beans whiel other carriers and other devices are more flexible and available now for less money than the projected cost.

I seriously hope that Jobs and company is doing a smoke and mirrors, bait and switch deal to throw off the competition or lull them into a false sense of security. If not, I'd be dumping any Apple shares because they will make a big splat when they fall from the heights they grown accustomed to.


Today's Idiot!

Hello everyone, today's installment stems from the fact that we experienced a little ice storm in our area. This amounts to several hours of ice pellets and freezing rain dropping throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) . Now, it is not like we were not given fair warning and not like we did not have time to prepare and adjust. Some of us simply got a late start out (like TC and myself) so we got caught up in the mire. As a result, our usually sombre 40-60 minute ride in to her school (she still goes to her old school in East York though we have moved to Ajax) was more of a 2.25hr exercise this morning. Tack on another 40 minutes or so to continue up north on Birchmount in Markham for me to finally arrive at work sometime after 11; just in time to start my lunch prepared by my lovely wife, DW. The journey home will begin with me leaving work around 2PM to ensure that I pick up the child as school lets out. We have two errands to complete before heading home in what will surely be more of the same as the forecast is for further wet snow to fall this afternoon. Sigh.

Anyhow, today's idiots (yes, plural) come in both the moving and unmoving kind. On the moving front, it never fails to amaze and puzzle me that people with some resemblance of intelligence still have no clue about the dynamics of a motorized vehicle. Simple things like stopping distance with relation to mass and speed (also know as the "holy shit, I hope I can stop before I hit him" factor). There there is the coefficient of friction (also know as the "holy shit, four-wheel drive does not mean I can turn on a dime on ice" factor). Even worse are those without four-wheel or even all-wheel drive that insist on driving like they have it, on all-season tires, weaving between traffic to get those two extra seconds ahead in the middle of a traffic jam.

Let's review. An accident is something that happens that was unforeseen and typically unpreventable. Someone going off to work in the morning, with no weather forecast alerting one to any issues, skidding off the road due to black ice is an accident. The morons who ended up in ditches this morning, snarling already bad traffic, because their bitch-asses were too lazy to get out of bed earlier so now they are driving well above the speed for the conditions and their vehicle are not accidents. Nope, those incidents are prime examples of why people held up by these idiots should be allowed to get out of their vehicles and lay open a can of whoop-ass on these mental midgets while the po-po holds them down.

Now, for the idiots of the non-moving kind. Having successfully traversed the city (including several sliding incidents of my own due to the need for a change in tires and possibly brakes on TR), I pull into the driveway at work expecting there to be no spaces open anywhere near the front door. To this fact I was correct but no because the parking lot was full (which it was) but because the mental midgets working in this establishment decided that since there was snow on the ground and the lines were not visible, there was no possible way they could be expected to come up with a reasonable estimation of the width of a f**king parking space!! Unbelievable people!! I swear if there was not surveillance around, I would have Scarborough-style keyed every last one of the offenders. It is simply ignorant, selfish and downright rude and unmannerly to take up two or more spaces simply to accommodate your convenience or, realistically, lack of driving skills. If you cannot drive properly in this weather, don't f**king drive period!!

Oh yeah, the usual rant about asswipe pedestrians crossing on the red and in the middle of the road with several tons of metal and plastic sliding towards them.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday's Funnies

Submitted by BT

There was a guy who had been having chronic trouble in trying to get an erection. After weeks of frustration, he finally breaks down and and goes to the doctor. The doctor gives him a thorough examination and finally makes the diagnosis.

"Well, there's good news and there's bad news," she says. "The bad news is that the muscles around your penis are deteriorating, and there is no cure."

The guy, on the verge of panic, finally regains his composure. "So what's the good news?" he asks.

The doctor says, "There is an experimental treatment available, but there are no guarantees. It involves transplanting the muscles from a baby elephant's trunk into your penis. Would you like to try it?"

The guy thinks about it and finally says, "Well, the thought of going through life without being able to have sex is just too much for me. What have I got to lose? Let's do it."
So the doctor performs the operation. A few weeks later, the guy takes his girlfriend out to a nice restaurant to celebrate his new equipment. While sitting at the table, he feels a stirring between his legs; it gets progressively worse until it reaches the point of being painful. Seeking relief, he reaches down and unzips his fly to relieve some of the pressure. Suddenly, his penis leaps free from his pants, slides over the tabletop and grabs a dinner roll, then returns to his pants again.

"Wow!" says his stunned girlfriend, "That was impressive! Can you do that again?"

Eyes watering and face flushed, he says, "Probably... but I don't know if I can fit another dinner roll up my ass!"


Thursday, January 11, 2007

First New Year's Funnies

Submitted by LB

Kenny G is allowed to live because Chuck Norris doesn't kill women.

...and Chuck is alive because Jack Bauer doesn't kill women either!


Subject: Soul Food

Kitchen Sex

She is in the kitchen preparing to boil eggs for breakfast. He walks in. She turns and says, "You've got to make love to me -- this very moment." His eyes light up and he thinks, "This is my lucky day."

Not wanting to lose the moment, he embraces her and then gives it his all on the kitchen table. Afterwards she says, "Thanks," and returns to the stove. More than a little puzzled, he asks, "What was that all about?"

She explains, "The egg timer's broken."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Equality? My aunt fanny!

I'll just tell the female readers upfront that they may want me hung from the highest point after they read this but they need to really read it before they form an opinion one way or another.

Many a book, song, movie, rally and voice has been created and raised in the pursuit of equal rights for men and women. No, I am not going to dispute that this was and is still, unfortunately, necessary in many parts of the world and most certainly in almost any industry. What I will say is that when it comes to equality, most women (far be it for me to paint all women with a single brush) pick and choose when they want that equality to be executed. Let's look at some examples.

The Workplace. Equal pay for equal work. No arguments here. If an accountant is doing a certain job, then all accountants doing the same job should be paid the same wage regardless of gender, colour, religion or any other factor.

The Mechanics. It is a well known fact that a woman getting her car fixed is a huge area of abuse that continues with unscrupulous mechanics. The ignorant is seen as easy fodder to be fleeced of their cash.

Dry Cleaners. I used to work at Sketchley Cleaners' main plant. I can tell you with direct knowledge that women and men's clothing are treated the same way, in the same chemicals, ironed on the same boards. You all are being ripped off each and every time you put in your clothes and are charged more.

So those are three examples of when women will scream for equality and to be treated as equals. Here are a few examples of when they do not.

Snow shovelling. Yes, please, spare me. You will go out and shovel and help but be honest and you will say that the man (and the children if applicable) are the bulk snow removers.

Eavesthroughs. Who gets to climb up the ladder, risking bodily harm, to free the eavesthroughs from all the gunk and grit? That's right, the man (almost all times).

Spiders and such. Sure, you can kill them yourselves but be honest and most of you will admit to calling in the calvary.

Backed up toilets. Sure, if he is not around you know how to work a plunger (resisting urge to make crass euphemism), but we all know that the call will go out to free up the plumbing if the man is home.

Changing tires. Women go to the classes, read the manual, do all the knowledge transfer form friends and seminars. What happens the first time they need to change it on the side of the highway in the rain? A call to CAA or a chat with the poor sap sitting in the car with her.

Which brings us to today. DW, that woman I love so much and will do anything for, strives to be the new age woman but really we are as new age as our parents and their parents before them. She does the majority of the shopping and the cooking and a fair share of the cleaning. I help with the cleaning (along with the child), do the bulk of the discipling, heavy lifting and service work.

So, I found myself outside in the elements just after 7AM this morning. The child was late getting up again. I woke her and went into the guest room to look outside. Sure enough, the weather folks got it right this time and there was a light dusting of snow that was sticking to the ground. Where there is snow, there is usually ice and that meant the POS would glide around like on a skating rink if left with the POS all-season tires still on.

I've been mentioning that they need to change soon with the snow finally coming but it was left to my role to deal with. So, while TC stewed at being late (sucks to be her), I dutifully changed all four tires of DW's car even though DW knows how to change a tire and is quite capable of doing so in a pinch. Also, I changed the wipers that she bought and could have easily installed when she bought them by reading the instructions. This even though she still complained that the existing ones continued to hit and miss on her windshield.

When I was all done, DW came out and thanked me, handed me my Starbucks travel mug filled with hot tea and honey and a bagel with melted peanut butter and sent us on our way. People can rail against the system all they want, we each settle into the roles we are comfortable with and that suits our particular family and circumstance. I can cook just fine, but DW rules the kitchen. She works in IT but the home network and electronics are in my domain. I look after the vehicles, she looks after the household items. It works in our environment and for our family.

It's just hard sometimes when one's bad knees are embedded in the stomach of a Taz doll because one cannot find the knee pads (I would have checked the bedroom, but that would have been pointless and I did not see them in the basement), it's below zero, it's still snowing, you're late, you're sleepy, you wish you had done this when it was near 10C outside and there was still a long drive in and then back from TC's school.

Ah well, I am sure I will benefiting in some culinary way in the near future (can you say gnocchi and fresh made pasta?) so I am not bitterly complaining right now. I just know that I will be ensuring that EVERYONE benefiting from my struggles will be up and outside right there with me in the future.

Mmmmmmmmm, gnocchi.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

POS Toyota - 1, Deer - 0

So it's been confirmed. I live in the freakin' bush!!

I was driving home last night. I have various routes I can take but last night I took the 407 to the end (Brock Road) and then highway 7. This means that from 7 I will come down either Westney or Audley. Usually I'll take Westney when I want to stop and grab groceries or something on my way home because I'll pass the stores along Kingston Road. Taking Audley means I'm coming straight home. However, lately I've been taking Westney as my normal route because it's got some lights on it. Audley is a very dark road at night as there are no street lights until I've reached Rossland. And the traffic that travels along this road travels well about the 80km speed limit which I am not comfortable doing when it's very dark and there are ditches, not sidewalks beside me. Westney on the other hand is fairly well lit up near highway 7 because it is fairly residential up there. However, there is a stretch where it is very dark and it's lined with tall brush along both sides of the two lane road.

So last night, I'm driving down Westney. Not fast, in fact, because I'm tired and I'd been yawning a fair bit on the drive, I'm actually driving a little slower than the posted 80km because I was coming down a steep hill and I've got nothing in front of me so there is no additional lighting to show up the road. The car behind me (I don't recall if there was more than one) was about two car lengths behind and driving about the same speed. All of a sudden there was a large deer walking into the road right in front of me!!! It was about 20 feet away when I hit the brakes and swerved to the left to avoid it. Thankfully there was no vehicle coming towards me in the other lane. It stopped, looked at me and stupidly started to move to the left as well but thought better of it. It turned to run off the road when I hit it. I pulled off to the side as did the guy behind me in the SUV. We checked over my car and there was no damage except to the right turn signal. He walks down the road to check things out. He came back and said that it was gone. He said he'd seen it get up and run off into the brush. I think I actually clipped it's butt as I turned because otherwise there'd have been way more damage. Had I not swerved away I would have hit that animal broadside. It would have done major damage to my car and very possibly me as well. As it was, I looks like I clipped it with the right front of the car and it rolled off it and was probably stunned for a moment. Had I been travelling much faster (as most of the drivers seem to do), it would have been a different story.

Thankfully it wasn't a moose.

Incredible! or (blank) part deux

So, Barb calls and the number this time is not her 868 cell number from Trinidad but rather from a 416 number. Either she is in town, or she is using a local calling card company or she was conference-called, redirected to my BB. Anyhow the 416-861-1955 number comes back as having not been assigned. Typically this says it is a multi-line out, restricted line in setup of a company's PBX. Sorry, went all geek on you. Moving on.

The conversation went like this:

Me: Hello?

Barb: I am calling back to speak to "TC".

Me: Hold on.

I hand the child the phone, which is on speaker, as she is standing against the railing above me. The child moves to the stairs and sits down.

TC: Hello.

Barb: Hi "TC". How was your holidays?

TC: They were good.

Barb: Did you have a good time?

TC: Yes, I did.

Barb: "TC", your father told me something and I wanted to know from you if it is true. Is it?

TC: Yes.

Barb: You don't want to speak to me?

TC: No, not right now.

Barb: OK. Alright. Well, give the phone back to your father so that I may speak to him.


Barb: And "TC"?

TC: Yes?

Barb: Just know I will always love you.


At this, the child rolls her eyes looks over to me and hands me the phone.

Me: Hello?

Barb: From time to time I would like to know how she is doing.

Me: (pause) OK.

Barb: I would also like to call from time to time.

Me: (mouth open to respond)

Barb: I won't ask to speak to her. I will be calling to speak to you to find out how she is.

Me: OK.

Barb: Thank you.

Me: Your welcome.

End of conversation.


Follow up conversation with TC was interesting. She expressed disbelief that Barb was so clueless to think that everything would be okay after all that has happened recently. I was of the impression the incident that happened some time ago but today the child clarified for me that it was this summer, while they were hammer at her psyche to make her want to go live with Barb in Trinidad, that Barb got mad at TC and uttered that the child was "a mistake". TC also stated that they thought she was asleep when she heard the mother tell the grandparents how they should just give her to her father and be done with it. And the tears started to flow again.

How does a mother say that about her own, only child? I reassured TC that she was in no way a mistake and since I have never lied to her (and I never have) then she can count on that. I told her to become the best whatever it is that she wanted to become as proof to them that despite their best efforts (Barb's and her worthless grandparents) that she will be okay, and succeed and thrive. It will be a long hard road but we will do this together.

I highly doubt there will be regular calls from TC's birth mother because unless she gained some new insight, she will be too wrapped up in how this all makes her feel and look. TC will have the love and support of two parents who truly care about her, DW and myself, plus a supporting cast of friends and family to assist her forward in this life journey. There really is no guide book or manual for parenting nor is there any sort of screening process. Instinct should make someone do a better job than Barb has, shouldn't it?

Anyhow, that is it for now. As DW pointed out, I do not often write about things surrounding TC. This time however, I felt compelled to let those who know everyone involved in on the complete picture. I am tired of protecting her and being the good, right person. I still am doing it today as I told TC that her mother was probably telling the truth from her own twisted, slanted point of view. What I really wanted to say I could not, nor is it polite to call people those names in print. Suffice it to say that if Barb never called again, never entered the child's life again, it would be a moment too soon in my book.

We are off to grab some lunch, see if my idiot cousin from Newmarket shows up, and head off to a dental consultation for TC on the Danforth. It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Chillax, grab something cold (not the secretary or the UPS guy) and enjoy the start of the new year. I know I will when I get back.



I know that is a strange title to have but it pretty much sums things up. I could have titled it "The Nerve of Some People" or "The Bitch is Back" or even "Seriously?!?!?". The problem is that they all fit the bill and then they simply do not go far enough to express the right sentiment.

This morning, just after 7:00AM EST, I received a phone call on my Blackberry. This is not unusual as I work on-call so am available to the needy 24/7/365. However, as fate would have it, I was fats asleep so it had already rang twice and I answered it, uncharacteristically, without checking who was calling first.

It was my ex-wife on the phone.

Now, for those of you with exes, you know that this could be good or bad; there is no grey area in the matter. However, those of you who know me and my history with this person know that there is never anything good to come when Barb calls. And so she began my morning, on the 4th day of a new year, with the incredulous request that I go wake our daughter to speak to her. Reasonable you say? Hmm, shall we review for the people? I'll make it quick as I have another blog that I started to chronicle the roller coaster life that I left for the sake of sanity and love. One day, you will be able to read the book.

Barb used the child to try to keep me. Lied to the child about me paying child support. Lied to the child about me calling and erased the callerid and messages as proof. Spoke ill of me in tag-team with her bitch of a mother in front of the child fostering the idea that I was no good, did not want her, did not want to see or talk to her or have anything to do with her. Left the country about three years ago and concealed the fact, despite a requirement of our divorce decree, from the child and myself. In the greatest time of need for her daughter, did nothing to help her, did not call to check on her, did not find her ass back here to support her; did absolutely jack schitt!! Lied to the child and myself saying that she was in London when in fact she has been in Trinidad all this time. Had her worthless parents try to declare me missing and having abandoned the child when in fact that is impossible since I did not have custody at the time. Brought the child to Trinidad during the summer (instead of putting her into summer school where she needed to be) in order to harass the child for four weeks to convince her to leave Canada to go there to live with them. Dipshit grandparents threw the child out into the hallway with no clothes, no money and no assurance of safety after she went to her Godsister's Sweet Sixteen in Montreal with DW and I. Called for the first time since last February to wish the child a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year?!?!?!

And after all that, and trust me that is just the tip of the (*&^(O*& Titanic iceberg, she believes that she is in any position to ask, demand, insist on anything?? She is not only delusional, she is certifiable. I told her I was not waking TC as the child has stated that she does not want to speak to her. Barb said that she wanted to hear it from the child's own mouth. I said, "Why does that matter? I am telling you that. What reason would I have to lie?" She says, "If it were you, and situations were reversed, you would want the same thing." This is when I started to lose my cool. So I told her, "Situations would not be reversed because I would not have pulled the stunts that YOU have!" She had the audacity to ask me, "What stunts?" So, I replied, "Where are you?" She started back on wanting to speak to TC please. I said, "Exactly. You cannot answer a simple question like that and you want to ask me 'what stunts?'?"

This went on for about eight minutes. Finally I said that she can call back at 11AM EST as I was not about to wake TC to speak to her. I also said that should TC not want to speak to her still, I was not going to force her to speak to her, will tell her so and she will have to accept that as it is. Interspersed in this was here meanderings about not wanting to start the new year in an argument with me or anybody for that matter. I thought to myself, "Then why did you make the call? Did you think it would be all sunshine and roses? Are you that f**king stupid?"

So, I sit here, blogging, wondering when to wake TC and discuss this with her. It will not be easy and I am honestly afraid of what this will do to her. She loves her mother but she hates her mother at the same time. Barb hurt that child enough and the wounds and scars are deep. Barb claimed to want to be different than her own mother but the two bitches are cut from the same disgusting, selfish, self-serving, ignorant nasty rag. The child is confused, and hurt, and trying to find herself; trying to regain a sense of worth. I'll be damned if I let those people ruin that.

Unknown to you all, not only has she decided to stay with us permanently, she has remarkably brought up the subject of emancipation and asked if DW would consider fully adopting her. This is not an easy thing for anyone and not something we will pursue without much thought, soul-searching and discussion. It is obviously a dream come true for me in a way but my selfish needs cannot override or guide the needs of both my wife and my daughter. This will be a slow, hard road ahead but we will do it as a family.

As for Barb, my EX-wife, mother of my child, disillusioned, spiteful, selfish, twit that she is. She successfully held of my knowing where she was for a few years though we suspected that she was there. She is acquiescing now because she is well aware of the other item in our decree; the one where in her absence (i.e. left the country) I have the right of first refusal to take care of TC. She knew the moment I had proof she was gone, I could act on it. Well, I have the proof and I will be acting on it. In fact, I already have as TC's grandparents have been barred from seeing her or making any sort of contact with her at the school. The school is to turn them away and to notify me of any violation. Very soon, they will also have no legal leg to stand on where the child is concerned. This is the endgame and DW and I will not allow them to continue any further in destroying this child's future. It is time for the shriveled to dry up and blow away. It's over.

OK. It is 9:44AM EST. I have a daily conference call with work at 10AM. I am off to wake the child. God, give me the strength and the wisdom to handle this properly. Give TC the strength and fortitude to get through this unscathed. Give DW and I the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon to weather the storm that will be the fallout of this. Most of all, protect the innocent child for she needs all of us to survive.


UPDATE - Spoke with TC. A bittersweet conversation to say the least. I am proud of how our daughter has grown in strength when dealing with the foolishness that is her birth mother's side of the family. Worried am I on the effect that this will have on her long term. She is willing to speak to Barb to tell her directly that she does NOT want to speak to her. We are both sure that Barb will bring up her grandparents and/or try to guilt her in some way; TC will not be having any of that. I will be forwarding the BB to the home phone (as Barb does not have the new house number yet) so that it is on speakerphone. I will not allow her free reign to hammer at the child yet again. hopefully, this will be the beginning of a whole new chapter in all of our lives. Such a sad situation.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Time sure does fly.

In speaking with BT from the pond on a recent visit, it was brought to my attention that I have let the blog languish for far too long again. I must apologize again and can only explain the absence as part extreme fatigue, part forced withdrawal, part seasonal running about, part residual moving mayhem and part "I simply should not post that"-ness.

Anyhow, the Christmas week was insane and we should be labeled criminally insane for even attempting to do what we did. And, before I delve into anything else, I must lay credit where it is properly due. As much as TC and I did our best to help and do what was asked of us, everyone knows DW performed the bulk of the work and took on the majority of the headache. We love to host events and we love to socialize but my wife is the wizard in the kitchen (now fully endorsed by my entire family) so the success of those events typically weigh heavily on her shoulders.

After the Annual Open House on the 17th, we had a week to prepare the house and the baked goods for the onslaught that would be Christmas Day. Oh yeah, we also had to finish up the Christmas shopping as well. As the hosts, we felt obligated this first year, this first time almost all the family (except my stupid older brother and his absentee family) would be together for Christmas. Extra special to this was the presence of my cousin RickyRic and his lady from Trinidad. So with our three, my little brother's three, those two, my cousin's five, my sister, my nephew, my niece's two, my father, my mother, my other cousin, a family friend also in from Trinidad and another friend, that made twenty-two for dinner. DW's mother, younger brother and a family friend in from Winnipeg visited with us earlier in the day; her older brother and family was in for the Open House but went back to Chicago already. No, our dining table does not sit that many (it sits ten) so we had people in the dining room, kitchen, family room, living room and stairs.

Ooops, got ahead of myself for a moment. Let me get back to dinner later. First, the week. So, I was off-call but had to go in at least twice since I committed to not one but two potluck lunches at work. I actually started the tradition back in an old job where the potluck centered around one's family's background and traditions. This made for a very diverse, very tasty experience and I have carried that tradition with me through my career. As my current workplace is spread across four main areas, it gets harder to participate with all my colleagues and friends. Since I was graciously included in downtown's event, and I wanted to see everyone since I do not get down there as often anymore, I accepted and also joined the Secret Santa. Big English got me a gift that I intend to use on TC soon so I will write about it when I am able to pull it off. I had to attend the Markham lunch because I was asked to again organize it. Both lunches were successful and there really is a diverse culinary feast to be had for not much effort.

The other days were spent cleaning, unpacking glasses, shifting alcohol, shoring up stocks and shopping. Shopping was more lean between us directly because funds were super tight due to the grand moving experiment (more to come on that still). Also, on a whim, we committed to spend a fair amount on a purchase for TC, which we surprised her with when she got home from school on the Friday before Christmas and the holidays. It took her a little while but she was quite excited when she finally figured out what had changed in her room. Since the bed was sitting almost six inches higher, it was kind of hard to miss. When TC first started coming back to stay with us, we bought an occasional mattress as it was not going to get daily use so why spend large funds on it. It got a lot of use in spurts and really was not the most comfortable thing. So, as she is with us permanently now, we decided it was time for a change to further signal the many changes to come in 2007. Sleep Country had an end-of-line unit that is actually more comfortable than our Obus Forme bed. We got it at a decent price with delivery but it still turned out to be the highest single purchase of our holiday season. Needless to say, the child will be using it until she can buy her own in adulthood.

She also has gotten a spark, seemingly out of nowhere, to truly start reading. Her and I were in Chapters (ugh) looking for books for her mum when she saw this book that interested her. We have always told her that no will come easily for frivolous crap but yes will come just as easily for books and things of an educational nature. As many books as she can read, we will buy; that may appear costly now will this new focus. So, based on this, DW got her a book that DW first read herself (with TC constantly wanting to know what she was reading) and several books from the book Fairy (AKA Grandma R). We also gave her a gift card to Chapters for her next purchases. On a lark, we got her the three Burger King video games that are being sold at BK, but forgot to put them into her stocking so I gave them to her this week. She got clothes and money from several other sources, plus candles and bath sense.

On a quick aside, and this is not a complaint really, just a dose of reality for us this year since things were beyond tight and we had to do some constructive "you're not getting paid this month" shifting of bills to pull this all off. Next year, we are probably going to have to entertain a cut-off point for buying gifts for other children. The problem is, where our family is concerned, everyone only has a single child to considered. From our side, almost all of our friends and family have multiple kids to consider. It is simply getting to be a real wallet crusher come Christmas and birthdays throughout the year. We could probably cut down on the cost of the gifts but to be frank, we LOVE being the aunt and uncle (and Godfather) that the kids look forward to getting stuff from because we ensure it is something they want and we try for the cool factor wherever possible. This year was really tough with a sweet sixteen, a new teenager, new babies and more. Heh, who am I kidding? If we are able to next year, this will all be moot and we will probably do it all again. We just want to make sure that TC does not feel left out in the "getting" at the end of it. I know that is not want the "giving" is all about, but you know what I mean.

Sadly, DW fared the worst is the blood-letting that was this holiday's spending. There simply was not enough funds for me to go and get what I wanted to give her as her gift. She already knows what it is so I can share it with you. A lot of marriages hit trouble when the two principals forget that they are the two principals. I learned that hard lesson and I refuse to relearn it. So, I was arranging an adult-only night out. TC would stay home or go by her grandfather or grandmother while we went off to a show (currently trying to go to Blue Man Group before it closes but Wicked is next on the list) and dinner. The whole family will be joining my colleagues for boxed seats at the ACC to watch a Raptors game on the 19th of January. DW also got a number of books she requested and another book that I found by the author of "The Devil Wears Prada"; she can post a review when she finishes that one. I think she is currently reading the Sue Grafton 'S' book.

As for me, I was not expecting much. After all, we were broke, tired and PROMISED again that we would not buy each other anything extravagant. I kept my promise and I did not buy her a third iPod (was going to get DW the 80GB iPod video with some nifty accessories). Instead, I choose to wait until Jobs and company finally releases the true Video iPod (hopefully at MacWorld this year). So with that in mind, I thought very little of what I was getting. DW, the stocking stuffer queen, got me a fully playable, KEYCHAIN version of Cranium; one of our favourite games to play on our adult gaming nights. TC truly surprised me when I learned that it was her pick for a large, coffee-table format book about Nelson Mandela. She wanted something that I would like, and actually read. Still, she was unsure of her choice when she really did not need to. Lots of people know I am dying to travel to Africa to not only visit South Africa but also the spot where the slaves took their last steps of freedom, shuffled onto waiting ships of servitude to America. Maybe it is because I am a black man that this is so important to me but I think even more so it is because I am a man and need to feel that pain so no one in my lineage would ever treat another human being like that.

OK, I got a couple of other things from people and we got house gifts and couple gifts as well. The final gift was from DW and it came in two parts. It was fair sized for a gift and it was heavy. Honestly, I had no clue what it was because with our recent proclamations of what would or would not come into the house, it was the last thing I expected to find under the tree with my name on it. DW, sneaky nymph that she is, scrimped and saved, and hid money in order to buy me this gift. Let's do a quick history recap on how she has shocked me in the past. One year, she had RedSometimes send me a fake email asking about this expensive video card for her husband. Yes, I researched my own gift that year. Another year, she brought me to actual tears as she actually listened to what was really important and treasured by me. That year, to my utter disbelief and surprise, she bought me an authentic Toronto Maple Leafs hockey sweater with my favourite player's name on it; Doug Gilmour.

This year, I was forbidden to get something I really, REALLY wanted until we got rid of at least one of the two older versions we owned (one modded, one original). I agreed to NOT get a Microsoft Xbox 360 until I did so, essentially paying off for the 360 in the process. Instead, I am looking to rebuild our MCE box this week so we can take advantage of the streaming goodness of this box. Our nephew has one already and has been bugging me to get online so he can kick my ass with our other nephew. Now I can thanks to a generous, good-hearted, unselfish woman who loves this incorrigible, PITA, difficult lump of a man. So, I got the Xbox 360 Premium bundle with Ghost Recon, Live Arcade, the headset, the hard drive and the wireless controller plus a bonus game of Blazing Angels. The second package was a second wireless controller.

The sad thing is I did not shed tears on this one when I opened it, even though I was it utter shock and disbelief and overwhelmed that she did this for me. Tears were shed though with the realization that we had stretched ourselves so thin that I may have had to carry it back in order for us to make it through to the 5th of January. You see, I had organized a little trip through Ottawa and Montreal for my brother and my cousin. I simply could not cancel it so no matter what, it had to happen. I was going to ask LB for funds but he is not rolling in it right now, just had to change his vehicle and has another little one on the way. It simply would not have been fair to burden him with that (and don't bother bitching to me about it now, LB). Rent was coming out on Friday so that could not be fooled with as it was our first one and it would be a bad precedent to either ask for an extension or to bounce the cheque. So, either we would be able to scrimp together what was needed to get us through the hump or the Xbox 360 (unopened and sitting on the bedroom floor) would have to go back. DW was not a happy camper and I felt like shit for even suggesting it but everything is a sacrifice of some sort. I told her returning her very generous gift would be a last resort. We simply needed to get creative and find the funds and live SUPER frugal for ten days.

Thankfully, I hate carrying change in my wallet so I tend to dump it all (yes, toonies and loonies) into a holding jar. Besides being for something useful one day, it is a nice emergency fund that I simply do not see so I do not touch. Combined with our ING savings and a pared down schedule, we were able to avoid the return, make the trip, get the final gifts for the pond kids, buy gas and eat. The box got opened on New Year's Eve when MS, PS and the wonder twins came over to spend the evening with us. The kidlets were all downstairs playing on the modded Xbox while we chatted, ate, drank and played the 360 upstairs. We called them up minutes before the ball drop, popped open some champagne and apple cider and called it a night. It was a very nice way to start the New Year and we hope it only gets better for us and everyone else as 2007 takes root.

To you and all of yours, best wishes of peace, happiness, love, safety and prosperity.

(NOTE: Sorry BT, another long post for you.)