Thursday, January 29, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.7

I know you've been waiting, Aucklanders, for your due, so "HAPPY PROVINCIAL ANNIVERSARY", Auckland, New Zealand.

(And yes, I know you won't ACTUALLY celebrate until Monday...)

Monday, January 26, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.6

Okay. I'll do what I can here to cover the bases.

"HAPPY CHINESE / LUNAR NEW YEAR FESTIVAL and/or its beginning!!!"

This applies to several places including, but not necessarily limited to, China, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Next, "MERRY REPUBLIC DAY" to those in India.

And don't forget "JOYOUS AUSTRALIA DAY" to the ... well ... Australians.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Here's something somewhat curious about me.

When I go to the movies, which isn't that often these days, I feel cheated if there aren't sufficient previews, or if I arrive too late to see them. I'm happiest if there's a good four or five of them. And car commercials or soft-drink promotions do not count. (Those I could do without.)

I do not feel the same way about videos. If they're there, they're there; if they're not, fine. I do, however, insist that they be skippable. I can't stand it when DVDs won't allow you to skip straight to the menu. That's just offensive.

Additionally, I feel a little cheated if I open a new DVD and find no little paper anything inside the case. If it's just a case with a disk, I think that's just plain cheap. Ideally, there would be an interesting little booklet, much like those that come with CDs, but at barest minimum there should be a little listing of chapters/scenes with a copy of the movie poster on the reverse. Come on, people. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.5

To our wonderful New Zealander friends in or from Wellington, I say, "Happy Provincial Anniversary". (If you're from Auckland, you have to wait a few more days.)

Paula, into which celebratory group do you fit?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Enter Wildlife

Today was another pleasant winter day. If this keeps up, I may have to change my stance on the season.

In any case, after shovelling the sidewalk in front of the house, I decided to to on a wee walk, following my usual postbox route despite not having any mail to post.

A couple of blocks from my house, I was passed by a coyote running in the opposite direction. A coyote. A couple of blocks from my house. In the middle of the city.

No sooner had it passed me and turned down a side street, a van pulled up to the side of the road. I turned to it, expecting it to be someone I knew, but it was a couple of complete strangers.

"Did you just see that coyote run by?" they asked.

I was a bit amused that strangers stopped me just because they wanted to talk to someone who had seen the coyote. I think that, after our brief conversation, they drove off to see if they could find where it had gone.

About a year and a half ago, I looked out my back door window to see a deer behind my house.

Next stop? Gentle Ben.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.4

Today marks the Indian holiday of Makar Sankranti. Have a great one if you celebrate it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.3

For those of you in Japan, Happy Coming of Age Day! If you're not Japanese or if you're not turning 20 this year, have a great day anyway!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.2

Happy Epiphany / Three Kings Day / Ukrainian and Russian Christmas Eve (depending on where you live on this planet of ours.

If anyone wants to give me gifts, I could feel Ukrainian if I wanted to, so feel free.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Parker Lewis Can't Lose

While I was out walking the neighbourhood (having put something in the mail once again), I saw a parking enforcement officer stop to ticket some rebellious parker (not to be confused with a nosey parker).

Now, to indulge in a little tangent, I wonder how it feels to be a parking enforcement officer. I'm not intending to be insulting, but in the grand scheme of municipal policing, I'm sure that not many kids grow up thinking, "Man! I wanna be a parking enforcement officer!" Do the other officers (such as those who are members of the police force) look down their proverbial noses at the parking enforcement officers? And if so, is that really fair? I mean, is sitting by the side of the highway with a radar gun for a speed trap particularly what police officers envisioned their jobs to be?

Which leads to tangent number two. (A tangent from a tangent is a what? Mathematical types? Anyone?) I have a theory that there's a problem with what the job of policing has become. Although I am well-aware that the police do more than sit in speed traps to catch speeders, my concern is that this has become the "public face" of police officers and their work. What happened to those days, not that long ago since I remember them, when police officers were to be found in our neighbourhoods and communities, interacting with citizens on a one-to-one basis, engaging in casual "we're here for you" types of dialogue? If there was more of that going on, maybe (a) there would be a renewed trust in our police forces, and (b) there would be a return to the concept of "the police officer is your friend" rather than "the police officer is out to catch you speeding".

But I digress. And digress.

The whole noteable thing about Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer is that he stopped on the side of the street, got out of his car, and walked back the half-block to give the offending vehicle on a side street its ticket. Wait. Let me rephrase that. He parked on the side of the busy main street, in a no-parking zone -- engine off, headlights off, no hazard lights blinking -- and walked the half-block to give the offending vehicle on a side street a ticket.

I was tempted to say, "I'm glad you're ticketing parking violations. You should probably give that guy one, too. Pardon? Oh. That's your car? How silly of me."

Sunday, January 04, 2009

One More Project for 2009

As promised, I have one more project for the year. 52 Pages is a once-a-week book recommendation. Children's literature, "grown-up" fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels ... anything's fair game as long as I've read it and liked it. I'm often asked for book recommendations, so why not do some of it here?

Sorry to disappoint you, Sonya.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

(Daily) Climate Change

The weather in the past month has been ridiculous and today was a prime example of how bad it's become.

Earlier today, it was bright, sunny, and surprisingly warm for January 3. I was out wearing a light jacket / casual blazer thing. And I was plenty comfortable.

About an hour ago, I went out for a walk to the mailbox. This time I was decked out in my winter coat and, if I'd realized just how much the temperature had dropped, I would have worn a hat, as well. By the time I got back home, I was distinctly cold.

What's going on with that? Over the course of a couple of hours, the weather changed that much, and it's not the first time it's happened like that this year.

It giveth one pause to wonder...

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hints of Things to Come

Because I'm insane, watch for something else new on Sunday....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

International Holiday Greetings #1.1

Incidentally, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Another Year Begins

So perhaps this wasn't the best year for consistent dullgloomy posting, but I was quite consistent over at A Year in Haiku.

For the new year, feel free to check out Random Acts of Gratitude, my new 365 project, or The Unnecessary Exploits of Martin G. Melbourne, the not-entirely-true weblog of a 17-Year Old Loser.