tvordlj: (Celtic Cross)
Social media and indeed media in general has gone viral today with tributes to David Bowie who died yesterday. I was a fan. Not one of those who knew all of his music and lyrics but a fan nonetheless. He was always on the soundtrack of my life, in all of his incarnations. That was the thing about Bowie. He was different things to different people because he was always different. He changed his persona and his music regularly, experimenting with new things all the time. It wasn't just about the look, it was about the sound and the feel, so you might have liked some of his music and not something else.

While Freddy Mercury's death affected me more, this has also saddened me. I listened to a live version of Life on Mars this morning and his voice, perfect even though he'd apparently recently had laryngitis, moved me to tears which surprised me, actually. I'm impressed but not surprised that though he was apparently ill for a year and a half, he kept producing music. I saw his latest video released last week and his new album is out this week. I thought, when I saw the video, that he was really showing his age but now I know why.

I know you hear people say that we shouldn't make such a big deal every time someone famous dies but quite often, those famous people have touched your life in some way even if you didn't know them personally. Bowie's music was woven through the fabric of most of our lives, whether he was a favourite or not. He was usually always there somewhere. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s in particular, he was more dominent then but still consistently put out amazing music even after then.

I read one quote that said his voice was like ice breaking. That was always one thing I found, you never expected that deep, powerful and emotion filled voice to come out of that skinny, pale body! His eyes were always so intense. But it was that voice...

His music will live on. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Our new Prime Minister was sworn in the other day. He's got a really good cabinet, 50/50 male/female with a good number of minorities represented, a new emphasis on "science". Interesting department/ministry name changes including one that has "climate control" mentioned. Sounds like he's going to revive that one, something Harper kept ignoring. The new cabinet minister for Defence is a Sikh who is a decorated veteran, and his nickname is apparently Bad Ass. What more could you want in a Defence Minister! When he was questioned about the 50/50 split, why he chose to do that, he just said "it's 2015". I could almost hear echoes of contempt for the previous government in his reply!

Time will tell as to how well he'll do. His father, Pierre Trudeau was hugely popular when he was first elected. He was hip and charismatic, he married a flower child. He also had a lot of hate directed his way over the subsequent years but a lot of people still think he was one of the better PMs. He held the country together in the days when the Quebec Liberation group was terrorizing things and he held the country together during the constitutional crisis, which also had repercussions for Quebec wanting to be it's own independent state. Most governments are going to have their fans and detractors, some more than others. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives seemed to be one of the worst, at least from the central part of Canada to the east, and on the west coast. The Conservatives always had more support in the Prairie provinces. Even now, those provinces have mostly elected Conservative MPs.

I'm not a political junkie and I don't follow it that closely to know all the ins and outs of the policies and direction but politics still affects everyone's lives and I always get a general idea of the platforms before voting and I always vote. I was quite pleased that both of my nephews and my niece voted this time, at least one of the three for the first time even though he's been eligible for 12 years or more. He's finally realized what I said, about politics affecting your life even if you hate politics, which he does. It shows how much the previous government has pissed people off when someone that never bothers with politics is determined to vote and make a difference. Someone at work, who's also in her 30s I think, also voted for the first time for much the same reason. There were huge turnouts for the advance polls over our Thanksgiving weekend and overall I think the voter turnout was higher than the past averages.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
both courses I was supposed to be on this week were resheduled. Therefore, I rescheduled my flu shot at work for today and tomorrow I will be in the office after all to renew my yearly bus pass. All good.

Picked up a package at the post office in the drugstore at the building where I work. Canada Post has finally got off their arse and done something worth while. They have something called Flex Delivery so you can set up a shipping address that is the PO box of a local post office close to where you need to be rather than your default one for your home address. If the company you are ordering from will deliver to a PO number, you can use that as the shipping destination. They email you when they have it in and you can print that off and pick it up. It works great!

Another thing Canada Post has started to pull back on is the suspension of home delivery. Canada Post is a crown corporation which basically means it's a government operation. The previous government was cutting back more and more in a lot of areas and Canada Post came out with a new scheme. They were not going to deliver to anyone's house in the urban and suburban areas anymore. New subdivisions already had communal post office boxes but the older parts of the cities still got door to door. They started putting up new communal boxes on various corners and lots already, one on the lawn of my apartment building for the neighbourhood (the houses. The apartments already have communal boxes in the lobbies). There's been a lot of bad feeling about it, especially where seniors are concerned, having to go out in the winter and walk a couple of blocks under not always safe conditions to get their mail. I heard the news the other day that they won't be installing any more of the new boxes and people will continue to get their house mail delivery. I"m not sure if that means the people that already started to do this will get the old delivery back or if it just isn't going to be rolled out any further than it already had been. I guess that's one good thing already that the new government has done.

I'm hoping they follow through on another promise, to decrease immigration times! I may email my MP and complain and see what he has to say. Doubt he can do anything but it costs nothing to get in touch, right?
tvordlj: (In the news)
Canadians have elected a new government, the Liberal party, by a good majority. Some people think a majority government is not a good thing, because they can do whatever they want and the evidence of the recent past with the Conservatives in the same position could back that up. However, the outgoing government not only did what they wanted, they did some dodgey things too. I couldn't explain them but it had to do with suspending parliament to avoid a non confidence vote. (I think they had a minority government their first term, but a majority the second one) If that doesn't tell you how bad things were under their rule, what does?

The ex-PM even pulled in the support of the ex-mayor of Toronto in the last couple of weeks of the campaign. I don't know why he thought that was a good idea. The ex, Rob Ford, was a joke and because of his escapades with drugs, alcohol and womanizing, sexist remarks, you name it, he was responsible for fodder for all the comedians in the past couple of years. Someone commented that David Letterman's nightly monologue just wrote itself when Rob Ford was in the news. One photo went around Facebook last week with a shot of Harper and Ford, with a caption "Yes, I agree, marijuana is bad. But crack is still ok, right?" due to Rob Ford's known addictions.

Never mind. Justin Trudeau is our new Prime Minister. Let's hope he and the Liberals can pull things together. Maybe they'll end up being a disaster, who knows? But there's always hope when a new government is voted in. And the Conservatives, after they merged with the Reform Party, were wayyyy too right wing for me. I suppose Harper can't help the way his face is put together but he always seemed to have dead eyes. Nothing. Smiles, frowns, anger, nothing showed in his eyes. In his concession speech, he was still smiling. But it came across hugely smug to me. Maybe he's thinking "You think I was bad, you just wait" or he might have been thinking "I don't care. I still have my seat as MP so I get a nice cushy pension from the taxpayers anyway".

Trudeau's father, Pierre, was a Prime Minister, too and though he certainly had his ups and downs, he was most definitely charismatic and his son seems to be as well. I saw him in person once, surrounded by people and he was very engaging. He's quite tall, taller than I realized, and he's quite good looking. The Conservatives kept picking on him because of his age ("He's just not ready") (42, youngest PM ever, I think) and his "nice hair" (Harper's looked like a steel gray helmet, mind you, never moving, never changing). He's grown up with politics, he's an MP in his own right, he's (I think) naturally bilingual, which is an asset and an necessity in Canada, a country with two official languages. Harper spoke French but had to learn it and I don't think he ever was that comfortable with it, as many non-French speaking people might be who had to learn it later in life, to be fair.

While I didn't support the Liberal party this time, though I have in the past, I'm not disappointed in the result either. I really couldn't decide when I went to vote and only chose when I was looking at the ballot. I could have gone either way (Liberal or New Democrat). I hope the new government can make some improvements. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Alan Turing is considered the father of modern computing. He was also instrumental is breaking German code during WWII  at Bletchley Park with a machine called Enigma. Yet the man was gay, "homosexual" they called it then and it was illegal in the U.K. and many other places. In 1952 he was convicted of homosexuality and chemically castrated. He died 2 years later of cyanide poisoning thought to be a suicide but which is now being questioned as an accident.

He has received a Royal Pardon effective today. This makes me happy. There are a lot of gay men that were also convicted that should be pardoned as well but you have to start somewhere. I wonder if an upcoming movie about Alan Turing's life starring Benedict Cumberbatch and all the surrounding publicity that will bring has had anything to do with this. There have been petitions and even an MP's private member bill over the past few years.

He spent the last 6 years of his live working at Manchester University  and there is a statue of him sitting on a bench in a park near the Gay Village in Manchester.

Maybe now he can rest in peace.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I noticed in the news today that a Second Cup cafe on Spring Garden Road is closing at the end of the year. SGR is one of the main shopping streets in downtown and Second Cup is a Canadian answer to Starbucks. I'm not a regular coffee drinker, I prefer tea but Second Cup does do very good coffee, better than Starbucks as far as that goes. Starbucks coffee tends to be harsher and stronger though I do like their lattes and flavoured fancy drinks as much as SC's. Second Cup was pushed out of Scotia Square where I work not long after Starbucks moved in but Tim Horton's claimed that space and a few others in the same spot to expand.

Back to SGR. Starbucks moved in across the street from SC a couple of years ago and I figured that would really eat into their profits. Mind you, within a few blocks there are coffee shops upon coffee shops. SC, Starbucks, Tim's, Just Us, and one in the back of the magazine store plus there's McDonald's, food courts in Spring Garden Place and Park Lane and you can get a coffee at the lunch counter in Pete's Frootique. That doesn't even count all the restaurants along that road as well. The competition is fierce.

Just Us does organic fair trade coffee and they had a cafe on Barrington Street that's closing down soon as well. Still one on Spring Garden but I think that's a little further up the road now that I think of it. There's a lot of little lunch joints, sandwich shops and small restaurants but then there's a lot of office buildings and businesses and people need to be fed. That was one thing I noticed in London in the "City" area, the oldest part of London where now all the towers are. I'd never seen so many places to get a quick bite to eat but there are thousands upon ten thousands of people that stream into the area to work every day. They don't all bring a brown bag lunch with them.

I should do that more myself, though. Bring a lunch. I do now and then but usually buy it and then i complain because i'm bored with the choices in the food court! Ah well. My own worst enemy.

Friday I'm off but I just realized I'd forgotten I had to go to a function. My employer is holding the Long Service awards and I'm getting recognition for 25 years. At my 20th, they were still giving everyone the same gifts. Each level got something different and I got a desk caddy for pens and things and it had a little digital clock on it with a place also for a photo. This time, we get to choose what we want from a website. There's more choice although not a lot of it really appealed. I decided on a small sculpture of a polar bear holding a fish and he's stood on a little marble base. It's highly polished aluminum so it kind of looks like silver. Close enough for my silver anniversary here. They do a lunch as well. I must call my mother to see if i can borrow the car. Makes it easier to get around. They're having it in a hotel not all that far from me and I probably could get there by bus if i need to.
tvordlj: (In the news)
Saw this flutter by on twitter this morning. A man tried to lodge a complaint with the police because the prostitute he'd booked wasn't as attractive as she'd made herself out to be, in his opinion. He thought it was false advertising! The police told the guy that in fact, he's the one breaking the law by booking a prostitute! They didn't charge him but sent him a letter for wasting police time! Ha!

In other news, the province of Nova Scotia is the 8th province in Canada to fund transgender surgery rather than make people pay for it. That means the taxpayers' dollars of course and some people are bitching that it's not necessary surgery, not necessary for survival. Tell that to all the people that have struggled with mental health issues or committed suicide because they are dealing with these kinds of issues. I'd say it's very much a survival thing. We are one of the last provinces to finally join the 21st century on this issue in spite of the fact that we were one of the first to pass the law for same sex marraige which eventually forced the federal government to have an open vote on the issue, a vote which passed by a hair but passed just the same.

We may see the sun this weekend. That will be the faint hope clause. It's been overcast and rainy for more than a week. bleurgh.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
While waiting for the bus this morning i looked down and noticed....worms! Dozens of long earthworms all over the road. None on the sidewalk, just on the road! Eek! We had rain last night and i think that usually happens in spring when the ground thaws. A good rain brings them out and they are everywhere. I don't know why they were on the road rather than the sidewalk nearer the grassy bits though there is a strip of earth and grass along the street where the light poles and trees are. I suppose they came out of there but it baffles me as to why i didn't see any on the sidewalks. ah spring has sprung, or at least staggered to its knees.

Gonna be nice this weekend, too.

One more week to wait for my sweetie to arrive! Yay! I have to get my US$ today I think. It's nice to have some cash even though I can still get money out of the ATMs. Pretty much everything is paid for aside from the airport bus into Port Authority and then cash needed for meals and a few souvenirs. Really looking forward to it now that the Boston bomber is in custody. Apparently he's said that he and his brother considered driving to NYC and setting off bombs in Times Square.  Massachussets does not have the death penalty so i suppose that's why they're going to try to charge and convict the remaining idiot with using a Weapon of Mass Destruction. That must be a federal charge and comes with the death penalty but at the moment the prosecutors haven't decided whether they will in fact seek that form of punishment. Even if they go for it, they still don't know if a jury will assign that as the end result.

The thing i notice about American sentences (that is, trial conviction outcomes) is that a life sentence usually is life. 99 years or whatever. And if there's more than one victim they can get one of those for each, not necessarily to be served concurrently. They really do stay in jail for life with those sentences. None of this 25 year maximum before you can apply for parole unless you're deemed a "dangerous Offender".

Well anyway. I refuse to worry about all the other nutters out there that might take up the mantle and carry on the plan.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)

A new pope. Francis. I did wonder if there had ever been one of that name before and apparently there has not. People are already calling him Francis I  but from what I read elsewhere you can't actually call someone the "first" if there hasn't been a "second". That makes sense. I don't really care one way or the other. Pope Frank works for me ;)))  I was brought up Catholic but I don't consider myself any religion now. These days, if i was to choose one, I wouldn't choose RC, not with the ultra conservative stand they take on everything.  Graham has commented occasionally that the Buddhist religion seems nice. Calm and reflective. Really, though, I just try to be a good person both to others and to myself, try not to be judgemental,  and I do what's right for me as far as moral values.

The gym is going ok. Slowly progressing on the elliptical trainer.

Anxiously awaiting the returns of Game of Thrones and Mad Men, both Sunday night shows. I better make sure there are no other conflicts on the dvr so that they both record. Sometimes they're repeated in the middle of the night so i must investigate that if there looks to be any potential conflicts. Just finished watching the final BBC series of Being Human which was great! Their seasons are very short, just 6 episodes but all four (five?) seasons were really good. This last one was different, though, with new characters and I miss the original ones. It's about a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire living together. I think the original vampire actor left to be in the Hobbit. This guy, Aidan Turner. Absolutely gorgeous. I've tried to watch the American version of the show but it lacks something. If you've watched the original, you can compare the two and you'll see what i mean. The Vamp, wolf and ghost from the last season were good and i really liked the young guy that played the werewolf, and the character but the other two didn't do much for me and I don't think the three of them had the chemistry that the first trio had. If you have Netflix and can get the BBC series, do! It's violent at times but it's more "realistic" than golden glittery creatures.

tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Very quiet weekend due to a good sized snowstorm on Saturday. While it wasn't quite as bad in the city as they said it would be, it was still over a foot of snow. The rest of the province away from the water got it a lot harder, as did other areas of the east coast. The winds were really high too and that caused damage. We are supposed to get a little more tonight and then it's turning to rain. Which is also typical.

I spent the weekend mainly catching up on video and stuff i'd recorded, and reading. Made a nice chicken soup in the slow cooker on Saturday and had that to keep me warm as well.

Wow, I just read that Pope Benedict will resign at the end of the month. I don't really mind one way or the other but it is significant in that it's been 600 years since the last time one quit. He says he's not strong enough to continue. And then you think about little John Paul II who kept going even while he was ill. I suppose, at 85, he probably isn't strong enough to do the job. There's been a lot of pressure on the Catholic church with the corruption and abuses being uncovered all over the place. I don't think anyone should get their hopes up, though, the church is never going to change it's main points of reference (i.e. no women priests, abortion, same sex marraige etc)

In Canada, the cell phone companies have a lock down on people. If you go with the pay as you go plan, you *must* top up regularly to keep your service and if you go for a contract, most of them are locked into 3 years. You can't get unlocked phones easily and roaming fees are scandalously high. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommuncations Commission, aka CRTC, is having hearings this week on things like that. The main issue people are griping about is the three year contract and the high fees you have to pay to get out of it early. One of the reasons there are longer contracts is so that people don't have to pay up front for the expensive phones. You always see advertising for a smartphone for nothing or under 100$ with a 3 year contract. It subsidizes the cost and you cant' get a smart phone without a contract, I don't think. And that's probably fair because the data plans would probably be astronomical if you paid as you used them. Or not. But then why have a smart phone if you aren't going to take advantage of it?

I don't have one. I have a phone that has a little keyboard for texting. I pay as i go, though the way i do it, i pay 100$ but that means it's good for a year rather than have to pay every month. It works out a little cheaper than the cheapest monthly top up. I really don't use a phone a whole lot so I get away with the least expense I can manage. The CTRC does have the ability to recommend rules and regulations for things like that. I have my doubts but they may do something useful.
tvordlj: (Default)
Good grief!
I've just read a short news article where a condemned prisoner who is due to be executed by lethal injection in January is trying to get out of it citing health reasons. He weighs about 400 pounds and his first push of the envelope was that he feared the table would not support his weight. It was proven wrong by a test using a large jail guard and extra weights. Hmm. Well, he also claims that his weight, vein access, scar tissue, *depression* and other conditions would make his executioners "encounter severe problems". His lawyer filed something with the court to say that "there is a substantial risk that any attempt to execute him will result in serious physical and psychological pain" .
So?
He's a murderer, judged guilty (for a murder 20 years ago, which is another rant altogether, these endless appeals). He's suffering depression? Is anyone feeling sorry for him yet? If he's worried about his weight or vein access, I'm sure a gas chamber can be arranged. Or a guillotine.
Apparently weight has caused problems in the past with injections according to this article. I suppose they're trying to say it's undue hardship or emotional abuse. The man is a murderer. And besides, I'm in the "obese" category and they never have any trouble finding a vein to take bloodwork or inject an IV in my arm. Every body is different and there's a lot of places in your body you could use to tap a vein.

The new iPad mini is coming out. (or "miniPad" *snork*) It's a 7.5 inch screen and more the size of the ereaders (slightly bigger) and some tablets. Apparently two weeks after it's released, another version will be out that can take advantage of cellular service. Doesn't say that it'll be a phone but probably that's the 4G network so you don't need a wi-fi hotspot. Seems like a lot of fuss for something that's already out there sold by other companies but Apple has to keep up, i suppose and they certainly have their dedicated fans. I do have an iPod touch, several generations old now and newer apps won't run on it. But then i always ran my PC operating system years past the newer ones that were offered. I don't own a smart phone either because i really don't think i'd use it to any advantage most of the time. I may upgrade the iPod at some point i suppose but there's no hurry. The main thing i use it for is tunes and it does that quite well.

I saw the latest Bruce Willis movie, Looper last night. good clean bloody fun. And I do mean that literally. Typical action movie shoot up all over the place with some timey wimey paradox confusion thrown in. It takes place about 30 years from now. And 30 years from that point, time travel has been invented but is illegal. Because disposing of bodies is also more and more difficult, Mobsters use it to send their targets back 30 years, where a hitman is waiting to shoot and then dispose of the body. The victim is sent with bars of silver attached to their back as payment for the hitman in the past. Sending the hitman himself back to be shot by his younger self is called closing the loop. The victims are hooded and the assassins don't know it's their future selves until they slice open the back of the jacket the body has on to find gold bars instead of silver bars. The equivalent of the gold watch kiss-off i guess. They can then retire and live their lives until they're sent back to be killed.

This loop closing is suddenly happening all the time. There's a mob boss in the future called the Rainman who has just taken control and is closing all the loops as his first order of business. Nobody knows who he is or what his real name is. Most of the loopers are youngish men, cocky, stylish, braggarts. One of them discovers his victim is his future self and can't kill him setting off a man hunt for both men. His best friend gives him up and later, one of his hits is, yes, his future self.

Spoilers )
That's as much as i'll spoil, without going into the ending. But suffice it to say that i had to chuckle when in a typical Bruce scene, he's squinting, cocking his head to one side, looking rather complacent and shooting the place down with a series of various guns. Most of the action movie guys are screaming or gritting their teeth, leaping about over-adrenalized, it's a big show of Tough Muthafuckin Badass. Kind of like when Bruce Springsteen is straining like he's passing a horse out of his arse, sweating and grimacing while crooning out a soft ballad. Not Bruce Willis. He's resigned to the fact but equally determined the opposition isn't going to cream his ass, he's going to take them out first. He's also a Tough Muthafuckin Badass but he doesn't have to make a big production out of it.

Anyway, I liked the movie for what it was. And Emily Blunt is in it. I always like her. And the little boy that plays her son was quite good for being so young. I didn't see the ending coming. Probably should have.

more 2012 books )
tvordlj: (Default)
So it's been 11 years since *that* day. Last year, being a "milestone" anniversary, it was all over the media. This year it's back to the usual rememberences. I really don't have a problem with that because it was an enormously momentous event after all. Here in Halifax we commemorate the Halifax Explosion from 1917 and it didn't have a worldwide impact like 9/11 did. I knew they were going to build something new on the site but I didn't realize it was underway and being built and the tower will be even higher than the old ones i believe. It looks as if it might even be open soon. Graham and I were thinking of going to NYC on his next visit so we'll have to check it out, especially if there's a public observation deck on top. A lot of the other new buildings are aleady complete. I don't know why i thought the rebuilding was only barely started but i guess i haven't really followed it that closely.

There's a construction gallery here. It's not a particularly dramatic building aside from it's height, I don't think but it's got clean lines and angles. At least it's not just a plain square tower. Most new towers these days have variations, they curve or have something different about them, not just plain up into the sky anymore which is nice. There were supposed to be two "twin" towers built in Halifax that had a twist to them, literally but the anti-progressives keep preventing the beginning of construction, saying they're too tall, not suited, etc.

Am immersing myself in websites and information for Rome now that everything is booked. The only possible downside is going in November. I hope it doesn't rain too much but i won't hope for it because it seems every time we go away somewhere, it rains or is blah and overcast almost the whole time we're away. The upside is that the tourist crowds won't be quite so thick.

tvordlj: (Halifax)
Texting to 911 in an emergency?? Ok, the argument that someone with speech or hearing problems may make use of it sort of makes sense but how many people with those conditions would have a mobile phone? Some i suppose. But if you need to call 911, and you've got a mobile phone, why would you text? It would take a heck of a lot longer. Apparently it's being tested in a few areas but I'm not so sure it's really workable.

Movies coming up that i think i'd like to see: Brave,   Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, (Batman) Dark Knight Rises (maybe)

Movies to avoid like the plague: Rock of Ages, also seen referred to as Mock of Ages. Tom frigging Cruise in a horribly miscast roll, smugging and smirking his way through it. And that's just a short few seconds on the trailer.
Also i've seen the new Spiderman trailer. Not my thing.

I wasn't sure about the Hobbit,  coming out at Christmas, but reading the synopsis, maybe I might like it. Any other movies to recommend or avoid?

The Tall Ships are here this summer over a weekend in July. I have an EDO on the Friday which is good and will check them out and maybe on Saturday too though Friday through the day may possibly be less crowded. The festival incorporates the commemoration of the War of 1812 so there will be military demos from the Citadel on the waterfront as well and I think the Citadel has some special exhibits for that too. I really love the ships though I think i'll be missing the Parade of Sail this time because i have day surgery scheduled that day. Bummer. (nothing too serious, don't worry). I'll still get a chance to take pictures of them docked and I might buy a pass to go on board the ships as well this time. I don't think there's as many as there was last time but still close to two dozen. Sadly, the Bluenose II won't be there because she's in the middle of a refit. I say "refit" but it sounds like she's pretty much being rebuilt, so much is being replaced.
tvordlj: (In the news)
Yesterday's commute both ways was quite smooth, surprisingly so at 5 o'clock. Today was the same as last Thursday, a bit slow but not really bad. Each day we don't know what to expect. There are a lot more people walking across the bridge and i saw a couple of people that were probably not normally bike riders struggle up a couple of hills, a bit on the wobbly side. The riders, not the hills.

There's a new entrant into this year's Mayoral race, a politician who's well known locally, who was a federal MP at one point and whose family has a lot of political history and pull. His name is Mike Savage. His father, John, was premier of the province for awhile. I think current Mayor Kelly is going to have very stiff competition this time around. He's pretty much been land-slid in the past three elections with no real threat for opposition. If he decides to run again, he's going to have a fight on his hands. I think voters are tired of him, to be honest and I think Savage will sweep the election. That's just a guess, mind, but I think it's a fair bet. One of the other candidates has already pulled out and is backing Savage. Should be interesting.

As far as the strike goes, no talking between the parties at this point. I reckon they'll be out on strike for a few weeks at the very least, maybe more. Public opinion is divided but leaning against the strikers. The media picked up on one story about a student that has decided to drop out of university because he can't get to classes.
tvordlj: (Default)
An off duty police sargeant was nicked yesterday for drinking and driving... an unmarked police car! He was involved in a single car accident. Idiot.

2011 books
87 Dancing on the Inside - Glen C. Strathy
I'd actually read this awhile back but i don't think i put it on the list. It was another free book for a review from Librarything.com (been getting a lot of those member giveaways lately) and it's target audience is teens. It's about a young girl who wants to take ballet lessons but is so painfully shy she can't even take the lessons in front of the other girls. She persuades the school to let her help out on Saturday mornings while she absorbs the lessons, even films them and then practices on her own. She makes friends with another girl who's very good but undisciplined and helps her as well. She finds a different way to follow her dreams when she discovers she has a talent for choreography. Even though it is a book intended for a younger audience, I really enjoyed it.

88. Naked Mommy - Aidan Parkinson
This was another free book, as above.
This is the story of two Irish brothers who become obsessed with the same woman, someone they grew up with who'd moved away and has recently returned with a baby in arms. Liam and Mel Caffrey are brothers who grew up close but now have very different lives. Liam is a local crook and Mel became a monk but has lost his faith and is home to pick up the pieces of his life and find a new road.

Nuala Macree has been traveling and living in Spain where she had an affair with a bullfighter, resulting in the baby. She's home in Ireland now because the affair  ended badly and a big corporation is threatening to take over the local lake and water rights. She's an activist and has joined the local protest group against this happening. She's also very beautiful and has caught the eye of the Caffrey brothers, both of which are determined to have her for their own.

Liam has bought a big old house and is renovating it with the view to impressing Nuala and Mel is just trying to work out how to talk to Nuala without making a total eejit of himself and failing badly. The book ends with a party in Liam's house which ends in disaster, literally as well as figuratively.

The book is written mainly from the points of view of all three main characters but you get glimpses from the minds of several others as well, and is written in local vernacular, just as if you were listening to them think or speak. It's fun and lighthearted and full of quirky characters.

89 - Two Victorian Christmas stories by Anne Perry
This was an ebook with two "novella" length stories that take place in the 19th century. The first one concerns Superintendant Runcorn, one of Ms. Perry's regular characters, who is on holiday in Beaumaris, on the Isle of Anglesey. He discovers the body of a murdered woman and though it isn't his jurisdiction, ends up lending a hand in solving the crime.

The second story is about Emily Radley who has apparently also featured in Perry novels in the past, helping her sister solve crimes in conjunction with her sister's husband, Inspector Pitt. It also takes place in the late Victorian era. Emily goes to a remote village in wild Connemara in the west of Ireland where her aunt is dying. Her aunt wants to find out who killed a young man 7 years earlier. She thinks her late husband knew but didn't say and the knowledge that someone in the village did kill the man has poisoned the spirit of the village ever since.

After a violent storm, a ship sinks off the coast and one young man survives. It seems like the past is recurring as this is the same thing that happened 7 years prior and the young survivor then was the murdered man and like that man in the past, the one in the present day connects with villagers, asking questions and talking to them about their dreams and fears which makes people uncomfortable. Emily must track her aunt's late husband's steps to discover who killed the young man and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Both stories are pretty good, though wrapped up quickly due to the shorter length. I've not read any Anne Perry before but i probably will do.
tvordlj: (Default)
Four days to work this week then i'm off until the new year. I always enjoy this week even if i don't do much. while i love my vacations with Graham, we're always busy doing and going. This week i can veg out and take lots of quiet time. It would be nice, of course, if he was with me and we could do nothing together or decide on the spur of the moment to go see a movie or whatever. I expect i'll try to get to see a movie, try to get to the gym, get my groceries, visit a bit. I'm going to borrow the car for a few days to aid all that and I usually take Mom around visiting as well. Friday i'm having a movie and dinner with a friend and Friday night G. and I have our web cam Christmas present opening. That is, if his parcels to me arrive by then. This time of year it's dicey at best when expecting something from overseas. My stuff to him can get sent in pretty good time but for some reason, parcels coming this way take forever, and i blame Canada Post and Canada Customs.

I'll be at Mom's for Christmas eve, Day and Boxing Day, maybe come back home that evening. Sis is having the dinner at her place though the "kids" will stay overnight at Mom's for Christmas morning. I know they aren't kids anymore but i guess that's part of getting older. You still think of them as kids, or at least it's easier to just say that.

Kobo has had a contest running daily where you put a little puzzle of an ereader together and you can win coupons for up to 35% off or a Kobo touch ereader. I've been doing the entry every day and have got coupons for 25, 20 and 35% so i've used them. I've bought 4 or 5 books in the last week! I suppose that's their purpose isn't it? Get you to buy more books but they end up quite cheap with the coupons. I have looked and can't find out but I think the coupons might only be good for the day they're issued. I really should stop though lol! These ebooks are so much cheaper than buying even a new paperback these days. Well... sometimes at least. I see ebooks that they want 15 and almost 20 dollars for and i wonder why. It's electronic, there's no shipping, no overhead really.

I won't buy an ebook unless it's under 10 dollars. Most new paperbacks are that and up to 12 dollars unless it's the "trade" paperback, which is the size of a hardcover but paper covers and those can be up to 25 dollars! So all the ebooks i've bought with the coupons are under 10 dollars less the discount. The one i purchased today came to a total of something like $6.88 with taxes in. When i was buying paper books, i'd go to a bookstore and buy 3 or 4 at a time, spending 60 dollars. I can get 8 or 9 for that with ebooks and coupons! or at least about 6 without. Big difference.

I'm still working my way through a few books that i'm not really enjoying overly but i'll finish them. I usually do. It's rare i give up on a book but i may end up skimming through the end of the ones i'm struggling with.

In the news today, Bishop Raymond Lahey, who was a bishop in Nova Scotia, is going to be sentenced in Ottawa today on child pornography charges. He flew into Ottawa with a laptop and when they wanted to check it as a random search. They found a lot of images on there and he was immediately taken in. He confessed, rather than go through a trial and will be sentenced today. A few years ago he was instrumental in organizing a payout settlement to a group of people that had sued the church on abuse charges dating back decades. I have a feeling he won't end up behind bars as such. House arrest or something similar would be my guess due to his age (in his 70s) though he should spend some time incarcerated if it was up to me.

Halifax has had 16 homicides this year. I think that's a record. The latest one seems to be the result of a bar fight. There's only been charges laid in 6 of the cases and one was deemed accidental as a patient in a dementia unit in a senior's home pushed another resident who died from the fall. They said it was technically homicide but the resident was not really responsible. The murder total in this area is usually under 10 most years and they aren't usually random.
tvordlj: (Default)
It was a miserable, wet and windy morning getting to work though i notice now, mid morning, the rain has let up a bit for a moment. Still quite windy though. Better than if it was snow, mind you.

Last winter, Halifax hosted the Canada winter Games and built an outdoor skating "oval" for the speed skating competitions. It circled the Halifax Commons in the peninsular city centre and it was opened to the public to use before and after the games. It was a huge hit and popular opinion was that the City should keep it. It encourages fitness, it's free, it's a great family thing. People living in the area aren't overly happy mainly because of the music they play over speakers to make skating fun. Fast forward, the city decided to keep it but wanted to offer sponsorships to contribute towards the maintenance. The end result of this was sponsorship by two corporations. One is Emera, the people that you pay your electric bill to and the other? Molson Canadian. Beer people.

A lot of people are not happy with an alcohol company sponsoring it and plastering their signs all around it. I don't know if they think that's going to encourage people to drink more beer or what. Maybe if they erect a beer tent i suppose but as far as i'm aware, that's not a plan. What difference does it make, really? The important issue is the ongoing sponsorship of a popular outdoor skating arena that is open for a few months of the year, weather dependant. And considering our weather, they might have wanted to add a few lanes for swimming or boating to cover all possibilities.

Beer corporations sponsor lots of events, often adding a beer/entertainment tent to the event as well. Heck, the local junior hockey team is named after a beer, the Halifax Mooseheads and are owned by Moosehead beer i think.

New movie opening this weekend, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. Wow! Did anyone else know about this? I hadn't heard this book was being filmed. It's a big book, but not widely known in general, not one you'd really think of to make a movie from let alone in two parts. I'm quite impressed. I know the classic book by Ayn Rand is well known but i wonder how many people in their 20s and 30s have heard of it or read it. That's usually the demographic group for movies if not younger. It's only playing here at Bayer's Lake, though, which is a bit tricky to get to for me. Maybe it will still be around over Christmas and i can borrow Mom's car.

Checking imdb, the cast list is mostly unknown to me and it looks like a lowish budget. That could be a good thing. Big Budget means loads of special effects, big name actors, with less story. Wow and the movie's site says it was released in April and the DVD is now available! It's just getting to Halifax now. I think this is definitely on my "to watch" list, either in the theatre or on dvd.

On a sad note, actor Henry Morgan died. He played Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H for most of the time it was on television. The first couple of years, the unit was led by Col. Henry Blake but Potter was the one most people remember. I really loved that character. The actor was 96!
tvordlj: (Default)
Lonely Planet has made a top 10 list of regions to visit in 2012 and the east coast of Canada, the Maritime Provinces, are 7th on the list! Wow! That's impressive considering there are no other Canadian or US locations anywhere else on the list.  Here's what they say about us:

Canada’s Maritime Provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (PEI) – have always exuded the quintessential briny vibe of clapboard fishing villages, clifftop lighthouses and townhall lobster suppers. But there’s new action brewing. From distilleries popping up that turn PEI potatoes into silky vodka to organic farm wineries that crush Nova Scotia grapes into sweet vino, gastronomes are drinking up the rustic region. Stir in the wharfside oyster cafes, mushroom foraging tours and farmstead  cheese-making classes, and you have a scene of plenty between sips, too. The tide is pulling especially strongly in 2012, when the Maritimes mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. -

Halifax has a strong connection to the Titanic, and there are a number of headstones here in three of the cemeteries of some of the Titanic victims brought ashore on one of the rescue boats. (history here) One of the headstones was of a J Dawson and after the movie came out, there was a steady stream of people wanting to see the grave and numerous bits and pieces left there, mainly by girls and women enamoured of the Leonardo di Caprio character of the same name in the film. The real Dawson (Joseph), however, was someone that worked in the engine room of the ship. There is also a grave of a baby, unknown of name, and people leave toys and soft bears there sometimes. Many of the victims buried are unknown. (List of names and graves here)

tvordlj: (Default)
Good news in Halifax tonight, the Irving owned Halifax Shipyards has won a 25 billion dollar contract to build 20 warships over the next 2 decades. This is a big, big boon for the economy here. Lots of new jobs, lots of money flowing into the city. It's all good and the city is going to grow which means more traffic ;)
tvordlj: (Nostril shot)
Me again.
Just reading the news paper and saw that a man sued a doctor (in the U.S. you won't be surprised to hear) for amputating part of his penis without his consent. He went in for a circumsision and the doctor found cancer so he took off less than an inch off the end. It's not clear in the article if the man was put to sleep under the anesthetic but he must have been or he could have been asked first. The guy lost the lawsuit, by the way but is appealing, saying that a doctor can only change the surgery without consent if he finds an emergency situation that will lead to loss of life. Impending, i should imagine, and though cancer will do that, it wasn't an immediate danger so the man thinks he's due 16 million dollars due to "loss of service, love and affection".


And possibly i might concur. But if you read to the end of the article you will see that the man had the rest of his penis amputated later by another doctor, presumably due to the cancer. That doctor, presumably, had the man's permission.


In other lunchtime news, I see Jane Fonda has a new updated autobiography out. In it, she delves into things like sexuality for seniors. She fully supports being open about getting older and still wanting sex.  Good for her. but she's also supposed to have had a shot of testosterone to boost her own libido but stopped for awhile during her book tour because it gave her acne.  But there was a quote in the article i read about it where she said that she has become more comfortable in her own skin as she ages. And she's honest about having had plastic surgery. You probably would be comfortable in your own skin as you age if you've managed to keep your skin from looking aged. 


In much happier news....



8 sleeps!!

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