October 23, 2009

Don't drink and sit!

From the files of "what the f is up with some people..."

Have you jazzed up your iphone? Pumped up your PC?
Pimped out your Hummer? That's nothing!

Try modifying your La-z-boy chair and then get a DUI after crashing it. Some jerk in Minnesota left a bar, got behind "the wheel" of his chair, and was arrested for drunk driving.

Along with a stereo and cup holders, the chair is powered by a converted lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton engine, and has a steering wheel, headlights and a power antenna.

The good news, if there is some? The dude hit a parked car and didn't harm anyone. The not so good news? The chair is going up for sale at a police impound auction and apparently there is lots of interest.

Whatever happened to a chair just being comfortable and matching the rest of your stuff?

October 20, 2009

Bunny ears and blue hair: Marge Simpson does Playboy

This is really cool --- Marge Simpson is going to be on the cover of Playboy! In addition to the cover (above), there will be more photos and coverage of the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons inside. Finally, Playboy will have something more than the articles to look at!

October 18, 2009

All about doggie poop

Okay, another misleading headline - this is not all about doggie poop. Ewww...

There is one question I have on the subject though. I have a totally domesticated, supremely pampered, completely dependent pooch. And Alfie is Havanese, so his ancestors were bred to be lapdogs, never a wild dog or hunter among them. So every time an apparently wild instinct kicks in, it amuses and or befuddles me.

Which bring us back to poop... why the dance before hand? The site selection is entertaining enough, and then the walking backwards and circling the spot? What is up with that? Most of the time he is out in the backyard, or on a leash and the closest being is me with the plastic bag. Why the ritual?

As this is top of mind for me (yep, slow day), I googled "why does a dog walk in circles when the poop" and discovered that yes this is something people think about. Theories? looking for a good spot, looking for a safe spot from predators, looking to 'trample their nest' so as comfortable as possible, looking to point upwind so they know who is around. All good ideas for something we are clearly spending waaay to much time thinking about.

Okay next earth-shattering mystery... why does Alfie step forward as he poops so I have to follow the poop trail with a plastic baggie?

Criminal Charges for Balloon Idiots

According to CNN.com, those idiot parents of "balloon boy", who was never really in danger and never really in the balloon, set the whole thing up as a publicity stunt and will now be charged with a few things - conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, attempting to influence a public servant, and filing a false police report.

My question is not why did they do it -- apparently to market themselves for a reality show, by the way - because they're idiots, so who cares why they did it?

My question is - why is this news? Why did CNN and HLN and the networks give this so much play for days? What, not enough going on out there with the economy and wars and health care and unemployment and David Letterman and Madonna's adoptions and the new season of Desperate Housewives etc etc? They were broadcasting this stuff live like our lives depended on it.
I mean, yes, is true, I love junk TV, and even I turned this off. Hopefully ratings and feedback will inspire them to change. But I am guessing not...

October 16, 2009

Sweet sweet ride

Maybe it's a guy thing... I love my car. That's it above, pretty sharp looking, huh? Okay, okay, Mr Truth Police, that is not my actual car, is a stock shot of the same car I have, an Acura RDX. Great set of wheels; well made, fun to drive, good in winter, loaded with gizmos and gadgets, peppy as hell, great to look at, lots of room for the dog and stepdog.

I have had this cool car for over two years, and unfortunately loving the car hasn't always meant loving owning the car. My experience in service has been less than stellar.

This doesn't seem to be just an Acura thing, and is one of the reasons I feel so little sympathy for the battered auto industry. After the hand-me-down Chrysler Cordoba, my first new car was when I graduated university, a sporty little Pontiac with metallic blue paint that turned murky yellow; GM said wasn't a defect and not their problem, to which I responded would never buy GM again if they wouldn't do something about it. They didn't, I haven't, and my relationship with GM ended there, many cars ago. Screw 'em.

Then there was a Chrysler, which was ok, and a Honda, which was pretty much problem free. Later I moved up the food chain a little, to a Lexus, where also got mediocre service. So when the time came to get my latest car, in 2007, I moved from Lexus to Acura, because of the car itself and the service promise.

Did I mention that I love love love the car? And yet Acura and I did not get off to a great start. Service appointments that took twice the time estimate, a customer lounge from 1972 that doesn't sit enough people, and a loaner car that smelled like the bad end of a cigarette factory were the highlights.

And then - I called and complained. I'm in sales too, and you can't fix what you don't know about. So I had a good talk with Matt the service guy (not his official title), and agreed I would book thru him next time. Yesterday was "next time", and yes I expected lousy service, and wow, Mr unimpressed was impressed -- appointment on time, loaner car clean and ready to go, and my car was washed and ready earlier than promised. Plus as an apology they comp'd the service!

Good salespeople know it's not just the product you are selling, it is the feeling, the experience, and the solution to a problem. Well, two years ago Acura sold me on the car, and since then the light has faded; now Matt at Acura sold me again.

So don't screw it up next time folks... because now I love love love the cool the car again!

October 14, 2009

"Yes, I Had Sex With Those Women"

Those are the now famous words of TV icon David Letterman, in a scandal-ette (aka little scandal) where he admitted to having sex with women (plural) who work for him, and went public to thwart an alleged blackmailer.

About the blackmailer? Stupid and wrong, and yes criminal, and let's go through the process, and if he is guilty, lock him up.

About Letterman? Creepy. Sure, some old boys are defending him, as are some blogging Europeans who seem to think is no big deal, and Barbara Walters, who clearly has waltzed into senility, saying Dave is a charming man, so why is this an issue?

The sex isn't an issue; we are all adults, do what and who you want. The infidelity to his wife isn't an issue; that's between you and your significant other.

The "those girls I banged work for me" is the issue, Dave. What's your interview process there? How do the non-banging employees feel? Why is this ok when we are all so schooled on workplace harassment issues? How are you even gonna be able to make a Sarah Palin ethics joke now?

I think Letterman is smart and funny, if a little brittle for my late-night taste. If I am up that late would much rather watch Jon Stewart, seems more literary and informed and I like his take on politics. From what little I know, I like his values. Yikes... You think he is banging anyone on his staff?

October 11, 2009

Makes you wonder...

Coming Out, Staying Home, Being Thankful

In the US, today is National Coming Out Day, a civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay and lesbian issues. It is intended as a day for all people, of all sexual orientations, to "take your next step" in living openly and powerfully on October 11th. It's day to be grateful for and proud of who you are.

Here in Canada, it is Thanksgiving Weekend, an annual holiday to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although some people thank God for this bounty, the holiday is mainly considered secular. It's a day to be thankful for what you have.

I am not marching on Washington. Also not having a big Turkey dinner. My day? No commitments, and feeling pretty terrific about it. Day off from work. Quiet time with Alfie, maybe play time in the snow. Not going to accomplish a whole lot.

There is stuff I feel like I should be doing -- work stuff I brought home, mail and bills to process, wedding stuff to do because has to get done and so feel like am doing my share. Laundry. Housework. Phone calls. Going to the gym. Cleaning off the desk. Man this list could get really long.

Or nothing at all -- a relaxing day with a book and some escapist TV, maybe a dvd. And the world's sweetest pooch on the sofa beside me. Now that is something to be grateful for.

October 9, 2009

I didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize... and Obama did?

It was the surprise news we all woke up to this morning; President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, and I didn't.
Sure, no one thought I was in the running for it. Pretty much the same thing for Obama, though, as all the talking heads on the cable news channels are now admitting - he is less than a year into the job and really hasn't accomplished a whole lot yet.

As a Canadian without a vote, I still was a big fan of Obama pre-election, embracing the whole "Yes We Can" mantra, reading his books, admiring his courage and brains and intentions.

Now I am waiting to exhale, seeing if he will fix healthcare, work towards peace, go for equal rights for gay people (that is a whole other posting, to compare what he promised vs what he has done).

While I am waiting for him to accomplish or change something, I still think the guy has potential. But the Nobel Peace Prize? The same one that Nelson Mandela won?

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." So... Obama? really?

Even in his comments about the win, the president spoke of it being acknowledgement of a mission going forward rather than specific acts or accomplishments.

Bottom line -- it may just be the international community giving the middle finger to George W Bush, saying we are so friggin happy you are gone, we automatically think this new guy is a boon for world peace. And I am OK with that sentiment actually.

Fun and games with contractors

As winter comes, the days get shorter and darker, snow and ice frame everything. And life is busy... work, friends, dogs, family, travel, planning wedding, getting ready to sell two houses and merge households. And building our dream house in a great new development with a talented and respected architect and builder. So what could go wrong with this plan?

Yep, you got it. The house thing is not a smooth ride. I guess with all the tales we hear of construction gone bad, I shouldn't be surprised. And yet I am. It wouldn't occur to me to expect people to not come thru on their commitments, or at least to fail to communicate when things are behind or simply not being done. Only a few weeks in and we have unanswered questions, changing timelines, and murkiness on money and paperwork. Aaaaaaaargh!

The good news is that as a couple we are totally on the same page. We know where we are and what we want. And we are early enough in the process to walk away and change contractors if we need to. We are putting forward crystal clear expectations, and things will be what they will be. It is a fit or it isn't. The ball is in their court now.

Life is never boring, even when you want it to be....

October 8, 2009

Broadway gets political

Ever watched the Tony's? No? Okay, put on your shocked face... act surprised... Broadway is very gay. Or at least gay friendly. Especially when it comes to musicals... yes, some stereotypes are true. We love the musicals! K and I already have tickets to Wicked and Avenue Q for our upcoming trip to New York.

This weekend, the cast and producers of the long-running pacifist musical HAIR are taking it a step further. The National Equality March in support of gay marriage happens this Sunday in Washington, D.C. and in a bold, expensive and I guess unprecedented move, the producers canceled Sunday's matinee so that the entire cast can join the march.

Is this a risky move? Probably not, a Broadway musical about peace love and equality is not risking alienating their core audience here. Is it bold? I think so. We all need to stand up for what we believe in a bit more often.

October 2, 2009

Dogs in drag?

Why do so many of us dress up our dogs like little children? Why does this bug some people so much?

For the record, I live in a cold northern climate, I have a 14-pound dog who is close to the ground, and he needs a winter coat so he does not become an icicle on a pee break. Yes, I truly believe he needs a coat. I also admit he doesn't really need the five or so coats he has. Or some of the other stuff he has.

Some people dress their little dogs up all the time, in cutesy and colourful outfits, parade them around, they look cute and or funny and we pass the pictures around the Internet. And yes I think we can all agree that celebs like Paris Hilton take it too far, when she dresses up her Chihuahua like a tacky fashion accessory and drags him around in a handbag.

Other people are adamantly against dressing up their dogs no matter what. Dogs are nudists in nature, they should be nudists period.

I land in between somewhere -- Alfie gets suited up once in a while.

Alfie has a selection of coats I put on him for walks. We have 8 months of winter here, and yes I pamper my dog. Alfie is the closest thing to a child I have. Sure, he never grows up and he like to poop outside, but other than that he is like my adopted child.

And the one time a year I take it further is Halloween. Get something cute, put it on the little guy, take a picture, and then chances are he never wears it again.

I tried a sparkly bow tie for a photo last year. Didn't last 30 seconds. No photo was had.

Oh, and the pictures above? Is a Halloween t-shirt given to me by a friend, and it says "trick or treat" on the back. I think it's adorable. My partner's reaction was "Oy, Poor Alfred...."