Archives: “miscellany”

People who, if I ran into them in public, would have to be punched in the face (even though I am a pacifist).

John Baird, Stockwell Day, Jason Kenney, and the rest of Stephen Harper’s merry band of asshats. Joe Francis. Any man who was ever a Bachelor. The convenience store owner near my office who decided to tell me me “didn’t trust Asians, because they are thieves.”. Radio shock jocks. Guys who insist on doing horrifically bad Borat impressions. Tim Hardaway. The inventor of air sex. Toronto city councillor Rob Ford. Mark Burnett (for starting the whole grotesque mess in the first place). Whomever created the abomination known as Pocari Sweat.

I can’t maintain this level of negativity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the slack. Who do you think deserves a bop on the nose for their contributions (or lack of) to society?

Only in Canada.

Bono is at a U2 concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when he asks the audience for some quiet. Then, in the silence, he starts to slowly clap his hands.

He says into the microphone, in a deep solemn voice ….

“Just for a moment, think outside yourself … outside this arena. Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”

A loud Newfy voice from near the front pierces the moment …

“Well, Lard tunderin jasus, ya stupid arse, stop yer fockin’ clappin’, then!”

(Thanks, Ilse!)

Words and phrases possibly used by local weathermen while describing the effects of the first major winter storm on Toronto

  1. “slammed”
  2. “blanketed”
  3. “pummelled”
  4. “dropped the weather bomb on”
  5. “slapped silly”
  6. “body slammed like a little baby”
  7. “took out back to the shed and made a woman out of”
  8. “beat the pretension out of”
  9. “squatted over and squeezed a load on top of”
  10. “turned grown adults into whiny little children”
  11. “converted normally bad drivers into barrelling lethal weapons”

Guess which ones are real and which ones are made up. The answers may (or may not) surprise you.

Page 23, Sentence 5

Just following orders:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

"'Whiskey de peg (measure), chicken de leg' is a popular idiom, meaning they like one as much as the other."

From ISBN# 1-86450-328-9.

Best Spam Ever

Become a legally ordained minister within 48 hours

As a minister, you will be authorized to perform the rites and ceremonies of the church

You can perform weddings, funerals, perform baptisms, and visit correctional facilities

Want to start a church?

Heck, why not?

Breast Warts

dictionariesI love languages. Spoken (and unspoken) languages, programming languages, secret underworld languages, creoles and pidgins—they're all cool. You could say that I'm a… fixalinguist? One of the polyglotsessed? A linguiphile? I don't know if there's a word for someone who's into languages, but whatever it is, that's me.

Luckily for me, my sweetie is a bird of the feather. Our apartment is filled to the rafters with language resources and tapes: The entire Just Listen and Learn language library (from Arabic to Spanish, with stops in between for most of Europe and Asia); Norwegian for Travellers, Essential Kanji, El Principito (The Little Prince, in Spanish); at least a couple dozen dictionaries for all manners of tongue… we got 'em all.

Notice, however, that I said I have a LOVE of languages—I didn't say I could SPEAK them. That's where Renée kicks my ass five ways to next Tuesday, as she speaks more languages than I even dream of. I'm still trying to learn my second (French), and some days I wonder if I have even the barest of facility with my mother tongue. I'm working on it.

Habits of the Language-Obsessed

One of the things I often do when I'm hanging out is to pull a random dictionary off of the bookshelf and start looking up words. This evening I was perusing a German-English dictionary (we have quite a few German books, because that's one of the languages Renée speaks). If I can ever get to a good level in French, German will possibly be the next language I want to learn. I don't know why—in many ways, learning Spanish or Chinese might be more immediately useful—but I think German is pretty neat.

Besides the fact that speaking it is just too much fun (I warned you I was a freak), one of the things I like about German is how logical it is. Just like English, many German words are just other German words smashed together. For example, one of my favourite German expressions is schadenfreude, which directly translates as schaden (damage) + freude (pleasure): the pleasure of seeing someone else suffer. Oh, those wacky Germans!

Word Arithmetic

Some of the other neat ones: onomatopoeia (words whose sounds imitate or evoke what they actually refer to, like boom, or squish) is lautmale'rei in German, which consists of laut (tone) + male'rei (painting), which is a beautiful way of describing what the word really means. Or, some grosser ones (because I'm totally infantile): bunion = entzündeter Fußballen which equals entzündeter (inflammation) + Fußballen (football); rectum, which is mastdarm, which turns out to be mast (fat) and darm (intestine). Hmm.

This is all well and good. Who was it, however, and what were they thinking when they coined the word for nipple? In German, nipple is brustwarze, which consists of brust ("breast"), and warze ("wart").

Breast wart.

Isn't language cool?

San Francisco - From Vertigo to Now

A couple of weeks ago I was standing in the recently opened Norm & Nates deli, which is just down the street from the school. I couldn't stop staring at this huge 16×20 photograph they had up on the wall. It was a photo taken from up in the Paris Building looking East down Notre Dame street in 1936. Surprisingly, because of the local heritage commission, and the rather well-preserved Exchange District, the view was quite similar to what is there now.

I'm totally head over heels with this stuff:

Vertigo Then and Now

I love seeing how cities change over time. I think I'm going to do a similar project for Winnipeg (minus the famous movie, that is) - first I'm going to need some old pictures of Winnipeg, though.

Sweet like Cotton Candy

WEmmacatith all of the rather unsettling stuff going on in the world, now seems like as good a time as any for part two in the series of Cats Who Fall Alsleep On Things.

Of course, the fact that I'm resorting to posting pictures of my cats again instead of writing something interesting is just proof again that my brain is a big, giant bowl of oatmeal.

Oh, and here's part one.

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing a safe, mellow, turkey / tofurky rich (but not turducken - that's just gluttony) Thanksgivings to all of our American visitors: eat and drink too much, share a hearty laugh, hug someone you love, and be happy.

kooo lou-koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kooo

As much as these two have contributed to more misguided stereotypes about Canadians than anything else, I can't help but have my spirits buoyed (and my stress banished) when I listen to these guys:

"Take a six of your favorites, right? It's like Russian Roulette: it's called the Beer Hunter. And like, we're going to play it here."

(When this album first came out [1981!], I never noticed the rather strange message and equally unusual "mark of quality" that graced the liner notes. We Canadians, it seems, are rather defensive about the perceived lack of a truly "Canadian" culture. Take off, eh.)

10 ways to good coffee

cuppa joeAs much as I complain sometimes about my allergy to alcohol, the truth is I don't miss drinking that much. Sure, I don't get to try all of the new, cool imported beers, but I also avoid the embarrassment of making an ass of myself at the yearly staff party.

(That said, I also don't have any excuse for my behavior. Erg...)

What I can't live without, though, is coffee. Recently I've toned down my caffeine intake, for moderation's sake, but I still need to start off every day with a good, well-brewed cup of Good Morning America. Here's ten tips from a coffee nerd that you might find helpful in your quest for the perfect brew.

» 10 ways to good coffee continues...


Thanksgiving Day (and the other major North American mealfests) have always been a bit strange for my family. I suppose it's because the concept of a "Chinese" thanksgiving meal always seems to hold a few unorthodox surprises.

Don't get me wrong: there is turkey, and a lot of it. But I don't think we've ever had a thanksgiving dinner with normal kinds of trimmings. A good example would be cranberry sauce: we've never had it. Because of that I've never understood how the presence of fruit enlivens turkey. It kind of goes in the same category for me as ham and pine pizza. What's next - grapes and baloney? Kiwi and headcheese? Yikes.

I also seem to remember years when my mom just said to hell with the turkey and we had such innovative thanksgiving meals as wonton soup, rice, and chop suey. Wontons just don't seem to suffuse the eater with the same warming glow that turkey provides.. and chop suey? Let's not even go there. At least I could get up from the table afterwards, free from the swooning effects of a turkey tryptophan overdose.

(Just had a thought: do they celebrate thanksgiving in Japan? Or Korea? Or East Timor? And if so, what do they eat?)

My kvetching about thanksgiving aside, here's raising a, er, fortune cookie to all of the fine folks that hang out at the BeatnikPad. Thanks for visiting, for writing me e-mails and comments, and for giving me a damn good reason to keep this site going. Have a safe and happy thanksgiving.

Cat and Mouse

Raj 'n Mouse

So take off all your clothes

Quick little tidbits today, because every second this computer is on warms up an already baking apartment. +44 today with the humidity factored in (not like anyone not in Winnipeg cares).

  1. This prediction is proof that meteorologists are behind one of the biggest scams ever.
  2. Remote-throwing event of the week: Channel surfing by the MTV 2002 Movie Awards, and being treated to the horror of Pearl Harbor not only being nominated and winning for "Best Action Sequence", but also the vomitus-inducing acceptance speech by hack director Michael Bay. (Said in a pure "I'm too cool for this fucking award" LA accent, and I'm paraphrasing, but only just):
    Thanks to MTV, this is where I got my start, thanks to the cast and crew, blah blah blah, and the 3000 people who lost their lives. See ya.
    What he meant to say was, "Thanks to the 3000 people who lost their lives - we couldn't have done it without you." I say: WTF?

    (Sad prediction): In three years, there will be some hot shot, talentless director giving an acceptance speech for a terrible, overwrought, in horrifically bad taste movie about 9/11. And I will take my TV and toss it out the window.

  3. Did I mention it's hot?
  4. I once was obsessed with spinach. Now it's asparagus. What's wrong with me?
  5. Nominee for bad summer wear decision: I saw a rather, er, robust woman standing in Osborne Village today wearing a pair of shorts which had the following words silkscreened on her ass: Art Classique.

Sunday Grab Bag

· Finally got myself dug out of the mess I stupidly put myself in yesterday. Let's just leave it at this: don't empty the trash on your computer if you're not 100% positive you want to empty it... two days of work gone like <snap> that. Yee gods.

· It's a wet, breezy day today in Louis Riel's world. The tress outside my home office window are swaying hypnotically in the wind like the hips of a dashboard Elvis. The rain and greyness reminds me of Vancouver.

· Took Raj and Emma to the vets yesterday. Emma doesn't like the cat carrier one bit. My scarred arms are a testament to her protestations. Hope I don't get cat scratch fever. I have enough Ted Nugent in my life as it is.

· Soccer just isn't the same when you're not surrounded by rabid soccer fans. When Renée and I lived in Toronto, we lived both in Little Portugal and in Little Italy, where soccer is a religion. Here in Winnipeg it's just another international sporting event.

· Mac OS X + the Internet + Mozilla 1.0 + gloriously anti-aliased text = surfing bliss.


There's an airshow on today, and every twenty minutes or so a low-flying jet roars over my neighbourhood, sending birds and small animals scurrying for cover.

In the past, this used to be no big deal. Now I get a twinge of paranoia everytime one flies overhead.

Scary Wedding

Scary WeddingI'm not an easily creeped out person. Really.

Still, I'm finding there is just so much to be disturbed and creeped out by in this photo.

(From anil)

Some updates

Okay, my anger has subsided (rising! fading...), and the sense of panic has receeded somewhat. I lost the original (plus it was pretty damn stale) so I whipped together a new FAQs page. It's not really questions, and none of the have been frequently asked, but there you go.

Places to look to find posts that were deleted: First place to check is the Google cache. Do a search on your URL and see what is cached; you might get lucky. Secondly, take a look at Daypop, the blog / News search engine. I found the last four posts cached there. Any other suggestions, anyone? (That is, besides just saying, "Ah, to hell with it!" and letting the dead posts stay dead.)

What a shame: the wonderful Stimpsoft, creator of some really great freeware Mac OS software, has decided to pack it in.

"I need to explore new things. I'm not going to remove any of my software for downloading, but I am no longer developing freeware or supporting any of my old applications."

I can't believe it's been six months already. My brother taped 9|11; I couldn't watch it even if I wanted to. The sight of those buildings crumbling makes me feel ill.

Shout outs, lots of links, and travel babbling

I'm coming out East next week for a very well-deserved holiday. I'm very much looking forward to visiting with old friends in Toronto, and getting reacquainted with my favorite city in North America, Montreal.

bagelMontreal is one of those cities that has pretty well everything I could ask for in a city: amazing food (bagels, stupidly cheap pizza slices, great coffee, massive, delectable sandwiches, and if you're into it, smoked meat), beautiful, well-dressed folks, stunning architecture, beaucoup de français partout, and that beautiful joie de vivre of the French.

Needless to say, I can't wait. I'm looking forward to seeing my Toronto friends, too, and visit some of my old haunts. And big city transit! God, I can't wait to get back to a city that doesn't punish those of us who refuse to drive. Winnipeg is a city where anything worth seeing is almost always a healthy bus ride away. Frankly, you're also considered a bit of a dolt if you're still riding the bus after you turn 16 here, too... which makes me the Machiavellian Prince of Idiots for not only still taking the bus at 31, but also being the proud non-owner of a driver's license.

Of course, considering the fact that I'm allergic to alcohol, my friends always complain that I should get my license... being the perfect designated driver and all. But, I live to frustrate.

Anyway. Babbling tonight. Eyes like lead curtains. G'night.

P.S. (Keeping the dying art of the postscript alive.) I came to the realization a couple of days ago that I completely missed Chinese New Year's. How the hell does someone completely forget about a holiday their family (nay, their race!) makes such a huge deal about? I think I'm working too much.


(some of these come better late than never. I am such a link slacker):

Salutations to the freshly baked, bloggy goodliness of Twisty Pants; squeeky clean design, with just a bit of salt for bite. || Another spotless Weblog belongs to fellow Canuck Dani. || Check out Lisa's photography, stay for the well-written blog. || While you're blog jumping, don't forget to pay Sarah a visit. She lives in Edinburgh - a place I've never been, but Renée lived there for a while and swears it's a bit of heaven.

10 things to do when you’re bored.

  1. Start reading that book you've been planning to read for years, but never seemed to get to.
  2. Turn off the computer, pick up the phone, and get in touch with a friend you haven't talked to in a dog's age. A BeatnikPad rule: never, ever regret.
  3. Get an ISSN for your Weblog, so you can truthfully claim that you write for a periodical with international distribution.
  4. Daydream of what will be, what has been, and what could have been.
  5. Start learning a new language, and try to find a native speaker to practice with.
  6. Try to catch 25 grapes in your mouth, one at a time.
  7. Hang out with your cats. (Okay, or dog, or hamster, or iguana, or ferret... )
  8. Alphabetize your spice rack, rotate your CD collection, and lament the passing of space-pop pioneer ¡Esquival!. Long live the Space Age Bachelor Pad!
  9. Go to the library and leave cryptic, passionate notes to a mysterious lover inbetween the pages of books in the Law section. Lawyers need all the help they can get.
  10. Unplug the phone and take a long nap, and then wake up and blow a bunch of time thinking up stupid, inane lists for the Web site.

Come on, folks. What's a fun thing to do when you're bored? Post 'em in the comments.

The hazards of bad typography

Wrong fontI don't know about you, but this made me laugh and laugh.

"They should have used a different font." Too funny.

Raw fish, literature, and singing Frenchmen

I won't even attempt to encapsulate last evening's events: Renée has it pretty well covered. As I'm trying to drum up interest in her new site, head on over to schubert's Nose while I sit here patiently and whip up some more Christmassy BeatnikPad decorations.

All done? I will add that I'm stupid for sushi and goobbled up all of the rolls, sashimi and monkfish liver in front of me like a true gluttonous idiot. I passed on the complimentary fish head, however; one does have to have their fishy limits. Your food should never have the eyes to look at you.

I've updated The Great Perusal 2001 with a contribution from Swede Nicklas Andersson. Take a peek at his choices for the ten best reads of 2001, and then add your picks to the list. Good books deserved to be shared.

Just indulging in a lazy, couch-riding, television-staring Friday evening, something I don't feel one bit guilty about.

» Raw fish, literature, and singing Frenchmen continues...

Aw. thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and U.S. visitors. I’m thankful for you (yes, you). Don’t forget that turkey is extremely high in L-tryptophan, so find yourself a good, horizontal surface for the resulting turkey coma.

Field of Pork

Field of Pork: Holy synchronicity! This has to be the weirdest, most surrealistic image I’ve laid eyes on in ages. Via the Morning News

Wonderful word

Weltschmerz: n.

1.: mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state.

Man, German is the best goddamn language. Kudos to for the word of the day.


Barbara. My thoughts are with you, Barb…

I love the French

Bonne Fête de la Fédération!


Mini-Golf! I know, it’s 12:15am and I’m playing minigolf online. Just wait until tomorrow when I’m supposed to be getting work done.

The Pope

Pope get squished by a meteorite.: Oh, boy. This is surreal, hilarious, disturbing, bizarre, and strangely calming, all at the same time. It makes you wonder - where would I have seen something like this before the Web came around? Nowhere, that’s where.

Jobs Unveils iGun

Jobs Unveils iGun: Even though this is slightly obvious, I still chuckled. Call me silly.

too bizarre

Cousin of Reign. Undeniably bizarre and one of the most frightening pictures I’ve ever laid eyes on. I feel funny now… [No, it isn’t porn, you dirty dog, you.]

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