Saturday, March 31, 2007

John Legend - Save Room

Pretty Hot and Sexy video from John Legend, who acquits himself so well on Tony Bennett's "Duets" album.

Stools for Stooges

Would someone PLEASE explain the kitchen counter stool obession?

Every single advertisement in the last 5 years for a new condo development and even new, large luxury homes, feature these idiotic, unstable, uncomfortable eyesores as some kind of high fashion bonus.

Now I can understand that, in the typical 600 square foot condobox, now selling for minimum half a million dollars in Vancouver, that, when the so-called "kitchen" is, in fact, a tiny area with a stove, fridge and fake marble countertops, that you might want to sit at your little fake counter because THERE IS NO WHERE ELSE TO SIT!

But, now even the glossiest of high end home and garden mags can't resist this cliche. If the kitchen has a "work island," then inevitably there are the Wobbly Ones.

What ever happened to sitting down in a chair?

Closed for Business - As Usual

Yesterday, I had one of those special Canadian Business experiences that go a long way to explaining why we have one of the lowest GNP per capita in the civilized world.

I walked into a very large and fancy and one-of Travel offices, thinking I would talk to an agent about my current desire to go to the Galapagos Islands.

Here’s what I e-mailed the owner of the business when I got home.

"Why do we have the lowest GNP per capita in the Western World?

A visit to your offices this morning around noon explains all.

I live in the neighbourhood. I stopped by hoping to discuss with an agent a trip tp the Galapagos Islands.

Your receptionist looked at me like I had just emerged from a space ship. When I told her what I was looking for, she told me that all the agents were in a meeting.

Now, no doubt the meeting was fruitful and important.

But more important than a customer at the front desk? A call couldn't have been made to bring one agent out from the meeting on the off chance that YOU MIGHT DO SOME BUSINESS?

Your website tells me that you are a "full service agency." Do even know what those words mean?

I grew up in the service industry and do you know what I say about your shop?

I say, "Hahahahaha...good luck.""

A good friend points out that it’s time to write that book about horror stories in Canadian service.

Please add yours in the “comments” section below.

Guest Editorial from V.

I'm sure you followed the story of Rebarman. This is the guy who killed a junkie by driving a rebar through his head down in the DTES. The junkie was flailing along the street cursing loudly over the bad outcome of a drug deal. Rebarman was a refugee wanted on drug charges in the USA and "known" to the Vancouver Police. Junkie threw Rebarman's girlfriend to the ground because she asked him to stop cursing in front of her toddlers. Rebarman went into an alley, grabbed some trash rebar and did his deed.

I found this this pastoral vignette to be a perfect encapsulation of the insanity of both our drug policy and refugee policy. Undoubtedly, Junkie would have turned his life around if provided with a free squat through Simple Sam's Silly City program. And Rebarman was undoubtedly a victim of oppression in his native Honduras.

And we pay for this dreck.

Reminds me of an old Yiddish saying from Czarist Russia, sardonically muttered at times of state oppression. "For these pleasures, we pay taxes."

Bush's Private Army

This morning, on Page C8, The Vancouver Sun's Jeff Lee reviewed a new book called "BLACKWATER: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

You can not only read all about this startling new book here, but you can watch the video of the author describing what should obviously be a front page story, one that is shouted from the rooftops.

While Larry and Anderson are droning on about Anna Nicole, the American government, thanks to initiatives by Rumsfeld and Cheney in 2000, is employing a private army in Iraq and New Orleans (!?!).

"So what?" you say.

This is what: This army, run entirely by a frothing-at-the-mouth right-wing Christian fundamentalist, is unanswerable. In what claims to be the world's largest democracy, a Praetorian guard, under private contract, is fighting and killing with no need to explain itself to Congress, the American people or the world.

You can also go directly to the Blackwater website here.

If you have ever had any doubts about the illegitimacy of the American presence in Iraq, this should pretty well throw you over the barbed wire fence with a big thud.
Try also this website for further examination of this nightmare.