Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Breathing a Sigh of Relief

Today was a very big day in the world of Glen. I was being observed. For those of you not in Education, it means that a professor from Nipissing came down to my school, watched me teach a lesson and graded me on it.

This is really important since our success in the program directly relates to the observations made. If we do not pass the observation, we do not pass the program. Also, and more importantly, our teaching reports are things that need to be submitted to potential employers for them to judge us on. Stressful eh?

Another awesome fact about it? This would be my first time teaching this particular class. I had been teaching the Grade 11's but due to my advisers schedule I had to teach the Grade 12 class. It worked out nicely in the sense that they had just had a test yesterday and were ready to start something new and move on. But I was now nervous for two reason.

Ohh and one more thing. It was on Two-Variable Correlation....exactly.

I spent a long time getting stressed out about this very big day. I spent more time making sure that my teaching binder was in order than I care to divulge. I planned my lesson with NASA like precision and I thought of ways to make it as engaging as possible to a group of 17-18 year olds.

The stars must have been aligned just perfectly today. Somehow, someway, I was on. I have taught, presented, or performed fairly extensively in recent years and there are very rare occasions when things click perfectly. Today was one of those days for me. I don't know what, I don't know how, but they just did. I was coming up with examples that I never even considered, I was making jokes that made people other than me laugh (for a change), and most importantly the students were engaged for the time that I was there.

I don't mean to sound too braggy, like I know that I do, but I am still riding the high from that lesson. It is days like today that remind me why I want to do this with the rest of my life. It was fun, it was exciting and I loved it. I don't expect every day to be just like this, but days like today make being sworn at well worth it.

I really don't want to take too much credit as the majority of it goes to the excellent group of Grade 12s that I had. They were really involved with the lesson, they were constantly making relevant jokes and they kept me relaxed through the entire stressful ordeal. I really don't know how I can possibly thank them for the huge favour that they did for me today.

If any of my NipFriends are out there reading this, I hope that your evaluation went/goes well. I know that you are nervous about it, I know that you are tired of lesson planning, I know that the kids are stressing you out, but most of all, I know that you are doing a great job.

Until next time,

G

Trade Wrap Up

Well now, last week Troy (who is back in St. Marteen like a jerk, leaving me to fly solo for this one) and I made some bold predictions for what yesterday, the Trade Deadline had to offer and we made some good calls and some not so good calls.

Let's start with the right shall we?

Detroit got Todd Bertuzzi, just as Troy called. I think that this was a solid trade for Detroit, who are playing very well right now but could always use a bit more grit-up front. The thought of a healthy Todd Bertuzzi playing with Datsyuk and Zetterberg should give every other team in the west nightmares. Also, I said that it would be a conditional draft pick package, and low and behold, right I was on that one.

While neither of us called the right team for Tkachuk and Geurin, we both said that whoever acquired these guys would no doubt pay a premium. I don't know how on earth Atlanta is going to build their franchise over the next two years since they gave up so many draft picks.

I also said that I don't think that Toronto should buy. They did not make any big, stupid or reactionary trades. They did some tinkering and made a smart choice in getting Yannic Perrault from Phoenix. I am surprised more teams did not go after this guy, a 5th round pick seems like the deal of the century.

Troy said that Biron would get traded and right he was. I am amazed that the Flyers only gave up a 2nd round pick for him. Unreal, I would have thought more teams would have made an effort to go after him. Especially Montreal with Huet injured. But I'll get back to Montreal in a bit.

And now the wrong...

I didn't think that San Jose would sacrifice long term stability for short term gain. Oops!!! They made two really big trades for Bill Guerin and Craig Rivet. Rivet gives them a solid Top 4 Defenseman who will add depth to their solid lineup. Guerin on the other hand, makes their forward lines even scarier. Guerin-Thornton-Cheechoo...gulp. To top it all off, Guerin has experience playing with Thornton from many years ago in Boston. While it was not what I predicted, I am really happy for the Sharks. I have always liked this team for some reason and I really want them to succeed.

Troy, along with many others, thought that Roberts would go to Toronto or Ottawa. Needless to say, it was a surprise to see him in Pittsburgh. I can't say that I blame the guy, wouldn't you waive your no-trade clause to get to play with Crosby? Also the Pens added Laroque which should go miles to protect Crosby, Malkin and Staal from opposition. I think that this young teams playoff chances got a lot better.

Troy said that Vancouver would reacquire Carter, but he went to Carolina. I'm not sure why the Canucks didn't offer more than a 5th round pick for the guy. He was awesome last year with them. But instead they got Sopel and Smolinski. I think that they are both really good depth players and they really didn't give up much for them. This should really help their playoff drive (yes I'm FINALLY admitting that they will be in the playoffs this year)

I said that Montreal would shake things up and they didn't. I don't understand how Gainey did not make a big move or two, especially for a goalie. As I already said, Biron went cheap but there were rumours of Joseph and Belfour being on the market. Either of them would have been great short term fits until Huet got healthy again. Besides, how much would that piss off the Leafs-nation to have one of their former goalies guide the Habs to the playoffs? That surely must have been worth some high draft picks.

But most of all, Ryan Smyth. Wow. I don't think that anyone saw that one coming. He is now a New York Islander, and what did the Oilers get in return? Not a hell of a lot. I honestly don't understand this situation. How could that have been the best deal available for someone like Ryan Smyth? I really don't know what to say, other than congratulations Garth Snow, you just earned some serious cred as a GM.

But to sum it up, here are my Top 5 biggest winners and losers coming out of yesterday.

Losers

5. Ottawa - Yuppers, this team could have used a bit more depth and as always, toughness. Saprykn is a good pick up but they probably could have made another move or two.

4. Florida - They made some smart trades for the future of their franchise, don't get me wrong. It is just the net result of trading Roberto Luongo is Alex Auld, a prospect and some maybe draft picks.

3. Anaheim - First off, this team is solid. But when Nashville gets Forsberg, Detroit gets Bertuzzi, San Jose gets Guerin, heck even Dallas gets Norstrom and Nagy and you get nothing you have to class yourself as a loser.

2. Montreal - Like I said, they needed a goalie or something and got nothing.

1. Edmonton - Trading away Smyth with no short term gains (and relatively little long term gains) is the equivalent to throwing in the towel. I really thought that this team would make a bigger push.

Winners

5. Pittsburgh - Like I said, I like their chances in April a lot more now.

4. Atlanta - While I know that they over payed, Tkachuk will help them out a lot this year and I guess that is what matters to them. They also got Zhitnik from Philly. There are not many teams in the league that could have too many veteran defensemen kicking around. I'm excited to see what this team can do in the playoffs.

3. San Jose - I already covered this one. But I think more and more that I will be right about this team playing in the finals.

2. The Central Division - Detroit gets tougher, Nashville gets some serious talent, St. Louis has more draft picks than they know what do to with. Well done to all three of those teams.

1. New York Islanders - See everything else I have said about Smyth and paste it here.

Anywho, that's about all that I have to say about yesterdays events. I will e-mail my predicted standings to Troy in the near future, and hopefully he will no be too big of a poo-face and send them back to me soonish.

Until next time,

G

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thoughts On Everything

Hey there, I have had a bit of a hankering to blog of late (man that sounds dirty...is it to late to through in a That's what she said!!?) but I have lacked the means. So I have decided that I am going to just do a series of quick thoughts on what I would have been blogging about more so if I had access to the outside world from my dad's place.

I really don't care about the Oscars: I haven't seen The Departed yet or The Last King of Scotland, so there goes my thoughts on just about all of the big winners from last night. Hell, I didn't even see Cars so I can't even complain that they were robbed like everyone else seems to be doing. I think that the only movie that won anything that I saw was Little Miss Sunshine, and I am glad that Alan Arkin took home a statue for that one. I'm still made that Sascha Baron Cohen didn't even get nominated for Borat. Seriously.

The Thrashers Over Payed for Tkachuk: Yeah I know he's a good player and will help a slumping team out in the short term, but they really sacrificed a lot of their future. That's a lot of draft picks that they aren't going to have for the next two years. I could see a strong Cup Contender making a big move like that, but Atlanta is really fooling themselves if they think that they will make it past the second round of the playoffs. If they really wanted to get the guy they should have waited until the off-season and offered him a big pile of cash then.

Another Trudeau: What a surprise, Justin Trudeau is running in a Montreal riding. I always knew that Justin would join the Liberal party someday and I would not be surprised to see him be the leader someday. If Dion and co. can not get it done in the next election, than he may even be the party leader by as early as 2008.

Scientists Realize That Global Warming is Real: In other news, the sky is blue and pigs are in fact, incapable of flight.

Britain Tells 1,500 Troops to Leave Iraq, Sends Royalty as a Replacement: I am pretty shocked at both of those news stories to be honest. While public opinion in Britain has been against the Iraq war since the beginning, I thought that Blair was stubborn/stupid/stuck far enough up Bush's ass enough to stay the course. As for sending Harry in, it is clearly a big publicity stunt, I would be both shocked and awed if he sees any real danger.

Didn't They Just Make a Movie About This One?: James Cameron of Titanic fame is directing an upcoming documentary where they unearth the remains of Jesus and find out that he was married to Mary Magdalene. First off, if this sounds familiar than you are not experiencing deja-vu, you have just read/watch The Da Vinci Code. I really don't get why everyone is so obsessed with Jesus' blood-line or proving/debunking the Bible. All of these things are just tiny little details and really have nothing to do with Christ's teachings. Should that not be the focus of Christianity instead of all of this other junk? Other religions don't seem to have this problem, there are all sorts of myths/legends/stories about people like Confucius or Mohammad, but nobody cares. They focus on the teachings and the core values instead. Novel idea to think about the beliefs of a religion is it not?

Placement Continues to Go Well: Lastly, I am still really enjoying my Grade 11 and 12 classes. I have been teaching the Grade 11's for the past week or so and enjoying it quite a lot. While I am still unsure if teaching High School Math is what I want to do with my life, I have really been enjoying the experience of doing it.

I think that is about all that I have to say on life/the news at the moment. I would have much longer rants about all of these subjects in different scenarios, but this will have to do for now.

Not sure when I will get a chance to post again, or even if any of you out there care. But I will try to get another post or two in this week, but in typical Glen-style, I remain vague and non-committal. Deal with it.

Until next time,

G

Giving it up for Glent

Hey there Cyberspace, sorry again for the blatant lack of postings. I will once again lay the blame game on my father/step-mother for not having the webernets available at home. And I suppose the fact that my future career rests on the next two weeks or so of my life. Fun times.

This post is a wee bit delayed, but I just wanted to wish all of the Catholics out there a Happy Lent. For the past several years I have given up some of my biggest indulgences. Last year and in 2004 I gave up pop, not an easy thing to do for a Pepsi-addict like myself. In 2003, I gave up swearing, which went well despite everyone I knew at the time trying to make me swear.

This year though, I have decided to give up chips and fries, or chips and crisps for any of my Scottish friends out there. I have realized that I have gained a solid 15 pounds over the past year or so, and while I still feel that I am in an acceptable weight range, I really would like to get back down below 160, where I was for a fairly long time. I feel that doing this, combined with getting back outside to run will help me get back where I want to be.

I hear many of you saying "But Glen, your body is already perfectly sculpted, why not just relax for a bit?". That may be a great point, but I am a firm believer in self-improvement and the whole point of it is to find ways to be better than yourself. Last year, I was running regularly and eating relatively little in the junk food department. Now, I am a lazy ass student subsisting on junk. Therefore, I gain weight, big shock.

I have recently checked out a BMI Chart, and discovered that at 5'10" and 170 pounds I am at the very top end of "Normal" weight for my height, bordering on overweight. While last year at 155, I was right in the middle of the ideal, healthy weight for my height. Kind of a shock I know, the thought that I could actually be an overweight vegan.

So the moral of the story is that I want to get back to were I was and feel as healthy as I did before. Also, I love lent, since it is a wonderful opportunity to be stubborn. Something that I am clearly very good at doing. They say that you should stick to what you are good at now don't they?

Until next time,

G

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Apparently I'm Not The Only One Who Waits Until the Last Minute

Hello there one and all. One week from today, we are going to have a very special day, no it's not some other random holiday that you probably have never heard of. It is the NHL Trade Deadline Day. That's right, the NHL General Managers have their last chance to shore up their line ups and make the final stretch to take Stanley home.

So in preperation for this big event, I am bringing you a very special guest, live from his mother's basement (where I happen to be sitting right now..) my good friend Troy. For those of you have been following along here, you will recognize Troy from our Quarterly Predictaculars which we do on a semi-regular (i.e. whenever I damn well feel like it) basis.

On anothe note, we will be doing a Third Predictacular soon enough, I just want to wait until the aftermath of the deadline so we can make our predictions. Maybe we'll get something right after all.

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Troy:

The problem with this season is that many teams are close to making the playoffs. Maybe a little too close. For example, teams like NYR, Boston, and even Florida. These teams are not going to make the playoffs but they are close enough that they still consider it a possibility and as such may not want to make the trades that may be necessary to better their team down the road. Florida has many assets that they are not going to be able to resign, i.e., Bertuzzi, and Roberts. Keeping these players would only mean they will loose them for nothing in the off season as they are both Unrestricted Free Agents. The smart play would be to trade both, get some young prospects and start looking towards their future. Gary Roberts has mentioned that he only wants to go to two teams, Ottawa or Toronto. The buzz is that Toronto GM, John Ferguson Jr. isn’t pushing hard to get Roberts which to me is asinine. Roberts was built for playoff hockey. Not to mention his leadership. Toronto is a young team for the first time in a long time and you can never have enough leadership. If Ottawa is smart, and I believe John Muckler is a smart GM, they will jump on this opportunity and take Roberts. So look for Ottawa to take Roberts. They will probably have to give up some picks but more than likely no one from their immediate playing roster.

Glen:

Florida sure is an interesting situation. For starters, they are full of nearly retired players who would be great for teams higher in the standings. But also, Jacques Martin is in his first year as a GM, and he really does not have an established track record for trades. I could see him being a very busy man over the next week. One name that I think a lot of teams should be interested in is Martin Gelinas. Anyone else remember his run as “The Eliminator” for Calgary in 2004? A team like Anaheim or Pittsburgh would benefit a lot from that kind of experience and would be foolish to think that a mid-round draft pick would not be worth that kind of clutch performer.

On the other end of clutch performance is Todd Bertuzzi. He really has gone downhill since the “Incident” a few years ago. Apparently Florida is asking for high draft picks and big prospects in return, I think with his health the way it is they will end up with some sort of conditional draft pick package depending on how many games he plays and if the team that acquires him ends up resigning him or not.

Troy:

Bertuzzi is an interesting situation. He could definitely be useful to a playoff team but he has spent most of this year injured and as such he is a bit of a crapshoot. The price for him will be high and he is a big risk. There is big upside with him though if he can return to his form with Vancouver when he was the premiere power forward in the league. Look for him to go to a team in the West. Most likely Detroit.

Detroit is always a player at the trade deadline so look for them to lead a push for Bertuzzi. On a young team he could be a good fit. With the losses of Yzerman and Shanahan this team could use a player like Bertuzzi.

Glen:

Detroit really amazes me. They have been among the leagues elite teams for the past 14 years or so. Sure they make a lot of trades but they draft a huge amount of their players. They were apparently in the running for Forsberg and their interest probably made Nashville pay the high price that they did. I don’t see Holland and co. giving up though. Their name has come up in rumours for Bill Guerin, and I could see them making a play for Ryan Smyth if the Oilers don’t resign him.

Troy:

I don’t see any of the major players in the East making any big splashes except for Buffalo. But the only trade I see them making is Marty Biron. They didn’t want to trade him last year because Ryan Miller wasn’t a playoff tested goalie. Well since that is no longer the case Biron is expendable. The smart play would be to trade Biron to someone in the West for some defensive reassurance. Eric Brewer would be a nice fit. St. Louis needs a steady number one goalie and Biron would definitely provide that.

The biggest buzz in the Western Conference is over what St. Louis is going to do over their two prized soon-to-be Free Agents, Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk. These two names have been floating around a lot and apparently the price for them is going to be steep, a high end pick and a high end prospect. Unless the prices drop I don’t see too many teams taking a major interest in them. These are two places on the tail end of their careers. They will definitely provide some leadership and some grit, but no one should be expecting them to lead their team offensively. If Toronto decides not to pick up Gary Roberts then look for them to go after Bill Guerin.

Glen:

I really don’t think that Toronto should buy. Their team is young and a year or two away from making some serious headway. It would be a huge mistake for them to sacrifice some of their young talent or future draft picks in exchange for short term gains. Anyone else remember the time that they traded away the first round pick that became Roberto Luongo in exchange for an over the hill Wendel Clark? I can’t help but wonder if they will do the same for Roberts, Guerin or anyone else on the block….And my anti-Leaf bias comes through again.

I would agree with you though that most of the serious buyers seem to be in the West. The biggest buyers in recent weeks have been Calgary, Dallas, and of course Nashville.

Troy:

Nashville has already made their splash with the trade for Peter Forsberg and make no mistake about it, this trade solidifies Nashville as a strong cup contender. They were already a contender before this trade so look out for this team.

Vancouver is desperately looking for a little help up front and a nice fit may be Anson Carter who is available at the right price. He was great last season with the Sedin twins.

The rest of the playoff teams in the West are pretty much set for their playoff runs and don’t look for too many big deals. Probably just the usual smaller trades to shore up some deficiencies.

Glen:

You know, I can’t help but have faith in the Oilers. Last year they were on the bubble and probably should have been sellers. But you know they went out and made a big splash on deadline day, acquiring Samsonov and Roloson, oh and making it to the Cup Final as a result. While I would be surprised if that last bit came true, but I still think that they will make some deal to make a charge for that ever elusive eighth spot. Their name keeps popping up around Eric Brewer, and I think that they really need to make a grab for a top-level defenseman.

If Edmonton makes a big deal than I expect a lot of other teams to react. Troy mentioned Vancouver and I could see them adding some depth up-front, which they really need. Also, Minnesota has been quiet, a little too quiet for a team in the thick of a really tough race. I would not be surprised if they make an effort.

Also in the West, there are the two big Pacific teams, Anaheim and San Jose. Both of these teams are good, really good. If they plan on making a big run this year then look for them to try and add some depth players for the long stretch. I would be surprised if either of these teams gives up much in the way of big prospects for short term gain.

Lastly, I am going to say that Montreal needs to make a big deal or two. That team is sinking, fast. A shake up is in order, especially with Huet out for the rest of the season. They want to get rid of Samsonov, but I really do not see any takers out there. I could see them cashing out some prospects for short term gain to try and crawl their way back into playoff position where they really belong.

Troy:

Glen was gracious enough to allow me the last word.

My hope this trade deadline is that the biggest deal, is in fact no deal at all. I am speaking of Ryan Smyth. Smyth will be a free agent after this season and Edmonton has a big decision to make. Smyth is the heart of that team and it will definitely take a good amount of money to sign him; probably in the 5.5 - 6.5 million dollar range. If they don’t feel that they can re-sign him then the smart thing to do would be to trade him now so they don’t lose him for nothing in the off-season. But this is the thing, Edmonton cannot trade Smyth. He has been everything to Edmonton for so long that to lose him would be a huge blow to fan morale. When you think of Edmonton, you think Smyth. He brings so much to his team. Leadership, grit, and an attitude that forces the rest of his team to never give up.

As I previously said, I am dearly hoping that the biggest deal of this trade deadline is the deal that isn’t made.

Troy

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Well I said that I would give Troy the last word but I'm a big fat liar face. I could never end a blog without my catch phrase.


Until next time,


G

Alive and Well

Hey all, I just wanted to give a bit of a progress report. All is well for me on placement. I am settling in to my new school and new classes, I teach my first lessons tomorrow. It will surely be a riveting lesson on the Sine Law. I am not nearly so anxious about it as I was last week. I think that I had some pretty awesome people (one in particular...you know who you are, and not just because you are psychic) calm me down and assure me that I will do just fine.

It's kind of funny, I'm normally a pretty relaxed guy and I don't tend to get stressed very often. I think because of that I don't really know how to deal with stress when it comes my way.

Speaking of stress, something that was mildly stressful but overall hilarious happened to me on Sunday. You see, I am at my dad's place but I am home all alone since the parental Unit is off in Mexico for another week...jerks. I spent the day being both domestic and handy, I was cleaning up the kitchen and shovelling the snow off the porch. Then when I go to make myself dinner I notice that the oven is not working. I look around and quickly notice that the microwave display is very low and so is the light on the fridge. Upon further examination some of the lights in the area around the kitchen are dim as well and the TV is not working. I look around, go get my super handy neighbour Ken, and we take a look at things. It turns out that there is not enough power coming into the house and everything that is on the left side of the circuit breaker is working but everything on the right side is not. Of course, the furnace, the oven and the water pump are all on the right side.

I realize that there is not much that I can do about it on a Friday night so I rig an extension cord from the fridge to a plug that is working, I make some awesome vegan chili on the barbeque, get the wood stove working overtime and I go to my first day of placement without showering. I figure what better way to have my students remember me than as Mr. Smelly-face?

Of course, at this point my dad calls me from Mexico to brag about the weather. Seeing as how I am in a house without a functioning furnace or hot water, I am really impressed with myself for not swearing at him.

This of course furthers my belief that I am living in the Glen Show and currently being observed by people all over the world. Some days I seem to be the king of Random Adventures.

And to think, I had been worried about teaching. Clearly, being concerned about warmth and personal hygiene takes precedence over such trivial matters. So if any of my NipFriends are reading this and you are getting stressed about placement, just turn your power off for a while and see how you manage. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Until next time,

G

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On the Trail Again

Well hey there everyone, just wanted to make a quick shoutout. I'm currently back at my Dad's on placement and so I probably won't be on here much over the next few weeks. I will do my part to post when I can but I have a feeling that I will be a busy boy.

I'm going to be teaching two sections of Grade 11 College Math and one section of Grade 12 University Math. Needless to say, I'm feeling a sense of excitement and apprehension. I have not done much math in a long time (first semester of my fourth year...that's a solid 3+ years ago) and I have been having my doubts as to whether high school math teacher will be a viable career choice for me. I'm rather excited to figure all of this out, and of course, the dreaded observation that I am going to have on February 28th from my Faculty Advisor (dun, dun, dun....)

In a slightly related note, I have realized of late that I want this blog to be kept from my current and future students as much as possible. As a result, I will be going through at some point and removing every reference to my last name. I do not feel that I have much, if anything to hide on here, I would just like to be able to keep a private life that is separate from my professional life. This is why my Facebook badge was removed and I will soon be turning the name of a semi-regular feature here to "Some Insights Into My Twisted Mind" and scanning through a bit more to get rid of the R word. If you are posting on here, please refer to me by my first name or one of the many nick names that I have. But if you are doing it through my Facebook notes, then by all means go to town and call me anything you want.

So I had best take off, I will do my best to update this as often as I can over the next little while, but I of course, can't make any promises.

Until next time,

G

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday To an Old Friend

Third blog post of the day? I really am a machine (That's what she said!!).

I can't believe that I almost forgot about this one, today is a very special day for a very good friend of mine, and I'm sure many of you too.

So if you can join me in wishing a happy birthday to...


The Canadian Flag!!! That's right, this friend of ours is 42 years old today!!!!!

The case of the Flag is an interesting one, until 1965 we had this lovely flag...


Of course featuring the Union Flag (NOT the Union Jack, it is only the Union Jack when it is flown on a ship...) plus a coat of arms tying in our nations English, Scottish, Irish and French roots.

They conducted an extensive survey in the 1950's and the vast majority of people polled wanted a new, unique flag. Of course there was a strong opposition especially from the military who fought for the above flag (Called the Red Ensign) and felt a strong attachment to it.

But in the end, Lester Pearson decided to go ahead and look for a new flag. At first he thought he wanted this one:



Could you imagine Paul Henderson or Wayne Gretzky wearing that one?

Anyway I had best stop writting, I think that I am posting faster than most people can read it. I guess I need to slow down a bit (That's what she said!!!).

Until next time,

G

Freedom is Slavery...?

Today, in Germany, Ernst Zundel was sentenced to the maximum five years imprisonment for denying the holocaust. He has served as an extreme right-wing activist and contributed a great deal of anti-Semitic rhetoric to a prominent website and published several books on the subject for a number of years all over the world. He lived in Canada, and the United States before he was deported to Germany to face this trial.

Holocaust denial is illegal in twelve countries, including notable holocaust participators such as Germany, Austria and Romania (you can check out the full list of countries and their possible sentences right here, courtesy of the fine people at Wikipedia). Which brings me to the point of this entry, are those laws fair?

Now before I go on at all, let me say one thing very clearly. I believe that there is a special place in hell for holocaust deniers (or "Revisionists" as they call themselves). It blows my mind that these people are calling of the survivors liars and all of the gruesome death camp video footage fake.

It was Voltaire who said "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I can't help but wonder what he would have to say about people like Zundell. Should he have the right to spread hate and distort the truth? As you can see, morally we may be in a bit of a sticky situation (That's what she said!!! Don't tell me you've forgotten about this one already...).

I believe that he should not, but it is an interesting question. I believe that freedom of expression and speech are very important, but so is respecting others. However, one must ask how far should both of those values go? What if someone is morally enraged by seeing gay people express their feelings? Should they then have a right to legally limit their freedom of expression? I sure hope not, but how are they different? In codifying these laws are we discriminating against the discriminators? And if we are is that wrong too? Why does tolerance have to be the one universal value after all?

Another interesting thing comes up here involving this wonderful thing called the internet. If say for example, I decided to start posting Holocaust denial right here on this blog, would I be breaking German laws? At first you would think no, but the internet is universal, someone in Germany could access the page and I would be denying the Holocaust somewhere were it is illegal. That's the thing about this age of Wikipedia, Blogs and YouTube, it is wonderful since it gives everyone a voice and an opportunity to have it heard all over the world. But it is terrible for the exact same reason. It should be interesting to see how the legislation catches up to the technology here. Could we potentially have Global laws on our expression?

I realize that I don't have a lot of answers here, but I have always been a firm believer that the question is more important anyway.

If you find an answer, I'd love to find out.

Until next time,

G

Well if Valentine's Day Wasn't Your Thing...

We have yet another Holiday to celebrate here, today is International "That's What She Said" Day.

How does it work you ask? Whenever anyone says anything that could be taken as dirty you reply by saying "That's what she said". To get you excited for this one, here is a video compilation from Michael Scott, of The Office, the man is a genius.




I know, it's simply amazing (That's what she said!). It seems hard, but it can be a lot of fun (That's what she said!). I know I'm up for it and I bet that you can be too (That's what she said!).

I had best stop before I get really carried away here (That's what she said!).


Until next time, (That's what she said!)

G

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Single's Awareness Day!!!

Hey there blogosphere, I wanted to take the chance to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. Now just yesterday I said that I would chime in with my thoughts on this day. So here goes it.

Now let me start this one with my thoughts from the start. I f'n love Valentine's Day. Seriously, I think it's one of the greatest days ever. I know so many people think that it is just a day invented by Hallmark and florists as a way to punish men, but you know what, those people are just lazy and jaded.

Before anyone points me to this post of mine back in December concerning a certain other forced commercial holiday, give me a chance to defend myself. For Christmas there is a ton of pressure towards spending money and getting gifts for not only for that special someone, but also your parents, siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, pets, grand-parents, and your step-versions of all of the above. Whereas Valentine's Day is much more focused. There really is only one person you need to worry about. If there are more people, then well you probably have more reasons to get stressed out than just a holiday. And with V-Day, there is always the option for fun homemade gifts, throwing it in the face of our consumer driven economy. How can you not love romance and sticking it to THE MAN?

Oh and the other argument against Valentine's Day that I love is the "Why do you need a special day to be romantic, why can't you be romantic all year round?". Well good point, I am a firm believer that you do not need a special day to be romantic, and of course spontaneous romance beats anything contrived. But what I am saying, is that it is great to have a day set aside with an excuse for romance. That's right Valentine's Day is a wonderful excuse to do what you should be doing all the time. And Lord knows I love my excuses!!!

Can't convince you? Well not a huge surprise, debating Valentine's Day is like debating religion, you rarely get a chance to change people's minds. If you feel bitter, here is a great video that made it's rounds on the webernets a few years ago (in the simpler time before YouTube) but here she be again. Enjoy!!!!




Whether you are spending today with that special someone, wishing you could be spending it with that special someone, mourning the loss of that special someone, or treating today like just another day, I hope that it finds you well.

Until next time,

G

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Some Insights Into My Twisted Mind, Volume V

I haven't done one of these in a while, and I saw this little ditty posted on my buddy Dave's Stalkbook notes, so it was really only a matter of time....

To further your insight into my mind, I figure that you all need to know which X-Man/X-Woman I would be. Clearly an important part of my personality...

*****************************************************************



You scored as Iceman. Iceman is a very powerful but volitile X-man. His ego and reluctance to follow orders means that he often clashes with Cyclops. Despite being immature sometimes, he's very popular with the ladies and is an extremely powerful X-Man. Powers: Can lower the temperature in areas around him. Basically, he has a near limitless ability to freeze things and make massive amounts of ice




Storm


75%

Iceman


75%

Jean Grey


70%

Gambit


65%

Nightcrawler


60%

Emma Frost


60%

Colossus


55%

Rogue


55%

Beast


50%

Cyclops


45%

Wolverine


40%

Most Comprehensive X-Men Personality Quiz 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com


*****************************************************************
Well Gambit and Nightcrawler were always my favourite X-People, but I can't say that I will argue with "His ego and reluctance to follow orders means that he often clashes with Cyclops. Despite being immature sometimes, he's very popular with the ladies". Well maybe the "popular with ladies" part, but everything else adds up.

I'm kind of surprised that my Cyclops is as high as it is, Cyclops is a jerkass, I never liked him. He's too much of a by the book wiener. I also only got Iceman over Storm on a tie-breaking question, they needed to know if I was more hot headed or preferred the rain. Tough things to compare I say, but I think that I made the right decision.

So I guess looking back at all five of these things, I am a Performing, Emotional, Adventurer made of ice, who just happened to serve two terms in the Presidential Office. My personality seems to be shinning through more and more...

I feel that I have really opened up with all of you here. Now I feel kind of vulnerable for exposing so much of my soul to you. I think that I had best lie down for a while to recover.

Until next time,

G

Monday, February 12, 2007

Music to Swoon to

I'm sorry to surprise some of you out there but Valentine's Day is in one more sleep.

Yes gentlemen, take a moment to catch your breath and panic.

But never fear, I have something that can help you out a little wee bit here. I decided that I would do some "Music to Swoon to" to help anyone out looking for some more songs for that Mixed CD (or pre-loaded mp3 player) that you are getting for that special someone.

Before I go into my songs, I want to say first of all that these are only suggestions, you need to of course use some of "your" songs in there. Also, this is aimed more at people in the throws of a new relationship, as such I avoided songs that evoked the dreaded L-Word.

Lastly making a CD/playlist for someone else is a really delicate art form and you need to follow a few rules.

A) Order Matters. Lord does it ever matter!! I know that it is so tempting with computers to just let it sort alphabetically, but don't you dare. The songs need to flow into one another well. I highly recommend that once you pick out a list you listen to it from start to finish. If you don't have the time then at least listen to the first and last 20 seconds or so of each song to tell how they transition to one another. They really need to build upon one another, and when I make a romantic CD I really try to imagine whoever I am making it for listening to it as they drift to sleep. So it starts out with the more fast paced ones and slowly mellows itself out.

B) Be Unique. Here's the thing, unless you are really lucky/sheltered everyone you have been with has been with other people before you. You need to make sure that when you make this CD that you DO NOT include any songs that may remind them of someone who came before you. Regardless of your musical taste, you need to stay away from artists like Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. Why? Because they are cliche and so many people have some memories with someone else, and you don't want that!!!!

C) Include Some of the Familiar. Yeah I know this contradicts what I said above, but there is some logic to it. You need songs that they other person will know sprinkled in with some new ones to introduce them to. Everyone likes to listen to songs that they know and love. It's just a very tough call to try and strike a balance.

I guess that's enough of a long winded introduction. Here is the list of songs to use...

1. Oasis -- "Wonderwall". Yeah I know, I say be unique and then here I am putting out one of the most played songs of the past 20 years. But here me out, this pays attention to Rules A + C. It takes a very familiar song and puts it into a new context, and you need to start the CD out with a song that they will know. You don't want to turn them off the CD from the start now do you? See why the order is important??? And the best part is that this song came out in 1995. So if you are around my age, which I know most of you are, chances are any one's memories of someone else would be of a Grade 8 dance and they have probably gotten over it by now.

2. The Pixies -- "Here Comes Your Man". If you have not seen or read High Fidelity then go and do it right now...I'll wait...Well there is a wonderful scene were the main character, Rob, talks about the rules to making a good mixed tape. He says that you need to start big with the first song (check) and then take it up a notch for the second song. Well here we are taking it up a notch. This song is definitely taking it up a notch. The Pixies are one of the most underrated bands of the 90's and this is an excellent example as to why. If the song doesn't fit your own pronoun then a good alternate could be "Mushaboom" by Feist.

3. Sloan -- "I Can Feel It". In the above mentioned scene in High Fidelity, Rob says that you need to start to take it down a notch in the third song to not overdo it. Well here we are taking it down a little bit. I really like this song, it's chorus of "You've got a thing for me, I can feel it, I can feel it. I've got a thing for you too, you can have it, you can have it", is so high school cute.

4. Joel Plaskett -- "Nowhere With You". Another song that is almost adolescent with its lyrics. A great thing for a new relationship/love interest/"It's Complicated", especially this early in the CD, remember we are building to things here.

5. U2 --"Stay (Faraway, So Close)". This is where things get taken up a bit more after the last two light natured songs. The line of "If I could stay...and the night would be enough" ties into the next song a wee bit.

6. Howie Day -- "Morning After". Yeah I know, I'm taking a bit of a chance here with respect to Rule B due to the popularity of "Collide" a few years ago. But I tried to cram it in between some other songs that could ease the burden if that is an issue. The whole morning after theme of this song ties into the previous song's notion of staying the night. See order is important!!!

7. Elliot Smith -- "Between The Bars". Kind of a strange song that goes with the "to hell with anyone before me" theme that has been creeping into this album. I like the guitar riff in this song, and I think that Elliot Smith has an eerie sounding voice, so here it goes.

8. TV On the Radio -- "Ambulance". I talked about this song once before and my opinion of this song definitely has not changed. I will once again re-post the chorus here because I think that the lyrics are that amazing.

"oh i will be your ambulance if you will be my accident
i will be your screech and crash if you will be my crutch and cast
and i will be your one more time if you will be my one last chance
so sweet dream fall with me
fall fast fall free fall with me"

If you haven't heard this song by now, go and do it...

9. Eric Clapton -- "Wonderful Tonight". A classic romance song. If this doesn't help you out then I don't know what to say.

10. Semisonic -- "Secret Smile". Sure "Closing Time" was their big hit, but this is a much better song. conveys a strong "You are the only one for me right now" message that you should be going for right here.

11. Jason Mraz -- "I'm Yours". I'll quote my previous blog entry about this song, "This just seems like such a perfect song to dance romantically in the kitchen with that special someone to", therefore it's a must on this mix.

12. Jose Gonzalez -- "Crosses". Jose Gonzalez is proof that sometimes less is more, he keeps the guitar simple and it works. I love the opening line of "Don't you know that I'll be around to guide you through your weakest moments to leave them behind you? " it's very caring and supportive which should up your cred.

13. Jeff Healey Band -- "Angel Eyes". Another one of those gimme songs. Next.

14. Sufjan Stevens -- "The Dress Look Nice on You". I've mentioned my love for Sufjan on here more times than I dare search. This song wavers between poetry and prose and I love it. Should your significant other not be the dress wearing type perhaps take "To Be Alone With You" also by Mr. Stevens.

15. Rolling Stones -- "Wild Horses". Yeah another gimme song, I really love the line "You know I can't let you slide through my hands ", says a lot without saying too much.

16. Hawksley Workman -- "Safe and Sound". What would a playlist of mine be without Mr. Workman? This is among my favourite songs of his, very caring and nurturing and who doesn't love that? I love the line "We fit together like the ignition and the key", so typically Hawksley.

17. Foo Fighters -- "Everlong (Acoustic)". Another dangerous choice due to Rule B, but give it a try. I think that this song may have the most beautiful lyrics ever. But it is possibly my favourite song ever (along with "Rebellion (Lies)" by The Arcade Fire and "Jolene" by Cake) so perhaps I have a wee bit of bias.

18. Feist -- "La Sirena". What playlist of mine wouldn't have a Feist song? You all know my love for her. This song is really mellow and fits in with the falling asleep plan I said way back at the beginning.

19. Eva Cassidy -- "Time After Time". I know, Cindi Lauper's original is amazing, and Match Box 20's live cover is surprisingly good, but this is the best of the bunch. This is me combining Rules A & B, something unique but also familiar. Eva Cassidy is great for that, she has a wide range of excellent covers out there (mental note: her cover of "Ain't no Sunshine" should have been on my wallow list...)

20. Live -- "Dance With You (Acoustic)". Very romantic lyrics without going over the top. A non-single from a familiar band done to facilitate falling asleep or at least achieving a level of comfort. That's right this follows all three of my rules, booyeah!!! If there is only one song that you take from here, make it the one by TV on the Radio but if there are two, make it this one.

21. Hawksley Workman -- "Baby This Night". Yeah I know I already used Hawksley but it's my playlist so I can do what I want!!! This song is so great for any degree of swooning playlist. The chorus of "Baby this night can be ours, so just close your eyes" is a great way to end this playlist.

Wow this belongs among my most epic of blog posts. I guess I need to end it. I suppose that makes up for my lack of posting of late. I will very likely chime in with my thoughts on Valentine's Day (or Singles Awareness Day as I sometimes like to called it) as a whole tomorrow, my thoughts on the subject may just surprise you...

Until next time,

G

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy Belated Beatlebration!!!

I meant to get this one posted yesterday, but a night of bowling and dinner out with friends got in the way of my blogging.

On February 9, 1964, music in North America was changed forever. This happened...



(Sorry that it cut out there, I spent a fair amount of time looking for videos of this and many of them had been taken down due to copyright rules.)

That's right, 43 years ago yesterday, the Beatles did their first lives show this side of the pond and (North American) Beatlemania began.

As I watch this video I can't help but feel that I was born a solid 4 decades too late. Whenever I see old videos related to Beatlemania I am absolutely amazed at what I see. The sheer energy, and excitement that they brought wherever they went is simply unmatched by any of today's artists.

My father was fortunate enough to see them play live at Maple Leaf Gardens, and he still speaks highly of it all these years later. I can't help but feel robbed. Not only because I will never get the chance to tell my children about an amazing concert that I went to with the same aura that his story has. Sure I saw The Stones, AC/DC, The Guess Who and Rush at Sarsstock a few years ago, but those really don't have the same mystique as The Beatles. Mainly, because none of those bands were in their prime at the time. All four of those bands have been on a decline for a while and it was more of a nostalgia trip for older generations than anything else.

Who does our generation have to compare? U2? Eminem? Justin Timberlake?....exactly. But I suppose that's what makes them so special, they were only able to be seen and truly experienced by such a limited amount of people.

I was looking for more videos to post on here and I had a lot of trouble deciding what to post, so I recommend that you all just go here, and enjoy the miracles of 21st Century living.

But I decided on this one, a clip from their concert in Paris in 1965. They are playing "I'm a Loser" and "I Wanna Be You Man". I love their attempt at speaking French, it makes me laugh.




I love watching the guys in the crowd dance, man people were weird in the 60's.

I think that's about enough for me, I'm going to put Abbey Road on and drift off a little bit more. But whatever you are doing today, try and take a moment to pay your respect to the greatest band ever. If you disagree with that last sentence, then you are wrong, simply put. I don't even want to get into that one.

Until next time,

G

Thursday, February 08, 2007

And you ask me why I'm vegan??

Today I found two little news stories that make me quite happy that I haven't eaten an animal product in two and a half years.

The first of which was the news, that they discovered their 9th case of Mad Cow in Alberta since 2003. This has to really hurt for Canadian Cattle farmers, since this will of course get quite overplayed with the American Media and will no doubt hurt their trade. I do not wish any ills to the cattle farmers, who I believe are generally good, honest people. But you know what, I hope that Mad Cow cases like this really make people wonder about just what they are eating.

There is a new enhanced feed ban coming into place in July, which aims to eliminate cases of BSE (Mad Cow) within 10 years. Yes, 10 years. How does that make you omnis feel about eating potentially contaminated meat over the next decade?

People need to realize that when you eat an animal, you are eating everything that animal has eaten. Animal feed is often made up of some of the worst things. The Canadian Feed Policy states:

"Canadian producers may feed their ruminants only approved animal protein (products) such as pure porcine, equine, poultry and fish products. Protein that includes meat and bone meal from mammals other than pigs and horses is prohibited in ruminant feeds. Milk, blood, gelatin, rendered animal fats and their products have not been banned."

So that means for the next ten years that you are indirectly eating horse bones and blood. Sounds lovely doesn't it?

One of my favourite sites, Vegan Porn (not as bad as it sounds), has a great on-line store, and this is a logo on one of their shirts. Hilarious eh?


I'm a medium if you are wondering.

Also in the news. Britain has called for an EU-wide ban on Seal products. This is mainly due to concerns over the annual Canadian Seal Hunt. Honestly one of the worst things ever. I can't believe that our government allows, supports and sponsors this act of barbarism. I was googling some pictures to post on here and so many of them were gruesome and I didn't want to put here, but here are some good before pictures.




Disgusting isn't it?

Before I sign off, I have to ask. If clubbing a seal for fur is wrong then why is slitting a cow for leather right?

Until next time,

G

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Music to Wallow To

So way back in December I wrote a blog entry called "Music to Break Up To" which featured a number of "moving on " type songs. Now in that entry I promised a follow up soundtrack for the other side of break-ups, the wallowing in self-pity. Now to be honest, I haven't really been in much of a deep brooding mood in the past several months, so I haven't really had the desire to compile this list. But, hey a promise is a promise.

So if anyone out there is having a hard time with that special someone here are some songs that will help you ride that tough patch. But once you're done feeling bad with those ones, please check out the first list, it is far more uplifting!!!

Now I know that there are a lot of cliche songs out there to listen to by Air Supply or the Backstreet Boys, but please, just because doesn't mean that you need to listen to bad music. So here is a sample for you to listen to...

1. Violent Femmes -- "Gone Daddy Gone". Sure Gnarlz Barkley has a decent cover out of this song, but the original is still the better one here. This is textbook Femmes energy with a touch of raw emotion.

2. Foo Fighters -- "Disenchanted Lullabye". Speaking of raw emotion, I bring you this song. It is one of my favourite songs by the Foo Fighters and captures depressed rage. The chorus lines of "I may be scattered/a little shattered/what does it matter?/no one has a fit like I do/I'm the only one that fits you" sends chills down my spine.

3. System of a Down -- "Lonely Day". I know it's cliche. I wanted to put this one out here for my own personal experiences. Last spring, I was sitting at my home in Scotland having just broken up and clearly in a wallowing mood. I turn the radio on and it starts playing some good upbeat songs and then they announce that they are going to play the UK premiere of the new System of a Down. I get excited to hear some good angry metal, and I get this song. So here I was on the loneliest day of my life hearing a song about it. Let's just say that it helped the wallowing process along.

4. See Spot Run -- "Girl Like You". Do you remember these guys? They made it big back in the late 90's with their song "Weightless", but this was their lesser known follow-up single. I think that it is far better. It really has a feeling of hopelessness as it asks the glaring question "Where am I gonna find another girl like you?". Sorry to anyone who just broke up with a guy out there, I don't suppose that this song applies to you as much.

5. Modest Mouse -- "Make Everyone Happy". Awesome band, awesome song. This song has stellar lyrics full of doubt like "I'm not sure who I am, but I know who I've been", that probably capture exactly what you are thinking in this state.

6. Cake -- "Mexico". These guys will probably make every soundtrack I make for this site. That is not only a testament to my rabid fanboy love, but also to their underrated versatility. You really need to check this song out, hell go and listen to all of Prolonging the Magic, it will blow your mind.

7. New Radicals -- "Someday We'll Know". As I said in one of my very first posts, "The New Radicals are the most unjust 1 Hit Wonders of all time", and this song is a major reason as to why. You can just feel the questions and confusion ooze out in Greg Alexander's voice as he sings this amazing ballad.

8. The Arcade Fire -- "Crown of Love". Surely you knew that they would make an appearance on this chart. Well this is the perfect song to wallow to. Even if I am in my cheeriest of moods this song makes me choke up, it's that good. You owe yourself a listen because I could not possibly do it any justice.

9. Feist -- "Lonely, Lonely". I let my true feelings for Feist come out once before on this blog. She has an amazing voice and sounds so very genuine. This song is a great bring-me-down if there ever was one.

10. Bloc Party -- "This Modern Love". Another amazing song that I'm not sure I could do justice with my description. It deals with the frustration and angst that goes with so many relationships now a days. Here is an awesome video of Final Fantasy (the band not the game stupid) doing a live cover of this song, it will rock your world.




11. Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- "Maps". If the words "wait, they don't love you like I love you" sung with pleading desperation doesn't get you, then you must be the Tin Man because you haven't got a heart.

12. Magnetic Fields -- "The Saddest Story Ever Told". A great song about someone struggling to come to terms, while their counterpart moves on to a new and happy life. It really is a song whose title measures up well to its lyrics.

13. Franz Ferdinand -- "Fade Together". What's this? An upbeat rock band making an appearance on this playlist? This is one of the two songs on You Could Have it So Much Better where they take a break from their high energy power cords and mellow things down. I didn't think that it would work, but I'll be damned if it doesn't get me. A great song about growing apart from that someone special. On a side note, I saw them play this one live in Belfast back in '05 and it was simply amazing how they were able to take 20,000 drunken Irish and bring them all down with this song.

14. Matchbox 20 -- "You Won't Be Mine". I'm really not sure how I came across this song many years ago in one of my random downloading sprees, but it has been on my music list for a very long time. While it may be slightly outside my normal musical sphere, I can't recommend this one highly enough. In this song, Rob Thomas tells his ex that she will be ok and move on but always adds "but no, you won't be mine" and conveys a strong sense of regret.

15. Hawksley Workman --"No More Named Johnny". While I can't say that I have ever dated anyone named Johnny, I still find this song really sad. In typical Workman fashion, the lyrics are whimsical, poetic and to the point all at the same time. I'm still not 100% sure what relevance driving an ice cream truck has to anything, but it still somehow fits into a really great song. Trust me, that last sentence will make sense once you give this song a listen.

16. The Shins -- "Gone for Good". One of the very best songs on Chutes too Narrow. It has explores ending a relationship you've been in for too long with great detail. Probably something we can all relate to...

17. The Weakerthans -- "Left and Leaving". I simply love this band, their indie-acoustic-folksy sound has a special place with me. Plus they're Canadian and therefore awesome. My favourite line in this song is definitely "I'm trying not to wonder where you are", it really speaks to the challenge that comes with moving on.

18. Lily Allen -- "Littlest Things". Now this is were I start to kick the sadness up a notch and a half. If you read this blog yesterday, you would know how much I adore this woman and this song is a big reason why. While a lot of her other songs (including the three videos I posted) are very upbeat, this one is really quite sad. She talks about being reminded of her ex and wonders if he is going through the same thing. Don't worry Lily, if you are sad, my shoulder is right here for the crying on...

19. Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- "Modern Romance". Second time this band makes an appearance, second time the word Modern is featured in a song title. Weird eh? This song argues that romance simply doesn't exist in this day and age. Even the most hopeless of romantics (i.e. me) find it hard to argue against Karen O here. If you like this song, there is also an excellent cover of it by TV on the Radio that you may want to check out.

20. New Radicals -- "Crying Like a Church on Monday". If you thought "Someday We'll Know" is a sad one, then you haven't heard anything yet. This song takes sadness and despair to a whole new level. There is such powerful imagery in this song that it rips your heart out a little bit each time you listen to it. Proceed with caution.

21. Prozzak --"Anna-Lisa". Don't laugh, seriously this song belongs here. Yeah Prozzak is probably the cheesiest band ever made, and I try to deny the fact that I own a copy of their first album, but this song is actually really good. It goes on about having your heart broken by the one that you thought was "the one" and doesn't involve the bands usual cartoonish disco antics. Seriously, you need to check this one out.

22. Beck -- "Lost Cause". In an earlier post, I mention that this may just be the saddest song that I have ever heard. Well my opinion on that one is still very much intact. The words "I'm tired of fighting/fighting for a lost cause" really sum up breaking up to a tee. If you are in the right (or wrong) mood, this one will make you burst into tears.

Well that just about does it for this one. I've been listening to these songs while I write about them and I'm feeling kind of down now, I think that I need to listen to my moving on list once more to cheer myself up.

Anyway, I'm sure that I forgot more than a couple of good ones, so please let me know some good ones to include, I may do a bonus list of break-up tracks (From both lists) at a later time. Or maybe I'll just move on to a cheerier soundtrack later on, we shall see.

Until next time,

G

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Latest Music Crush

It started out simply enough.

A message from a friend saying "You should check this artist out".

I faithfully obliged, I would never ignore musical advice from McNutt my Musical Messiah (who I seem to mention in every post I do about music, funny that...).

I opened up my Limewire and downloaded a few songs.

I was hooked from the moment her voice came over my laptop speakers. I can't turn back now.

Last week, McNutt introduced me to the amazing sound that is Lily Allen. She made it big in Britain last year (unfortunately after I left, I missed the boat on this one!!!), and could potentially be making a splash on this side of the pond.

Of course she is an amazing musician, but is also incredibly beautiful. Don't believe me? Then let this picture do the talking...


...I thought so.

But back to her musical abilities. Her beats are poppy and skaesque, which give her a happy, danceable sound. Her voice is one of the most amazing ones that I have heard in a long time. It sort of reminds me of Feist, but far more upbeat and uptempo.

While I love her angelic voice, I am a bigger fan of her diabolical wit. She has some of the most poignant, cutting lyrics you will ever hear. On "Shame for You" she says to her ex trying to sweet talk her "Oh my gosh, you must be joking me, if you think that you'll be poking me". Tell me that doesn't make you laugh? And her song "Not Big" deals with hilarious ways that she will tell everyone that her ex is short in the manhood department.

But she's not all sass I swear!!!! In fact, I think that she may have the perfect mix of edge and insight. Something that I clearly am a big fan of. In "Sunday Morning" she explores the awkwardness that people feel when someone says "I love you". A number of her songs deal with heartbreak in a very mature and grounded way.

Anyway, I can't really rant much more if I'm not going to give some of you a chance to hear her songs. These first two videos are from her performance on Saturday Night Live last weekend.

Here is her song Smile which reached #1 in the UK last year:



And here is her awesome song "LDN":



Fitting that she is introduced by Drew Barrymore, my biggest celebrity crush now isn't it? I wonder if there was tension between the two of them backstage.

And lastly, here is the video for my favourite song of hers "Alfie". While it sounds upbeat and light, it deals with some pretty serious issues. Plus, puppets are funny...



Love her yet? Well if you don't, I have to warn you that you may want to keep it to yourself. Someday Lily and I will be getting married, and if you say bad things about her now then I will tell her someday. Things may get awkward between us then.

And now I'm going to get back to daydreaming...

Until next time,

G

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Incredibly Academic Assignment

This week in Computers Class, we were given the greatest assignment ever. We had to give ourselves a mark out of 5 for the course but give it to our professor in terms of a video, created with Movie Maker.

I absolutely LOVE playing with Movie Maker. So I decided to overdo it, and include a Star Wars Introduction, a cameo from Mr. Spock, a flushing toilet, an appearance from the Tooth Fairy, and of course me bringing Sexy Back.

In case any of you non-eddie friends out there are wondering, OCUP is the Ontario Curriculum Unit Planner. Something I have ranted about before.

Well that's probably enough of an introduction...here it is, my Self-Assesment Assignment!!!



Hope that you enjoyed it!!!!

Until next time,

G

And the Counter Attack Begins...

Well in my last post, I talked about the Conservatives attack against Stephane Dion's environmental record. Well the Liberals have responded, although far less blatantly. They have released a letter that Mr. Harper sent to supporters in 2002 when he was leader of the now defunct Canadian Alliance.

A lot of news sources have been putting out excerpts of the article. But typically quotes get taken out of context and made to look much worse than they actually are (i.e. the Conservative attack ads). So I decided to post the entire letter right here. Enjoy!!!

Dear Friend,

We’re on a roll, folks!

The Canadian Alliance is once again setting the agenda in the House of Commons. Look at what happened in less than two months since Parliament reopened:

— We bagged another Liberal cabinet minister when we drove the hapless Lawrence MacAulay to resign for violating the ethics guidelines.

— We broke Jean Chr├ętien’s chokehold on the House of Commons by getting the election of committee chairs and votes on all private members’ bills.

— We finally (!) got the Liberals to agree to set up a national registry for sex offenders.

But we can’t just relax and declare victory. We’re gearing up for the biggest struggle our party has faced since you entrusted me with the leadership. I’m talking about the “battle of Kyoto” — our campaign to block the job-killing, economy-destroying Kyoto Accord.

It would take more than one letter to explain what’s wrong with Kyoto, but here are a few facts about this so-called “Accord”:

— It’s based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence about climate trends.

— It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants.

— Canada is the only country in the world required to make significant cuts in emissions. Third World countries are exempt, the Europeans get credit for shutting down inefficient Soviet-era industries, and no country in the Western hemisphere except Canada is signing.

— Implementing Kyoto will cripple the oil and gas industry, which is essential to the economies of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

— As the effects trickle through other industries, workers and consumers everywhere in Canada will lose. THERE ARE NO CANADIAN WINNERS UNDER THE KYOTO ACCORD.

— The only winners will be countries such as Russia, India, and China, from which Canada will have to buy “emissions credits.” Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.

— On top of all this, Kyoto will not even reduce greenhouse gases. By encouraging transfer of industrial production to Third World countries where emissions standards are more relaxed, it will almost certainly increase emissions on a global scale.

For a long time, the Canadian Alliance stood virtually alone in opposing the Kyoto Accord, as Bob Mills, our senior environment critic, waged a valiant battle against it. Now, however, allies are stepping forward — eight of 10 provincial governments, and a broad coalition of businesses across Canada — to help us fight the ``battle of Kyoto.”

Jean Chr├ętien says he will introduce a resolution to ratify Kyoto into Parliament and get it passed before Christmas. We will do everything we can to stop him there, but he might get it passed with the help of the socialists in the NDP and the separatists in the BQ.

But the “battle of Kyoto” is just beginning. Ratification is merely symbolic; Kyoto will not take effect unless and until it is implemented by legislation. We will go to the wall to stop that legislation and at that point we will be on much stronger procedural ground than in trying to block a mere resolution.

The Reform Party defeated the Charlottetown Accord in an epic struggle in the fall of 1992. Now the Canadian Alliance is leading the battle against the Kyoto Accord!

But we can’t do it alone. It will take an army of Canadians to beat Kyoto, just as it did to beat Charlottetown.

We can’t stop Kyoto just in Parliament. We need your help at all levels. We need you to inform yourself about Kyoto, to discuss it with your friends and neighbours, and to write protest letters to newspapers and the government.

And, yes, we need your gifts of money. The “battle of Kyoto” is going to lead directly into the next election. We need your contribution of $500, or $250, or $100, or whatever you can afford, to help us drive the Liberals from power.

Yours truly,

Stephen Harper, MP

Leader of the Opposition

PS: The “battle of Kyoto” shows why the Canadian Alliance is so important to you and to Canada. All the other federal parties are supporting Kyoto (Liberals, NDP, BQ) or speaking out of both sides of their mouth (Tories). Only the Canadian Alliance is strong and fearless enough to block dangerous and destructive schemes like the Charlottetown Accord and the Kyoto Accord.


My favourite part is the quote "
It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants", clearly we are led by a man of science and reason...

Alrightie I figure this is enough right there, you all know my opinion on Harper and on Global Warming. No point in repeating myself here. Just wanted to let you all see something really important.

Until next time,

G