Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pork: it's not just for dinner

We had just sat down for dinner this evening when I heard a thud at the front door. When I looked over, it opened and a black pig walked in. I hate it when that happens.

"Hey," I said, "there's a pig coming into our house." While everyone just sat there looking at me, waiting for the punchline, I got up and tried to politely convince it to go back out the door. It wasn't taking the hint though... boorish swine. Instead it just grunted and walked around me, stepping on my foot as it headed over to the TV. Ouch. Not to be rude, but this wasn't exactly what you'd call a thin pig.

the wife's long dormant farming instincts finally kicked in and she jumped up, grabbed the pig, and unceremoniously ushered it out the door, squealing in protest (the pig, I mean). Seeing the neighbours' daughter by the street, she headed down the walk, the pig trotting along behind her. Apparently the pig — the daughter's pet — wasn't used to the neighbourhood yet and had just walked into the wrong house.

Pretty strange to see a pig wandering around Calgary, invading people's homes. I'd expect cows.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The War on Drugs

Someone's come up with a new way to classify how bad drugs are based on how much physical damage they cause, how dependent you can become on them, and how much harm they cause society (through accidents while under the influence, health care costs, etc.). They had a couple of groups of people (including psychiatrists and police officers) assess various drugs according to these criteria, and they came up with similar results:

If red wine and beer are good for you, then cannabis, LSD, and Ecstasy are practically vitamins. I suppose the pot-heads have been saying that for years, but I really wonder if whoever arbitrarily decided alcohol is OK but marijuana is bad wasn't drunk at the time.

It's also really confusing that some doctors who recommend LSD go to jail but the ones who prescribe methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall) for Calvin are still freely practicing medicine.

What really worries me, though, is what would happen if drugs were legalized. The end of Prohibition resulted in the loss of a major source of income for criminal organizations. If the same thing happened with drugs there would suddenly be a whole lot of cops with a whole lot of money and free time, just looking to make up their quotas with parking and jaywalking tickets. And we certainly don't want that.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Building a Computer Lab / Evil Lair

Donnie Darko wanted his own bedroom, mostly to have a place to keep his own stuff. So I was evicted from my nice upstairs office. There was one corner of the basement where I'd been storing my computer equipment, and I decided it was time to turn it into a proper lab.

My main workstation would stay in a corner of the den upstairs so I could still pretend to be a part of the family.

(original posts)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New, creative solutions to global warming

It seems some people have been threatening to kill scientists who dare to claim that global warming may not be the result of human activity. As a bonus, this would cut down on CO2 emissions.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Do I look like a sandwich artist?

Maybe I'm too used to fast food places being convenient, but I find Subway annoying. When I walk up to the counter and tell the "sandwich artist" I want a foot-long Teriyaki Chicken sub on whole-wheat, they take out a bun, cut it open, and say, "what would you like on that?"

Didn't I just say I want a Teriyaki Chicken sub? I want Teriyaki Chicken stuff on it, wise guy. All you've given me so far is a bun. There's nothing particularly Teriyaki-Chickenish about that, is there? Unless this is one of those Zen things and the bun already has Teriyaki Chicken nature.

What if I said I don't want anything on it, I just want a regular Teriyaki Chicken sub? Would you sell me just the bun? Six bucks for a chunk of bread? "What are you eating, Jan, a chunk of bread?" "No, it's a Subway Teriyaki Chicken sub; I just didn't get any of the extras."

I can see being asked if I want salt or pepper, but if I tell you anything more am I not then doing your job? Don't you know how to make a Teriyaki Chicken sub?

What if I ask for Texas hot sauce? Now it's not a Teriyaki Chicken sub anymore, is it? Now it's like a Teriyaki Buffalo Wing sub. So why did you bother asking? In fact, why spend all that money keeping your menu up to date when you only really sell one thing: a bun. "What would you like on it?"

You know what... motor oil. Put motor oil on it. Isn't that how they make Teriyaki Chicken subs? No? Well I didn't know that, did I? If I knew how to make one wouldn't I have my own Subway franchise? Wouldn't I be standing on that side of the counter, harassing hungry people?

You don't see McDonald's asking what you want on your Big Mac. "Yeah, I'll have a hamburger pattie, some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, industrial waste, pond scum..." or whatever it is that gives Big Macs that special flavour.

I'm thinking next time I go to Subway I'll order the cheapest sub they have advertised — the Veggie sub — and when they ask me what I would like on it I'll say, "I'll have a piece of chicken cooked in Teriyaki sauce, please."

Hey, you asked.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Global Warming

There are more and more electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads, lately. When we had to get a new van last summer we considered getting one ourselves. Still too expensive, though.

Everyone's been talking about Global Warming. Global Warming of Earth, that is. But guess what? Some of the many probes and automated robotic vehicles scientists have sent to Mars have been sending back temperature data, and after looking at global temperature records for the past few years scientist found that Mars is warming too.

What's the connection between Mars and Earth? Must be all those electric vehicles. Talk about irony.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mexican vacation pt. 2 (Jan. 19 - 26 '07)

We had an extremely enjoyable and relaxing time our first week in Mexico.

Our second week in Mexico was at the Gran Flamenco Xcaret. We had a busier time there but it was an absolute blast.

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