Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bits n Pieces

Haven't actually felt like writing lately so here's some filler to hold you for a bit

(1) The Toronto Sun's been running this series on Sunday about Jane n Finch. Not a big fan of the Sun but the series has been decent so far.

(2) I didn't really get the point of Earth Hour to be honest. And what I didn't get even more was Toronto holding a concert downtown during Earth Hour. Ok so maybe they can operate all the equipment on portable generators but what was the point of the television stations carrying the concert live. Oh we're carrying this concert for you to watch on TV even though you're supposed to turn off all your lights and just read books by candlelight or go on moonlight walks. Duhh!

(3) Speaking of books David Chariandy's Soucouyant is an excellent read. Many books fizzle near the end as the writers seem to struggle to figure out how to end properly, sort of like a Saturday night live skit, but Chariandy does a good job of keeping the interest right until the end. To be honest I thought he had fallen into that pitfall somewhere around page 140 of the 200 page novel when something major happened but he really kept the story lively and didn't just drag the book out like some writers do.

(4) Since I mentioned Saturday Night Live, Mad TV had a really funny skit about a woman who stands by her cheating politician husband a la Spitzer's wife. It was hilarious. Hopefully someone will post it on Youtube soon.

(5) On that topic of Spitzer whats with this new dude Patterson who replaced him? For a legally blind dude he sure has a lot of skeletons in the closet. First he admitted to having an affair awhile back when his marriage was on the rocks now he's admitted to doing marijuana and coke back in the day. I've heard of being honest but damn son leave something for the press to find out nuh man. Whats he going to admit to next? Does he know who killed Kennedy? Is he down with Bin Laden? Boy try and keep ya mout shut and stop telling people all ya personal business so. All I know is the man is shutting down potential scandals by revealing all from the get go.

(6) And speaking of scandals, man was this month the month for political scandal and trouble. My man Obama went from smooth sailing to battling to let people know that he wasn't some sort of black extremist due to this whole thing with his pastor's preaching. I'll be honest I didn't really think what was said in the sermons was that bad. Dude said what a lot of black folks think and its not like he said these things out of context as the sound bites would have you believe. Check more of his sermons where the more controversial comments came from and see how they fell within the boundaries of his speech. Its not Rev. Wright just out of the blue started to glower and cuss and damn the U.S without reason. Dude was making valid scripture points. Anyway I found this article here which speaks about the double standard applied to Wright, a black preacher, compared to some of the white preachers out there. Its been silly how some of the commentators have behaved about this thing.

(7) And finally this has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of. Dude in Missouri is installing his satellite tv, needs to make a hole in the side of the house for some sort of connection, tries and tries but cant get the hole made so what does he do. No he doesn't go to his neighbour and ask to borrow a drill. Nope dude takes out his .22 and tries to shoot a hole in the wall. Real smart right? But wait it gets worse. He doesn't realize that his wife who was helping him with the installation has gone back inside the house and the bullet accidentally strikes and kills her.

From my perspective he's either the dumbest man who ever lived or the smartest cause if he had planned on knocking off his wife no one is going to believe this is anything but an accident. As it stands though I think the man was just an eediat. If he doesn't get a Darwin Award this year I don't know who gets one.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cease n Settle

I havent finished this but its quite interesting in my opinion. I can see pros and cons but still it is well, not rather unique but more a viewpoint that goes against that which most women espouse, at least in public. Click the text for the full article.

When we’re holding out for deep romantic love, we have the fantasy that this level of passionate intensity will make us happier. But marrying Mr. Good Enough might be an equally viable option, especially if you’re looking for a stable, reliable life companion. Madame Bovary might not see it that way, but if she’d remained single, I’ll bet she would have been even more depressed than she was while living with her tedious but caring husband.

What I didn’t realize when I decided, in my 30s, to break up with boyfriends I might otherwise have ended up marrying, is that while settling seems like an enormous act of resignation when you’re looking at it from the vantage point of a single person, once you take the plunge and do it, you’ll probably be relatively content. It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


In case you were wondering the Ryerson student who faced expulsion over running the Facebook study group (I wrote about it here) wasn't expelled.

The disciplinary panel who ruled on his case said they had no proof that his facebook study group was used for cheating. His original mark in the course was reinstated although he is to get zero on the particular assignment associated with the study group, he has to attend a workshop on academic integrity and he is getting a disciplinary notation on his record which he can appeal. You can read the full article here.

My thoughts are the University isn't man enough to say we were being asses about this but they cant full well expel him so they are trying to save face by adding the disciplinary notation and giving him zero on the assignment. He'll take it and rightly so cause he doesn't want to be expelled but the University is still in the wrong here. Big bullies!

All in all just bad press for Ryerson in an age where the grab for students by Universities is an all out war. They ended up with egg on their face, in my opinion looking silly to potential students and parents of potential students (who sometimes have a say in where their kids go. Don't believe the hype Obay is real son!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

3 am


Thought this was kind of funny. Its the cover for the March 17th issue of the New Yorker. I guess its supposed to be a fun take on the 3 am ads that Hillary was running sometime back insinuating that when the ish hits the fan Barack wouldn't know what to do. However I think you could also read other things into this cover. I wish it was one of those New Yorker back page insert your own caption cartoons actually cause I would love to see some of the responses.

I've got a few ideas but I'll keep them to myself for now. All I will say is Politics does make strange bedfellows. Maybe you guys can come up with some and put them in the comments.


Two brothers got on the bus this morning. High school age. Wasnt paying much attention but this bit of conversation caught my attention and disturbed me.

First brother: 'I asked for money to buy a new bag and the b**** wanted to see the old one first'
Second Brother: 'yea and then she goes and spends the money on herself'

OK is it just me or do you also think the first brother could have been referring to his mother/female guardian/custodian as a b**** ?



Lebron is just too cold.

After the Cavs' loss, Stevenson said a number of things about James, including his belief that James is overrated. It was part of the trash talking the two players were involved in during the game. James said: "With DeShawn Stevenson, it's kind of funny. It's almost like Jay-Z [responding to a negative comment] made by Soulja Boy. It doesn't make sense." For those readers not cultured in hip-hop, Jay-Z is a hip-hop mogul while Soulja Boy is just a rapper.

What that should read is Jay Z has skills Soulja Boy is just garbage.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Reverend Lord Jdid the Funereal of Throcking by Hampton
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

woe is me, shame and scandal in the family
woe is me, shame and scandal in the family

Shame n Scandal - Lord Melody

From the time this Elliot Spitzer scandal broke I knew that I wanted to blog about it. The only problem was every journalist and quite a few bloggers had their say before I could get to a computer and I kept seeing my ideas in print. Beaten to the punch again. Drats!

So what to do? Should I just regurgitate what has already been written hundreds of times? I don't really like that idea but I still feel I should say something about the case so here goes. Maybe somewhere along the line I'll have an original idea.

When I heard about this case many things ran through my thoughts. I thought about how deliciously ironic and somehow sad from some aspect it was that a crusader like Spitzer who was standing up to corruption should be laid low by something like this sex scandal. It's the old adage about glass houses and stones I guess. Still I feel a certain sadness for the guy.

I also wondered what a $4,300 an hour call girl looked like? Miss Universe, Halle Berry perhaps? Nope just a regular run of the mill chick from the looks of it. No better or worse than someone you'd meet at the club I suppose. Of course after being shocked at the price (he pay hummuch for what? Dat duz come in a gold plated edition these days?)I also came to the conclusion that Spitzer was paying a premium not really for services but for discretion. Sure he could find someone cheaper but then they might go and chat out all his business and people would know his long and shortcomings so to speak. Cant have that can we.

But $80,000 on sex? Van damn! Was dude trying to price call girls out of the affordability range of the average john or to completely steal a phrase from someone on the cricket message board was he trying to touch off global pum pum inflation?

I liken it to the Kobe Bryant situation where Kobe gave his wife Vanessa a 4 Million dollar ring as part of his apology for cheating. Like that situation this exorbitant fee just somehow raises the ante for the regular joe. Hey not that I'm condoning any call girl liaisons by the way so dont get the wrong idea. Just stating facts.

I also thought that as a Governor and one who was a crusader against wrong doers Spitzer should have been more careful about the money trail which is what got him caught and actually brought to light the existence of the whole Emperor's Club call girl ring. Maybe he thought he was Steven Seagal ..... Above the Law.

PhotobucketAnd then there was the one original idea I had. Whats the deal with Spitzer's wife? I guess I wasn't the only one who found it strange that as he delivered his mea culpa she was standing next to him in support since the next day it was all the talk in the newspapers.

Not that I'm from the school that says she needed to be throwing the frying pan at him or publicly cussing him and throwing his clothing to the curb. I always believe that when it comes to marriage and that sort of relationship stuff there is always stuff that outsiders don't know so speculation is always just that speculation. She might not even leave him in the long run who knows.

No I'm not saying she should be running to the divorce lawyers all now although she is well within her right. I'm just saying that the show of public support just flies in the face of what someone who has been cheated on or who just found out something terrible about their spouse would do. I can see anger, silence, sadness, going into hiding all as the normal responses but sucking it up and standing next to this guy when in all likelihood so soon after the discovery you want to slap him across his head just seems really dyfunctional somewhat.

Or maybe she's the political equivalent of the ride or die chick. Cue the Biggie track!

But she's not the first political wife to do it and possibly not the last which leads me to wonder whether these marriages have some pre-nup clause that says I will publicly support my husband as he's going down in flames or I will get nothing in the divorce settlement. Who knows?

Anyway the one thought that really did hit home to me pretty hard about this Spitzer situation (and I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else yet so its still original) though was the thought of spending all that money, 80,000 dollars on call girls. From my perspective it just brought into light the whole have vs have not situation cause to the average 9 to 5 person like me 80G's is a good piece of money but to Spitzer clearly this was chump change. 80Gs is more than most of us make in a year hell two years for some folk and this guy could blow that all on 20 or so hours of good times with call girls. Just like that! No sweat! 80G's most of us are thinking car note, mortgage, tuition loans, daycare bills, rent etc but to him it was probably the equivalent of buying a couple pairs of designer jeans or a few DVDs.

Says something about the economic divide of society doesnt it?

I'll leave you to ponder that while Kanye's spaceship echoes in my head "I've been workin' this grave shift and I ain't made s***, I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly, past the sky".

Monday, March 10, 2008

Face(book) off

The scenario is as follows:(article link here)

- Last semester Student at Ryerson University starts a Facebook study group for his first year Chemistry course.
- Students sign on and exchange ideas and ask questions about homework assignments.
- Professor gets wind of Facebook group, gives student who organized group an F and charges him with academic misconduct. The argument is that the homework assignments are supposed to be done individually with no assistance from fellow students and that the Facebook group is facilitating cheating.
-Student goes before committee today facing 146 counts of academic misconduct (one for each member of his Facebook group) to determine whether he will be expelled. As I write I haven't heard the outcome.

What do you think?

My thoughts, given the available info, are that this study group is the same as a bunch of students hanging out at the library exchanging thoughts and knowledge and doing homework (except they are doing it online). Only difference is that the Professor can go online and see how they talk to each other and exchange ideas and hence charge them with cheating cause he has a paper trail.

PhotobucketIf this is against school rules then if you've ever been doing a homework assignment gotten stuck and called your buddy at 11 o'clock to ask if he understands question 3 and ask how did he do it or what the final answer is supposed to be then you too are guilty of cheating. Way I see it that means that a lot of folks are guilty of cheating at University on homework assignments if there is to be no interaction amongst students when doing homework that they individually hand in.

Actually to go even further I think that idea goes against one of the fundamentals of what a University is really supposed to be ... a place to share knowledge. As the accused student says in the newspaper article "But if this kind of help is cheating, then so is tutoring and all the mentoring programs the university runs and the discussions we do in tutorials,"

Talking about and sharing when doing homework helps all parties involved in my opinion. Just going over the ideas and explaining them orally or in this case writing them out can open your eyes to concepts you might have missed making you a better student and more knowledgeable on the subject. Plus God knows some of these Professors cant teach worth a damn anyways.

Way I see it too, if you really don't want students talking and discussing the subject in an online forum, or by extension to my mind any sort of forum at all, the only way to deal with it is to not give homework for marks and just make the entire course's mark be based on exams, tests and quizzes done under supervision within class time.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

One man's insult

Surfing the news I came upon this story here in Toronto.

Apparently in a city council session here in Toronto yesterday one councilor made some comments that were taken to be insulting to Asians and he is being asked to apologize. Councilor Rob Ford made these comments yesterday while attempting to speak on how the Asian community was expanding and doing well in the City:

"Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They are workers non-stop. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life. I went to Seoul, South Korea, I went to Taipei, Taiwan. I went to Tokyo, Japan. That's why these people are so hard workers (sic). I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over."

OK now obviously he didn't mean to say that or rather he probably didn't mean to put it exactly that way but still insult? What insult? Damn I'd be happy if someone took the same quote and replaced Oriental with black and Taiwan, South Korea and Japan with a Jamaica and Barbados or a Trinidad or a Nigeria. Hell I'd be positively overjoyed even.

Damn he called us black folk hardworking. Sweet! I'd be like Ford for Mayor! You got my vote!


OK onto something else.

Toronto City Council has decided to sell a prime piece of land on Bloor Street to McDonalds for 3.3 Million dollars. Now I've followed this story with interest, and not just because it was the closest McDonalds to my residence when I was in University and I ate there a lot but also because Bloor Street property in that area is gold now and I wondered how much the city would get for it.

Now the McDonalds was working with a long term lease which was ridiculously cheap having been brokered years ago. So when the lease came up for renewal last year the city said buy the land at what its worth or give us market rate rent for this property which was about 200Gs a year instead of the $15,000 they are currently paying. Sounds fair to me.

Now the land is worth at least 5 Mil but McDonalds countered with the 3.3 Mil offer and the Toronto City Council accepted.

Now here's where the fleecing gets even worse. McDonalds has a deal in place with a developer to flip the land for 9 Mil after they buy it from the City.

What da!!

So let me get this straight. Our cash strapped city, always crying how poor it is, soon to implement users fees on garbage, always trying to close down some program or recreational facility, always raising bus fares and begging the Province for handouts and is selling this prime real estate under market value to McDonalds for 3.3 Million after which McDonalds will then turn around and flip it for a 5.7 Million dollar profit.

Are you serious? Can we afford to be doing favor for McDonalds?

Am I the only one who has a problem with that. If McDonalds can get 9 mil for the land eliminate the McDonalds middleman and go straight to the source and make more cash. I mean you are the one holding the marketable commodity in your hand use it wisely. Deal from a position of strength. Even if there is some payout to be made to McDonalds or you end up being sued I think you're still making more than the 3.3 million.

Do I really need to go down to City Council and quote them some Krs-one "
the rich get richer, cause they work towards rich
the poor get poorer, cause their minds can't switch from the ghetto
let go, it's not a novelty........
educate yourselves, make your world view bigger
visualize wealth and put yourselves in the picture!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

98 lb weakling

We had a conversation last night. The wife was complaining about the gym and how people duz stare at ya an don't speak and I had to let her know that the gym is like the airport, a simile which brought the usual look of bewilderment to her face like "wuhloss now. wha stupidness this man talkin atall? He like he gine off agin". But I explain it "Dem people at the gym and at de airport duz have dem different rules to the rest of the world."

Not that I saying that a fella duz have to walk through metal detectors at the gym cause if you gym like that chances are you going to the wrong gym. No, I was merely making a comparision of places which operate outside of real world rules and ya just got to abide with what ya duz experience and not mek fuss.

Like for instance at the airport everything duz be twice as expensive to eat as anywhere else.

As soon as ya hit the airport doors is like you in a different country, where devalued currency coupled with a severe food shortage conspire to make a lil' coffee that might cost around $1.50 anywhere else not named starbucks, cost $8.50 and a sandwich wid pieca dry up roast beef or tuna an some 3 day old wilted lettuce that you wouldn't even consider taking for free let alone buying under different circumstances is about 20 dollars. Ok, well I exaggerating a lil but is juss a lil. Dem prices duz be real expensive ya hear!

God help ya if hunger ever hold ya at the airport and you aint got a snack with ya, which they catching more of we wid now since they got them oppressive rules that you cant even bring two brown mints and a pack a corn curls pass security nuhmore. Like they feel you name Mcgyver and you would tek the mint wrapper mix it with the corn curl crumbs, suck the mint and spit out fire to react with the wrapper and crumbs and produce nerve gas or something so. I neva see so much stupidness and people frighten so in my life yet. Got ya can't even carry lil water or even lil milk fa de baby past the metal detector. chupse!

So you duz be stuck there wid ya mout dry, dry, dry if ya plane get delay and all you seeing to eat is these hard up looking sandwiches and pastries that seen better days staring at you and costing summuch money that you gotta think seriously about tekkin out a mortgage to buy a meal combo. Well lets see I can afford to send the chile to College or well I cud have some juice and a lil roast beef sandwich. Decisions, decisions!

PhotobucketSo that is the airport. The gym on the other hand got different rules too but is people rules not food rules like the airport. At the gym everybody duz stare at everybody else and then they dont acknowledge ya. And if ya stare back they duz pretend they aint staring. Or they dont stare at you directly no more but they stare at you via the mirrors.

Like they watching your every move to laff if you doing a exercise wrong or you aint lifting as much as they are or they see you doing some variation on an exercise and trying to figure out if you know what you doing or not.

All dem duz do is stare, glare and peer. Especially the jock types that always in pairs and trios fooling around and thinking they so cool and the Lou Ferrigno looking fellas that huffing and puffing, clanking bout big weights wid nuff noise to gain attention and looking like they should be named in the Mitchell Report.

PhotobucketThe women too! Dem duz stare at ya cause they feel you should be staring at them cause nuff a dem wearing some tight up thing, trying to tantalize man by showing off navel and have assets print out so like technical drawing ya can see hidden detail and perkiness peeking at ya. Trying to catch man attention that is all them trying to do you kno. Cause if ya look carefully at the interactions is only dem sorta women so that duz get in any conversation at the gym cause they looking and certain man wid a big twinkle in him eye and a smile showing off nuff teeth duz be at the ready to sweet talk them.

Not me bosie! sweet talk who? No I, I minding my business. I doan know the meaning of sweet talk. The wife say when sweet talk was sharing I come late and all was leff was mauby bitters.

So see me, I duz sit down, wid me headphones, an do me lil weight ting and doan feel no way bout a fella. I duz juss observe the rules in effect. Dem nuh worry me, me no bother dem.

Even like today when a young girl bout half my size come in, sit down next to me and proceed to out lift me on the same shoulder press I was doing by at least 20 lbs. Chupse!

Feel I care though, feel I going strike up conversation cause look how she mekkin me look weak and small and shame muh in front a all dese big man lifting 70 nuff pounds barbells like is a roll a toilet paper? And I there scrunting and grunting with two lil foo foo weights in my hand. Chupse!

Feel I went and get heavier weights to lift cause a she? Feel I in competition wid her or what?

Naa man I juss do my thing and pretend I not seeing her. Me an my lil light weight is good enough fa me. I aint going try an outlift her and get no goadies nor ketch no hernia ya hear! I happy wid my 98lb weakling self.