July 2004

Cup of Soup

Sun, Jul 4, 2004

Cut Short

One game - one goal, even - shy of being crowned Champions of Europe. Portugal's greatest ever performance in a major international football tournament was halted in the Final by a Greek team that nobody expected to win a single match, and yet their disciplined defensive system stunned team after team, including the holders, the favourites, and then finally the hosts. Call them the New Jersey Devils of European football; very effective, but not great soccer viewing.

Figo and crew exit Euro 2004 having enthralled their nation with incredible football and Portugal's first ever Final appearance. Not bad for a country with a population about the size of Metropolitan London.

Thu, Jul 8, 2004


I just fell in love with Firefox. Developer toolbar! Gestures! No more Microsoft!

Sat, Jul 10, 2004

Celebrate Toronto

Last night I went to the opening ceremony of the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival. Aside from a pair of North Yorkers who ceaselessly complained about nothing in particular, it was a great evening filled with a variety of music, dance, and performance to celebrate our city. We stood among an Afro-Brazilian percussion group whose drumb beats rattled our rib cages, and witnessed a hemp-dressed group of west coast hippies make masterful music with garbage cans. Most will agree, I think, that the best way to celebrate was to blow stuff up.

One performance group, Circus Orange, put on a show involving fireworks, flame throwers, and a giant Toronto sign that exploded in a pyrotechnic orgasm of colour and light. We stood many metres away, but could still feel the heat as they danced among streams of flame up to 15 feet up into the air. Pyro pyro!!

After the evening was complete, I ransomed my friend's girlfriend back to him for a cookie. I do a lot for my cookies.

Mon, Jul 12, 2004

Broken Funny Bone

It has come to my attention that many people are much more funny than I am. During my slow times at work, I have... err... did I say work? I meant "during my frequent nights of insomnia caused by my uncontrollable yearning to return to work in the morning"... I have perused the classic articles of Zug, and most recently discovered Mil, courtesy of one of the many funny folks at CWD. The amount of funny contained therein is practically endless.

It leads me to look at the blander entries of this site and yell in Homer-Simpson-like fashion, "Stupid website! Be more funny!!"

As an aside, my respect for Mil grows daily for many reasons, including - but not exclusive to - the fact the he, like me, is "someone who still hopes that one day he'll have the opportunity to roll about covered in Corr sisters".

Wed, Jul 14, 2004


I'm going to take a page from the Book of Lloyd, and express my anger through the simulated execution of a specific demographic of people. The people that are the source of my ire this morning are Drivers That Don't Allow People To Make Right Turns Behind Them While Stopped In The Right Lane At A Red Light.

It's a very long title for a group of people that lack any sort of vehicular courtesy and waste much more of a driver's time waiting than they would by reading said title.

My drive to the train station this morning en route to work did not begin pleasantly. Due to a power failure during the night, which reset my alarm clocks, I was a bit late and knew I would not be able to catch my usual train. So, I took my time getting ready and left home with more than ample time to catch the following one.

Then I got caught at about two-thirds of the traffic lights along the way. Then traffic was stalled for about ten minutes because of an accident blocking all but half of a lane of traffic. Then I got stuck behind a large truck on a narrow street travelling at half the speed limit.

There is not much that could be done about any of these, so I stayed calm, kept my cool. No problem. I'll still make it on time.

What happened next was unexpected. I'm on a narrow, light-traffic street, approaching a large four-lane street, onto which I need to make a right turn for the one-minute stretch to the train station. The light turns red. Obviously, it's a very long light, and any further delay will have serious consequences.

The car in front turns right. The big truck turns right, taking advantage of light traffic. "Ah, good," I think, prematurely. "Even if this van doesn't turn right, I can sneak behind him and be on my way."

He doesn't turn right. That was not the problem, however. The problem is that he stopped a metre or so behind the stop line, hugging the right side of the lane. Any decent human being would hug the left side of the lane and inch forward to courteously allow drivers behind to continue to make right turns, thereby continuing the flow of traffic, making people feel better about the state of the world, and spreading peace to fellow man. This vehicle, however, this Mr. I-Like-To-Be-A-Pain White Minivan was deliberately blocking me in.

I sat stunned, wondering what sort of motivation he would have for such a thing. Does it lengthen your travel time? No. Does it put your vehicle in danger? No. Does it prevent you from oggling the tank-top-clad brunette in the sports car in the left-turn lane? No.

My blinker is on; he can see it clearly in his rear-view mirror. I inch closer. He does nothing. I wave my arms about. He does nothing. I do everything short of honking my horn like a maniac or lifting his car in Incredible Hulk fashion to get him to move the two or three feet required to let me pass so that I may catch my train on time.

Mr. I-Like-To-Cause-Ire White Minivan continues to do nothing. Cars begin to pile up behind me, many with blinkers on as well, wondering why the handsome fellow in the Spumosine is not turning. "Well", I respond to them in exaggerated gestures in my rear-view mirror, "it's because Mr. I-Drive-A-Pedophile-Van White Minivan here is deliberately being irksome." I am particularly proud of my creative gesture for "I-Drive-A-Pedophile-Van". It's not PG.

So, we continue to sit, and wait, and stew in our growing ire. I ponder the consequences of his actions. We all sit here, getting angrier. The anger will churn in us for a great deal of time, until we vent it to those around us. Then, of course, they will be angry, too, and cause further anger in turn. All of society will become angry. Families will crumble. Governments will fall. Donald Brashear will make millions of dollars. "Are you happy now, Mr. I-Am-Intent-On-Violent-Revolution White Minivan? You've caused the collapse of humanity."

The light finally turns green, Mr. I-Sit-In-My-Own-Fecal-Matter-While-Making-People-Wait-Behind-Me White Minivan drives on - seemingly unaware of the army of Uruk-hai I have conjured in my imagination chasing behind him with blood on their minds - and I haste down the block to the station.

The train arrives. The train leaves. I am still in the parking lot. It is another half-hour until the next one.

The most preventable cause to this tragedy is, of course, Mr. I-Have-No-Human-Decency White Minivan. He and his lack of traffic etiquette. I have written before about my quest to avoid all that is hate. This, friends, is not hate, no, not at all. This is righteous anger. This is justice. This is ridding the world of a known menace; one who will spread his ill will to the four corners of the Earth and destroy our Utopian dreams. No, ladies and gentleman, I do not do this out of hate. I do this out of love for the common man who only wishes to catch his train on time. I do this for the loving parents who tend to screaming children in back seats and need not suffer more delays and more minutes of cleaning ice cream off of upholstery seats. I do this, in short, for the children.

Lloyd's Friday Firing Squad has yet to fire a single round at its targets, and the Mr. I-Am-The-Cause-Of-All-Road-Rage White Minivan will escape this fate as well. Not out of sympathy, no. Not in the least. The Firing Squad would be too quick and merciful. No, the fate of Mr. I-Listen-To-Barbara-Streisand White Minivan will involve the words "tire iron", the phrase "Bob, The Anal Fissure", and a large burly man named "Knuckles".

Tue, Jul 27, 2004

Train Track Follies

The conductor on yesterday's morning train into Union Station made a slightly unusual announcement as we pulled in.

"Welcome to Toronto Union Station ladies and gentleman, this train will be pulling into platform 5, doors will open on the north side only. Please remember to take all your belongings with you as you leave the train, and have yourselves a nice day.
Slight change of plans, ladies and gentleman, this train will instead be stopping at Montreal."

Wed, Jul 28, 2004

Live In Concert

Speaking of rolling about covered in Corr sisters, The Corrs are playing a concert here in Toronto at the end of August, and I just picked up my ticket. Eleventh row stands, so not quite close enough for rolling about, but at the price for the ticket, I would hope it's included. In any case, it should be a good show, and I'll try to keep the drooling to a minimum.

A note to anyone who is afraid to step outside their home because it's too dangerous or crime is so terrible these days, or sit worried that our schools and neighbourhoods are not what they used to be: go and check the numbers.

While you're fretting about the state of the world, and shutting yourself in, the real world has seen an 8% drop in drug crime, and a 7% drop in homicides, its lowest level since 1967. That means that when my parents first moved to this country, they had a greater chance of being gunned down in the street than they do today. Further to that, overall crime rates here in Ontario remained stable. Nationally, they went up, mainly due to an increase in counterfeit money. But, that's not the kind of crime that's keeping you awake at night, is it?

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