Random Thought Post time

I had some thoughts floating around in my head so thought I’d put them down. I don’t know if this is long enough to lock the VO keys for, but hey, it might surprise me. I’m dangerous when I get going.

God, all this bullshit with Stephen Harper suspending parliament just so he can avoid all the talk of Afghan detainee torture pisses me off. What kind of democracy do we have when the leader can just say “Ah screw it, we’re not going to talk about something because I don’t like it.”? But what pisses me off even more is the presence of a Governor General if s/he’s just going to be the Prime Minister’s personal yes man.

Ok, I always was taught in school that getting the approval of the Governor General was the final step in the process of getting something done. But it seems that approval is guaranteed. Stephen Harper has suspended parliament twice now, and twice the Governor General has said sure, even though it was a perfect opportunity for her to put her foot down. Has there ever been a time when the governor general has said no to a Prime Minister’s request? I don’t remember one.

So my question is why the hell do we have a Governor General? I know it’s a holdover from the time when we were an English colony, bla bla bla, but it seems it has outlived its usefulness. Now, all the Governor General is is an expensive figurehead.

Did I mention how much I am not a fan of Stephen Harper? I wish we had a reasonable replacement so we could vote him the fuck out.

I was watching TV and a commercial for the lottery that the Heart and Stroke Foundation does came on. But they call it “the Heart and Stroke Lottery.” Now, what does that make you think? For me, my immediate reaction is “eek! They’re giving away hearts and strokes! Who would want to sign up for that lottery?” even though I know full well what they mean. Then they proceed to say odds are 1 in 3. It’s your life, only better! So, I have a 33% probability of getting a heart or stroke in this lottery? And my life is better? Again, I know what they’re going for, but my brain takes an alternate path.

I had thought this for the longest time when they said “Heart and Stroke Lottery”, but I’d never said it to anyone because I felt totally crazy. Then Steve said it, and I knew I was not alone. So now my question is are we alone?

Here’s my chance to potentially be an uninformed asshole. But if someone could enlighten me, I’m listening. A girl on a mailing list the other day said she converted to Islam. This set the neurons in my brain into a complete blaze of confusion. If you’re a woman, why would you convert to Islam?

I understand being born into Islam, and it being all you know. I also understand a man converting to Islam a lot easier than a woman. But if you’ve grown up in another religion, or no religion, why would you convert to something that makes it necessary that you never go out alone, cover yourself up, and from what I understand, always subjugate yourself to a man, whether it be your husband, father, or older brother? If you go hardcore and move to a country where Islam is the predominant religion, you could be one of up to four wives that a man has! It seems like you’re setting yourself back a good many years in progress! What are the advantages this could give you?

I readily admit that I could be horribly misinformed, so here’s my invitation. Enlighten me. But my current understanding of Islam does not jive with the idea of a woman converting to that later on. Ok, asshole bit over.

Here’s another little thing we have learned about Echo. If you go to our Echo comments using Firefox, once you have followed a comment thread once, every time you comment after that, Firefox automatically says you want to follow this thread. Cool! So, what setting is controlling that, and how can we tell other browsers to do that? Anybody got any ideas?

A few things happened to me when I went to Chapters yesterday that I thought needed mentioning. I was given a gift certificate for Christmas, so I thought I’d go get myself a book. Well, I ended up getting two books, but that was cool. This older lady who worked at Chapters was going to help me find a book. I asked for that book in the Hitchhiker’s series, and they didn’t have it, and then I asked for another book. No go. So she took me over to the audio section. We went through the fiction for a while, and then she said that George Carlin’s biography was there. I practically jumped for joy. I asked her if she knew if it was abridged. There was a pause, and she said “He’s a very irreverent guy…” I told her I knew that, and I went to see him live back in 2003, and I was glad to see him before he died. I think I broke her poor old heart. I looked so innocent, but I liked Carlin! The world was surely going to cave in on itself.

She couldn’t tell if Carlin’s book was abridged or not, so against my better judgment, I didn’t get it. This leads me to the second thing I needed to mention. It seems that audiobook publishers are making it harder to tell if a book is abridged or not. Not cool, not cool! People at Chapters used to tell at a glance if a book was abridged or not. Now, they struggle and strain, and look on the computer, and grunt, and hem and haw, and ask a colleague, and scratch their heads. Just state clearly that it is abridged. I want to know right away if you’re ripping me off or not. Is this happening because the audiobook-buying public is demanding more and more unabridged books?

I ended up buying the book about the “Julie and Julia” movie. Even if I can’t find the blog, I’m going to find out how similar the story was to the movie. Then I ended up taking a gamble on a mystery. But as the lady read the little summary on the back, she read it in a monotone, uninterested way. This led me to think that if I wasn’t used to listening to JAWS, I might have gotten disinterested right along with her. It really made me think about how much the delivery does influence how the words are received.

I was going down in the elevator with a lady the other day. To make conversation, I asked her if she knew what it was like outside. I thought I’d heard that it was cold and windy, but I wasn’t sure. She looked at me, and said “yup.” and that’s all she said. I thought to myself “Well, I guess I wasn’t precisely saying ‘tell me what it is doing outside’, but I thought that was implied.” Then I thought maybe she doesn’t understand English well and had gone to theschool of E Yes L, so I stopped trying to make conversation. Then, suddenly she says “It’s cold and windy out there,” and starts talking about the weather. That was just weird.

And that’s it, that’s all. I hope you had fun.

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