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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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3/11/2005

Toys...

OVER THE WEEKEND, our five-year-old had a friend come by. Friends have visited Joe other times, too, and I have found out about a mysterious five-year-old's ritual. When you visit somebody else's house, you go to your pal's room and you wreck everything. Just pull it apart by the double handfuls. I don't believe our Joe is immune from the ritual. He does it himself when he visits his friends' quarters. He doesn't do it to his own room alone, but abroad -- that's a free fire zone for the toddler platoons.

The next day, or the day after, you go upstairs and find out why your child doesn't want to go to bed in his own room anymore. He can't get to his bed, the floor is so riddled with trippers-up and traps, like mini-munitions designed to score his feet (which are always bare, with socks and shoes left just about anywhere). A five-year old cannot even understand the problem. It just makes him sad and confused.
the american spectator
Lawrence Henry knows of which he speaks. So do I. With the best intentions in the world the proliferation of unused toys continues at our house. We figured that moving to an island where there was a garage sale once a month and a thrift store open two hours a week would stem the tide...It didn't.

What it has done is redefined the idea "toy". Sam, our four year old, is just a tiny bit tool obsessed. he has his own subscription to the Lee Valley catalogue. Which is ideal as he now has a complete collection of cutout tools - he cuts out the pictures, glues the rough cut to cardboard and then trims it. He'll ace scissors in kindergarten. If he can't find what he wants - Lee Valley does not stock power tools and what's a tool kit without a nail gun? - he hops online and googles what he needs. Dowloads it, prints it out, cuts, pastes, cuts again. We are overrun.

Craft or obsession....you decide.

Let's make a Deal

The Shiite-Kurdish deal calls on the government to begin discussion on the return of about 100,000 Kurds to the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk and talks about redrawing existing Kurdish regions to include the city in Iraq's new constitution.

It also gives the Kurds just one major Cabinet post - one less than they demanded - in return for making one of their leaders, Jalal Talabani, Iraq's first-ever Kurdish president. One ministry will go to the country's Sunni Arab minority.

The Kurds agreed to back conservative Islamic Daawa party leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari for prime minister.

As part of the deal, any land agreement will be incorporated into the country's new constitution, which must be drafted by mid-August and approved by referendum two months later.
daily star
Brokerage politics at its finest. As Glenn Reynolds keeps pointing out, democracy is a process. part of that process is making deals. Kirkuk, "Sunnized" by Uncle Cuddles at the great cost of the Kurds is an issue which had to be resolved.

It looks like it is a deal which recognizes the Kurd's outrage at their displacement as well as the centrality of Kirkuk to the oil wealth of Iraq. The oil goes to the nation, the land to the Kurds. Not bad, not bad at all.

Just don't try it in Alberta.

3/08/2005

Spoke too soon

RCMP Commissioner Guiliano Zaccardelli said in an interview that his condemnation of grow-ops just hours after the shootings may have been inappropriate because police and politicians did not have full details of the particular case and the background of the killer.

Commissioner Zaccardelli and Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, his political boss as the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, spoke of the scourge of marijuana grow operations within hours of the killings and the need for tougher penalties for those who operate them.

"I gave what I believed was the best information I had knowing full well that at that time I didn't have all the information," a contrite Commissioner Zaccardelli said. "Clearly, there's a lot of things in there that, in hindsight, we will have to look at in a different perspective."
ottawa citizen
While it is good that Zaccardelli has admitted that the grow op aspect of the Roszko tragedy was overblown, I can't help but wonder why he and his political masters felt it necessary to comment before the facts were in.

Spinning a tragedy is reprehensible.

Unbelievable

The four junior RCMP officers were killed on Thursday by the lone gunman while investigating a marijuana grow operation northwest of Edmonton.

Only 20 marijuana plants were found on the farm by officers.
CFRA
This is not a grow op. This is not organized crime...

What the Hell is Ann McLellen and the Liberal Party going on about?

3/07/2005

Suggestion for the 2010 Whistler Winter Olympics

The host country gets to propose one demonstration sport. My vote was for snowboarding with a bong; but that was before I read this:

Unlike most ski jumpers, entrants in a Norwegian competition this weekend will lose points for any smooth and graceful landings on the snow.

These jumpers will be aiming for the trees. And the higher they land, the better their scores may be.

The unofficial Norwegian tree ski-jumping championships are being organized for the second time in southern Norway's mountains by a group of mountaineering enthusiasts, who are hoping that roads closed by snow don't stop them.

"It isn't really all that dangerous," Oeystein Lia, one of the organizers, said Friday. "It usually goes pretty well."

....

The idea is to take flight from a mound of snow, fly through the air and land in a tree. To qualify as a completed jump, the skier has to hang onto the tree without falling to the ground.

"You really have to dare to give it your all in the jump, so you end up near the top of the tree," said Lia. "If you don't, you can slam right into the trunk."

The higher parts of the trees are thinner, and bend under the weight of the skiers, while, according to tips published by the group, there are three possible reasons "the tree felt like hitting a lamp post."

"A) The tree is too big. B) You hit it too far down the trunk because you didn't jump hard enough or C) You're a wimp," the tree-jumpers' troubleshooting guide explained.

canoe
Hey, Whistler has trees...Lots of trees. I've hit several myself...

via the always wonderful Mirabilis

Oh Great....

Intense earthquake activity on the ocean floor off the coast of southern Vancouver Island has scientists scrambling to be the first to catch a glimpse of two tectonic plates pulling apart.

U.S. scientists from the University of Washington sent a research vessel over the weekend after seismic equipment detected nearly 3,800 small quakes in an area known as the Endeavour Hot Vents on Thursday.

"The speculation is it might be a volcanic eruption or a magma event on the ridge," said Garry Rogers, a seismologist with the Geological Survey of Canada.

"Thousands of earthquakes occurring over a few days, it's a tremendous amount of energy but it's way offshore," he said on Sunday.
cp
I am reassured to read that the scientists are pretty convinced that this is not going to create a tsunami or "The Big One". But if I see the water receding I'm off to high ground.