Saturday, 31 October 2015

Rule #68: Halloween costumes

I love Halloween. As someone who has a shelf of death in my house
where I keep all my evil stuff, I delight in how Halloween brings out the evil, sinister demon in all of us. I also dig the fact that we teach our young-ens to worship the devil at such an early age. You can never encourage them to accept Satan into their hearts too early. But like so many good things there are unseen evils lurking in the shadows. There's one thing specifically that I find tarnishes the sheen of Halloween lately.

Costume censorship:

More and more schools are asking kids to leave their costumes at home on Halloween in lieu of more inclusive “Spirit Days,” “Black and Orange Days,” or “Autumn Celebration Day”. This seems eerily reminiscent  of the old Christmas crackdown. Remember how certain places were outlawing the word Christmas and whatnot? Always giving in to peer pressure of the moral minority. Why not let parents decide what is acceptable? And if a child comes to school with a white, pointy sheet over his head and a black and red patch on his shoulder carrying a noose... well maybe someone has to have a sit down with ma and pa.
But what's wrong with dressing up as an astronaut? And what if that astronaut just so happens to be gay and black,.. well so be it. Are you saying astronauts CAN'T be black or gay? Who's the racist now? And there's nothing wrong with dressing up like a cowboy. I think cowboys would be flattered to know a young child thinks so much of them as to dress up like them on this hallowed eve. Now, if this particular cowboy is black and gay... what? Don't tell me you're against cowboys who are black or gay! What's wrong with you?
I find it ridiculous that kids can't dress up as Indians. Just don't let them trick or treat near railroads. We don't want them blocking the tracks and lighting police cars on fire. Now if this Indian who blocks railroads and lights police cars on fire just happens to be gay and black... Well..., OK, I guess I'd have to draw the line there. No gay, black, Indians who block railroads and light police cars on fire. We'll call that the line.

In the new world, parents will decide what is acceptable for kids to dress like on Halloween. And children will be allowed to wear costumes to school on October 31st.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Rule #69: Olympic dressage

For the very few of you who may not know (because I'm sure everyone is familiar with it) Dressage is basically horse-dancing.
I shit you not, in some circles it's actually referred to as “horses ballet”. Considered by many to be “the highest expression of horse training.” What this really is, however is a horse rider sitting proudly atop a horse while it dances around. I'm sure somebody finds this entertaining and fun. But an Olympic sport? Hardly.

I wonder who, on the IOC, had the foresight to include Mitt
Romney's ultra-posh sport of choice in the Olympics, yet neglected to include such gems as toe wrestling (yes it's exactly as you would imagine), Dwarf tossing, or my personal fav; Ferret legging? If Dressage is going to be considered an Olympic sport then why not Ferret legging? I'm sure it's more entertaining than Dressage.

Not familiar with Ferret legging? Well, here's the rules as described in askmen...
Rules: Cinch the legs of your trousers so tight that not even the slenderest of farts could escape. Take two ferrets, kiss them in order to induce their fight-or-flight instincts, insert them into you pants and see how long you can stand the panicked little buggers scratching at your thighs and gnawing at your balls. The current world record is held by Yorkshire, England man Reg Mellor, who kept the ferrets down his pants for five hours and 26 minutes back in 1981. If Chuck Norris could play but one sport, I'm guessing this would be it. Nobody is 100% sure of the origin of ferret legging, just that it was popular in the early 1900s, and gained steam again in the 1970s. Currently Yorkshire and Scotland are arguing with each other over who invented the sport first.

In the new world, for every stupidly boring sport in the Olympics there will be one oppositely stupidly hilarious sport to offset. Starting with Ferret legging.


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Rule #70: Lights on bicycles

Unless you think you're the Dark Knight or some other street dwelling, night stalking crime fighter, you should want to be seen. Especially while riding a bicycle. Statistics show that 40%-60% of bicycle/vehicle collisions happen during the hours of darkness. That's significant considering there's much less cycling activity on the roads at night. It blows my mind when I see cyclists cruising through the city at night on a black bike wearing dark clothing without a light. They're practically invisible. You have to strain your eyes hard to pick them out. Don't they realize that biking in broad daylight is dangerous enough? Fighting traffic, negotiating construction, playing chicken with women.., I mean drivers texting. It's a jungle out there. I'd rather kick Chuck Norris in the nuts than ride at night without a light.
If anyone ever ran me over at night it would have to be a deliberate act. I'm more visible at night than I am in the day. I've got lights on the front and back of my bike. Lights on my valve caps. Occasionally I have a light on my helmet and knapsack. Not to mention reflective shit all over the place. I'm like the Vegas strip on wheels. I ain't takin' no chances. Cyclists need to realize that many drivers inherently hate them to begin with. You don't need to give them any more ammo to use against you.

In the new world, all bikes will come with lights.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Rule #71: Made in China

Ever wonder why you can buy a product that was made half way across the world for half the price of the same product produced at home?

Slave labour: If there's ever a place on earth that needs the help of
unions, it's China. But they don't have unions. I wonder if it's because everyone's happy with their work environment or because you go to jail for trying to form a labour union? Chinese companies don't have to deal with the cost of labour laws or employment standards.

Prison labour:
  Depending on how you feel about criminals, you may not care how China treats their prisoners. But there's 2 big problems to consider; 1) Because these prisoners are producing products for a corrupt, communist government and more prisoners equals more production, we have to wonder if people are being wrongly incarcerated. 2) Producing products with free labour gives China a serious trade advantage, making western competition impossible.

Environmental neglect: American companies have the cost of complying with hundreds of years of environmental standards. Chinese companies don't have these environmental standards or the associated costs. That's why 16 of the worlds 20 dirtiest cities are in China. Less than 1% of China's urban air meets standards set by the European union. Heavy metal, water, air pollution... China has it all. And the ultimate irony is that this pollution is not going to remain specific to China. All that water and air pollution will find it's way around the globe eventually. As a matter of fact, it's estimated that 25% of the particulate matter falling in California is from China. Basically it's much cheaper to neglect the environment.

Currency manipulation & export subsidies: Most economists say China gets a 25 - 40 cent advantage on every dollar by devaluing it's currency. This basically makes exporting to China 25 - 40% more costly for American or Canadian companies while giving Chinese companies an export subsidy of 25 - 40%. Which is illegal.

It's important to distinguish between the good, hard working people of China and the corrupt, communist, underhanded government.

China joined the WTO in 2001. Since then 57,000 factories have moved operations to China. It was supposed to open fair trade between China and America. America exporting to China and visa versa. Instead, what has happened is China shipping boatloads of cheap crap over here using illegal export subsidies and in return all America is shipping over there is boatloads of jobs and money. Now America is into China for 3 Trillion bones, or clams. That's right $3,000,000,000.00. That's a lot of chopsticks. I wonder what will happen when it's time to call in that debt? I can just see Obama rummaging through his suit pockets.
But hey, who want to pay more than $50 for a 1000" big screen t.v. Am I right?

In the new world, trade with China will be shut down.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Rule #72: It's a dogs life

Dogs have it figured out. Know what I mean? They know how to relax. Laying around all day, guilt free. Leaving hair everywhere without feeling like they have to clean up after themselves. I wish I could enjoy that kind of mentality instead of worrying about everything.  If I wake up and do nothing for more than an hour I start to feel guilty. Then I have to get up and do something productive. I feel guilty if I don't go to work, I feel guilty if I don't clean my house... etc. I think most of us can't lay around for an entire day without feeling like we committed a crime. You just don't see that with dogs. When I look at a dog laying around napping. I imagine they're thinking "I'm not getting up unless someone is going to feed me or throw a ball or something."
We humans could learn a thing or two from our canine com-padre's. Like, we have a hard time exercising while dogs are all about the walk. In fact, they barely move off the couch unless it's to go outside and chase a stick, whereas most of us only get off the couch to get another beer. And I don't think I could lay all over someones furniture leaving hair all over it, then just get up, yawn and look at you like I deserve a treat. I'm not saying we should all be inconsiderate to each other. I just think we've developed a mentality of high anxiety. We've taught ourselves that we need to do more, faster, smarter.... and so on. Anytime I've gone to a party and slobbered all over the furniture, I've had to call and apologize the next day. I'm currently dog sitting my sisters dog and he hasn't once made any attempt to clean up after himself or apologize for anything.

The other thing I admire about dogs is their ability to let things slide. It doesn't matter what they deal with in a day. Dogs can take shit for days and all those bad feelings can be wiped out with a "Wanna go for a walk?" or "Want a treat?". Man, I'd love to have that kind of mentality. I could come home from work after getting shit on all day by some asshole boss and instead of drowning my sorrows in a case of beer and going to bed miserable, I'd be able to let it all go with one scratch behind my ears. Yeah, that's the life!

But then I think... "Do I really want to shit on my neighbours lawn, clean my balls with my tongue and hump strange women in the street?" Because I'm only comfortable with one of those things.

In the new world, instead of teaching dogs stupid tricks, we'll take a lesson from them in relaxation. BUT, anyone who humps strange people in the street claiming "Dog mentality" will be arrested.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Rule #73: Freezing bananas for banana bread

Keeping bananas in your freezer does not constitute banana bread. You have to actually make the shit. But for some reason I think every freezer in North America has a small plantations worth of bananas stored in it. As a matter of fact, I may I have a banana or two in my freezer. I guess because I think I'm going to make banana bread some day. How the fuck am I going to make banana bread? I doubt I have flour in the house. I'm assuming you need flour to make it. It doesn't matter. I live in a house with 2 boys. We aint bakin' nuttin'! As a matter of fact I just had chips for dinner. And yes, I hydrated with beer. So the chances of baking banana bread are slim to none. So if there is a banana in there, I'm chucking it in the composter first thing in the morning. Or when I get around to it.
Anyhoo, I'm pretty sure the system is this;
  1. Buy bananas
  2. Put on counter
  3. Eat one
  4. Let rest go bad
  5. Put in freezer with plan to make banana bread
  6. Never make banana bread

Why do I care? Well I'm glad you asked. Here's some interesting facts about bananas and the related bread:

  • Bananas travel far, causing CO2, and therefore significantly contributing to climate footprints.
  • bananas are often packaged in plastic packaging.
  • To keep bananas uniform-looking so that companies abroad will accept them, growers have to spray their plantations with large amounts of pesticides, in fact much higher amounts than other tropical crops because of the banana’s thick peel.
  • Nuts ruin banana bread, while chocolate chips enhance it.

You get the point.

In the new world, we will have an understanding of the environment such that putting the earth before our banana bread is second nature.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Rule #74: Wedding vows

"Until death do us part!" - Let's start with that -  Basically that means "If I'm planning to break up with you, I have to kill you. Or me. Or both of us." Basically, someone is going to die.

"Honor and obey"... Try and play that card someday, and let me know how it turns out. Especially with one of those Oprah wannabe's. They'd be all like waving that finger in the air going - "SAY WHAAAAT? Honor and obey? You're gonna be obeyin' the toe O' my boot if you don' get yo ass on outta here, boiiii!"

And promising to be "faithful and true"? That's a heavy load, man.
Nobody can guarantee without a shadow of a doubt that they'll always be true and faithful. Most people try. And many succeed. But to say that you will never be unfaithful - EVER - before God - c'mon! Say you're walking home from the bar, feeling pretty good and Jessica Alba stops and picks you up and says she won't let you out of the car unless you have sex with her. I know that's technically rape, but you know what I mean. Ladies, feel free to exchange Jessica with Brad. Don't you even SAY, Brad who?  
My point is this, wedding vows should be a little more realistic. Something like this perhaps:


I, _____, take you, ______, to be my wedded wife. I promise to do my best as a husband, and not fuck up too often. I'll try not to stay out too late drinking with the boys, but sometimes I might so don't get too pissed off when I do. I'll do dishes at least once a week and shave my balls as often. I will do my best to be faithful and promise to let you know when your ass gets too fat. And finally, I don't even believe in God, so remind me why I'm in a church?


I, _____, take you, ______, to be my wedded husband. I promise to do my best and not get bitchy for no reason more than once a month. I'll try not to watch too much Oprah or get caught up in soap operas and then look at you in disgust because instead of being like the shirtless, romantic hunks on t.v., you're slouched back in a lazy boy with pretzel crumbs all over your shirt. I'll do my best to be faithful and try not to let my ass get too big.

In the new world, wedding vows will be a little more realistic to take the pressure off.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Rule #75: Designated drivers

This is a nice concept. Keep everyone safe and happy. Keep impaired people from driving. But it's a totally flawed concept. Designating one of your friends to be the driver for the night. If you're going out with your friends, that means they're probably like you. Ipso Facto... They like to drink! So, someone is either going to have a terrible time standing there watching everyone else get hammered and trying to keep up with all the drunk talk, or sneak a few drinks in and drive drunk anyway.
Have you ever tried to decide on who's going to drive just before you head out? Unless you have a pregnant friend, everyone looks around the room awkwardly, avoiding eye contact until someone jumps on the driving grenade. Then everyone gets drunk and we take a cab anyway. And no one wants to hang out with a pregnant chick, Am I right?
There has to be a better way. Think of all the lonely people who sit at home every weekend because they don't drink or can't afford to go out. They're probably alone because they don't drink. Without alcohol your pool of potential mates dries up quickly. I'm sure a group of people would be happy to splurge for a couple of sodas and a few wings to have a personal chauffeur hang with them. And the driver would be better off enjoying a free evening out. We've gotta find a way to get these people together.

In the new world, the designated driver program will be based on connecting lonely people with drunks who don't give a fuck.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Rule #76: ODD

No, it doesn't say odd. It's an actual acronym - O.D.D. It IS odd. but it's not the word odd. Check it:

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as an ongoing pattern of anger-guided disobedience, hostility, and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior. Children suffering from this disorder may appear very stubborn and often angry.

A child? Stubborn and angry? Nahhhhhhhh., I don't believe it.
Apparently, to be diagnosed with ODD, a child must exhibit 4 of the 8 symptoms listed below:
  • Actively refuses to comply with majority's requests or consensus-supported rules 
  • Performs actions deliberately to annoy others
  • Angry and resentful of others
  • Argues often 
  • Blames others for his or her own mistakes 
  • Often loses temper 
  • Spiteful or seeks revenge 
  • Touchy or easily annoyed
Are you fucking kidding me? Those aren't symptoms! They're descriptions... OF EVERY FUCKING TEENAGER ON THE PLANET!
Gee, I wonder if there's a medication that can be purchased to treat this "disorder"? Oh, and guess what? Of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on 'Mood Disorders' and 'Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders' had financial ties to drug companies. What a crazy coincidence that the people who decide what constitutes a "disorder" happen to be the same people who profit from the sale of drugs that medicate these disorders. Craaaaaaaaazy coincidence.

Seeing as we're labeling every mood in existence, I'd like to submit a condition to the DSM.. (F.U.C.K.) - Fed Up Coming to worK - Ok, it's a stretch, I know. I guess I could've went with (DWWD).. (Don't wanna work disorder) but you know where I'm going with this.

In the new world, creating new disorders for the sake of profit will be prohibited.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Rule #77: Searching for space aliens

According to Hollywood, alien life forms seem to be a shit-ton smarter than us, so if they want to find us, they'll find us. I say stop wasting money and resources on trying to find them. The amount of money wasted on trying to contact alien life forms is astronomical (pun intended, thank you). Mostly private money, but it could still go to better use.
Even if there is life out there, why would we want to find it? We can't get along with each other as it is. Are we running out of people to hate? And what if we find aliens and it turns out they eat humans? So they start farming us like we do with cattle. Maybe cattle ruled the earth and we were the aliens that cattle reached out to a million years ago? Did you ever think of that? Now the cows are all like
"Moo... we really fucked that up,.. moo."
Or even worse, what if they're looking for work? Now we've got aliens in the unemployment line, at the soup kitchen...

You know what? I wish everyone would just relax. We're bored. That's the problem. Take a look around. Hey rich people, you see what's going on around you? Child abuse, pedophiles, global warming, snowblowers, male pattern baldness, etc..... We can't invite strangers into our house until we clean it up. Can you imagine what they'd say about us? "You should see the little blue / greyish planet down the way, no wonder galaxy values are tanking."
Don't worry, if ET calls, we'll pick up.

In the new world, we'll fix our own problems before we search for new ones.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rule #78: Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest

So Kitchener Waterloo is just wrapping up the 45th annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is touted as the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany." While I admit that I always have a good time at Oktoberfest, I refuse to give credit to the Oktoberfest event. I have a good time because of the people I go with. I also don't want to trash the organizers. I actually worked on a volunteer committee for a bit and the organizers work extremely hard to do the best with what they have to work with. The problem is how the city handles it. As this is supposedly the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" I'd expect more. MUCH more.
Here's how my first KW Oktoberfest experience went. My ex brother in law (who I miss dearly) got me tickets for the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany". So I'm pumped. I can't wait to get downtown where everyone's going to be walking around talking German, drinking beer in the streets, smashing kegs open, dancing and whatever else drunk Germans do when they party. Well you can imagine my disappointment when we pull up to the front door of a tent... Over a parking lot... Nowhere near downtown! And we drink shitty draught beer at a picnic table all night. I'm looking around thinking "This is the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany?" Whatever dude. Like I said, I had a good time that year and every year I've gone since. Because the people I party with can have a good time anywhere. Even if you put them in a cage in the middle of the street. Which is pretty much KW Oktoberfest.
This year I decided to pass on the tent deal and go to the official tapping of the keg at city hall. Well I guess it was my fault for expecting anything different. After endless boring speeches from our politicians, we shuffle down to... you guessed it... A TENT! What a surprise. Now if you wanted to get out of the tent and party on the street, no problem. Just as long as you don't leave the 20x20 steel cage attached to the tent. Preposterous! Even worse was one of my favourite bars trying to cash in by offering an "Oktoberfest" menu full of food items that sound like the noise you make when you sneeze. Let's face it, German ain't exactly the most romantic language out there. 
If you claim to host the "greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany", you should do it right. Or send it somewhere that can. Like George st in Newfoundland or Bourban st in New Orleans. They party in the street all the time and Kitchener can't do it once a year to celebrate "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany"? Maybe it's in the name. Perhaps we should change the name of Kitchener to New Kitchener. Just a thought.

In the new world, If you... oh, and I hate schnitzel... If you claim to have "the greatest Bavarian festival outside of Germany" you had better do it right, or lose the right to a community that isn't afraid to party in the street.

George st. Newfoundland


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Rule #79: Football vs Church

I assume the original head of the NFL, Jim Thorpe, neglected to consult God on NFL scheduling. Perhaps he was an atheist.
As a huge football fan, I was always pissed off that all the games were scheduled on Sunday. It made for an exciting Sunday, but if I had plans to be away or had to play hockey I had to miss all the games. Plus, I don't have the cognitive capacity to concentrate on more than one game at a time, so at the most, if I dedicated 12 hours to football, I could only get 3 games in anyway. I always thought they should spread it out over the week like hockey. They're making improvments with Thursday & Saturday games in addition to the Monday nighter, but I don't watch much football anymore, so thanks for nuthin'.
And who the fuck are all these religious running backs praying to when they score a TD? God? What do they think, God is all like "Hey, thanks man. I needed those points to cover my spread." If he's the God I've been taught to fear, he'd be more like "Whatever dude, why the fuck ain't you in church?.. Maybe a good old fashioned dose of cancer will change your ways!"

In the new world, football will be spread out through the week and church will be at 5:00 on Friday afternoons to help keep old people off the streets during rush hour.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Rule #80: Dooring

I'm not addressing this because I'm a cyclist and it's not my fault they gave it a stupid name but in a world where we promote healthy living and sustainability, it's an issue that requires attention because bicycle commuting is a big part of those values. Dooring is when the door of a parked or stopped car opens and hits a cyclist riding by. The only thing that's new here is the name... DOORING! The concept has been around as long as roads, cars and bikes have been interacting. Cyclists are more aware of it because they know the result of connecting with a car door at 25kph is less than ideal. In fact, many people are hurt or even killed by this every year. The problem seems to be awareness.

I think common sense dictates that we have a look to see if opening our car door will obstruct any traffic - Pedestrian, car, bike or other. At the very least we don't want our door damaged by a passing car. But the person at the highest risk is the cyclist. A passing vehicle can take your door off and a passing pedestrian could sustain a nasty bump. But a bicycle Slamming into an open door at 25k would not be a subtle interaction. This is more prevalent than I realized. In Toronto, for example "motorist opens door in path of cyclist" collisions were 11.9% of all reported car/bike collisions in 2003. And that was 10 years ago.

What it boils down to is creating an awareness. Our current system of Implementing a dangerous situation and not telling anyone, doesn't seem to be working. For example, don't put bike lanes in the path of potential open doors without letting everyone know there's a hazard. Or perhaps we should be following suit with cities like Chicago. The current government is proposing a $1,000 fine for dooring a cyclist (in Toronto it's currently $85). As well as placing stickers on the rear passenger windows of every cab in the city, saying “Look! Before Opening Your Door." These are good ideas as long as we're careful the increase in fines is not used as a revenue generator for the city.

In the new world, bike lanes will be wide enough to include any potential hazards that may be encountered in said bike lane.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Rule #81: Ridiculously unbelievable movies

I can handle a little farfetchedness in movies from time to time. Like the scene in Boondock saints when the brothers have a shootout with their dad in the middle of the street and no one gets hit. Or when Bruce Willis escapes a torrent of bullets from bad guys with bad aim in every movie he's ever been in (except sin city). I can swallow all that.
But Hollywood went too far with this one. This enlightenment came while I was laser focused on World War Z the other night. At one point I finally had to call bullshit. No, it wasn't the scene at the beginning when Brad Pitt and his family are the only ones to escape the traffic jam. And no, I wasn't surprised that a magazine taped to your forearm could protect against super fast, mega strong zombies. Nor was I taken aback when Brad correctly figured out which disease to inject himself with in order to repel zombies.
Nope! All that shit can really happen. What pushed me the brink was the plane crash. After having the side of the plane ripped out with his grenade, Brad then locks himself into his seat to prevent being sucked out with all the zombies. That didn't surprise me. Then the plane lands in the woods, splits in half and Brad and his assistant survive. That didn't surprise me. The fact that they landed on the front lawn of the building they just happened to be looking for didn't even phase me.

But the part when the plane finally came to rest and Brad woke up with a metal piece of the seat belt lodged in his abdomen... At that point, I was like... Whatever! As if a small piece of steel is going to penetrate Pitts' chiseled abs. HA! Laughable man! Obviously the writers of World War Z haven't seen "Snatch" where Pitt portrays the bare knuckled, tattooed Pikey "Mickey". If anything, they should have shown that piece of metal being bent on contact with Pitts' abs of steel!

In the new world, if you're going to make a movie, make it either ridiculously ridiculous or believably believable. Don't try to mix fantasy with realism.