I read today that Federal Tax Auditors are pissed off because they've been
working for over a year without a contract settlement. In order to put
pressure on the government, they've decided that they're going to adopt
a "get tough" strategy when negotiating with taxpayers.
"It is normal practice for auditors to be flexible in their dealings, as
they recognize that the law is extremely complex and cannot adequately
address all the possible situations that can arise," the union says. "Auditors
have always negotiated with taxpayers to arrive at a reasonable result.
After July 1, any adjustment which is or may be technically correct will
be made, even if it appears to be a harsh and unintended consequence of
Yeah, that'll show the gov't. Let's squeeze every last dollar out of the
taxpayers, no matter how unfair, and add to the gov't coffers. If they
really wanted to teach the gov't a lesson, they'd find in favour of the
taxpayer every single time, no matter how frivolous. When it starts costing
the gov't money, then maybe they'll take notice.
Of course, that would make sense.
Pte Doreen Joseph was one of my recruits, a member of Raven Platoon--an
all Native American platoon. She was a hard and conscientious worker, keen
and eager, bright and with a great sense of humor, caring, always happy,
always upbeat, always singing and dancing. She put all those nasty prejudices
that many have about Native Americans to shame.
She died in a car accident last week. I believe she was twenty-one years
old. She will be remembered.
I need new exercise clothing, but doubt I can afford it. Gone are the days
when I could by a T-shirt for five bucks, shorts or track pants for ten,
and running shoes for twelve. You know, back when exercise was manly. Somewhere
along the line, though, sports clothing became a fashion statement. Now
someone slaps a Nike symbol on the same five-dollar T-shirt and suddenly
it costs forty bucks. I'm lucky if I can get a half-descent pair of shoes
for under a hundred, on sale, if they're a discontinued model. (You'd think
they'd charge less if the actual athlete who endorses them is up on rape
I think it all started back in the eighties with Flashdance. Jennifer Beals
turned her workout duds into stripwear, and now even torn clothing costs
a fortune. Thank God I don't wear leg warmers, as they no doubt have tripled
in value, too. (What real man needs leg warmers, unless they're shaving
their legs, in which case you should refer back to the first part of this
Of course now sports wear has gone high tech. They have synthetic materials
that "allow your skin to breathe while you exercise." Trust me, if I'm
breathing through my skin then I'm working way too hard, and someone should
be standing by with defibulator paddles.
"Oh, but it traps the sweat against your body, keeping you cool," they
Then what's the freaking point of doing a "warm up"? As if I don't smell
bad enough as it is, now I want to trap that aromatic sweetness against
my skin. That way I can share it with all my friends.
Ah well, the price of staying in shape. You have to look good to look good.
I've decided from now on that I'm going to say as little as possible. I
won't open my mouth unless I have something insightful, important, or funny
to say. Or to order food.
Most people aren't really interested in what you have to say anyway. They've
already got their minds made up, and use the time that you are speaking
to formulate their next thought. Besides, how much of what we say
is truly original. Half the time what we're saying is the exact same thing
the other guy is saying, just in different words. We're so busy saying
what we're saying and not listening to what they're saying, that we don't
realize that we're both saying the same thing.
And you'd be surprised at how intelligent people assume you are when you
don't say anything. I guess they figure that if you're not saying anything,
you must be agreeing with them, therefore you just have to be bright.
Maybe if I don't speak as much, I'll write more. Hey, it's gotta come out
Okay, no one else is bothering, so what the heck...
I realize betrayal may be a rather melodramatic word to use in describing
how you feel about a television show, cause let's face it, it's only
TV, but that's exactly how I felt when I watched the series finale of Start
Trek: Enterprise. Betrayed. Never mind the whole "making the cast and crew
play second fiddle on their own show by having Ryker and Troi simulate
the whole thing in the Holo deck" debate. It was embarrassing enough trying
to pass Frakes and Sirtis off as their much younger selves--enough said.
But this wasn't just a series finale, it was, or could be, the end of Star
Trek as we know it for years to come. Now I'm not a trekie (treker?), trust
me. I don't have the various incarnations of the Enterprise schematics
memorized, couldn't tell you the name of a single episode, and have never
owned a Starfleet uniform in my life. Still, over the years I've expended
a lot of time on Star Trek. It was one of the first shows I remember watching
with my dad as a kid, constantly pestering him to explain what was going
on. I've seen all the movies, and at least ninety-five percent of all the
episodes of each series. And I know for a fact that the franchise has made
mega bucks for Paramount. Just visit Canada's Wonderland--half the merchandise
and displays are Star Trek related. I just can't believe they treated the
franchise so badly when it finally came to an end. No specials, nothing.
And to end it all with the most brainless episode ever? Insulting to cast,
crew, and fans alike.
If the message boards are anything to go by, the Enterprise finale has
been universally panned as dismal at best. They couldn't have made it worse
if they tried. As a matter of fact it's as if they did try, figuring,
"What the hell, what are they going to do, fire us?"
I won't bother regaling you with what it was that made it so dismal, in
case you haven't seen it yet, but, come on. Ten years on the first deep
space warp drive ship (talk about your high profile job), saving the earth
from the Xindi and countless other disasters, and in all that time not
a single blessed one of them even gets promoted? If I didn't know better,
I'd swear Starfleet resurrected some Canadian Forces Career Managers.
And don't even get me started on the whole Trip/T'Pol thing. Or the
Trip thing. Or the fact that they didn't tie up any of the ongoing mysteries
the series hinted at. When you watch a series for a season, and the finale
sucks, it's bad enough. But when you've invested, what? thirty years in
a series, and then this? It's enough to put me off TV for life.
Or at least until Battlestar Galactica comes back on.
So I went for my sizing for the new camouflage pattern combat clothing
this morning--the ones we were supposed to get four years ago, and still
won't receive until October-ish. I have to admit they're pretty nice, but
as they were piling layer upon outer layer of cold weather gear, it occurred
to me--shouldn't this stuff be white? Why is our Canadian cold weather
gear forest green? (And why do I suddenly feel like Kenny from South Park?)
1. I think water
softeners are really a secret alien plot to season us before the harvest.
doesn't necessarily equate to competence. Just because we've done something
before doesn't mean we're any good at it. I mean, I've played hockey several
times, and trust me, I suck.
I don't know if any of you know her, but Pat York died in a car accident
at 3PM Saturday. She was 57.
I met Pat York at my first Ad Astra con. I was standing in the elevator
when she and Lynn Flewelling entered. Being the total idiot that I am,
I had no idea who either of them were at the time, but they struck up a
conversation with me, and the next thing I knew I was invited to dinner
with the two of them and a group of their writer friends. I only saw Pat
on and off after that, whenever we managed to show up at the same con together,
but she always treated me like a long lost friend at every occasion. In
my opinion, that's class. She will be remembered fondly, which, I suppose,
is the most any of us can ask.
I'm 44 years old. That's not in dog years either. The reason I mention
this is, it's at about this age that men especially begin to understand
that they're probably not going to realize their dreams. Odds are I'll
never be a movie star, or a rock star, or a pro athlete. I doubt I'll ever
make the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition either, and
not just because I'm short, but because--let's face it--I'm not a woman.
Sure, I was pretty back before I hit puberty--maybe even Michael Jacksonjailbait
pretty--but the point is...er...what the hell was my point again?
I love lilacs. They're my favorite flower, probably because they grow wild,
and you don't have to pamper them and baby them like roses. They're practically
a weed. And they're free. You gotta love free flowers. So it should come
as no surprise that every freaking house in my neighborhood has a lilac
bush--except for ours. Luckily, they're also easy to steal.
And if I could somehow tie this thread into the previous one, verily, I
be a writer.
Pen and I went to Niagara Falls for the day on Saturday as sort of a belated
anniversary gift to ourselves. We went to Marine Land and saw killer and
beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions, walrus-es (walrusi?) deer and bears.
They even let us feed them.
Then we walked down the strip and saw Goths and strippers and bikers and
prom queens. We weren't allowed to feed them. I think there's a bi-law.
I mean it's one thing if a deer follows you home, but another entirely
if a stripper did.
For one thing, I'm sure Pen would let me keep the deer.