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Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

E-Morons, Depressories, No Thank You's?

We are still not sure on the name of these things, mainly because our readers (yeah, that's right - both of you) still haven't given us any suggestions. In the meantime, I've updated the ones in the previous post with fancy new 'JTC' tags, and here's another one for your enjoyment.

Monday, May 29, 2006

TTC Union on Wildcat Strike

As reported by The Globe and Mail, "hundreds of thousands of Toronto commuters were left scrambling Monday when a surprise wildcat strike brought transit services in Canada's biggest city to a halt just ahead of the morning rush." It continued, "Toronto Mayor David Miller has called in a provincial mediator to help avoid a possible wildcat transit strike."

Bob Kinnear, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113, said wildcats are frustrated by a growing number of fare disputes. While the TTC services over 800,000 individuals, it is not currently known exactly how many of these passengers are wildcats.

"Given that the Wildcat is a predator native to Europe, we're surprised and shocked at the fact that we have so many Wildcat passengers, and even more surprised that they aren't happy with the fares", Kinnear commented. "Normally, Wildcats are extremely timid. They avoid coming too close to human settlements. They live solitarily and hold territories of about 3 km² each. Maybe that's why they are refusing to use our public transit system."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Things That Drive Me Insane Vol. 1 - CDs in the Wrong Cases

I consider myself fairly easy-going. Some people I know - for example my Co-habitation partner (CHP) - may disagree. That said, in comparison to my family, I'm practically unconscious. Let me provide you with an example: one time I was driving with my father who, in response to my brother spazzing about something, told him to "not sweat the small stuff." In terms of hypocrisy, this would be roughly akin to the Pope throwing condoms at the assembled masses in St. Peter's Square. He then followed this up approximately 2 minutes later by freaking out about the name of an office supply store we were passing. "What the fuck is 'Staples - Business Depot'?" he yelled. "It should be either 'Staples' or 'Business Depot'! NOT BOTH!" Way to not sweat the small stuff, Pops.

Anyhoo, like I said - in comparison to my relatives I am quite easy-going, however, there are still a few things that cause me extreme irritation. I've decided to share them with you all (both?) in a recurring feature we'll call "Things That Drive Me Insane". In this initial foray into the depths of my psychosis, we'll be focusing on people who have a penchant for ejecting CDs from players, and then placing those CDs in whatever empty case they can find. Is there anything more infuriating than opening up a CD case and finding a DIFFERENT CD inside? Probably, but I can't think of anything right now.

I do tend to take this rather seriously. Shortly after meeting my fellow JTC Executive member, CoCo the Monkey, we were driving in my car. CoCo decided it was time to change the CD. He pulled out a new CD that he wanted to listen to, opened the case, and ejected the currently playing CD. I eyed him suspiciously as he seemed to be ready to give up his search for the correct case for the ejected CD, so I finally turned to him and said, "If you put that CD in the wrong case, I will punch you in the face." He obviously felt this was totally reasonable, as we soon became good friends.

A couple of nights ago, I was watching "Sex and the City" with my CHP. The episode included a dude who was a total asshole. At one point he started screaming at his wife regarding putting CDs in the wrong cases. The following conversation ensued:

CHP: "Oh look! That guy's TOTALLY freaking out about CD cases...what a jerk, eh?"
JM: "I really don't see why it's so hard to put CDs back in the right case."
CHP: "Sometimes I'm driving, and I can't find the right case, so I put the CD into a different one. Then I forget to put them back when I'm done driving. Who cares?"
JM: "You're right. I really shouldn't care about stuff like this. I shouldn't make a big deal out of this type of thing."
CHP: (shocked) "Are you serious?"
JM: "Obviously not."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dominican Republic – Cerveza, Parasailing and Lower Back Tattoos

Last week, I was away with my co-habitational partner (CHP) in the beautiful Dominican Republic. I'm sure that both of our readers are wondering how my trip was, so I felt I would write up a trip report to let you know.

When we arrived at the resort we realized that the only words of Spanish we knew were "Hola, Cerveza", which of course translates to "Hello, beer." While my CHP seemed perturbed at our limited vocabularly, I had difficulty trying to think of what other words I would need to use on the trip. (Frankly, I probably could have gone without the "Hola".)

A few days into our trip, we decided to check out the heavily regulated world of Dominican Parasailing. The rigourous requirements to enter this field of business seem to be owning a boat and a parachute. Upon boarding the boat, we watched it be re-fueled, through the tried and tested method of placing a hose into a fuel canister, sucking on said hose until you start swallowing fuel, coughing repeatedly whilst spitting out what fuel you didn't ingest, and placing the now siphoning hose into the fuel tank of the boat. Great stuff. The parasailing itself was pretty impressive, as was the fuel slick being left in our boat's wake.

We met a couple of individuals on the parasailing boat who were telling us about an "excursion" they had done. For those not familiar with all-inclusive resorts, "excursions" are basically guided tours off the resorts where you pay money for the chance to be taken to a bunch of places where you can spend more money. They're typically crap. These gents had been on an "Adventure-excursion", involving 4x4s, horseback riding, going to a school to see some children sing (not sure what the adventure was there), etc. "A chance to see the REAL Dominican," they gushed. They thought it was fabulous. I thought is sounded excruciating. Frankly I'd rather enjoy the REAL Dominican at our resort, filled with the seedy world of Speedos; hideous, droopy exposed boobs; and so many lower back tattoos that I thought there may be a tattoo parlour on the resort (I'm pretty sure there wasn't.)

The resort was packed with Europeans (hence the Speedos; hideous, droopy exposed boobs; and, I suppose, so many lower back tattoos). Everytime I'm in Europe, or around Europeans, it always blows my mind how they didn't get the memo about how smoking can...you know...KILL YOU. These peeps were totally chainsmoking away - sometimes, right beside their kids. Yikes.

The resort we were staying at was HUGE. Quite big. There were actually 4 different hotels, all linked together. That said, getting around the resort was actually pretty easy, once you knew where you were going, and nothing took more than 10 minutes to walk between. There was actually a sort of shuttle bus/trailer thing (that was mocked up as a train, for some reason) that looped around the resort for those who felt like walking was for suckers. We actually saw multiple people riding the "train", videotaping the experience for later enjoyment. Let this be a warning to all who know me - if you ever try to show me a video of your vacation, and it features you being driven around in a slow-moving trailer, I will not hesitate to knee you in the crotch. Either that, or I'll be gnawing my hands off out of sheer boredom. I saw a review of our hotel on tripadvisor.com that said, "When going to an a la carte dinner, leave 10 minutes early, to allow for time spent waiting for the train." Alternately, I suppose, you could just use those 10 minutes to WALK to where you're going.

Finally, let's talk about the flight home. I have a new theory that I developed while wishing death on those sitting near me on the flight - your intelligence is inversely proportional to the amount of noise you make on an airplane. Trying to have a conversation with your friend sitting three rows away? Complaining loudly about something? Booing the fact that it's "currently 7 degrees celsius in Toronto"? (Who the fuck BOOS a weather report?) Clapping when the plane lands? Chances are you're a complete moron. At one point, I honestly was willing to sacrifice my self, and was wishing that the plane would crash, purely for the improvement it would cause in the human gene pool.

Let's go back to that clapping when the plane lands thing. Who are these people? What were they expecting to happen? Are they surprised that the plane landed safely? Were they expecting the pilot to clip a building on the way down? Or for the plane to go cart-wheeling across the runway into a fuel tanker truck? The guy is just doing his job - landing the plane safely. I don't sit on my porch, applauding the mail carrier as he puts my letters and magazines into my mailbox. (Although now I'm considering starting.)

All in all, it was one hell of a trip - we had a great time (and I didn't even mention the diarrhea).