New Superhero Duo

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the press. I am Tail so I am sure that most of you will recognize me and my super power.”

One reporter raised his hand and asked, “What super power? You just look like a masked man.”

Another said, “Ewwwww! Is that monkey like thing your tail?”

“Yes. That is my super power. The back of me is just as strong as the front of me only it’s all concentrated into the tail form. I am the equivalent of at least two strong men with amazing agility and climbing powers, too! You can see my stories here, here and here.”

A third reporter said, “We were told there would be a superhero duo. Where is your partner? And are they as grossed out about your tail as the rest of us?”

“She will be revealed in a moment, but I must remind you reporters that my tail is a part of me and you should not give negative value judgements about it.”

“We don’t believe you actually have a partner. Unless she is going to make a surprise appearance showing off her super powers?”

“She has been here all along. Underneath the blanket beside me.”

“Is she super small? A shape shifter? Still alive after being flattened?”

“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you…” Tail lifted and threw the blanket away revealing grass. “…Mother Earth!”

There were groans from all that had gathered.

“Don’t you want to hear what her super powers are?”

“Okay,” said one game reporter.

“Her super powers are the USA, Russia and China!”

There was a second bigger groan from the reporters.

“Are you going to really groan when some supervillain is facing down an intercontinental nuclear warhead? Or being chased by a missile invisible to radar?”

Realizing there was not much left to say, the assembled reporters milled about for a moment before dispersing and realizing they might not have a publishable story. Tail was long gone, annoyed again by the usual reaction to his tail.

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If Sports Fans Actually Motivate Players Then…

An unfortunate new payment center in my city’s buses, has slowed cash paying customers and expedited all the various card using passengers.

The old cash system involved an electronic reader that could count multiple coins at the same time. With the new reader you have to insert each coin one at a time. This is time consuming when the passenger has all quarters because the fare is $3.25.

If needed, in the old system, the driver would just hand you a transfer ripped off the stack with the rip showing the time down to 15 minute intervals. With the new system it takes half a minute to print up your transfer. Maybe it’s the slowness of the printer or maybe it needs a few precious seconds for the ink to dry. Either way it’s annoying to everyone.

Now, clearly it’s the payment center’s fault that cash transactions are so slow. Still, in the name of speed I would like it if everyone could convince the cash payers to switch payment methods. Knowing the power of cheering on the home team, I intend to cheer every time a new bus passenger swipes their various cards.

Of course I’ll have to also boo the people using cash. I can boo for as long as it takes for the cash paying person to finally be free of the payment center at the front of the bus.

I know, some of you are thinking this is too harsh. But think about it. When a bunch of passengers are all trying to get on the bus as fast as possible and it’s pouring rain, that minute the cash paying person is using means that the rest of us get wet for that length of time. They could be noble and say “No, you go first – I’m paying cash,” and wave all of us card paying people first. But they never do so I am going to try the booing gambit.

This cheering/booing thing might work in stores, too. Here, paying with cash or cards seem to take about the same time. So I suggest you cheer on either one or both as that may make them even faster (Hey! Every second counts.)

The ones I want you to boo are the price matchers. You know the people who have looked at sales items all across town but only shop at this closest store. For every single item they get they must show the cashier each one and the cashier has to put it in and give the better price. I suggest we boo them into submission. So much so that they never price match again.

“What’s that? You paid how much for those items? It is such a good deal that you hear cheering in your head that is much louder than the external boos that we are making for you?

“Maybe I ought to try price matching.” The other booers might try it, too. So if you find that every line at every store takes a long time to go through, just remember all the money we’re saving. We’re actually okay with using our time to pay for our savings.

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Why I’d Make a Poor Superman

The header of this blog is me from about Hallowe’en in 1975ish in a Superman costume. I was puzzled when my mother, taking pictures of me outside in the costume, told me to pose like I was flying. But I knew I couldn’t fly or fake it well which was why I was puzzled. A few years ago, my sister Laurel made the header and using photo alteration software made it look like I was flying up in the sky. Finally my Superman flying destiny was fulfilled.

But now I think that the dream of being just like Superman has died.

You see, this Hallowe’en I went bowling with friends. I had a mask that fit neatly in my pocket while getting there. Once inside the bowling alley, I put it on. It was a full head mask with horrific looking growths starting on one side of my slitted eyes and continuing on the other side. The mouth wouldn’t open for eating and only had a couple holes to breathe through. I had decided to make do. I was gruesome and it was beautiful.

Then the game started. I knew I couldn’t bowl through those slitted eyes so I took the mask off to bowl. Then I sat down again and put on the mask. It went like this: First I’d take my glasses off. Then I would pull the mask over my head. Then I would slide the mask around a bit until I had half decent vision through the eye slits. Then I would put my glasses back on, over the slits. Finally, I would push the arm hooks of the glasses against my head over my ears so they would stay on.

With the mask on, I would watch the rest of the bowlers until it was my turn. I then took my glasses off, then the mask and then put my glasses on my naked head. I did this for a couple frames and finally said “nuts” and just left my head unfettered for the rest of the game.

I was too lazy to keep honouring the day of costumes. What would I do if I were the real Superman?

I would work at the Daily Planet (as Clark Kent), until a teletype told me of some dangerous emergency. Then I would quickly don my Superman costume and save some lives. Then I would go back to the Daily Planet till the next emergency. Then I would change again and save more lives. Then I would head back and if there were a third emergency, I would yell “ The H-E- double hockey sticks with this!” and then I would fly out as Clark Kent and save the day and lose my secret identity.

And that is if i only have the good type of laziness. Otherwise by the end of the day I’d be saying, “Humans, you’ve got to start saving yourselves.” Then I would leave them to their own devices. The casualty total might be high but at least they might start pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

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Oh No! Alberta and Saskatchewan Might Separate!

Billboards have appeared in Alberta and Saskatchewan promoting separation from the rest of Canada. I think this is supposed to strike fear in the heart of all Canadians. I don’t think it is working.

What seems to piss off these two prairie provinces the most is inaction on building pipelines to get their oil out to the rest of the world and the carbon tax.

The carbon tax puts a higher price on oil and gas. Maybe some of the prairie economy comes from oil and gas. But like everything you have to weigh the benefits and risks. Not putting a higher price on oil and gas not only puts us behind the rest of the world, but it risks making our earth uninhabitable. Just so some people in Alberta and Saskatchewan can have a higher standard of living for a few years. Indeed, it is my hope that we get a prime minister who is tough enough to say all that oil and gas is going to stay in the ground.

The carbon tax is starting out low. So your economies have time to adjust, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We are trying to look out for your well being to some degree. Appreciate that.

As for the pipelines, do you really think that separation is the right threat? Let’s follow that line of thinking all the way through. Do you really think that other provinces are going to allow your pipelines through their jurisdictions after separation? Good luck with that.

Only this time the rest of Canada is likely to get petty. How about no rail car oil tankers through the rest of Canada? Or no truck oil tankers on our highways. No one is going to allow airplane tankers. Think about it Alberta and Saskatchewan. Do you really want to play the separation game?

The rest of Canada also bought your provinces a long time ago from the Hudson’s Bay Company. If you leave it will come at a price.

Have you seriously thought about separation? I don’t think that is the high card you want to lay down. Maybe the one that should act more accommodatingly is you, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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5 Litres of Blood

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the saying “Waste not, want not” is promoted by vampires, too. So when they find a victim I bet they drain the full 5 litres of blood that a fully grown human contains.

But think of that 5 litres. In Imperial units it is about 1.3 gallons. And it has to go somewhere before digestion so I bet that spot is the stomach. Think of what an extra 5 litres would do to a trim stomach. In Canada that is more than the large bag of milk that is common in stores. Imagine that strapped around a trim waist.

Vampires in the media are almost always portrayed as attractive and young looking with a lean figure. After feasting on one human, a female would look pregnant and a male would have what looks like a large beer belly. Of course this would go down as they digested. So if they feed every week, then by the 6th and 7th nights they would look like those trim vampires we always see in the media.

For there to be an inevitable love interest for the vampires, the lovers might only see each other once a week. This isn’t totally abnormal. When I was in university, one friend referred to a night of the week as “girlfriend night”. So let’s say a relationship like this could exist between a trim vampire and a human.

Now the rest of the week vampires could have a relationship with other lovers. On the 1st and 2nd night the vampire could have one girlfriend who isn’t embarrassed by her lover’s belly. The 3Rd and 4th night vampire could have a 3rd lover and 5th night vampire could have a 4th lover. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll look at the trim 6th and 7th night vampire that appears to be the most fantasized about.

I bet the vampire would be getting hungry by the 6th night. He could probably hold it together for the 6th and most of the 7th night. But late on the 7th night he would probably be prowling for a potential victim. Indeed that may be the motivation to date on the 6th and 7th night. If he fails in hunting down the most dangerous game, he can abuse the trust of his lover and make her the victim of his lust for fresh blood.

So if you don’t mind a lover that is pudgy in the middle, you can probably have a safe relationship even if that person turns out to be a vampire. Just don’t insist on seeing them on the 7th night. Allow them to stick with only one date night a week. You can safely see a different pudgy lover on night 3 and 4, a 3rd pudgy lover on night 5 and different pudgy lover on night 6 and 7. Just hope that the media is right and relative immortals stay trim all their lives.

So let this be a lesson to you vampire fearing men and women out there. Pudgy lovers are the safest.

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The British Royal Family Has a Problem with Titles

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is not the Princess of Wales to match her husband’s title. Indeed if the day that Queen Elizabeth abdicates or dies ever comes around, it was said at their marriage that Camilla’s husband would then be King Charles but she would have the title of Princess consort.

Yet this is how it is supposed to work for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge: When Prince William becomes Prince of Wales, Kate will become Princess of Wales. When William becomes King William, Kate will become Queen consort.

It seems that Camilla is being punished for being Charles’ second wife. And the addition of the word consort to their titles is further punishment for being a commoner.

This is not where my complaint of royal titles stops. Prince Phillip is not on equal terms with Queen Elizabeth as evidenced by the slight in titles. He’s 98 and still called prince.

I wish that whomever is the giver of British royalty titles just wasn’t so petty. It would be less taxing on my brain. A prince or princess should be the offspring of the king and queen. And every married King should have a Queen and every married Queen should have a King. The only time it should be different is if the King or Queen happens to be gay. Then disclaimers should be added to discern which one is running things and which one is only there because of marriage.

A queen being married to a prince just brings about imaginings of an Oedipus triangle. Yes, I said it and risk being thrown out of the commonwealth country of Canada. After all, Queen Elizabeth is our head of state.

Then, too, when it is Charles’ time, it looks like he will have the gender opposite of an Oedipus triangle.

I know it is bad manners to slight the royals this way but it is just that the titles they are given led me to these points.

And I will now go to the past to say that the British royal family has always been bad with titles. Remember Queen Victoria who had a whole time period named after her? The British Empire was at the height of its power back then. Remember the saying: “The sun never sets on the British Empire” because they held territory across many of the world’s time zones.

With all this, couldn’t Queen Victoria lay claim to the title of Empress? There have been lesser emperors and empresses.

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This Will Ruin More Learning Time

This new study out of MIT was designed to show, from Fitbit wearing students, that there is causation between fitness and grades. It found no such causation or even correlation.

But, because Fitbits and frustrated scientists are intrusive and don’t really care about students’ privacy, the data was mined further.

The next thing was to look at getting enough sleep before tests, midterms and exams. This also didn’t lead to a correlation.

But the scientists were bound and determined to find something so they looked at sleep before a non testing day or in other words a learning day.

The students who got the most sleep on the night before these days and strung those nights together, got the best marks. The next level of sleeping the night before got slightly poorer marks and the worst level of sleeping got the worst marks. Which blatantly suggests that sleep is important for learning.

Now this could just be a correlation. For instance, the students who had the worst marks might just have an inability to sleep well. Which makes it’s own sense. It’s just that I am going to assume that sleep is important for learning.

Knowing this, all the students will try their best to sleep well before a learning day. Most of the school year consists of learning days. Knowing full well the importance of this, the students will all put pressure on themselves to sleep well.

Do you know what is going to happen to a lot of those students? The pressure to sleep will be too much and they won’t get as much sleep as they normally would have gotten. So they won’t be able to learn as well or as much.

Their professors will drill it into their brains that they better stop clowning around at times they should be sleeping. Which will make the matter worse and their grades will go down further.

At the end of the school year the average mark will be down. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were down a full letter grade. The school can either lower their standards and give out grades they know their students are capable of or not promote a lot more students. I think the schools will have to lower their standards.

Then, in a few years, the real world will hire worse graduates and the general competence level will be down everywhere. Machinists will saw off more fingers, engineers will make worse bridges and more lawyers will become like Rudy Giuliani.

So it’s best to seal this one up and not tell any students. Really it’s for the good of all.

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Can Business Afford Ford?

Doug Ford is the province of Ontario’s Premier. His popularity has slipped drastically since he was first elected to the top post in the province. Still his political missteps continue.

He wants all gas stations in the province to display and post stickers that his government has decided they must attach to the pumps. They are decidedly propaganda against the carbon tax of the federal government. They claim that Ontario citizens are going to pay more and more to this tax. The stickers fail to mention that these very citizens are going to get more back in their income tax than they pay in carbon tax.

Anyhow Ford made it clear to the gas stations that they would have to put up the stickers or pay up to $10 000 a day in fines. This isn’t a fine thing to do. Especially since the stickers don’t stick.

I can just see all those anxious gas stations closing down their gas bars on the morning the fines started and rushing to a store for tape, scissors and even glue. They would be hoping against all hope they got back in time to attach the non sticking propaganda. (Can they even be called stickers if they don’t stick?)

And I can just see them managing to get back to the gas station only to find they had already been fined. They’d have to pay $10 000 because of what appears to be Ford’s bungling of the situation.

And it does seem like bungling. Remember Doug Ford’s brother, Rob, put Toronto under scrutiny for being the city with a crack smoking mayor. Doug was just a city councilor then because it was widely assumed that he was the more bungling of the two.

But I think it is an entrapment scheme to make some businesses pay more tax. But since tax is a dirty word to the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario, they managed to call it a fine.

What clever ways will Ford’s government come up with to make businesses pay more money to Ontario? When it can’t be a tax it’s fine. Surprise me Doug Ford. Maybe you’ll somehow manage to balance the budget with no tax. Just fine after fine after fine.

Doug Ford you’re more creative than I thought. But I still wonder if the province’s businesses can afford you.

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Boy is Trudeau Red Faced Right Now

Justin Trudeau in brownface and blackface is all over the news right now. The first poll I saw yesterday that takes this into account had the Conservatives and Liberals each going down a percentage point while the NDP and Greens went up a point each.

I was really hoping that this poll would show something more that couldn’t be quashed by the margin of error. Still I am going to treat this poll like it’s factual and truly representative of the voters.

Sure the Liberals should go down but why did the Conservatives go down? Shouldn’t the Conservatives be gaining some of the Liberal losses? I think it was inevitable that both would sink in their ratings. Why? I think it is an illustration of dog whistle politics.

Every single election the Conservatives are in, there is at least one scandal in their party where they have to get rid of a contestant for a seat because they do something racist or at the very least intolerant of a minority. Every election time. A lot of the time the Conservatives manage to hold it down to one scandal exactly. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Every election writ they want the public to know they are the party of racists and intolerance. Like a dog whistle this lets them get the racist vote while not upsetting the more equality minded in their party.

Now, seeing that Justin Trudeau is racist and the leader of his party, I think 1 percent of voters left the Conservative party for the possibly more racist Liberal Party. And 2 percent of the high minded Liberal supporters left for the Greens and the NDP in roughly equal numbers.

I am, however, disappointed that the effect is so small. Perhaps the import of this scandal has yet to sink in. I hope so.

Still I find one thing encouraging. I believe this election that the racist vote will be split three ways. Yes the Liberals and Conservatives will have some racists voting for them but still there is Maxime Bernier and his slate of candidates for the People’s Party of Canada. He and his candidates wish to stop or severely curtail immigration. They’ve been charged with racism many times but refuse to offer any concessions to their opposition.

And yes Maxime Bernier is from the Conservative party where he failed to become leader so he started his own party. Thanks Maxime for helping split the racist vote three ways.

And for a guy who can’t remember the amount of times he dressed up in brown face and black face, Justin Trudeau’s face should be beet red in embarrassment.

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The Evolution of Walking the Plank

Pirates liked making their captured enemies walk the plank. That is they would nail a plank to the edge of the ship much like a diving board. Then they would tie the enemy up so they couldn’t move anything except their feet a little. Then the pirates would set the victim on the ship side of the plank and make them move forward by the point of their swords. The small foot movements would eventually get the victim to jump off the plank’s far end. Because the victim was bound they wouldn’t be able to swim and thus drowned in the water.

Perhaps the pirates liked it because it was slow torture. Perhaps they liked to play mental games with their poor victim’s head. Maybe there was a third reason.

I bet the pirates liked to compare the quality of the various dives they had seen. “One time we made this guy walk the plank and he flopped forward on his belly and face. He hit hard enough that that may have been the cause of death. He cheated us out of a drowning.”

Or, “I still remember the one victim like it was yesterday. They fell cleanly into the water head first and disappeared under the water. They cheated us out of seeing that death.”

Or, “We had one like that they didn’t enter the water so cleanly but they squirmed under the ship and thus cheated us out of watching their death.”

It was bound to happen sooner or later that before they were bound, one victim who knew the drill and had certain skills might say, “I’ll walk the plank just don’t bind me. That way I can show off to you a one and a half somersault in the air before cleanly entering the water. I will enter the water so cleanly that there will almost be no splash.”

Always up for something new the pirates agreed. After the clean entry and the fulfillment of the contract the victim swam for shore and spread the news that the pirates were really dive aficionados.

And you thought police actions by the mighty states who plied the ocean stopped piracy. Really it was this being a spectator to good diving that led to the downfall of piracy. Soon all would be pirates filled the stands of diving competitions the world over instead of their trusty ships.

Did you think that the disappearance of piracy and the rise of competitive diving weren’t linked? Well they were and are. Without so much as one sword raised, would be pirates get to see the finest diving this world has ever seen.

If you can show me a place on earth where piracy still exists I will show you the same place has no serious competitive diving opportunities.

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