Wednesday, May 31, 2006

RJ on Freestyle??

If not, who? I just heard a promo for this afternoon's CBC Freestyle and they said that the guy who is petitioning for a Codco DVD will be on this afternoon. Isn't that RJ? Is it you??? You have nothing about it on your blog. Everyone listen at 2:30 to 4:00 (Newfoundland time) on CBC One and if you can't, I am going to make a copy on my computer. Go, RJ!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Two leaders and a loss

A few things to blog about today. First of all, two of the province's political parties have new leaders. First Lorraine Michael was swept up in a humongous victory of 107-5 over Nina Patey. Ouch! Only five votes. Congrats to Ms. Michael and please, this is your chance to do it. Grab it and run with it. Get the rural vote out and get your districts set up and strengthened now, not when an election is called. This is it! If ever the NDP was in a position to become the official opposition in this province, it is now when we have the Liberals floundering around.

And speaking of the Liberals, they have a new leader. Gerry Reid, the interim leader pre- and post-Jim Bennett, has agreed to step up to the helm. Well, stay at the helm. I imagine it was all the Liberals giving him a poke and saying "come on, b'y, do it. Stay with it. Sure, you're the leader now anyway. Come on. Pleeeaaasssse. Pleeeaaasssse. Come on." Anyway, it worked. I'd say congrats but, you know, not really. More like, good for you for taking up the task.

And lastly, a sad loss for our province. Doris Saunders, the longtime editor of Them Days magazine, has passed away. Them Days was an invaluable recorder of Labrador history. Ms. Saunders had been struggling with the terrible Alzheimers Disease for a few years. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Their loss is truly Newfoundland and Labrador's loss.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly 4

The Internet is an amazing thing. It can be used for everything from spewing neo-nazi hatred to searching for a way to end poverty; from making people laugh at cartoons to making people weep with a poignant true story. In a semi-regular feature, here are the good, the bad and the ugly for this week:

The Good

GetNetWise

I've already admitted that I intend to be a very nosy mother when my child gets old enough to get on the Internet. There are too many reasons out there in the world for me not to do this. There are a variety of websites out there about this but GetNetWise seems to have lots of good stuff there and also includes info about other things like spam, security for your computer and online privacy. Check it out but if you are a parent with a kid who goes online, definitely check it out.


The Bad

The Heather Crowe File

This week I posted about the death of Heather Crowe, the anti-smoking advocate. In an effort to find out exactly when she died, I googled her name and there, as the number one hit, was a page called the Heather Crowe File. I started to read it and was horrified, knowing that this page could make the Bad and the Ugly sections of this posting. I was shocked. I'm not going to post the links to any of the "bad" sites I put up and this one is no different. Unfortunately, you can google this one but I don't recommend it. It basically picks apart Heather Crowe's anti-smoking campaign, her disease and the reasons for her disease.It gives myths about her and reasons why she was "the perfect victim" for the anti-smoking campaign. It even picks apart her kind of tumour and the fact that Heather Crowe never made biopsy results and medical reports public. WTF? Why should she have to do that? Who the hell thinks she made this stuff up? This seems to be some kind of anti-anti-smoking site and the fact that it is still up after her death makes it even more disgusting.

The Ugly

Awful Plastic Surgery

Okay, I'll confess. I thoroughly enjoy this site. But there are some pretty ugly things on there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Outmigration

I'm a weeper and I love Newfoundland and Labrador. Love the place. So when I watch/listen/read the daily cavalcade of stories about people leaving here to go away, I usually end up bawling because to me, it would hurt so much to leave and I can't imagine having to do it if I really didn't want to, if I was financially forced to go. My husband though is annoyingly logical and he just says "well, he had to leave our home town to come in here to St. John's". Yeah, still Newfoundland is my response to such coldness .

But then the other day, when I was lamenting more guys we know leaving their families to go to Alberta to work, he said something that really hit home to me. He said how it was not that different than the way it's always been. The first settlers here were men who left their families to come over here and fish for a season. Years ago, men went to sea, either fishing or on supply boats, and left their families for long stretches. Men went to war and left their families for years. They went to lumber camps and worked on construction projects all over the island and Labrador and left their families. It was a part of life. I know more women are leaving now to and maybe that is different but in these days of equality for women we have to expect that. So, I wonder if it is really that different than it has always been or if the media are just playing this over and over, making a way of life into a story to pull at our heart strings, to make weepers like me bawl and to make us all think that rural Newfoundland is going the way of the dodo bird. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Heather Crowe Dead at 61

Remember back a couple of years ago when there was an ad on TV telling of the dangers of second-hand smoke? Waitress Heather Crowe told her story of getting lung cancer despite never having smoked. Crowe succumbed to the disease over the weekend. Forty years of serving smokers and second-hand smoke, doctors said, was probably to blame for Crowe's diagnosis. Now Newfoundland and Labrador has cut out smoking in public places. I don't think the hospitality industry is too happy about that move but, as a reformed smoker, I am always pleased when I go into a restaurant or pub and there is no smoke there, no reason for watery eyes and my clothes don't stink when I leave.

I'm not sure how much Heather Crowe had to do with that but I remember how her story touched me in that ad. I know that she tried to take this rotten thing that happened to her and turn it around to something positive, to try and stop it from happening to others. She said,
"When you're done with your chemotherapy and (you're) on your knees at the toilet...this is when I made my decision I can never let this happen to someone else."
We should all be grateful to her for that and remember her for a moment.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Who's in charge of this joint?

One joint. One single marijuana cigarette and a young girl is facing trafficking charges and a criminal record. Now, I don't know the details of this case so I am only talking about the one thing I know and that is that it was one joint. I have never used marijuana, honestly, not even to smoke it and not inhale. Just not my scene and I've seen enough people do enough crazy things while under the influence of the stuff that I never wanted to do it. Besides, it's not regulated so you don't know what kind of crap you're getting. And also, it stinks, to me.

I am for the decriminalizing of it. That is another issue, of course, because here we are talking about trafficking, not possession. If it was possession, then what could you say about it? You possess it, you can under the current laws, get charged with the offence. But trafficking? I mean, come on. Apparently trafficking means moving drugs from one person to another, be it selling, trading or even giving it. Lock us all up. I've sat in the crowd and had one passed to me but just passed it on since I don't partake. I bet most of you reading have done the same or more. Trafficking? That's not zero tolerance, that's crazy. This is a young girl with a possible future, who could have counselling and some education about drugs instead of a criminal record.

Seems to me that zero tolerance in the schools means that school administrations don't need to make decisions, don't have to decide who gets what punishment for what. Aren't decision making and deciding what to do in specific circumstances, the very things we should be teaching young kids about so they can do it when they get out into the real world (where, by the way, this girl would have probably just gotten a warning)? So, if the school has a no tolerance policy and that's the reason the RCMP charged her with trafficking, then who's in charge of this joint? The school or the cops? Seems like I'm not the only one passing things along.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sloganizer

Been down with a bad cold. But I found a new toy called the sloganizer. It updates my slogan every thirty seconds so every time you return (presuming there are thirty seconds between visits), you'll see a new slogan. You can get one too.

generated by sloganizer.net

Friday, May 12, 2006

Writing Challenge Generator

I figure RJ, king of all writing challenges, will like this website where you can tell the Writing Challenge Generator how many challenges you want as well as how many elements should be required. Then you just click the generate button and...instant challenge. I went easy on you all (come on, NL (and any other) bloggers, step up and place your stories here) and only asked for one required element. My writing challenge is :

The story must involve some plumbing pipes in it.
My rules say it can be as long or as short as you want (preferably short though because you know how we blog readers get bored when you go beyond a paragraph or two). Now, write. Please.

Funny stuff from McSweeney's

Warning, if you despise David Caruso's lame overacting in anything but especially his CSI:Miami (a show I would probably like if not for him), then you could pee your pants laughing at this one. I love McSweeney's.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Things I am not caring about

I usually love celebrity gossip but every now and then (usually around the time a new Tom Cruise movie comes out and I get pelted with having to look at him every minute) I get to really not caring about it all. I mean really:

Britney is pregnant again.
Don't care in a really, really big way.

David Blaine nearly dies after staying underwater for a week then holding his breath for seven minutes.
So do not care. What an idiotic and inane thing to do. What did it prove to anyone? That with an oxygen tank and a dream anyone can be a goldfish?

Tom Cruise's new movie only takes in a paltry $48 million.
Awww, poor Tom. Now, why should I care about this?

Keith Richards has surgeries and may have brain damage.
I believe that ship has sailed years ago, people.

Angelina Jolie is World's Most Beautiful according to People Magazine.
Yawn. Yes, she's beautiful. Most beautiful in the world? I have a few billion more people to look at first.

And what I am truly caring the least about: Amy Fisher, Mary-Jo Buttafuco and Joey Buttafuoco on Entertainment Tonight every single night for the past two freaking weeks until I want to throw up.
Who cares?? I don't think they even care at this point.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Big News Day

So, I'm listening to CBC radio and they have clips of Danny Williams' press conference announcing that we/us/the province will be developing the Lower Churchill. Not someone else for us. We're going to do it ourselves. Dear Jesus, thank you for Danny Williams. Now I don't know anything about hydro development, but I think it is amazing that someone finally says we can do this, we don't need anyone else. Add therefore, folks, we get the money from it. Yes, we have to put it in too but that has to happen with any investment. We're ready for this, Danny. Bring it forward, we're ready.

Then I surf over to the VOCM news website and there I read that Jim Bennett is quitting as leader of the Liberal party. Now, I''ve poked a bit of fun here about him before but I do feel bad for him. Either he really felt that he could make a difference for our province or maybe he felt he could be like his wife and become a powerful political figure, but either way he didn't do it. I feel bad because at least he tried and that was more than any of the other cowards in the provincial Liberal party did. A well-established Liberal could have run and probably would have beaten Mr. Bennett but none of them did and so they left him dangling out there for the media (and his fellow Liberals) to take smacks at him from time to time. So, good luck, Mr. Bennett and I will try to remember your political career as one in which at least you gave it a shot and that is more than can be said of some others around you.

Atlantic Journalism Awards

The Atlantic Journalism Awards were given out this weekend and along with a load of Honourable Mentions for journalists from Newfoundland and Labrador, the winners from our province were:

Spot News - Radio - The gold award winner was VOCM Radio, St. John's, NL, for September Fire.

Enterprise Reporting - Radio - The gold award winners were Kathy Porter and Terry LeDrew, CBC Radio, St. John's, NL, for The Teen Age

Continuing Coverage - Print - The gold award winners were Stephanie Porter and Alisha Morrissey, The Independent, St. John's, NL, for Melina and Keith II Coverage.

Feature Writing - Television - The gold award winner was Fred Greening, CBC TV, St. John's, NL, for I Arose From The Woodlands.

Commentary - The gold award winner was Russell Wangersky, The Telegram, St. John's, NL, for Left With A Feeling Of Emptiness.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

And the winners are

The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council handed out their Arts Awards last night and some of the winners were:

Giller nominated writer, Lisa Moore, received the Artist of the Year award ($2000 cash prize) ; Duane Andrews got the Emerging Artist award($2000 cash prize) and Actor/Artistic Director Beni Malone picked up the Arts in Education award ($2000 cash prize) . Congratulations to all.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The good, the bad and the ugly 3

The Internet is an amazing thing. It can be used for everything from spewing neo-nazi hatred to searching for a way to end poverty; from making people laugh at cartoons to making people weep with a poignant true story. In a semi-regular feature, here are the good, the bad and the ugly for this week:

The Good:

Snopes.com

Do you recive those annoying emails each and every friggin' day, telling you that some email petition needs to be signed (email petetions are the equivalent to spitting into the wind since none of them ever end up anywhere except back in my bloody inbox), or that a certain product will cause your head explode if you microwave it immediately after you wash your hair with some specific shampoo, or something equally idiotic? Well, snopes.com is for you. Just go there, take a moment to insert a few keywords from your annoying email du jour and press search. Before you know it, Snopes will tell you whether the story is true or false (99.9% of the time it will be false) and probably tell you some legitimate information about the topic. If you take a few moments to browse around Snopes, you will find many familiar sounding emails. Stop the insanity now, bookmark Snopes and check it out before you press forward on your email.

The Bad

Upskirt sites

There are sites out there where you can find hidden camera shots called "upskirts" (or if that doesn't turn your crank, how about "downblouse" sites). Either way it is some pervert sneaking a camera in the toe of his shoe or bottom of a cane (or baseball cap in a downblouse) and taking shots up someone's skirt. These blurry, fuzzy, invasions of privacy are then uploaded to the Internet where people can browse them, often for money. I think this should be a pathetic test. If you need to see a woman's vagina so badly that this is where you look, then you are pathetic.

The Ugly

Uglydress.com

Remember all those hideous bridesmaids dresses you've seen? Maybe you have one hanging in your closet now, reminding you of the time you were forced to wear blue satin and a humongous bow. Well check out uglydress.com and maybe you will feel a little better knowing there are even uglier dresses out there than you wore. (And guys, there are ugly tuxes there for you.)

Coming soon: more pathetic tests. Suggestions are welcome.