Life Sentence

Random thoughts about publishing, stamp collecting, politics, popular music of the 60s and 70s, mooses, and my motley other obsessions.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Have a great holiday, everyone

This Christmassy "Getting Research Funding" Poster cracked me up. I hope you like it too.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Alumin[i]um foil helmets

I'm probably the last person on the planet to see this -- I usually am -- but it really cracked me up.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Seen yesterday #2

Last night, 7:00 p.m. Early evening but already very dark and a bit snowy. I'm driving to Orfus Road to pick up my daughter, who is at a place called Rinks with some friends. I get there about 15 minutes before I'm supposed to, so I decide to drive around the block. The area is full of discount stores; I'm curious to see if there are any new ones that might interest me. But on a Sunday night everything in the area, except Rinks, is closed.

I drive along Orfus to Caledonia, then turn on to Bentworth. A few doors in on Bentworth, I see five cars stopped in the parking lot of some industrial building with their lights on. A few young men are standing among the cars, smoking and talking. The scene is repeated at several more parking lots down the street, with from two to five cars in each lot. All have their lights on, and all either have men sitting in them, or standing nearby.

I presume what I saw was some drug deals in progress. A nicely secluded street where they will be able to do their business undisturbed. It briefly occurs to me to call the police and tell them what I've seen, but I decide that doing so would simply display my innocence. Presumably the drug cops already know. This was so out in the open! But if they know, why let it happen so openly? It would be so easy to block off each end of that block in an industrial area -- the drug guys would be pretty much trapped (or at least their cars would).

I'm also wondering at my reaction. I don't support the current drug laws. I think the criminalization of drug dealing has basically made it a profit centre for criminals. If you legalize drugs and make them readily accessible and affordable, the criminal types have no incentive to deal drugs. No money to be made there -- and no incentive to push the drugs either.

I think that what rattled me about the experience was more the open display of (presumably) criminal behaviour than the actual activity itself.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Australian beer glasses

I was intrigued by this site on the regional names for different sizes (and presumably styles) of beer glasses in Australia. I'd always assumed that the schooner/middie/pony distinction I grew up with in Sydney was standard across the country. I should have known better! (A schooner was the standard size; middies were for teenagers or not-so-thirsty adults; and polite non-beer-drinking-ladies-who-ordered-something-to-keep-you-company would order a pony.) Apparently using that lingo will label you as a Sydneysider in Melbourne. Interesting how they still measure the stuff in ounces. Same here in metric Canada, although here we have only pints (20 ounces, no?) and half-pints. Ordering a half-pint in some Toronto pubs gets you a pint glass filled to within a half inch or so of the top -- a wonderful bargain! Oddly, the beer glasses they sell for home use seem to be 12 ounces. I wondered about that until I realized they hold exactly the contents of your average bottle or can. Duh!

Anyway, I'm contently sipping a fairly weak gin and tonic from a Creemore Springs (12 ounce) glass as I type this. The glass holds a full can of tonic and just enough gin to give it some flavour. Yummm.