Monday, July 31, 2006

Double-double dipping

So it transpires, according to this article in the Hamilton Spectator, that Gwen Boniface, our beloved, warm and fuzzy ex-Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, had in fact left the country and taken up her new post in Ireland even prior to her resignation from the OPP.

How Monte Kwinter squares this fact with his barefaced lies to the media that 'she remains in charge until October,' I'm not quite sure, except that, of course, lying would come naturally to Mr. Kwinter after all those years of being a Liberal.

So presumably, she's not working unpaid for the Irish, and being in charge of the OPP until October (maybe by MSN Messenger?) she continues to be paid by the taxpayers of Ontario. Nice work if you can get it.

This ties in with another case of double-dipping I came across the other day. A representative of the elementary teachers' union was on CBC, expressing 'concern' that the government might investigate the excessive number of sick days teachers are taking these days. She didn't feel that an average of 12 days, or up to 20 days off sick was unreasonable.

Three or four weeks off sick, out of 9 working months each year seems high and I'm sure it bears investigation, but the real kicker for me was the revelation that teachers get paid for sick days not taken at the end of the year. That's right. If you show up for work for all the days you're supposed to, you get paid twice for 20 of them. Apparently this applies to most people in the public sector in Ontario. Budget deficit, anyone?

Of course, on the days when a teacher does call in sick, the taxpayer is bilked three times over: once for the teacher who's at home in bed, once for the supply teacher, and once at the end of the year to reward the supply teacher for not being sick that day. Makes my head hurt, but I bet it makes sense to Monte Kwinter.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Games In The Out Crowd

So the Outgames organizers and crowds are displeased that Stephen Harper has not been able to attend their event, and in particular the opening soirée. kd lang bemoans this and accuses PMSH of 'supporting intolerance' by not making space in his diary for this party, instead spending his time on frivolities, like for example running Canada, or working on issues related to mid-east conflict or global terrorism.

Let's suppose for one minute that we accept the Great Myth put about by lang, Tewksbury and their ilk, that there is any major significance in the PM's decision. What then; will the PM be expected to attend swinger's clubs to show his tolerance of others' sexualities? Should he go to a strip club regularly to show his solidarity with exotic dancers? Would lang and Tewksbury extend the same tolerance to pedophile groups and expect the PM to show up at their meetings? The notion of the PM being expected to show at any event, based solely on the sexuality of those participating is a nonsense.

I'm a firm believer that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation, but if that's the case, then demanding political attention based on sexuality is also a no-no. It's time for the homosexual lobby to practice what they preach, and do what they say it is they want, which is to get on with their lives and live as who they are. They don't need special attention from any politician in order to do that.

Tewksbury has said (in an Ottawa Citizen article accompanied by an Adonis-style photo shoot) that the Outgames have enabled him to be whole; both gay and an athlete. If that's true, I'm surprised he needs validation from PMSH. It was however, touchingly naive of him to think that nobody knew he was gay until he came out. C'mon... with those looks, that voice and that fashion sense? Please....

Friday, July 28, 2006

The One : 2006 to 2006

The One, ABC television's much heralded reality rock-star TV show has died. It was two weeks old. Despite a heroic struggle for ratings, producers were unable to revive the show.

The One leaves behind a grieving Canadian, left-wing, pseudo-cool, fake political hack turned big-time presenter, and a large hole in the CBC television schedule. George Strombolombolombolombol (that's enough ombols - Ed) was also injured in the train wreck. CBC spin doctors are working urgently to save his career.

The One was already missed by just about everyone, and now will be missed by noone. Peter Mansbridge, a remote acquaintance, said "Now I get my slot back, at least until next years' playoffs."

One Or More Of These Events May Be Related

  1. On Monday, Ottawa Police announce they will investigate the OPP's (non) actions in Caledonia.
  2. At the same time, Ottawa Police Chief Vince Bevan resigns.
  3. On Tuesday Justice David Marshall orders what passes for a police force and a government in Ontario to once again explain why they are ignoring his court's orders and not even attempting to enforce the law in Caledonia.
  4. On Friday OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface resigns, and plans to emigrate to Ireland.
  5. The same Gwen Boniface was silent for months in the face of criticism of her force, then came up with a weak and ineffective defence a few weeks' back. Insiders say the 'restraint' exercised by OPP in Caledonia was as a result of orders from top brass, including Boniface.

No wonder she didn't give a monkey's testicle what was happening in Caledonia. She already knew it would be Somebody Else's Problem.

More, including idiotic comments from idiotic Community Safety Minister Monte "Twinkie" Kwinter, here:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Couldn't Say It Better Myself

So I'll point you to this post over at Small Dead Animals.

The Book Of Harper, Chapter One

And it came to pass in those days that there was war in the lands of Israel and Lebanon. The Hamas-ites and Hezbollah-ites smote the Israelites and stealeth away with three of them. Seeing this, the Israel-ites waxeth furious and smote right back. And the leaders of the world were sorely vexed and waveth their arms, saying one to another, "Oh no, not again," And many of them called upon the Israel-ites to cease their smiting for lo, there was collateral damage.

But the leader of the Canada-ites, Harp-er, standeth steadfast by the side of the Israelites and praiseth the measure of their response.

When they heard this, the Global-ites, the Mail-ites and the Star-ites were angered and they rose up, saying, "Yea, this shall cost the Harp-er votes, see if it doeth not." And the great Leader of the Liberal-ites also riseth, saying "Wherefore abandoneth Harper the role of honest broker?"

And the multitude of the Gallery of the Press threateneth Harp-er, saying "Wherefore wilt thou not give us bites of sound, or answereth our questions? Wilt thou not throw us a frick-in bone?" But Harper leadeth onward and heedeth them not. "Then shall we smite thee in the Med-ia," sayeth the Gallery, but their threats were empty, for the People simply yawneth.

And the assembly of the Canada-ites heareth all and wondered among themselves saying "What manner of Leader hath we elected, who heedeth not the Polls of Opinion." And Harper's stock raiseth higher with the People.

Finding Karla

A Global TV reporter tracks down Karla Homolka in a Montreal neighborhood and footage of him confronting her gets broadcast to the nation.

Now, I am not a fan of Karla Homolka. Her crimes were horrific, and I don't know if she is a reformed character or not. But, rightly or wrongly, she has served the amount of time she was to serve and she is a free woman. Many might want her back behind bars, but that's not going to happen. What, then, is the best outcome that we can hope for? Surely it has to be that she does not reoffend.

I just don't see how sensationalist journalism and endless stalking is going to help. I have no objection to her neighbors knowing about her presence; they can take steps to protect themselves and their families. But keeping a national spotlight on Homolka, keeping her on the run and on the move, keeping her from any kind of normal life, is not going to help the cause of anyone's safety.

The truth is, the reporter and his tabloid brand of journalism are simply there to sell airtime and newspapers. The goals of public safety and rehabilitation would be far better served by discreet, local, management of Homolka, out of the camera's sight.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Somebody's Well Trained

Recently a debate has broken out on my corgi mailing list about the training methods used by Cesar Millan, host of a TV show by the name of The Dog Whisperer. In the show, Mr. Millan takes problem dogs, works his 'Power of the Pack' training magic on them and turns them into well-adjusted, model citizens. The problem, if there is one, is that Mr. Millan's methods involve the use of choke collars and various other negative forms of reinforcement, along with the theory that one needs to dominate a dog in order to train it. Within minutes of the first post on this topic appearing on the list, camps were forming on the 'positive only' and 'old fashioned correction' sides of the fire hydrant.

I haven't seen Mr. Millan's show, although I doubt that a half hour TV show tells all there is to tell about the life of any dog or any dog trainer. But, curious, I went to check out his website at At the bottom of the opening page, the rather bold claim is made:

"In essence, CMI plans to make the world a better place, one dog at a time."

Interesting... I started to look for some information about Mr. Millan's methods, or some advice for struggling owners (not that my corgis are problem dogs, I hasten to add). However, it seems that Cesar Millan Incorporated doesn't offer even a hint of a whiff of a trace of advice for free. Rather than making the world a bettter place one dog at a time, it seems Mr. Millan actually wants to make the world a better place $29.95, taxes, shipping and handling excluded, at a time.

Colour me cynical, but that's reason enough for me to avoid the man and his methods.

We Give Because They Gave

Kate over at SDA has a thread open for tributes to the slain RCMP officers Marc Bourdages and Robin Cameron. She asked that the thread be reserved for tributes and condolences. Nevertheless, one commenter there questioned the setting up of a trust fund for the children of the officers. Don't the RCMP provide adequate insurance?

Respecting Kate's wishes, I refrained from commenting there. But I will use the freedom of my own blog to respond. In these situations, a trust fund for the children is not a substitute for an insurance policy, but it is a way for a town, a region, a province or a nation, to respond collectively to the sacrifice of one of their servants. We don't know these officers or their children, but the officers were working for each and every Canadian when they gave their lives. Each and every Canadian owes them a debt, and the trust fund lets those who wish and who are able to, repay a little of that debt.

We give, because they gave, and their children gave.

Evacuation Plans

If it doesn't stop raining, lightning, thundering and blowing up a storm in Eastern Ontario soon, my corgis are going to need a government plane to come and get them. Does Mr. Harper have a stop in Carleton Place any time soon?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Serving and Dying with Dignity

I was recently in touch with a very old friend of mine, with whom I shared my education at the expense of the UK Ministry of Defence. After graduation from Britain's academic military academy, he chose the Royal Air Force, while I became an unemployed drop-out from the Navy. My friend is still in the RAF, and recently served the first of two stints in Iraq - he's going back shortly and is trying to get sent to Afghanistan as well, before his commission finally ends in two years' time.

My life in backwoods rural Ontario is a world away, both figuratively and literally, from the world I knew then as a young man. But Dave reminded me of the life we both shared at that time - a group of young men and women, eager to serve their country. Young, frivolous, playful, often drunk, and yet deadly serious about the calling they had chosen to pursue. None of them had any illusions about a military career, or about what that career could mean to them and their families.

It is a salutory reminder in these days when some of our own have and will continue to fall in Afghanistan. I suspect, that like my friends in the UK, our troops are serious about their calling and under no illusions about the possible outcome of their work. Certainly, this young man is.

The mass hysteria of the mainstream media, led by the CBC, when one of our soldiers is lost, would be alien to my friend, and I suspect it is alien to many of the comrades of Canada's fallen. The crocodile tears of left-wing politicians are a poor tribute to a brave soldier.

Far better to recognise the bravery and sacrifice, the dignity and honor of those who serve, whether they fall or not. That is what the young men and women I went to school with understood, and that is what they would expect and want. A soldier should be allowed to serve and die with dignity and not end his days as a political football punted this way and that by the chattering classes.

The Beer and Popcorn Report

Today was the day we'd all been waiting for. The first of the Universal Child Care Benefit cheques arrived. Sad to say, we are already well stocked for beer, and I don't like popcorn. So, to the no doubt great disappointment of Liberals everywhere, the money has gone toward an educational, musical toy for my daughter and a number of books, including some intended to be the first on the road to reading. Yes, not only did we not spend the money on beer and popcorn, but, horror of horrors, my poor deprived child is spending her days at home with her mother, learning to paint, to read, to imagine, to talk, to create, to behave as well as being two permits, and so on. Dr. Carolyn Bennett better reserve us that prison cell now.

Poll Finds Support For Harper at Record Low

A recent poll conducted among the staff of CBC Ottawa has found support for PM Stephen Harper at a record low. The poll shows that 99.2% of the staff at CBC Ottawa think the Prime Minister is doing a terrible job of pandering to special interest groups and handing out money to his friends. In particular, CBC staffers object to the PM's audacious attempt to run the country, rather than allowing the 'media' to do so for him.

Reflecting the findings of this poll, in a randomly selected 30 minute sample of Ottawa Morning today, 3 minutes were devoted to sports, 6 to a local newscast, 3 to weather, 2 to traffic and the remaining 16 to interviews and 'interpretation' bashing Stephen Harper.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Heraldry for the Politically Correct

Inspired by Mississauga Mat in the comments at SDA on the City of Vancouver story, a suggested coat of arms for Catherine Clement, their esteemed (and innovative) Director of Communications.

Shocked To Discover

There are white people in Vancouver??

h/t to Kate @ SDA

Questions for Bill Graham

How exactly would a Liberal government have gone about evacuating Canadians from Lebanon any quicker? Maybe with all those extra warships you never ordered? Or the cash-starved and demoralized military you created over 13 years? Perhaps you would have used the helicopters you cancelled when you came to power? Or the heavy lift aircraft you've been saying we don't need?

Bill Graham is a slimy, hypocritical, weasel who should put his defence cuts where his mouth is and risk his own neck in the crumbling military hardware he inflicted on a generation of our soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Registered Guns and Innocent Software Engineers

Doubtless the three guns that the RCMP found under Momin Khawaja's bed were registered in the Liberal's billion dollar computer system, and along with the military manuals, knife, cellphone jammer, electronic and rocket equipment were for entirely innocent purposes.

In fact, I expect it was the gun registry that tipped the RCMP off. Now don't you feel better about your $1,000,000,000.00?

Proportional Responses

It's sometimes apparent that the blogosphere follows certain trends, or more precisely divides into homogeneous camps. On the right, the Blogging Tories. In the red corner on the left, the Progressive Bloggers. Depending on the issue, there can be a lot of nuances, but sometimes the divide is stark and the positions narrow.

I've been silent on the Mideast situation, because, to be honest, I don't know an awful lot about it and, from what I do know, I think it's very complicated.

That said, I am finding the wholehearted and one-sided support of the Israeli destruction of southern Lebanon just a little difficult to take.

Two soldiers have been kidnapped, and this has unleashed an air, land and sea bombardment from Israel, using state of the art US weaponry. Hezbollah is responding in kind with the slightly blunter instruments at its disposal. Tit for tat, eye for eye, and so it goes on. Civilians are the victims on both sides of the border, although in far greater numbers on the Lebanon side.

No doubt it's true that Iran and Syria are being opportunistic and using Hezbollah to achieve wider aims. But it must also be seen that Israel is not averse to seizing this opportunity to destroy its own enemies and to use extreme force with impunity.

The quality of writing and debate in the blogosphere is what brought me here and I'm saddened to see a less than reasoned, almost zealously one-sided position being adopted by most conservative bloggers. Let's try to keep more of an open mind and recognize that both sides are capable of ulterior motives, that both sides are probably more worried about their political goals than civilian deaths and that we should be applying the same moral standards when judging the actions of both sides.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Anyone Else Noticed?

... the makeover of the splash page at, the Government's portal? I love it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Animal In The Machine

Technically inclined readers will know that Microsoft has recently released the Beta 2 version of Windows Vista, the next generation of Windows. Given that Windows has not had a makeover in some years, and that our home laptop doesn't see too much work that could be considered 'mission critical' I decided to give it a go.

I lasted three days with Vista. Buggy, slow, unpredictable, harder on the eyes than the OS it replaces. However, the real story is not what leads someone to want to lose Vista, it's how difficult it is to do. Once the Beta is on your drive, there's no way to uninstall it. No problem, I thought to myself, I'll just reformat the hard drive and reinstall XP. I had (of course) backed up all our personal files and settings before the Vista adventure began.

Two attempts later and XP still wasn't recognising any hardware on the laptop during the install. Thankfully having internet access from my other machine I was able to search around, and determine that the XP CD that shipped with my computer didn't support the Intel CoreDuo CPU that was in my computer. The technical details of the next 5 hours, I will spare you.

However, the upshot of all this is that I have been thinking about how OSs are named and represented by members of the animal kingdom.

First, MacOS X. All versions of this OS are named after big cats. Sleek, elegant, powerful, fast, efficient, with no excess weight. The tiger and the jaguar are perfect metaphors for what is the best desktop OS on the market today. And of course, when it comes to security, who's going to attack a tiger?

Next, Linux: The Penguin. To the uninitiated, a slightly awkward and ungainly creature, and on land, perhaps that's a fair impression. But watch March Of The Penguins, or see them slide gracefully into the water and swim, and a different penguin emerges. Highly optimised for their environment, graceful, and benign. No penguin has ever set his sights on world domination. The perfect metaphor for the open source OS.

Finally Windows. Before someone coined the Vista name, this version was known as Longhorn. To me, this is a kind of sheep. And again this fits. Large, woolly, not very clever and born to follow, never to lead. Sheep are, of course, also prone to bloating. This describes Windows perfectly. Vulnerable to attack from many predators, Windows needs regular shearing to keep it down to size. And it's only tasty when it's very young. When it gets old, it gets tough and tasteless.

The next time I'm shopping for a computer or an OS, I'm going to be considering what kind of animal I'd like in the machine.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Weather Report: Hell Expecting 40 Below & Blizzards

I can scarcely believe this has happened, but this column by Heather Mallick, CBC's resident femimoonbat, is actually quite humorous and something I can agree with, as the owner of a slowly collapsing 1850s money pit.

By Reader Request

By Popular (well, one person) Demand:

Cymry's Little Minister (Deacon), Merrymoon Noblestar Outrageous (Lucy) and Aberwyvern Angela Hewitt (Angie)

The Old Country Has Forgotten

Stephen Taylor has an excellent post here on PM Stephen Harper's speech to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce in London. The PM expresses a decidedly unfashionable view on the benefits arising from former British colonialism.

It strikes me that there is some irony in the fact that many of the virtues of good governance, social order and responsibility that the British imposed on their colonies have been maintained by the independent states making up the Commonwealth, while the British themselves have largely abandoned most of the things that made them Great.

I have travelled widely throughout Commonwealth countries and have lived here in Canada for 10 years, but still occasionally make it back 'home'. Modern Britain is a mean, materialistic, society, with little regard for education, order and respect. What matters now is what car you drive, what training shoes you wear and how much your house has gained in value in the last week. Crime is rampant, albeit mostly petty crime, and many people live daily with a fortress mentality.

By contrast, Australia, India, Singapore, New Zealand and to a lesser extent Canada, maintain many of the traditions of social order and good governance that the British left with them. In Perth, Australia, it is illegal for a teenager to sit on public transit if an adult needs a seat. Without exception, the young people I met there were polite, respectful, well educated and proud to be so. In Britain it's fashionable to be as ignorant as possible.

India and Singapore have maintained the 'old-fashioned' British education system, while in Britain that has wilted. The Commonwealth remembers what the Old Country has forgotten and is the better for it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Clive's Theorem of Political Action

Blogging here has been very light of late, partly due to technical problems but also because there simply has been less to say on domestic political matters.

I have been trying to get myself fired up about things, but with limited success. Flaming Ontario's Liberals over the Caledonia farce is easy, and yet somehow unsatisfying. On the federal level, it seems that the more the government does the less people feel the need to say, even including the petulant Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Hence my new theorem, that in political life, as in most other walks of life, action is inversely proportional to talking. An old friend of mine expressed this succinctly in the email signature "And we're going to keep having meetings, until we find out why nothing's getting done."

Stephen Harper has essentially arrived in 24 Sussex, quietly and effectively got on with the job of governing and has done things. Alien as this is to Canadians, it would seem to be welcome, or at least not unwelcome, even among many who don't share the Conservative viewpoint. Stephen Harper has won grudging approval from most of the people I know, even those of a Liberal or Dipper bent. And even they are left with less to say.

I will be looking for more material here, and have a suspicion that Ottawa City Hall will continue to provide rich pickings. So we at the Doggerel Party are back, and it's time for us to do less and say more once again.

But What Do I Do With The Soda?

Instructions on a 12 pack of Canada Dry Ginger Ale cans: "Tear open, then chill."

On the same note, another favorite instruction manual gem: "Do not use your snowblower on a roof."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Credit Where Due

In a departure from most of the reaction seen to date, I would like to offer congratulations to Stephen Fernandes, the 23 year old charged with mischief for urinating on the National War Memorial. Not for the incident, of course, but for the mature and contrite way in which he has dealt with the very public aftermath. In his interviews with the press he comes across as a smart and responsible man who understands fully the enormity of what he did. He's accepting of the consequences without complaint and is obviously very remorseful.

None of us would want to be in his place, or have to live the rest of our lives with the label that will forever be attached to him. So credit where it's due and kudos to Mr. Fernandes.

There but for the grace of accessible washrooms go many young men. Let he (or she) who has never been completely, mind crushingly, reason removingly drunk and done stupid things cast the first stone.

A Low Trick Even For CBC

A CBC Ottawa radio news item this morning, ostensibly about the training and preparation given to reservists joining Canada's mission in Afghanistan, included an interview with a tearful spouse of a soldier serving with the same unit as Corporal Anthony Boneca. The reporter then cleverly cut from this personal and emotional scene to a tapeof Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, who was obviously speaking before an audience, most likely of reservists. He cracks a joke; "as an old sergeant of mine once said, you only volunteer once." There was no context given; the impression left with listeners was that this was Mr. O'Connor speaking about Corporal Boneca, or responding with a joke in very poor taste to the tearful concerns of the previously interviewed spouse.

The intent here was clearly to depict Mr. O'Connor as arrogant, heartless and joking about the very serious subject matter of the report. It's a low journalistic trick and one for which the reporter and CBC should apologise.

The Sweet Smell Of Democracy

The Ottawa Citizen reports a Decima poll showing support for the banning of perfumes and scented products in Ottawa running at approximately 24% across the City of Ottawa. Support for the ban peaks in the over-55 age group at 27%, presumably on the grounds that they may be sporting the combined scents of mothballs, cabbage and Rub A535. 

Friday, July 07, 2006

Milking the Caledonia Cash Cow

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good, as the saying goes. In Caledonia, if you're a law-abiding white resident on Argyle Street, you've lost the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property, to security and personal safety, and to any form of protection from your own government. If you're a Six Nation's protestor, to hear them tell it, you haven't gained the land you want...

But there is one group of people who've suddenly had a lot of good luck out of this situation.

Liberal-friendly ad agencies.

Steve Janke has all the details.

Does the concept of turning a national crisis into an opportunity for funneling taxpayer dollars back to political cronies (and in turn back into party coffers) sound familiar....? We're going to need a bigger brush and more tar over here......

Thursday, July 06, 2006

First, We Take Your Policing, Then We Take Your Home

The Ontario Liberal government of Dalton 'disappointed' McGuinty is now proposing to purchase the homes of residents of Argyle Street in Caledonia, which adjoins the Six Nations reserve. Some have described this as 'ethnic cleansing with compensation.'

Presumably, Argyle Street will be bundled along with the other 267 acres of land that McGuinty has already gifted to Six Nations, wrapped in a red ribbon with a 'Love From Dalton' card.

There is so much wrong with this picture it's hard to know where to begin. What a pathetic excuse for a government we have here. To the victor go the spoils, and the victor here is Six Nations. McGuinty has caved to every threat, to every act of violence. He's done nothing to protect the 'non-native' residents of Caledonia, and has prevented the OPP from doing anything. He's created a two-tier justice system that sets a precedent for years to come.

If the 'non-native' victims here were Toronto or Ottawa upper-middle class metrosexuals like him, you can bet Dalton would be at least bleating a little louder. But most rural Canadians don't vote Liberal and Dalton can afford to throw them to the Six Nations wolves.

Maybe, just maybe, if enough is made of this situation in the media, right-thinking Ontarians elsewhere can at least teach Dalton and his cronies that crime doesn't pay at the ballot-box. It's already too late for the Six Nations to learn that lesson.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Smell Opportunity

A Catholic priest, who performs civil marriages in Ottawa, was complaining this morning that the City of Ottawa has muscled into the marriage industry and is undercutting the private sector providers of this valuable service. The City's position is that they are simply replacing the service that was offered previously through the provincial courthouses.

Either way, I think the private marriage providers are missing a valuable marketing opportunity here, because if a bride wants to wear perfume on her wedding day, she isn't going to be able to do it at Ottawa City Hall, thanks to Cllr. Alex Cullen and his tame band of moonbats.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Your Money Or Your Pint

One generally doesn't ask the price of a pint in a bar; there are certain norms around this kind of thing. Here in Eastern Ontario, we typically pay anything from $4.90 to $5.60 a pint before taxes, depending upon the location. Inner city pubs tend to charge more while my village locals charge less.

Imagine my surprise then, on discovering that the (admittedly excellent) pint of Church Key Holy Smoke I enjoyed recently at the Sam Jakes Inn in Merrickville set me back virtually all of $9 by the time taxes were factored in - $7.50 plus tax. This is a full 40% more expensive than anywhere else I have ever drunk, or anywhere I have ever got drunk for that matter.

Having consumed the beer, there's not much choice but to pay the exorbitant bill, and just not go back. But being so dramatically ripped-off leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Pissed Off

Having spent a very enjoyable Canada Day in that most Canadian of pursuits - lazing at the cottage with friends - it was extremely disappointing to see this story in the Ottawa Citizen of revellers urinating on the National War Memorial on the evening of Canada Day.

While the 'men' in the Citizen story are said to have laughed as their pictures were taken (presumably the Citizen is using the term 'man' loosely here), let us hope that at least for the one individual whose picture graced the front page today there might now be some shame. It's one thing to laugh about when you're drunk, but quite another to have to face the stares of people on the street; the disgust of friends and family; the muttered asides at your place of work. Let's hope this individual suffers all this and more.