Thursday, February 23, 2012

One goose step leads to another

I know I feature Rick Mercer's Rants a lot on this board. That is in part due to the fact he is a Newfoundlander I admire and find amusing, but also because sometimes he just nails a point.
This is one of those times.

Vic Toews' big brother quest for online surveillance of Canadians has generated a lot of media attention- but not enough public outcry. Few seem to understand the implications this kind of unfettered access into our private lives Bill C-30 would provide.

Bill C-30, or as the Tories would gift wrap it: "Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act". As much as I would like to see child molesters flayed, and then burned slowly over an open fire, I cannot support an act that would:

--> allow authorities to demand access to subscriber information from both ISPs and telephone providers without needing to present a warrant

--> require telecommunications providers to ensure that there was a back door entrance to allow all communications to be intercepted when desired. Guess who is paying for that.

--> these powers would be granted to police agencies, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Competition Bureau officials, as well as anybody "appointed" by the Minister of Public Safety to carry out such actions.

--> allows any of these persons to make copies of the data taken from citizens' digital devices, without oversight or a right of appeal.

--> prohibit ISPs from answering affirmatively if a customer asked them whether authorities had been searching their data.

Think about that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A strange kind of luck

My luck, if you can call it that, has not exactly been stellar for the past little while. For some time now I have wondered if someone has created a mini voodoo doll in my likeness and is methodically pulling on its fingernails and holding its nether regions to the fire.

Nothing that will kill me- just damn annoying.

For example, my washer randomly stops washing mid cycle, and starts up again just as randomly. In my kitchen, the faucet only has one working option: spray, which makes it difficult to fill a kettle.

A leak in my kitchen ceiling alerted us to the fact our shower stall in the master bathroom had to be gutted and redone. As you can imagine, that was not exactly cheap.

Our mattress popped a spring a week ago, which meant we had to order a new one. Do you know how expensive those things are? The new one has arrived and it feels a lot like it is made of concrete and stone. I am hoping it is going to loosen up- but hope has been thin these days.

Since December my van has had a series of issues, starting with the engine light coming on due to leak in some tube, and then it died in the driveway because it needed a new battery. Two weeks ago one tire went flat on my way to work, which just happened to be the first day of exams. I was late. About four days later a second tire popped and I was late yet again. My momma didn’t raise no fool, after the second flat I replaced the set. Ka Ching.

In the midst of all this, I was called for Jury duty.


But you know, just when you think someone really has it in for you, something happens that changes your view on things.

This morning as I was brushing my teeth, I made the mistake of looking up, where I saw a shadow creeping across the bathroom ceiling. I moved the towel, which was draped over the door, hoping that it was a nasty trick of the light. Nope. It wasn’t a trick.

I hopped up on the bathtub and touched the ceiling. Wet and cold.

Funny, I thought, while it has been cold, it has not been wet, and there are no pipes up there, so what in the name of holy hell is happening now? I got down and sat on the edge of the tub, numb. Distantly I heard Wil calling out to me: “Momma, come wipe my bum.”

There was nothing to be done at the time, school is waiting for my boy, work is waiting for me, and we are now behind schedule. In a daze, I wipe the little bum, brush his little teeth, kiss his little face and stuff him in the van. When we get there, I realize, I forgot his knapsack with his schoolwork and lunch in it. So back home, retrieve knapsack and back to Wil’s school. I realize at this point, I am barely going to make it to work on time for the third time, in as many weeks.

Finally on my way to work now, I am in a complete and total funk. Worry is a monster gnawing away on my innards. How much is this going to cost? Does this mean our roof is going? Are we going to have to replace that now? What next?

Cresting the hill I can see the flashing lights of the fire trucks and I can hear the sirens of the police cars. Meters away, at the corner of Tauton and Baldwin is a bad accident. “My first thought was: Gosh I hope everyone there is alright.” My second, more cynical and selfish thought: I am surprised that wasn’t me.

And then it hit me.

I missed this collision by minutes…perhaps the amount of time it took me to go home to retrieve a little knapsack.

So, leaky roof- bring it on.

That, I can handle.