Archive for December, 2008

Redux: An Apple A Day…

Time for another Post From The Depths Of Oblivion, also known as Previously Published Posts From Canadian Fermentation.

I have to admit that I really like this post.  Don’t you find apples inherently hilarious?

This Post of Awesomeness, as I like to call it, developed in a totally different way than most entries.  Usually a core idea starts to buzz around my brain, prompting me to write something generally related to the idea.

In this case, though, it was a phrase.  Specifically it was the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the prostitutes away,” that started the ball rolling.  For the life of me I can’t remember how I came up with that phrase, I think I was eating an apple at the time, but I found it quite hilarious and determined that a Canadian Fermentation post must be created with that phrase as the center piece.

Somehow.

At first I considered writing something about prostitutes, because, lets face it, they have a much greater inherent comedic value than apples, but, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I really dislike making posts about hookersHate itSeriously.

That left me with only one choice: to create a post about apples.   Not knowing anything about apples, I visited the Ontario Apple Growers Website and noticed that many apples have interesting names.  After that the post pretty much wrote itself.

Here it is in all its glory, An Introduction To Ontario’s Apples, with some minor edits.

——————————————————————————

You may be familiar with the saying, “An apple a day keeps the prostitutes away.” This is a good saying. Prostitutes are often carriers of disease, and if you happen to catch a disease from a prostitute you might end up going to a doctor to get some medicine.

I guess the saying could go, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away because it stops you getting syphilis from a prostitute” but it just isn’t as concise as the original and belabors the point.

Ontario is apple country. Because of this you might think that there are no hookers in Ontario, but in actual fact many women here are involved in this industry. I guess you can’t really trust folksy sayings for accuracy all the time.

You might want to eat an apple while you read this post because then it will feel like you are actually living inside of the internet.

Unless otherwise stated, all apple pictures are from the Ontario Apple Growers website.

Northern Spy: Available from October to May, this apple is a favorite for use in pies containing apple. Although the name conjures up images of stealth and sabotage, the Northern Spy is actually quite peaceful and non-partisan. In fact, during the infamous Apple Wars of the 1930’s, the Northern Spy maintained its neutrality and did not become involved in assisting either side in the conflict.

Empire: This ominous sounding apple is available from October through July. It has been known to be ‘slightly tart’ and ‘juicy’ at times, but for the most part is pretty amiable. You don’t find Empires around much any more, as they have become unacceptable. American politicians still seem to enjoy them, though, although they call them by a different name.

McIntosh: The McIntosh was first coded in the 1800’s to be the perfect apple. Unfortunately computers didn’t exist in the 1800’s so all that code went to waste. Luckily scientists found an alternate use for the McIntosh when they discovered that it was edible. Since then the McIntosh has been a favorite sauce and pie apple.

(photo from Webster’s Online Dictionary)

Road Apples: You might think that Road Apples look disgusting. This is because they are disgusting.  I don’t recommend baking Road Apples in a pie, or turning them into sauce. You probably shouldn’t step on them either, because then people will start complaining that they smell Road Apples and whine about how disgusting it is.  In fact, you should probably avoid road apples altogether.  It is for the best.

Spartan: Spartans are best when kept away from the opulence of the modern kitchen. The flagrant extravagance of today’s kitchens can upset the Spartans and cause them to declare war on you. They will then set up a defensive position in the narrowest part of your house. Once this happens it is almost impossible to dislodge them.

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December 16, 2008 at 12:15 am 2 comments

How To Stimulate The Economy

I recently spent time trying to figure out a way  I could  help stimulate the economy.  All the experts say that the best thing for me to do is  spend lots of money buying things I don’t need.   We need to keep the wheels of the economy greased.  Or is that greasy?

I spent the weekend looking around my place  figuring out what old, useless items I could replace.  One thing kept coming to my attention: the cats.

My cats are older models and, quite frankly, aren’t running with the pep that they used to have. I know cats sleep a lot, but twenty-three and a half hours per day?  That seems a little excessive even by cat standards.  It was obviously time for some new, younger, more modern cats in this household.

“Out with the old and in with the new,” is our civilizations battle cry, after all.

catbelly(Many people ask me what it means when cats expose their bellies.  They seem to think that it means that the cats are comfortable with their environment.  Actually, it means that your cats are mentally handicapped and have forgotten which way is up.  It is time for a new cat.)

As anyone who has  delved into cat acquirement knows, the first step is to decide on the model of cat you wish to purchase.  Personally, I have a soft spot for the Asian models – such as a Balinese, Japanese bobtail or something from the Hello Kitty line – as they tend to run longer on less food than North American cats.  Check out this video that  shows the ease of maintenance that is required of Japanese cats:

I began by checking the classified section of my local newspaper.  What a disappointment.  Most of the ads were for free cats, which defeated the purpose of obtaining new cats in order to stimulate the economy.  I noticed, though, that there were several ads for exotic models, such as Main Coons selling for $500.  Main Coons are a little more cat that I’m used to, but they have a solid body and are able to take a lot of wear and tear.  I called the number and inquired how much they would give me for trade-in.  They laughed.

Apparently cat breeders don’t take trades.  They informed me that there is no money in the second-hand cat market.

I was shocked.

This threw a monkey-wrench into my plans.  Five-hundred dollars was more than I  planned on spending for my new cats.

Next, I went to the animal shelter and asked the man at the front desk to see his newest models.  After giving me a questioning look he took me to a large room of shelves filled with cats.

There were a lot of second-hand cats available, and although I was not as interested in that market, I have to admit that some of the used cats were in good shape!  Plenty of the used cats had been previously owned for less than a year – I assumed that meant that the original owners could no longer afford payments and the cats had been repossessed.

fuzzycat(When your cat starts to become unfocused, it might be time to consider a new model.)

I noticed a couple of kittens in one of the display cases and immediately fell in love.  One was a long-haired black kitty with big, green eyes, while the second one was a short-haired orange, sporty looking model.

It was time to negotiate.  I feigned disinterest so that my opponent wouldn’t suspect my true desire.

“They are a little small,” I said.  “How fast do they run?”

“Oh, you know, they’re quick little buggers,” he responded.  “You’ve gotta keep an eye on them.”

“Hmm.  I don’t know.  Are they good to take off-road?”

“What?  What do you mean, off-road?”

“You know, like on road trips.  Do they travel well?”

“Uh.  I don’t know.  How would I know that?”

“I just assumed you would know your stock.”  I gave a sigh, and let my eyes wander over some other cats hoping that the attendant would think I was losing interest.  He was good at his job, unfortunately, and stood his ground.

“We prefer to find a home that will take both of these guys.  They are so attached to each other that it would be a shame to separate them.  Would that work for you?”

I shrugged.  “I suppose that would work.”  I yawned.  It was time to get to the nitty-gritty of the negotiations.  “I already have two cats that I’m looking to trade-in.  How much do you think I could get for them?  I’d have to get enough to make the price of these two reasonable in order to make a deal here today.  I’ve got my eye on a hot tabby at one of your competitors and they are willing to knock 50% off the price if I trade them my old cats.  Can you match that?”

The attendant stared at me for several moments – I assumed he was contemplating my offer – before responding.  “Uh, let me get this straight.  You’re trying to replace your old cats with a couple of kittens?  That’s just not right!”

I grinned.  “Ahh, you got me. What I’m really trying to do is stimulate the economy by spending money on some new cats, but I can’t afford the prices.  I was hoping to get a discount by trading in my old cats.  Think you can help me out here?  I’d really like to take these two off your hands.”

The attendant cleared his throat.  “Well…uh…that’s a…uh…great idea, but we don’t take trade ins.  When people get cats it should be for life.  Some people are irresponsible and leave their cats behind when they move and force their former pets to become strays, or they abandon them at shelters for both good and not-so-good reasons.  That’s where most of these cats come from.  Sometimes people don’t realize the commitment it takes to care for animals, and they lose interest.  Some of these cats were Christmas presents for young children, and the parents have no clue as to what it takes to be a responsible pet owner.  They figure it’s a cat and cats don’t require much care, so it will be easy.  They soon realize that cats do require care, and it takes money, time and commitment to give the cats a good life.  You should never get someone a cat as a present, especially kids, unless you are sure that they want to have a cat live with them, and they are able to care for the cat properly.

basketofkittens(New cats may look like they are easy to maintain, but actually take a lot of work.  Kitten-evil is a much more intense type of evil than regular evil.  Adult cats usually have a little less evil motivating their behaviour, but take just as much attention.)

“Sounds good,” I said, having blanked-out half way through this fella’s speech.  “So you won’t give me anything for my cat’s then?”

“No, no trade-ins”

I nodded.  This changed things, but  I was still determined to stimulate the economy.  “Well, how much do these new cats cost?”

“It’s all by donation.  You decide how much you want to pay.  We mostly just want to find these guys a good home.  They are expensive to upkeep, though, so as much as you can give would be great.”

I decided that it was my duty to spend some money.  Since I really didn’t need four cats I made a donation to the cat shelter instead, and left the kittens where they were.  The attendant said that this was probably a good idea.  I wrote a check and headed back home.

I walked in my door and noticed that the old, useless cats were asleep on the couch.  I put a handful of treats between them, figuring that they would notice when they woke up and  might wonder if Santa had visited and left them presents.  Unfortunately the fat one woke up first and ate all the treats before the skinny one could get any.   I guess that’s why he’s the skinny one.

December 10, 2008 at 4:19 pm 4 comments

Why Can’t I Be You

Ahhh.  If only I were other people.

Other people seem to be able to divest the inner turmoil that disrupts my thoughts to the outer world in a more succinct manner than I ever could.  Damn them and their fine communication skills.

For example, if I were David Suzuki, I would have written this article to explain how I feel about our current world view and the economy.  I recommend clicking the link and reading the article.  If you are lazy like me, though, here’s a good summary paragraph:

“Even stranger, economists believe this behemoth can grow forever. Indeed, the measure of how well a government or corporation is doing is its record of economic growth. But our home—the biosphere, or zone of air, water, and land where all life exists—is finite and fixed. It can’t grow. And nothing within such a world can grow indefinitely. In focusing on constant growth, we fail to ask the important questions. What is an economy for? Am I happier with all this stuff? How much is enough?”

If I were David Suzuki I would also kick the ass of an Australian.  Just because.  I know you know what I’m talking about.

The article is written in support of the new book, Managing Without Growth – Slower By Design, not Disaster, by economist Peter Victor. The Toronto Star also had an interesting editorial article about Victor and his new book.

I would have written this book if I were an economist named Peter Victor, and if I were Carol Goar I would have written an article about it for the Toronto Star.

But, I’m not.  I’m just a guy with a blog and nothing better to do than wonder what it would be like to be David Suzuki; David Suzuki kicking an Australian’s ass, and writing articles about the environment and the economy.  Ahhh…what a life!

December 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm 2 comments

Sean Avery Makes The Word “Moron” Seem Like A Compliment

I don’t often post about hockey, which may seem strange for a blog on Canadian things, and, to be quite honest, I’m not sure why I don’t post more about hockey.  I play the game, I’m an unabashed Leafs fan, and I’ve followed the NHL since I was a wee lad.

And, yet, it takes Sean Avery to make me want to post about hockey.  I’m posting because I think Avery is a moron.

This is Avery’s latest:

“I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada. I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.”

I’ve been perusing the net and reading commentary on Sean Avery’s latest outburst.  Surprisingly – or maybe not so surprisingly – there are a lot of people out there who find Avery’s comments funny.  Most people don’t seem to get what it was, exactly, that he did wrong.  People are wondering why he was suspended.

What struck me first and foremost about his comment is his disrespect towards women.  If you are not familiar with Avery, he is an NHL player with some noteriety.  He has dated several actresses including Elisha Cuthbert, who is currently dating Dion Phanuef of the Calgary Flames, and who was the target of Avery’s comments.

How utterly disrespectful of Cuthbert is Avery?  Calling an ex “Sloppy Seconds”?  Seriously, any women out there think this is a compliment?  Or, any women out there not offended by being called a “Sloppy Second”?

My god, what is wrong with Avery?  What is wrong with all the people who think that this is funny?  I’ve seen comments about the brilliance of his delivery, how it was genius the way he set up his intended comment.  Are you kidding?  It might possibly be funny in the context of sitting in a comedy club, listening to some stand-up, but in the realm of hockey in a pregame interview which Avery initiated?

No.  That’s just moronic.  And if you can’t see that, then it says a lot about your attitude.  I wouldn’t go around telling women that you think it’s funny to call them Sloppy Seconds.  Go ahead, try it.

Moron.

December 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm 5 comments

Ha Ha Ha – Canadian Politics

With all the hullaballoo going on in Canada about the impending political battle – can Stephane Dion actually end up as Prime Minister?!?!?!? – I think that it’s obviously time for a post about testicles.  You’ll see.

How messed up is it that a guy who only a month ago was on his last, shaky, political legs and about to exit from the political stage in Canada, can make some kind of strange u-turn and now be standing on the edge of becoming Canada’s next Prime Minister.  I mean, really?  This seems like a good idea to the political mavens?

Although I’m no fan of the Conservative Party, and this really does serve Harper and his bully tactics a slice of humble pie –  I find a tingling glee forming in the pit of my cockles –  do people really think inserting a shaky coalition government between three parties that wouldn’t stand at consecutive urinals together if they had a choice, a good decision for a country that has a questionable economic future?

I’m not sure.

Then again, it can be argued that the leftist parties who will form the coalition government have more right to claim that position than Harper’s Conservatives, since the left won a majority of the popular vote.

What brought us to this point is that Harper’s balls grew a size too large, which is not good when your heart is smaller than the Grinch’s, pre-enlightenment, as at that point the heart is not strong enough to pump the proper amount of blood into the over-sized balls.  This just leads to elephantitis of the scrotum.  Not good.

Harper tried to ram some politically questionable laws down Canadian’s throats, perceiving the opposition to be weak and unable to stand against the onslaught.  Apparently he was wrong.  His vision was obscured by his big balls.  His brain was lacking in proper blood flow due to the excessive size of his scrotum.

big_balls_std(This guy is proud of his big balls.  Yet, they are not as big as Harper’s.  Yikes!)

(Rumours have it that this is Harper’s favourite song.  He enjoys singing along with the chorus.)

The big question on the mind of many people is what will the international community think about this move?  That is an easy answer, and here it is.

Did you catch it?

Anyway, there is snow on the ground, a hockey game to watch later this evening, and politicians are looking in the mirror and wondering why they don’t get more respect:  It is just another day in Canada.

December 2, 2008 at 2:29 pm 8 comments


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