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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Contractor Hell

Ok, we have a tiny patch of land at the back of our house. About 22 X 22 feet. We want a fence.

We found a company (I'm not going to start trashing. Yet.) that makes nice fences. They are not cheap, but they aren't out of whack by the standards of this area.

Cedar, 3.5 foot concrete footings. 6" X 6" posts. Gate hardware. Leveling of our lot and removal of crap. All the good shit. Buddy is going to loan me his paint gun dealy.

The problem is that we first contacted him in April. It is now manifestly not April. Not even a bit. Nor is it June or July. Yesterday he blew off another appointment with us (back story, we'd given up on him and were thinking of doing it ourselves). His reasons are always great. How can you get mad at a man who is having some kind of gastro thing. Anyway Chris called him last night and told him what was what. Basically "sorry you're sick, but fuck you buddy get your ass over here and put in our fence dammit". He doesn't understand the problem, we haven't paid a deposit etc etc ... She tries to tell him that it's not the fence's quality we're worried about, it's the whole existance of the fence thing.

Anyway, he shows today. An hour late (ATTENTION! NO ONE IS IMPRESSED)

So he starts leveling our backyardlet. And he figures on putting the rubble in the empty lot acorss the ally. The owner of said lot comes out. Discussions are held. Suddenly he's leveling our lot and making the other one smooth as well. This is where being passive agressive is bad. Someone with less character flaws would have gone up to him and said "Hi. Stop. Now. Finish my shit and then play on this guy's lot.".

I'm not that person.

So the long and the short of it is four of the seven posts are in. They are plum and everything (6" X 6" is big in theory but HUGE in practice), and they will be back to do the other three. He still can't figure out what is going on.

I'm still a passive agressive asshole that can't deal with any form of conflict.

But the fence should be in by the end of the week. We've priced dirt and sod and gravel – we're going to do a quicky version of our yard this year and then work on it through the fall and next spring.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm going to remember this for a long long time

"We want to find out why this United Nations post was attacked and also why it remained manned during what is now more or less a war and during obvious danger to these particular individuals. I'm going to ask our military to consult with the United Nations and the government of Israel to get answers to these troubling questions."" Stephen Harper. 

Sir, they were doing their job. With honor and dignity. The way they were meant to. 

So much for not cutting and running eh?

Last week was my birthday, so my co-workers surprised me with cake and some small gifts. 

It was amazing of them....

...that said the gifts themselves are a bit troubling. 

I got a document holder thingy that has a fish and water in it (fake fish, clearly), a stress ball and a little battery operated zen fountain thingy. 

Perhaps I'm a touch overwound? 

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gimmie Fever

So this is day two of Lucas at home sickly.

We're starting to think that it's his teeth causing the problem. 

Fever, "booboo" somewhere near his mouth, head area, upset tummy and a rash near his mouth...

He's feeling better and isn't as hot, but he is quite sensitive and cries easily. 

Friday, July 21, 2006


Sport is very often a microcosm of the human condition. It showcases what is very bad about humans and can also showcase that which is very very good.

Yesterday I watched this, and it was very very good. If you aren't following the tour, let me set the stage. Landis, one of the odds on favorites, went from being ahead by a few minutes, to utterly falling apart and being behind by 8.

When I say "fell apart", I mean that he was going so slow that I could probably have kept up with him on a flat road. The only thing that got him over the finish line was grit.

So everyone had written him off. Decided that he was done.

And then yesterday happened. On the first hill he started to break away. And no one followed. Because, you know, he was done.

Apparently Landis didn't get this memo. Off he went, pulling some fairly unimportant (in terms of the overall standings) riders with him. Anyway, when it was all done, he'd clawed his way to within 30 seconds of the overall lead.

With an individual time trial on Saturday.

Did I mention that he beat the first place rider by 5 minutes in the last time trial?

God the French cycling press is going to have a crap come Sunday if everything keeps going like this.

UPDATE: Testosterone makes no damn sense as a drug that you would take between stages. It's a thing you'd take during training. Until the B sample comes back, I've decided it's natural.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ah.. that special time of year...

"The Birthday Song" by the Dik Van Dykes:

So I hear it's your birthday
Who gives a shit?
Do you feel older?
You certainly LOOK it.
Did you get lots of presents?
A pinch to grow an inch?
Did you phone your Grandma
And thank her...for the GIFT?
Well you can have your cake
And you can eat it too
I hope it's fake
And you live in a zoo
And you look a monkey
And you are one too!
Was anybody important born today
Or just you?
When you were born
The doctor slapped your mother!
On the day you were born
They invented the pill!
Did you get a Get Well card
From your sister or brother?
So I hear it's your birthday
Well, big fuckin' deal!

37. Piffle. 

Monday, July 17, 2006


So, across Ave du Pins there is a series of buildings that are filled with students.

Most of them are just like any other neighbor, sometimes loud, but mostly quiet and keeping to their own business.

I've always viewed neighbors like a reality TV program. I name them based on their appearance or behavior. So for a while there was the geek, who logged even longer hours on his computer than I did and there was the guy I figured for a grad student (who we liked a lot) who was quiet and grumpy and funny to watch.

These people have gone, and in the shuffle of people moving in, and from floor to floor, we got new neighbors. There are the girls that very often look like they are straight out of an American Apparel advert, a huge group that live in a ground floor appartment and someone we're calling Capoeira Boy. He seems to have about 5 pieces of clothing, many of them with the words Capoeira written on them.

Right now, at 7:28 AM, he is playing his drum on his balcony.

His roommate having moved from the theoretical "sure, living with you would be cool" to the "holy fuck I live with Capoeira Boy" is looking less and less amused as the current heat wave continues.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Camping Trip Roundup

As you can tell from my last post, combined with the fact that there are no computers in the forests of Quebec, we're back from our camping trip.

We stayed at the lovely, humid, picturesque, buggy, sunny, rainy, beautiful Parc National Jacques Cartier.

Christine, Lucas and I went hiking two days and into Quebec City one day with my Dad. Marjorie, Darren and my Dad went canoeing a couple of times (first time over rapids for all of them I think) and we all ate and hung out and had a great time.

Lucas' first hiking experience was a huge huge huge success. We did the same trail twice, since he liked it so much the first time (we did Les Cascades). There were rapids, little waterfalls, a place to sit near the river and eat M&Ms (which we think might be a large part of the attraction of hiking). On the first day we went he walked about 6 km and the second day about 5. We rented kid carrier from MEC as insurance (I can't say enough about the Deuter Kid Comfort III - it was amazing) but wound up using it very little.

He slept quite badly in the tent mind you. The excitement, the noise, hearing Grandpa's, Tata Marjorie's and Uncle Daz's voices, and the newness of it all kept him wound up till about 10 or 11 every night. There was much stupidity from both the adults and the child. A sampling would include me bawling "I don't want a baby any more" and Lucas smashing Maman in the head with his flashlight.

Over all thought he did amazingly. He ate pretty much all the food we gave him, accepted being changed outdoors on the picnic table as if it was the only way to have one's diaper changed and, once we told him his boundaries, played happily on the camp site for hours.

There are pictures. They will be coming shortly.


Final World Cup Thoughts - Plus thoughts on the Italian scandal

I love ZZ. I do. With all my heart and soul. His control of the midfield is stunning. He's a genius.

What he did in the World Cup final was fucking idiotic. Given that the game came down to one penalty shot, given that he can score those in his sleep, he probably cost the French the title.

That said, shit talking about someone's mom and sister is also fucking idiotic. But a better way to get back at the guy would have been to won and then gone to the media and said "hey, by the way that guy said this about my sister and mom..."

Oh and on the subject of football, this makes me quite sad. Not the punishment, but the whole sorry episode.

A question: if the games were rigged, weren't the players involved? This has implications for most of the Italian national side, as well as several French internationals. Shouldn't each of them be investigated and banned from play?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Vacation all I ever wanted....

Off tomorrow for a camping trip with my sister, her husband, my dad and the three off us. 

Hiking, canoeing and no computers await. 

Posting, already sparodic, will cease. 

I hate to look like I'm piling on...

.... but I am.

3 - 1 against Germany... one of the goals an own goal by a defender... tell me again how the big clubs did this to you?


Oh I'm Dumb

So, till now I had managed not to talk about the portuguese getting knocked out by the French. 

Then like an ass I was buying coffee and started talking to one of the guys who manages (part owns) the place I go for beans and cheese. 

At that point I found out that the fix was in, the refs bought, the French all cheaters and the world was out to get the "small teams". 

I almost choked... "small"? Let's look at this shall we? Take Luis Figo, you know, this Luis Figo "Undoubtedly one of Europe's best players, he also became the most expensive player in the world, after being transferred for $56 million to Real Madrid" That's not his sallary, that's how much it cost Real to get him from his last club. USD. $54 million. 

Then there's Cristiano Ronaldo who was signed for a fee of £12.24 million, let's see... I'm not going to go and do the math, but doubling pounds to CDN dollars and you never go too wrong. ... the list goes on and on... their team is populated by some of the best players in the world..

So the small, hard done to theory, I say bullshit. 

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

1-0 thhppt

Here, I'll save the tired Portuguese fans some energy: The ref stole the game. The sun was in their eyes. The ball wasn't round enough. The grass was too green... BOO FUCKING HOO!

France through to the final. 


It's safe to say this here

...but I want France to beat Portugal so badly it almost aches. 


I think that the Portuguese team is a lesser variation of the worst bits of Brazil and Argentina. 

Too many stars, not enough team and lots and lots of casual violence. 

Their coach was interviewed in the paper this morning, when asked about his team and violence he said "we have as many yellow cards as France." Which is exactly missing the point. 

What you get caught for is not what you do. 

Anyway, it's safe to say all of this here, because my neighbors won't here it. 

Or I would, you know, be killed. 

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

May the quietest team win

Shortly the sides from Germany and Italy will take to the field at the World Cup. 

Honestly I like both teams quite a lot.

I've long been a fan of German football, it's no nonsense, pretty to watch and fast. 

I've hated the Italian side in the past, but this version of the Azuria are a hard working bunch who play very very pretty football. 

Honestly though, I'm much more interested in eatting and sleeping in peace. 

I've thought about it, and I can't think of one place in Montreal where you would say "here be the Germans". 

The same can not be said at all about the Italians. Little Italy is about 15 minutes north of us by car. And the cars will come. 

Trust me on this. 

That said, Lucas does like what he calles "Les beep beep". 

Conflicted I am. 

Monday, July 03, 2006

Honk honk (with bonus crap graphic update)

Ok, so I want to understand something. When the guy behind the guy who is (as the law dictates) letting me cross the street honks angrily at the nice driver to move, does he really mean for them to run me over?

Because this morning, this happened and it made me curious. I've asked the person in the past, with no satisfactory answers (something to do with the phrasing of my question, no doubt as "Are you fucking stupid you inbred puke?" tends to not generate a useful dialog).

So, after reading Joanne's comment, and thinking some more, I realized that I was totally unclear.

So, in the following graphic, the green car is the nice driver, the red car is the asshole, the stick figures are Christine and I.

I told you the graphic sucked.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Big Boy Bed Update

So, Lucas managed to fall asleep in about an hour yesterday. 

And our repetative, fairly calm, technique seems to be working. As he was in bed last night he told us "We don't look out the window at cars when we are supposed to be sleeping" (but in French – if he was saying sentences like that in English, trust me that would be a post of it's own). 

He still gets in and out of the bed and does silly stuff, but he's 2, so what can you really expect. 

This morning I went in to say hello, and he had all the little blankies in the world in the bed with him. Some still folded up. 

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Thhpppt on you Brazil!!

France beats Brazil. The odds on favorite gone! 

Zinedine Zidane is a fucking god. 

I. Am. So. Happy.

Also England choaked.