Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

Contact me at revmod AT gmail.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

One quick observation:

The Prime Minister's GG-designate, Michaelle Jean, is looking increasingly unsuitable, due to alleged seperatist and even FLQ ties.

Leonard Cohen is broke, relatively speaking.

Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Post for August the Ninth, in which Don Ventures Slightly into the Realm of Personal Blogging; in Particular, a Discussion About What he had for Breakfast

Have you ever wondered to yourself, "Is Don really Scottish?" Those who know me know I tend to be a little more casual with my money than perhaps is prudent. I like the good things in life, and I'm willing to splurge on them a little bit. Take coffee. I won't buy a huge can of Nabob. I'll spend the extra money - quite a bit of extra money when taken as a percentage, but in reality probably an extra $4 a month - to drink something better.

Recently, I received as a gift some quantity of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. The real stuff - Wallenford. I've been waiting to finish my open can of my regular, pretty-good brand of coffee, so I'd have a container to put the JBM in when I finally opened it (it came in a freeze-dried cube, not a very practical container), and because it would have been a waste to let the pretty-good coffee get stale rather than letting the JBM retain its freeze-dried goodness while it waits.

Follow me so far?

This morning, I went to make a pot of coffee, and realized I only had about a teaspoon, of the two large tablespoons I use to make a small pot. JBM time! So I was in the process of fighting my way into the JBM (complicated packaging, you see), when I thought to myself, "what am I going to do with the last teaspoon?"

Before you read the options I considered, I want you to think very hard about this. I'm about to open a package of coffee that is rightly considered the best in the world, and is normally priced to reflect that. I have a teaspoon of coffee that I paid in the range of $4 for about a half-pound. I'm considering options as to how to deal with the teaspoon. Please try this test on your own before you read ahead to the answer.

My first reaction was to use the teaspoon, along with the rest of the volume made up by JBM, in this morning's pot. But wouldn't that contaminate the whole pot, give it a bitterness that simply doesn't exist in JBM? I rejected that idea first.

Well, I could pour the JBM into the coffee can on top of the teaspoon, and then there wouldn't be very much contaminant at all, probably so little I wouldn't even notice it. But no, I concluded, I didn't want them to mix at all, notwithstanding the unavoidable remnants of the can. It would be like mixing a great wine with plonk to make it go further. Nope.

Alright, so they shouldn't mix. What shall I do with the teaspoon? I could make about a single cup of coffee with it, but I'm not sure that would work in my coffee maker. Plus, that's kind of wasteful of an entire filter. Did I mention this story is to illustrate my Scottish nature?

I have another, still-sealed can of the pretty good stuff. I could open that can, and pour the teaspoon in. But that returns us to the start of the problem... I'd have to finish the can, for fear of it going stale, rather than open the JBM. At the end of which, who knows what volume of part-pot I will have to deal with?

I began to search for very small tupperware containers to store the teaspoon's-worth in. Do they make baggies that would be appropriate?

I think most of you have realized the solution to my problem by now. I'm not going to spell it out here. Suffice it to say, I spent ten minutes of my morning struggling over this decision. And then felt a pang of regret as I executed what I knew in the end to be the right one.

I thought of using this story to illustrate some point about BC bud being the best in the world, and the extradition of Marc Emery, but I can't seem to draw the line between. Sorry. It's a dumb idea. We don't extradite Canadians for things they've done in Canada. What else is there to say on the topic?

Regular, non-breakfast-related blogging will return.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Many people in this country believe that the Monarchy is an anacronism, and that our maintenence of a position like Governor-General perpetuates a coloniel past that we've long-since outgrown. Others, including me, believe that maintaining a Head of State that's non-political keeps us rational. Unlike Americans, we can maintain a healthy level of disrespect toward the Prime Minister, and no one will accuse us of lacking patriotism.

Despite this difference of opinion, there's one thing we can all agree on: the plural form of "Governor-General" is "Governors-General".

This brings me to the bad news. How is it that I'm working in a call centre, and the hack that wrote this headline is being paid for words?
Governor generals must be media-savvy: experts
The good news is that most media outlets have more skill at writing - Sun Media, Hollinger, the Globe... they're all just fine.

Well, just so long as CTV got the facts right, at least.


Friday, August 05, 2005

More strange laws

It's difficult for governments, faced with the spectre of shit blowing up at seemingly random, to know exactly how to respond. The NYC police are randomly searching backpacks on the subway, and civil-liberties groups are none-too-impressed. George Bush, faced with an unwinnable "war" against terror, decided to have a go at a noun instead: Iraq. Not that it's happened, but at least people have some idea of what winning that war would look like.

I note with some relief that Tony Blair is able to crack down on terrorism without actually declaring a literal or figurative "war". But the plan to make it an offence to "condone or glorify terrorism", as well-intended as that might be, might be a little too vague. At what point does legitimate resistance (the ANC in apartheid South Africa, or the French resistance in World War Two) become terrorism (al Quada trying to provoke the west into confrontation and war, so as to polarize the Arab populations, thus encouraging revolution)? I'm not a complete relativist, unable to tell right from wrong, but I don't think it's unreasonable to recognize that, as Churchill said, where you stand depends upon where you sit. Ronald Reagan's White House actively supported the Nicaraguan Contras, who engaged in violent acts against civilians as a tactic of resistance against the democratically-elected Sandinista government. Terrorists, or freedom-fighters?

If this movie is done as well as the comic book was, V for Vendetta will ask the same questions. But what's the future of the film, now that the British government is considering making the questions illegal? More to the point, how do we the people judge what laws are reasonable? What's the smell of fascism?

I think Canada is fortunate to have a resilient Charter of Rights, with an equally resilient Section 1:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
Can any of us imagine a better yardstick? I hope for the sake of the citizens of Great Britain that they have some equivalent of the Oakes test to measure the Prime Minister's new anti-terrorism measures.