February 2010

Meh, Canada

Canada, the Vancouver Olympics and Apolo Ohno: A Spectacle of Just Above Average

Dan says…

Using her other persona, the real one, Jane wrote a little something about Canada a few days ago that struck me funny. You know, the way the people of Wal*Mart strike you as funny. Here’s what she wrote:

Canada’s unemployment rate is lower than ours. Canada’s citizens have healthcare. For free. Canadians’ per capita income is growing at a faster rate than ours and their dollar kicks our dollar’s butt and then laughs at it. Canada’s air is cleaner, water is more drinkable, and forests are bigger and healthier. Canada’s crime rate is lower. Canadians live longer. Canadians report being happier. Canada’s economy is stronger, and the fact I found most interesting and surprising is that Canada’s people have something like over 3 times the representation in government than Americans do. (you can read the rest here, btw)

This got me to thinking. (Also, to researching, because Jane makes shit up all. the. time.) Why am I not engrossed in this winter Olympiad? I used to watch every hour of coverage, but now I’m only tuning in as a bedtime sleep aid. Why?

Is it because what I’m hearing through Twitter about this Olympics sounds so much like the descriptions of the girls my mother used to try to set me up with? #great_personality

Or maybe it’s because I find it hard to believe that the organizers of a billion-dollar, multi-national sports event can’t think to wrap a pillow or something around a pole that could end up killing someone, yet the people at the sledding run at the 19th hole of one of my local municipal golf courses can.

The fact that someone’s boner is missing, and that the search for said boner represents about 15% of the Olympic storylines right now, could be part of the reason why these games aren’t drawing me in.

Maybe it’s my disappointment that people in Florida can make smoother ice than the people who invented it.

Or maybe it’s the lame logo:

Run!  It's the Vancouver Olympics!

It could be that the venue just isn’t compelling enough. If I get in my car and drive an hour straight north, I can find all the flannel and below average dental hygiene I could ever want.

So I’m hoping I’ll be spared the Rudy-esque ‘rooting for the underdog of Olympics’ for the rest of the week. I mean, c’mon. Rudy was five foot nuthin’, a hundred and nuthin’, and in the end all he did was tackle a couple dudes one time. Hardly enough to make him the best ever.

P.S. to Jane:

Canada at Night - Where da peeps at?The forests are bigger and healthier because it’s fucking cold in Canada. Nobody lives in half of it. Which is also why there’s lower crime. Who wants to go out and steal stuff when it’s 20 below? And then have to cover up their footprints in the snow as they get away?

True, the Canadian dollar was worth more than it’s U.S. neighbor. For about a week.

Canadians have nat’l healthcare. They have more government per capita. Hmm. Related?

The Canadian economy IS growing. Why? Oil. And diamonds. See ya later, beautiful forests…

…but Jane thinks…

Another great American asset, Lindsey Lohan.  Yeah rightI’m sticking by my original observation about the bandwagon jumpers complaining about the Vancouver Olympics: sour grapes, people. And people, especially Americans who are ever more envious of people who have their act way more together than we do, love to trash the Prom Queen. The truth is, Canada is looking lots more like Prom Queen these days. And the U.S.A., We’re the mean girl who backstabs her friends, assumes she’s going to be the belle of the ball, and spends her night hanging out by the punchbowl alone.

Dan, you imply that there is an inherent problem with having more “government per capita.” Next you’re going to be declaring yourself a teabagger. Use your head, boy man. The only potential problem with having “more government,” which by the way is not what I said, I said that the people had greater representation in government – more elected officials doesn’t necessarily translate to “more government” – , is if that government inserts itself into people’s lives in an way that is undesirable or invasive. Most Canadians aren’t complaining about their national healthcare. They’re also not complaining about government’s role in their daily lives. Americans, on the other hand, are splintered, fragmented, and disgruntled.

bunch_of_moransCanada has had oil and diamonds, this isn’t new. And so far, they are way more responsible with their natural resources than we are. Our own government fact sheet about Canada highlights a few of the reasons why Canada is thriving while the U.S. is flailing under the weight of its own self-declared dominance:

“ Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs nearly 80% of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US’s largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. Given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. Buffeted by the global economic crisis, the economy dropped into a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada’s major banks, however, emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the country’s tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization.” (CIA World Factbook)

For a country who occupies more land than any other nation than Russia, their per capita GDP rank is a respectable 25, and they’re not poking their neighbors with their elbows and filling every available acre of land with strip malls. And there are fewer Canadians living below the poverty line than Americans. Crime rates are lower in Canada, despite the fact that vast regions of the Canadian interior are practically lawless – Hey, Dan! You and your teabagger buddies can get behind that! The unemployment rate is lower than ours, and their public debt is lower.

usa_number_1In fact, the only gripe I can muster about Canada at the moment is that their women’s hockey team celebrated excessively after their defeat of the U.S. women for the gold last night. Their over the top and not very gracious celebration was especially surprising given that Canadian athletes and officials were directed to behave modestly and to avoid giving the appearance of hyper-nationalism. See how I did that, Dan? Pretended like I was criticizing Canada and turned it into a comparison with the U.S.A. cultural norm of flag waving “We are Number 1!” mania?

Still doubting the merits of the quality of Canadian life? Watch this video prepared by Tom Brokaw at the start of the Olympic games. And thanks to The Redneck Mommy for the link.

Who won this debate? 1212

Finally Friday

And finally…

I swear that on Thursday nights my spirit is renewed with the joy that comes from making these Finally Friday posts.  Collecting the funny material through the week and disseminating it to you in the hopes I can fill a part of your day with laughter? Beautiful. Either that or my wife has been spiking my OJ with her hormone replacement therapy.*

Without further ado, here’s the last week in weird:

Rhea Roma is Miss Nude Sword Swallower
.   (Totally SFW) “I’m an art piece.  You don’t touch the Mona Lisa.”  Yeah, I also don’t touch the wrinkly batter bucket who’s showing off her deep throating skills for an audience.

Whatever you do?  Do NOT kiss on someone else’s kiss.  Hello?  Unsanitary?

Some days?  A straight up trade, two kids for a bird?  I’d take that deal.

Elton John: God doesn’t exist. And Jesus was gay.  Right.   Just shut up and keep bangin on your piano, mmmkay Elvis?

Maybe the reason we can’t see the aliens?  They’re invisible.

Hot chicks with dogs with boners.  Because hot chicks are the new black. They go with EVERYTHING.

One of Saturn’s moons may be hospital to life. Insert “that much closer to Uranus” joke here.

Religious Rapping Dracula inda hizzyBefore I even knew there were the People of Walmart, I snapped this pic on my cell phone.  You can’t really tell, but the guy’s wearing a black leather jacket.   Hair is white and has a coif like the guy from that relgious end of days show that’s on late at night (thanks for nothing, tweeps).  And he’s wearing an enormous silver chain that would even make Mr. T jealous.  If Béla Lugosi, Fitty Cent and that religious news anchor guy were to get in a head-on collision?  This is what it’d look like.

He’s gonna shoot you? Well how big’s his gun, honey?

Something Jane put on my windshield the other day.

And from the funniest damn website I’ve ever seen in the last 72 hours, there was this gem, texts between father and son (courtesy of texts from last night):
(434): you would not believe what I got pierced last night…

(540): son, I feel like that is a phrase a father never wants to hear.

And from the same site:

(304): I’m thinking of writing “I have herpes” on my stomach in sharpie that way I’m not tempted to show my tits tonight

Good thinking.

To all our visitors, commenters, subscribers, followers and tweeps: Have an awesome weekend.

*kidding!   Wife is not taking hormones and is still very much of fertile mind and body.

Hand Jive

It’s winter.

I’m old.

But I don’t need to tell you that, because my hands tell the story well enough.

Enter, hand cream.

bliss_hand_creamI remember wondering what the hell was up with the ubiquitous Jergens lotion ads on tv and in magazines. Inevitably, my mother had a tube of Nivea in her purse. Even more recently like in the last 15 years because when you’re 42, 15 years becomes “recent,” I noticed that the wife on Everybody Loves Raymond whose name I can’t be bothered to look up even though I know that her REAL name is Patricia Heaton and she’s very open about having lots of plastic surgery puts hand cream on every night before bed. And not that this is remotely relevant or anything, but that always bugged me. If you’re going to read in bed, you should put the hand goo on AFTER you read, otherwise the pages will get all smudgy, right? Right.

I get it now, though.

aveda_hand_reliefMy two favorite options are from Bliss: High Intensity Hand Cream

and Aveda: Hand Relief

And they work equally well, aren’t greasy, but are sort of luxurious enough that you feel like you’ve staved off Wicked Witch of the West scaly claws for a day or so. The only real choice you have to make here is which one smells better to you, and since there’s no such thing as smellavision or Internet Odorama, you’ll have to just take my word that the Bliss is light and a little citrusy, and the Aveda is a bit more intense and musky, but not in an overpowering or cloying way.


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