October 29, 2008

More stuffs

That snow from last week? It all melted the next day. Then, it snowed more last night. So, we have another thin, white blanket over the ground this morning. Apparently, Ottawa was supposed to get fifteen centimeters last night. It's not even November yet.

It's sunny out right now. It'll all probably be gone again this time tomorrow.


The wife spent yesterday at the Toronto Food Bank with her work group. They sorted and packed food all day long. She says they had to throw out almost as much as they packed. Apparently, many people think that donating to the food bank is a good thing to do with those items they find in their cupoboard that are past the best before date.

People! If you won't feed it to your family, don't suggest that someone else should feed it to theirs. If you have ever done this, I order you to go out to the grocery store - right now - and buy a brand new package of powdered milk, and a jar of peanut butter, and drop them off at your local food bank immediately. And, if you've never given anything to a food bank, hey, now's as good a time as any to start.


That whole gym thing? Yeah...uh...I'm slipping. Been busy. Had colds. I've only been out three times in the last thirty days. And that's just not good enough.

The good news: I went yesterday, and it felt really good to work out. So, here's hoping I can get back into the routine. Also, my pecs are sore.

October 22, 2008

Two stuffs

We had a federal election up here last week. Our Conservative Party won more seats in the House of Commons than any other single party, but not a majority of the available seats, leaving them to manage what we call a "minority government." Which is pretty much status quo, as that's the situation we've been in for the last two years. A minority goverment is an interesting situation because the governing party does not control enough votes in the house to pass legislation without the co-operation of members of other parties. This leads to an unprecedented amount of compromise and co-operation within the house, as the government will make concessions to the opposition parties in return for support for their initiatives.

It usually leads to a lack of contoversial legislation being passed, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It also means a short sitting period for a government, as a non-confidence vote is certain to eventually take place. We'll be back at the polls in probably less than another two years to do it all again.

I have read a number of opinions online from fellow Canadians who are scadalized that the Conservatives won another election. They seem to think Stephen Harper and his associates are out to ruin the country in some way. The most common commentary seems to equate Harper and the Conservatives with George Bush and the American Republican party, which is ridiculous. The Canadian political parties do not line up with the traditional American parties in ideology. Sure, the Liberals are more liberal minded, and the Conservatives are more, well, conservative, but both parties are far closer to the center of the political spectrum than the GOP and the Democrats.

While American conservatives can't seem to open their mouths without threatening to trample all over the rights of women, homosexuals, or non-christians, the Canadian Conservative Party has repeatedly stated that changes to Canada's human rights laws - permissive of gay marriage, abortion, and religious freedom - are not on their agenda. And have showed absolutely no indication over the last two years that they plan to change that position. Crying about those issues is nothing more than mindlessly parroting opposition talking points, so just stop it, OK?


It snowed here. All day long. None of it stayed on the ground though...until about 4:30. Now the front lawn is completely covered in a blanket of white. Put me in mind of this:

I predict high volume panic sales of snow tires tomorrow.

October 16, 2008

A post with meat

A recent editorial in the Toronto Sun caught my eye. Alan Shanoff wrote about a religious group in Alberta called the Hutterian Brethren, who are arguing before the Supreme Court of Canada that they should be exempt from having their pictures taken for driver's licenses. It seems the Hutterian Brethren take very literally the second commandment, which states, in part:

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4).
According to the Brethren, this commandment prevents them from voluntarily having their picture taken, which they interpret as 'making an idol.' Leaving off the fact that they seem to be quoting the verse out of context, and misinterpreting their own scripture, their argument is that the Government of Alberta, in refusing to issue driver's licenses to people who decline to have their picture taken, is infringing on their right to freely practice their religion.

Actually, their argument is slightly more complex than that. According to the Shanoff article, the Government of Alberta is preventing them from "continuing their communal way of life." Whatever that means.

Those of you who have been reading AWV for a while probably know my response to this. As I did for Mr. Balinder Badesha a few months ago, I have a couple of questions for the Hutterian Brethren:
1) Does your religion prevent you from posing for a driver's license photo?
We know the answer to this question, because it is the basis of their argument before the Supreme Court. (In case you weren't paying attention, their answer to the first question is, "yes."
2) Does your religion require you to operate a motor vehicle?
Now, here's the thing, uh, Brethren. If you try to answer, "yes," to this one, I'm gonna hafta ask for some kinda, you know, documentation. You're gonna hafta show me where, in your Holy Book, God says, "thou shalt operate motorized vehicles on public roadways." 'Cause, you know, I've read it, and I'm pretty sure that isn't in there.

So, for the record: requiring you to adhere to the law does not, in any way, infringe upon your right to believe silly things. Case dismissed.

Also, Alberta beef. Mmmm!

October 14, 2008

Even more newer and improvededer!!!1

Check out the blog's funky new duds. Nice, eh? Boy, oh boy, what an adventure that was, finding and uploading a new blog template, let me tell you! Tell me what you think.

Many thanks to suckmylolly.com for the cool template. Also, many thanks to Matt for the cool header photo.

October 10, 2008

New! Improved! Aurora Walking Vacation

Welcome to the New! and Improved! Aurora Walking Vacation. What's New! and Improved! about it, you ask? Well, its location, here on Blogger, is new. It used to be an AOL Journal, but AOL decided to no longer support blogging, and they chose to - get this corporate-speak - "sunset" their blogging platform. So, here I am.
This blog was actually created in May of 2006 (so, I guess it's not really all that new), when I thought I might try out an alternate blogging platform; one that might offer more features, and more customization tools. In the end, I didn't feel like doing the work required to suss the ins and outs of a new system, and stayed where I was.
That is no longer an option.

As for the improved part, well...uh...we'll just have to wait and see.

The original Aurora Walking Vacation - which will cease to exist on November 1, 2008 - has been imported to Blogger, and will remain as an archive from which I may, from time to time, pull old entries to feature here. If you are interested, it can be found at http://awvarchive.blogspot.com/