Things That Make You Go “Hmmm”

  • A friend graciously offered up free tickets to see the musical Rent over the Easter weekend.  Wanda and I went, and it was basically science fiction to me.  Am I the only guy on the planet who had a hard time grasping this retool of Puccini’s La bohème?  And no, I’m not talking about the LGBT bits.  We have a gay roommate and, subsequently, a certain exposure to the lifestyle.  I mean the whole attitude around starving bohemian artistry and refusing to pay rent being better than having a job and actually paying your rent.  And paying for necessary medicine.  And food.  And having something leftover to donate to charities.  Like the chorus of homeless guys living in the vacant lot next door.  And so on.  You can have a real job and not sell out, you know.  It’s called “volunteering” or “hobbies”.  You can do your bit for the pet cause du jour and still have money to pay the bills.  Most adults learn how to find purpose in life without rejecting every person, job and itty bitty thing that threatens to compromise their ideological purity.  Those that don’t are lonely, bitter and broke.  There’s a lesson in there, somewhere.
  • How many Canadians have to die suspicious deaths (Dominic & Nancy Ianiero, Adam DePrisco, Josh Iwasiuk, Chris Morin) or be incarcerated for a couple of years without trial (Brenda Martin) in Mexico before somebody at DFAIT posts an official warning?  Call me old fashioned, but vacationing in (and especially moving to, in Martin’s case) a corruption-riddled country where citizens and visitors do not enjoy the presumption of innocence is just plain ludicrious and foolhardy.
  • Over the past seven years I have logged more than 2,200 hours of FS2000/FS9 simulated flying time in a single aircraft type—the C-17 Globemaster III.  That is a lot of time to spend flying a particular type of pretend airplane—and not bad, considering I have a day job.  Real ATP-rated pilots take about five years to accrue 2,000 hours of flying time.
  • J.L. Granatstein’s short but insightful book Whose War Is It? should be required reading for generations of Canadian high school kids.  Toss out those mouldy Cold War-era Gwynne Dyer tomes and pick up something that makes logical sense.  In this book he draws a persuasive “Big Picture” of how and why Canada ought to ditch nagging do-nothingism and resdiscover practical realpolitik.
  • Almost pulled the trigger on a new LCD TV and home theatre system.  The deal-breaker was that I could not locate an audio system that has both a Blu-Ray player and a reasonable price tag.  That and I have to furnish a soon-to-be-empty guest room, plus find convertible ottomans that can double as occasional tables.  In the budgetary war of function (furniture) versus flash (cool toys!), function usually wins.  ALSO: Why, in a “wireless” home theatre setup, is it only the rear speakers that have no audio cables?  Why can’t the front and woofer communicate wirelessly, too?  I understand they can’t be totally wireless because they still have to draw power from an outlet, but come on.  What is the technical impediment to a fully wireless sound setup?
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