Canadian and Computer Free

Hatbox Louie and I are in Montreal. We had been sharing one power cord for our two laptops since one of them disintegrated in Edinburgh. We left it in Toronto. Crap! So we have been rationing power to plan our trip etc. Oh well. Not great for blogging.

This city is huge and French and sophisticated. It is hard to fathom that we are just a few miles north of say, Plattsburgh New York. It is a whole different world up here. Very European. French cafes and very international cuisine. Very artsy and bohemian in some areas, architecturally diverse and rather majestic in others. Definitely a world class city. Very cold.

It would be hard to adjust to living here. One would really need to speak French to become integrated into the community, but the rewards would be significant. Well, I’m about to cut into Hatbox Louie’s time. Can’t type worth a damn. Tomorrow we head down into Vermont, which is great, but entails some stressful familial interactions for the old Hatbox. More soon. Adieu.


On The Road Again

Hatbox Louie and I are at it again. We have hit the road as we wait for the closing on Collingwolde. We are in Toronto where I spent much time in the past. I spent a semester at the University of Toronto, then a year before med school.

We are trying to figure out where to settle, and we just had to check out Canada. They actually collect taxes up here. Ok. Now here’s the wacky part. They use those collected funds to–get this–take care of their citizens. It is madness. Why don’t they just do what we do south of the border: collect our money, then funnel it to rich corporate interests via illegal and immoral foreign military adventures?

So anyway we are checking it out. Toronto is a fantastic city and we have had a great albeit very cold time. Today we are headed east towards Montreal. I think we will stop midway in Kingston, Ontario to break up the trip. Then we will dip back into New England and check out some possibilities there.

If you can’t figure your life out, just keep moving. What a plan!

Happy President’s Day. It’s Soo….Oh who cares?


Published in: on February 19, 2007 at 4:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fourth Meal–The Ad Campaign Between Irresponsible and Pure Evil

Taco Bell. It is hard to even work up the energy to comment on this fat-lubed corporate death purveying denizen of the strip mall. It is such crap. OK. But this new ad campaign: Fourth Meal–The meal between dinner and breakfast–is so heinous and wrong, I just can’t stand it.

I don’t know the exact statistics but isn’t our country fat as hell? I think the percentage of obese Americans approaches about 99.999% in the red states. Trying to manufacture from thin air the idea that force feeding yourself a couple of lard wraps at midnight is OK–that in fact you need four square meals a day, is just the absolute height of irresponsibility.

Now I have no false illusions. Corporations only recognize responsibility to their shareholders and do the right thing or at least the not egregiously wrong thing exclusively for PR or legal reasons. But this is particularly unsubtle, and a public health affront to a country with a childhood obesity crisis.

And of course the children are the real targets. The website is all video gamey and adolescent boyish if you press male gender and girlish if you choose that portal. It is that demographic whose long-term habits these wicked chilito slingers would hope to change.

For shame! Shame on Taco Bell. And shame on all of us for allowing our society to be hijacked by immoral corporate fiends who not only would sacrifice the health and welfare of our young people to maximize short-term profit, but don’t even seem to feel the need to be subtle about it.

Fouth meal? How about Dante’s fourth circle of Hell? Feh!

Published in: on February 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm  Comments (19)  

Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

I really would love to post every day. The problem is that I always want to have something funny or clever or astute to say. So I delay until the pressure is so great that I’m forced to come up with something.

It’s sort of a microcosm of my life. I seem to be waiting around until something comes to me to do. Something meaningful, satisfying, creative. I have launched in so many directions and then had to dig out, that I refuse to budge unless it seems to be the right and perfect thing. So I’m left in limbo. Not good. Perhaps this act of sitting down to write without really having anything to say will spark a new direction.

Maybe I need an extreme makeunder. Lower the bar. Cultivate the unexceptional. Champion the OK. Air Supply not Aerosmith. Cheap Trick not Chick Corea. Gerald Ford not Jimmy Carter. PB&J. Applebee’s. Jug wine. Keanu Reeves…Whoa Nelly! That’s too far. How about Leo DiCaprio? That’s more like it.

Well, I’ll give it a shot. It’s only life after all.

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 2:49 pm  Comments (5)  

In The Manner of a Great English Manor

I posted earlier about our purchase of a foreclosed home at the sheriff’s auction. Well we have finally been given access and had a look around. Even a cursory examination reveals that we are not dealing with a simple suburban tract home. No, this is a structure more akin to a great house in the English countryside. And as every venerable and noble estate deserves a proper name, I would like to present to the world….



I don’t plan to be seeing much of this room once the staff is hired, but it will clearly suffice for the preparation of the sumptuous feasts befitting the dignitaries and cultural icons we will inevitably be hosting:


Quarters in The East Wing:


And of course, what estate would be complete without a Grand Ballroom:


Oh, fair Collingwolde. The name itself brings the aroma of roast lamb and brandy to the nose, a lightness to the heart, a tingle to the nether regions. Collingwolde. A gracious home in the manner of a fine manor. Stoke the hearth fire, pour the sherry, diddle the maidservants…Collingwolde is born.

Published in: on February 12, 2007 at 1:15 pm  Comments (5)  

Top 10 Things You Don’t Want To Hear On A First Date

10– “I hope you don’t mind, my mother will be joining us tonight.”

9– “I don’t want to brag, but as of 2 PM today, I have no restraining orders against me.”

8– “Two words: pre-nup.”

7– “Just a warning, loving me means loving Michael Bolton, period.”

6– “Before we go any further, I just need to know if you’ve ever slept with a Darkie.”

5– “If I weren’t so heavily medicated, that ice crunching you’re doing would be bugging the crap out of me.”

4– “Is it OK if my wife watches?”

3– “Would you be opposed to providing me a stool sample?”

2– “Before I can commit, I’ll have to get input from my cats.”

Drum Roll Please…….

1– “Do you mind if I drain my foot?”

Published in: on February 8, 2007 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hidden Agenda In Cub Scout Manual?

In a previous post, I detailed a bizarre showdown among suburban Dads at a Cub Scout event. It was odd, and I probably should have been tipped off by the grown men in short sleeve Cub Scout shirts, and the inexplicable dirty looks I got when I failed to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

At the time, it just seemed goofy, not sinister. But in the manner of an investigative reporter, I got my hands on the Cub Scout manual, and found some shocking material. A cursory examination leaves you warm and fuzzy–young boys doing stuff with their Dads, earning pins and patches for mastering such valuable skills as bundling newspapers and jogging in place for 5 minutes. There are even lots of pictures of African Americans to provide a veneer of rectitude.

But a sensitive reading of this estimable tome reveals a seedy subtext–morally corrupt and seditious. I really want you to make up your own mind, but I just want to suggest a theory. The Cub Scouts have been infiltrated by Zionists or Communists or both.

Item 1- A clear directive for naval sabotage. A veritable how-to of ship scuttling. Very subversive.


Item 2- Corruption of minors. This might as well be entitled, Billy’s First Beer. First they make the little Scout do the grilling, and then Dude swoops down with a Busch Lite to inaugurate a life of debauchery and decadence. Please note the look of approval on the face of the older “confirmed bachelor” at the table.


Item 3- This one really speaks for itself. As those young lithe Scouts glide by, their youthful muscles undulating through the luke-warm water, where is Dude’s right hand?


I don’t go in much for conspiracy theories, but my god, the Cub Scouts must be stopped. Our future could depend on it.

Published in: on February 4, 2007 at 4:08 pm  Comments (2)