Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cuddles the Hippo

In this photo provided by the San Francisco Zoo shows Cuddles, a 43-year-old hippopotamus, eats a pumpkin at the San Francisco Zoo, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006, in San Francisco, during a sneak preview for Saturday's 'Boo at the Zoo.' 'Boo at the Zoo' is an annual Halloween event, featuring a haunted nature trail and animal pumpkin feeding. (Photo/ho, George Nikitin, San Francisco Zoo)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rhythms Del Mundo

November 13th, shake your green moneymaker for natural disaster relief and climate change awareness.

I can't imagine Franz Ferdinand done Latin-style, but there it is. Click on the pic, mis amigos verdes.

Holy Granola! Leo DiCaprio Might Do The Impossible!

Make me watch reality TV!

The Departed" star Leonardo DiCaprio is taking his environmental activism to TV, signing on to produce a reality skein about a town that goes green.

DiCaprio's Appian Way shingle has pacted with Madison Road Entertainment and "Survivor" alum Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films to create "E-topia." Project, being pitched to broadcast webs this week, will take a down-and-out town and rebuild it into an eco-friendly community.

The producers haven't yet selected the town to be made over, but Piligian calls the plan "incredibly ambitious."

"Take an American town that has been destroyed and bring it back to its former glory and then some," Piligian said. "This time it'll be stronger, better, cleaner. This town will be reborn as the prototype for the future."

Proposed series will follow the construction workers, architects, planners and environmentalists as they spend several months building the burg.

DiCaprio will serve as co-creator and exec producer of "E-topia"; Piligian and Madison Road's Tom Mazza also will exec produce.

Madison Road specializes in product integration.

"E-topia" is already pitching sponsors on the project.

"This show is obviously very expensive, and there are a number of major advertisers who have expressed strong interest in 'E-topia' for both integrated and promotional partnerships," Mazza said.

DiCaprio, who launched his acting career as a TV thesp, hosted the ABC special "Planet Earth 2000" and took part in the TBS special "Earth to America."

Cruelty to Animals

Over the past few months, as I've tried to become more informed on what little part I can play in making the world a better place for weiner dogs, I've subscribed to a number of newsletters, action alerts, and what not. Some will deal with animal rights specifically.

Those can be a little hard to digest. No one likes to hear tales of animal abuse, but they're out there. I like to think that they're isolated cases, or that some are exagerated for shock value, but I'm not naive to the point of thinking that they don't exist.

I received today, at my place of my employment no less, a series of rather graphic images of animal abuse. This time of year seems to be the worse for this particular method of abuse, sadly. I felt they needed to be shared so that this sort of behaviour does not go unnoticed. ;-)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Better Her Back Tire Than Her Right Leg.


Christine struggled to get a good shot of her back tire because of lousy lighting and an inability to get an angle that would do it justice. The above was about the best she could do, but you get the idea.

Her front tire looks better, but it took some damage too. From the looks of things, she took a shot on the back tire only, which sent her and the bike flying, and the landing on the front tire was what caused it to warp slightly. In any event, again, she's mostly okay; Still a little tight in the right shoulder but improving.

In lighter news, we went and visited our Energy Star hole in the ground earlier today. Christine had been antsy about a lack of progress to this point. I specifically recall being told that they wouldn't start digging until October, yet somehow she missed that. Rather uncanny when you consider that her attention to detail in regards to such things is normally far superior to mine. Can't believe she missed that one and I retained it.

Click on the picture for a larger version, not that there's a great deal more to see.

We're stoked that we finally have a street sign (we'd struggled like crazy to even determine which hole was ours) and a light post!

Oscar seems to dig it too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

So Christine gets hit by a car this morning...

No seriously. I was getting ready to go to work and the phone rang. Call display showed her workplace, so I picked up. She says "I told everyone here, so I thought I'd let you know too. I got hit by a car on my way to work."


Yeah, I'd prefer to know these things as soon as possible. Hey, I won't even get mad if you wake me up to tell me! Once, years ago, I got annoyed because she woke me up to tell me about a radio spot concerning the garbage crisis. I asked her to not do that anymore. The crisis is not immediate. I can be told when I wake up on myown. Getting hit be a car though? Yeah, go ahead and wake me up, I guess.

Anyway, she's okay. Road rash on her right arms and scrapes on her knees. She also can't seem to get her right arm up very high, but thinks that's temporary. Her hand isn't dangling down to her knee so we don't believe the arm's dislocated.

Christine says it's her fault, but I'm not convinced. She misjudged the incoming car's speed as she turned to cross a road, she says, but I wonder if that car wasn't going faster than it was supposed to be. The driver was apparently very apologetic and very much willing to help, but Christine just asked to be dropped off at work. Now she's chillin', watching Nascar. Damn Nascar...that stuff never ends, I tell you...

We'll get a picture of her mangled back tire up a little later.

Monday, October 16, 2006

You Deserve A (Tax) Break

Damn straight.

During the last federal election, the Conservative Party of Canada promised Canadians they would seriously consider extending a plan to provide tax deductibility for gym memberships.

In September 2006, Fitness Industry Canada (launched) You Deserve A Tax Break, a national postcard writing campaign encouraging fitness club members to send a postcard - via mail or email - to their Minister of Finance and their local Member of Parliament.

You Deserve A Tax Break is your chance to tell the Government of Canada you and your club members deserve a tax break for contributing to lowering national health care costs while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

Makes sense to me. Clicking on the logo will take you to the page from which you can send your e-postcard. The FIC's front page also includes an informative article from the Edmonton Sun.

Now I need to see if I'm charged GST when I buy organic. If so, removing that would help offset the sometimes greater cost of eating healthier.

I think it's probably fair to say that most people don't change their eating habits until they're given a reason to, usually illness or weight gain. Any incentive towards a healthy lifestyle should be encouraged. Throwing more money at the health care system isn't the only way to "support" it; taking some of the pressure off it would help a great deal as well.

And I include myself in the above group incidentally; it wasn't until I got a wicked kidney stone that I began to question my decision to eat two medium pizzas, a large bag of chips, a large bag and M&M's and washing it all down with a 2L bottle of coke every other football Sunday or so. Next thing I know, I'm laid out on the floor in my parents' living room with an ice pack on my gonads waiting to be taken to the hospital. At 22 years of age, that ain't right.

Anyone who's ever had a kidney stone will tell you that it's not an experience they seek to repeat. I was never able to keep mine, but it looked something like this:

That is, if I had a guy running through my urethra.

In any event, it's unfortunate that I wasn't able to keep it because it would have made a great necklace and a constant reminder that cheese is not intended to be a main course. Or alternatively, a delightful conversation piece as a paperweight.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Came, I Saw...I Stood.

All right, so first things first; I went to get my white armband at 10,000 Villages yesterday. I was determined to do that.

Great little place. The staff is friendly, helpful and enthusiastic. I'd e-mailed a day or two before to make sure that they had the armbands available and was told that there would be one waiting at the cash for me. Sure enough, they'd followed through.

Nowadays, whenever I see an option to buy something that's certified fairly traded, I take it. To that end, when I wanted to give organic chocolate a try, the first one that I came across was the Cocoa Camino line. Some of their products may be an aquired taste. I did not at all like the mint one, for example, but absolutely love the dark chocolate/almond bar. 10,000 Villages has several more options than I'd found before, including espresso and orange. Wanting to find a little treat for Mrs THIT, I bought her white chocolate, as well as peach and ginger jam.

Huh...not to have together, of course...I expect that she'll eat them separately.

That mission being accomplished, I wrapped up my day and began to prepare for today's quest. I made my way to the Byward Market, arriving about 20 minutes before the start of the event. It was right around that time that I realized I'd left my armband at home. Aw, crap!!

There were far more people there than I'd anticipated already, including a strong contingent of the Engineers Without Borders group. And again, much like when I participated in the CN Tower Climb, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of young people there.

I was less pleasantly surprised at the police presence. I saw at least six cops there. Come on...expecting a rowdy bunch to stand up against poverty, were we? I guess you can't take chances, but it seemed silly though it certainly took nothing away from the proceedings.

Really my only (mild) complaint was that there was no official "moment" as such. While speeches were being made, one of the participants went around counting heads. That was the extent of the crowd participation. They counted 227 people. Oh, okay.

Besides that, the people responsible for organizing the event can be proud of their accomplishment. They'd estimated 100 to participate, and had far more. Media coverage looked fairly extensive, including A-Channel and I believe CTV. So good on them and congratulations on a job well done.

Meatless Rock Star

Regardless of the fact that Canada is 2-0 on the show, I'm not personally a big fan of the Rock Star TV series on which people compete to be the lead singer for some band. I have nothing against it, mind you, and in fact I appreciate that they at least tend to be much more respectful of the contestants, unlike that tool on American Idol.

Mrs THIT, however, really gets a kick out of it, even taping the show when we'd go to the gym. So with her in mind, I've entered the following contest that was included in a PETA newsletter:

JD Fortune 'Love "Em, Don't Eat 'Em" Ad
Photo: Supriya Ruparelia/Klint Collier
Ever since Canadian J.D. Fortune won 2005's hit CBS series Rock Star: INXS—the reality show about rockers vying for the chance to become the next lead singer of the Australian hit-making band INXS, he's become the hottest “New Sensation” in the music world. Anyone who watched the show knows how passionate J.D. is about music and INXS, but luckily for animals, J.D. is just as passionate about protecting them! In his new public service announcement (PSA) for PETA, longtime vegetarian J.D. sings the praises of animals, encouraging people to "Love 'Em, Don't Eat 'Em."

"Ever since I became a member of INXS, my life has really kicked into high gear," says J.D. in the exclusive PSA. "Being part of a band takes a lot of energy. That's one reason I became a vegetarian. I feel better physically, I've got a lot more energy, and I feel better emotionally, knowing that I'm not contributing to the suffering of animals worldwide."

One can win a shirt and a signed copy of the INXS CD that Fortune sang on. Anyone interested in entering can do so at this link.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go stand up against poverty...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hit Them For Real For a Change, Hulk!

MIAMI BEACH (September 21, 2006) -- Wrestler Hulk Hogan has a new opponent: those who organize animal fights. The Miami Beach resident sent a video message Thursday to all 435 members of the House of Representatives. In it, he says laws against dog fighting and cockfighting aren't tough enough.

The Hulk slips into wrestling terminology in his message, saying offenders should be hit with a "felonious legdrop."

The star of VH1's "Hogan Knows Best" issued the message in cooperation with the Humane Society. The House is considering stricter animal fighting laws.

It's All About The accessories, Baby.

If I'm going to Stand Up Against Poverty, I figured I needed to be properly attired. I found out about the whole thing, if I recall correctly, from a newsletter. Seems only right then that I'd wear the colours. Plus, being that I accesorize well anyway, no doubt this spiffy armband would only increase my "foxy bastard" score. 's all good. Works on many levels.

But those things don't grow on trees. I actually thought that they were carried in several stores, but that doesn't appear to be the case. In fact, it seems one store in particular carries them:

Ten Thousand Villages gives a portion of the sale price of each white band to the campaign for education and advocacy purposes.

Righteous. So who are these guys? Well...

Ten Thousand Villages operates over 40 stores across Canada. Each is a unique global experience with home decorating ideas, household essentials and unique seasonal favourites. But there is much more to each store. Listen to the stories behind the art – the traditions and culture of the artisans.

We are also active in communities from coast to coast. Through festival sales and special events, we bring the inspiring global marketplace of fair trade into numerous communities, celebrating culture while supporting world artisans.

I can dig it.

Here in Ottawa, there's a location on Richmond road. Other locations can be found by province here. I'm going to scoot over there on Saturday, pick up one of these bad boys. Coincidentally (I swear), it happens to be their 60th anniversary!

Saturday, October 14


  • Tasty treats and samples
  • Music & activities for kids
  • Giveaways
  • Visiting artisan from Laos, Kommaly Chanthavong, will present on silk weaving
  • Draw for a special gift basket
  • For more details, visit

Sunday morning I'll head out to the Byward Market and do my standing duty. Maybe I'll suggest to the Mrs that we go for breakfast out there too, and see if we can't help out a local farmer or two while we're at it. Not sure if we'll get that opportunity. Whatever. We'll hug by ear.

Friday, October 06, 2006

50 Cent Shells Out Some Coin.

Man alive do I hate rap. I hate everything about it; the amount of sampling used, the repetitive nature of it (both musically and in terms of themes...every song is about only a handful of possible topics), and the image that 99% of these guys put out there. Despite all that, I also hate their nasty little habit of killing one another over seemingly endless feuds.

Check out the sweetheart above. He's one I particularly despise. Not only has his painfully insipid music caused me to ask myself whether I'd fit in our oven, but like the majority of rappers he has to bend over backwards to show you how much money he has now (Nice cross. Goes great with that gun) and what a tough-ass he is. I avoid rap music like hemorrhoids (though given the choice, I'd rather have the latter) and yet I've still heard his claim of being shot nine times on several occasions.

Here's where it rubs me raw...Catching up on my e-mail, I come across this link about the G-Unity Foundation in a newsletter from Grist Magazine. Their mission:

The G-Unity Foundation is a public foundation that will provide grants to nonprofit organizations that focus on improving the quality of life for low-income and underserved communities.

Very nice. Board of Directors:

Curtis J. Jackson, III "50 Cent"
Christopher C. Lloyde, Jr. p/k/a "Lloyd Banks"
Marvin Bernard p/k/a "Tony Yayo"
David Darnell Brown p/k/a "Young Buck"
Chris Lighty
Theodor K. Sedlmayr, Esq.
Bruce Seckendorf, CPA

There you go. Now why don't we hear this stuff more? Are record companies reluctant to promote these actions because they find them non-marketable? Are the media ignoring it while waiting for 50 Cent's 10th gunshot wound?

No idea, but I do wish they were more widely known, no matter what they might do to 50 Cent's "street cred". He apparently calls himself 50 Cent because he's about change (Get it? 50 Cent? Change? Good grief...). Glad to see that he's taking advantage of his opportunity to do just that, but it'd be a nicer change to see him be a positive role model rather than go on in pointless feuds with the likes of Fat Joe.

No doubt anybody called upon to be the trigger man in one of these rap "feuds" would like to get the Fat Joe assignment.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Difference a Day Makes.

On Thursday (and two posts ago), I lamented the fact that I found out about the Stand Up program maybe just a little late do to do anything with it. I didn't feel confident about trying to organize one on such short notice, and was bummed that no one had already started.

On Friday, someone did.

Ottawa Stands Up

It's on a Sunday, which isn't great for me, but it's early. Maybe I'll take Mrs THIT out for breakfast that morning in that general area then head over and...well...stand up.

If they do set a world record, it may be the second time that we'll be part of one; when we hit the Daytona 500 earlier this year, we were said to be part of the biggest ever card stunt.

Whew! Two world records in one year! I didn't know this treehugging stuff would be so demanding... ;-)