Sunday, July 17, 2011


Just sitting around for a bit waiting for the kijiji buyer for my mom's sewing machine. Moved one yesterday and hopefully will get this second and final one sold in the next few minutes.

I bought a book case on kijiji yesterday. It was a about a 5 minute drive away. It was in good shape for $15 and already assembled. Good enough for my purposes. It was time for some new book storage space. I've done a few purges of the books the last couple years when space ran out but right now I'm down to books I want to keep. It's good to have books. So kijiji is working pretty well. kijijij is a great thing on the internet.


I saw a bit about the cbc report on the canadian cancer society. wow 22% of the money that comes in is spent on research. That's not a charity that's a kleptocracy. As happens in old mature organizations, the bureaucracy metastasizes throughout the body and has now killed the host. It's basically a bureaucracy with a small token research wing for show. That organization should be stripped of charity status and shut down. It has outlived its usefulness.

Someone should do a study of the government education department to determine what percent of the budget is spent in the classrom vs. what is spent on administration and bureaucracy. Health care too, are are allowed to discuss how much is spent on overhead and administration? 


I was in Moncton last weekend visiting a friend. It was a good road trip. I hadn't been up there in two years. The weather was good and we went to Parlee Beach. We also checked out the Moncton Casino which is a nice facility. Free parking, clean and new, well lit, staff and patrons were friendly. I'd go back.


Update: I just sold the second sewing machine. The buyer was disappointed because she had wanted the other sewing machine I had posted first; it was nicer. She emailed Tuesday but wasn't able to come by until today Sunday. As it happened I had a buyer for the first machine who arrived Saturday. The thing about kijiji is you don't hold anything. If someone is willing to show up at your door with cash then the item is theirs. Unfortunately there's some bad behaviour on kijiji and people will no-show after saying they want to buy something. That's also why there's also generally on kijiji the buyer has to pick up; no delivery.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Verdict is in

Maybe Casey Anthony and Guy Turcotte can go partying together now.

The Turcotte verdict is a dangerous outcome. The precedent seems to be that if you are upset about something then you can kill and then not be responsible for what you did. Well the door is open now most murders can be couched in similar context.

It's shameful with Turcotte considering the innocent, defenceless victims. A bigger man would have killed some combination of the cheating wife, her new boyfriend, or himself. Or just sucked it up and accepted that men get cheated on and left every single day.

Monday, July 04, 2011

health care in Nova Scotia

I went to church yesterday for an occasional appearance. While there the minister's wife said she was going to do the sermon although her husband the minister was originally planned to.

It turns out he had been at the emergency the day before, July 2, and was still not feeling well. The emergency visit was telling. They sat there for around 6 hours Saturday evening, got no service, and left because they had church on Sunday morning.

Some might rationalize this as bad luck, the combination of staff taking vacation on Canada day weekend plus an increase in drinking this weekend with resultant extra ER visits. I wish that was the case. But on facebook I often see status of people who spent 5-6+ hours in ER waiting for service.

The minister is a good man, in good shape, around late 40s I'd guess. Doesn't smoke or drink. It sucks that after paying in all that money when he actually could use service he got stiffed. sigh, well that's the government for you. Two generations of government medicare now and the age threshold for "go home and die" is now apparently 50.

So what does it mean in Darwinistic terms. Who are the fittest that get to survive?

- those who can stay well and avoid having to rely on the health care system

- those like the minister who can survive going without service when they are ill
- those who have the contacts and political skills to get the inside access to jump the queue and get service
- those who will fight hard enough and make enough of a scene to jump the queue and get service ahead of those who quietly wait their turn. nice guys finish last. nice guys go home after 6 hours without service

Also in health care the Nova Scotia government is suing big tobacco over health care costs. No I don't smoke myself. This lawsuit is a joke and wrong on so many levels.

- cigarettes are already very heavily taxed so the health money has already been collected. this is just a shakedown
- smoking is a red herring. this is just a distraction to avoid having an honest discussion about the real issue: obesity
- it is wrong to attack a third party over the actions of individuals. you don't sue the used clothing store when a Vancouver rioter uses a gasoline soaked rag to torch a police cruiser. you sue the individuals who torched the car.

it's the same thing here. the public health system has always been susceptible to the tragedy of the commons. all this does is it tells individual adults they are not responsible for their actions. the only way this lawsuit can proceed will be if the government must also sue individual smokers. it cannot be otherwise. we cannot hold only the corporate tobacco responsible for the actions of individual free citizens

the problem with suing individual smokers is that it destroys the lifestyle neutral belief system the public health system is built on. once in place the overweight/drunks/etc will be next for extra fees to cover the shared cost of their lifestyle choices

Sunday, July 03, 2011

American Beauty

I watched another movie that had been on my list recently. It was American Beauty. I had heard of it in the past then it comes now and again the last 2-3 years on the forums.

The hero is a 42 year old man whose sleepy life and sexless marriage is jolted awake by a series of events. His dreary but high paying office job is threatened by a corporate downsizing, high school daughter brings around an attractive and flirty cheerleader friend who he becomes smitten with, new neighbours move in and their mysterious son begins seeing his daughter while selling the father drugs.

His wife is a successful real estate agent but constantly yearns for more success. In her drive she begins meeting the top agent in town the "king" and he's interested in more than talking about selling houses. It's strange because she doesn't seen to realize how successful she already is. Driving around in a Mercedes wagon, $4,000 couch, big suburban house. Unfortunately she misses this and is consumed in material pursuits. In one remarkable scene she tells her daughter that when she was in high school they were "in a duplex. We didn't even have a house". That's pretty crazy like there's something terrible about being in a duplex.

And so on the contemporary commentary goes. In another scene his daughter chooses to walk home from school with the neighbours son. Her cheerleader friend is shocked and mentions that it's "nearly a mile" from the high school.

The 42 year old hero experiences some personal growth. He doesn't fight for his job and is let go. Then he spends his severance on a sports car of his youth and takes a minimum wage fry cook job which was also from his youth. He finds some happiness in this excursion but the forces of the present collide to an interesting conclusion.

It was a good movie. I think I grasp and appreciate it more now than I might have in 1999 or say 2005. It was a thinking movie it has stayed with me a bit these last few days.