Cat’s Meow Cat Toy: A Crowd Pleaser at our Place

Last week, we gave our cats, Penny Lane and Peat, a late Christmas gift: the Cat’s Meow cat toy. We received it from a friend whose ‘outdoor’ cat was not impressed by the mechanical arm and mouse tail that runs in both directions underneath a yellow nylon skirt. Clearly, not the case at our house, with our predominantly ‘indoor’ cats. Both sister and brother are giving this cat toy full marks. Personally, I’m curious to see if the motor lasts as long as their interest. So far, so good. Every bit as addictive as catnip, when used sparingly.

Muse: Legal Copy Gone Wild

Received a 1 sentence email from a friend today suggesting we grab lunch … followed by 15 lines of email legal copy from Rogers. Really? I can tell you what should be ‘strictly prohibited’ … how about the tail wagging the dog …

Music to suit: Jimmy Cliff, World Upside Down
(Source: YouTube, mikigamba)

Muse: Canada Post killed the Mailman

Milk Delivery Box by Side Door

Canada Post announced this week that it will eliminate door-to-door mail delivery over the next 5 years. Understandable … though still hard to imagine the passing of the mailman … Then again, every time I walk past the bricked-over, milk-delivery box at my side door, I still can’t imagine a time when milkmen delivered milk door-to-door … I think I’ll just leave my mailbox up as another sign of the changing times. Change is indeed the only constant.

Music to suit: Jake Bugg, Seen It All
(Source: YouTube, MintsAreMyLife)

Muse: The Hobbit Part 2 … Still Waiting for the Big Picture

Good to see The Hobbit Part 2 has finally arrived, though I still don’t believe this story required a Part 2 or a Part 3. At one-third the page count of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit seems more like an elegant Hollywood cash grab than a proper trilogy. That said, I think I’ll just wait until next December to watch all 3 Hobbit movies back-to-back: I don’t mind packing a lunch and spending the entire day in Middle-earth but I have no interest in going There and Back Again 3 different times.

Music to suit: Led Zeppelin, Ramble On
(Source: YouTube, MastaSnajpaa)

Muse: Apparently, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is all he’s cracked up to be

Nothing boring about Canadian politicians these days. Just pick your favourite scandal: 3 Senators caught padding their expenses, a Prime Minister trying to cover it up, the Mayor of Laval charged with taking construction contract kickbacks or Toronto Mayor Rob Ford finally admitting to smoking crack cocaine. All great storylines for a movie or a video game but a little unsettling to watch them play out together in real time.

Music to suit: The Small Faces, Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake, GTA 5 Trailer
(Source: YouTube, GTA5guy)

Muse: Government Consensus in the Digital Age

Glad to hear the U.S. government finally voted in favour of raising the debt ceiling this week – after a 2-week government shutdown just to reach ‘consensus’. Wow. Talk about a broken system. They’d probably be further ahead using public crowdsourcing and SurveyMonkey next time around … which would be … January! Nice.

Music to suit: Bela Fleck, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
(Source: YouTube, Musico Ecletico)

Muse: Internet Security Virus Scam: All Work, No Play

Internet Security Virus Scam Pop-up Boxes

I’m continually amazed how much effort and planning cyber crooks put in these days to separate us from our money. Case in point. Last month, I clicked on a website and picked up the Internet Security virus. Instantly, my computer screen was filled with alarming pop-up boxes warning me of a Firewall breach and of hidden file transfers – all designed to distract me long enough for the hackers to take whatever personal information they could get. Then, the next day, they called me to warn me that malicious files had been downloaded on to my computer, which could be removed in 2 minutes if I just turned on my computer and followed their instructions. Presumably, had I done so, this is the point where they would have asked for my credit card in exchange for their proprietary anti-virus software … Wow! Got to believe these guys would have a much brighter future if they just committed to a regular full-time job, like the rest of us. Certainly can’t be any less work.

Music to suit: The Grateful Dead, He’s Gone
(Source:YouTube, TheOtherrOne)

Muse: Green Party win takes back seat to Google time-lapse satellite images

Sign of the times: the Green Party, who won their first federal election seat in 2011, won their first provincial election seat this week in B.C. – in both cases, for ridings on Vancouver island. Always wondered how badly we’d need to mismanage the environment to get the Green Party elected. And now we know: about 30 years of mismanagement … as far as folks living on their own islands are concerned, anyways. Perhaps, Google’s new 30-year, time-lapse satellite images will help get the rest of us mainlanders behind the environmental cause before it’s too late. Can’t imagine where we’ll be in the next 30 years if we don’t.

Music to suit: The Steve Miller Band, Fly like an Eagle
Source: YouTube, Earthstudy

Muse: Gun Control. Another Giant Leap Sideways.

Sad to hear the U.S. government couldn’t make any meaningful progress on gun control this week. Just like everything else these days, from the debt to the environment, from America to Europe. John Donne once said, “no man is an island”, but today, it seems everybody is.

Music to suit: The Beatles I’m Only Sleeping
(Source: YouTube, R Sheldon)

Muse: The Fall & Rise of Tiger Woods

How far was Tiger Woods’ fall from grace? By the numbers, about 60 spots in the World Golf Rankings over the past two and a half years. But, with his win at Bay Hill last weekend, he’s now won 6 of the last 20 PGA tournaments he’s entered and has taken back his #1 world golf ranking. And, he’s only 6 wins shy of breaking Sam Snead’s all-time PGA tour wins record of 82. Love Tiger or hate him, it’ll be good to have the Master back at Augusta in two weeks.

Music to suit: AC/DC Back in Black
(Source: YouTube, acdcVEVO)

Muse: Debt Management … They Spend. We Pay.

With every new story about debt bailouts, credit rating downgrades or austerity measures, I’m left wondering, how are all these stories going to end? And when? The people of Cyprus got a glimpse this week, when they were hastily told their savings would be taxed 7-10%. That plan, now rescinded, didn’t actually fix the Cyprus debt problem: it was just intended to raise $6 billion Euro’s so they could borrow $10 billion more … crazy.

I wish we could find a way to tax the retirement savings of the government politicians, regulators and bankers who get us into these jams. Imagine how much better the decision-making would be today, if they had to pay twice as much as the rest of us tomorrow, for poor oversight. Never hurts to have a little skin in the game.

Music to suit: Tame Impala, ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’
(Source: YouTube, Freddie Paull)