Post 167

Pieces of My Mind: Miscellaneous Reflections

Toilet paper holders should be designed to hold two at a time, side by side. It’s a design you see in some places, but rarely in homes. That’s a shame – this should be standard.

Toilet paper should come without design and without pattern, obviously. I won’t elaborate; it’s just too icky.

The thing that makes a garden look nice is the clean and clear borders between one thing and the next. When everything runs into everything else, it looks like chaos; it looks like nobody’s home. I dislike the English garden style, where everything looks entirely unplanned. At the minimum, I’d say put such mayhem into a clearly bordered section. You can add a sign: “This Part of My Garden is Running Amuck On Purpose and With Permission.” Chesterton spoke often of the beauty of limits. I like it in garden design. I like it when you can see the garden in the context of a plan. Last night I realized that my own garden is shaped like a St. Benedict’s cross – a circle where the horizontal meets the vertical.

And speaking of gardens, it’s very nice to stroll behind the Hotel MacDonald. That hotel has it all: beautiful historic interiors and landscaped gardens which overlook Edmonton’s lush river valley. I like the consistency of the place. It looks and feels as special today as it did in decades past. Local Edmontonians should make a point of stopping by for a drink or dessert. Pretend you’re a tourist.

See the city with new eyes; you’ll be surprised.

And speaking of cities, my recommendation to any new blogger would be to begin with his or her city. You needn’t tackle the world. Think like a distributist: write about the city where you live. Write what you REALLY think about that twisted new upside-down building. Write what you REALLY think about the actions of that cagey old mayor. If you live in St. Albert, for instance, you can write what you think about Nolan Crouse. What do you think about him phoning up Tara Seeger, a resident, to tell her she can’t put a sign on her lawn expressing her opinion about Canada Post policies? (I find it particularly repugnant that he ended the call by telling her to “have a great day.”) Does that sound like bullying behaviour to you? It does to me; I’m glad it was caught on CBC. But not only that – I find the entire thing makes zero sense – did this same fellow not hope for everyone to display political signs during the last city council electoral campaign in support of him? Or am I wrong? If I’m right, then I say alright: how about everyone just give the guy what he wants? Next election, don’t put on your lawn any sign containing his name or his face.

Hospitals (and other public buildings for that matter) should be designed in straightforward ways. Designers of hospitals should take a page from the building called a “hotel.” You walk in. You see a long counter with several uniformed individuals looking ready to serve. They are greeting the people who arrive and they are taking telephone calls. They look perky and behave politely. They answer your questions. You take an elevator and you go to the right or to the left. Simple. The decoration is calm and discreet. Garbage all those other funky and weird architectural plans that are submitted to a non-accountable group of politicians and which would have been laughed at by any ordinary citizen. They’re just painful. Anybody arriving at the University of Alberta Hospital has no idea where to go, and you can’t find an information desk until you’ve walked, in dazed fashion, to some stupid sunny atrium where there are some plants and some people selling pastel knitted bags (uh, some fundraiser for something). Where am I? Oh yeah, a hospital. How can I find such-and-such patient? Well, you have to go to Pod Q-41. Excuse me? Hellish labyrinths, some of these public buildings. The Louvre is another prime example. You can get in, but good luck getting out.

Why can’t women just dress more modestly? It’s making me nuts. Every woman is showing everything! You women are so clueless. Let me tell you something. Even the creepiest guy, the fellow who is the lowest on the totem pole, is not entirely turned on when seeing everything all at once. Don’t you get it? A man is a hunter, not a vulture. He likes the thrill of the kill, not something already slain, exposed or used up by another. Get it? It’s not really a prize for any guy to say, “Hey yeah man, I’m really slick. I got the um, Naked Woman, the woman who arrived at this gig already half undressed.” The entire history of humanity, the entire boy meets girl story, contains an element of Getting a Peek. This doesn’t have to be gory – in bygone years, an ankle or the nape of the neck was fascinating enough. After all, when you love someone, you don’t need to see very much at all. When you love someone, the face is almost everything. If you show too much all at once, the show is rather tired and it’s, well, almost over.

And speaking of men and speaking of women, another really blind spot that women have is in not understanding that more than half of what makes a man want a woman is the fact that she’s different from others. Women are generally so intuitive, but on this point, they really miss the boat. Woman A has a man, but he’s a loser. Loser-man cheats on her with Woman B. Woman A says “Hey, what’s going on? I’m so much prettier than Woman B!” Stupid thing. The point is, Woman B is DIFFERENT from Woman A. Woman B has straight hair and Woman A has wavy. Woman B is short, when Woman A is tall. It’s the difference that intrigues him and captures his attention. Don’t believe a man when he tells you he would NEVER go for THAT woman over there (she’s too young, she’s too old, she’s too fat, she’s too thin). Just don’t believe it. Most men aren’t nearly as strong as they say.

For this reason, I strongly disapprove of nannies in the home. It is just too dangerous. The things I have seen! I witnessed a married man openly teasing (i.e. flirting) with the nanny in the presence of his wife. How stupid is the wife to laugh at the nanny, and think that her husband could NEVER be interested in someone whose first language isn’t English or German or whatever, whose hair and skin are so different from hers? How STUPID is the wife to forget that this nanny is a WOMAN, who is sometimes very lonely and who wishes the home were her own. How STUPID is the wife to forget that this nanny has dreams, and that this nanny has a smile that can look entirely charming and be utterly disarming. I tell you, a woman does not have to dress in a sultry fashion to catch a man. She doesn’t need to go for manicures or dye jobs to catch your man. She just has to be there, in your home. While you are at work wearing your high heels and scoffing at the nanny, she may be contemplating things that would astound you. Beware.

And speaking of nannies, yesterday I was studying the photos of our Prime Minister and his Most Glamorous Wife. I see he went to Vancouver to be in a parade. He wasn’t watching it – he was actually in it, walking them streets. He was pushing his young son in a stroller and then, at one point, well, he walked away from the stroller. Just walked away. His son was asleep and he just let go of the stroller to walk on ahead. Where was he going? He had a giant smile and arms extended as he went to hug a giant man in a wig and a dress. Who held the stroller? Who guarded the sweet little boy? No one. Not mom, not dad. Rather abandoned at the moment. The eight (at least) security guards wearing shades and whirly wires by their ears didn’t pick up the slack and play Nanny for Pay. They knew it wasn’t their job. So the son sat in his stroller in the middle of the street in the middle of the parade. For shame!

Children shouldn’t be used as Means to an End. The Prime Minister should bring the children to parades that the children would likely enjoy. Did Mr. and Mrs. Trudeau really believe that THIS parade was one their children would find fun? (When mommy and daddy said “Parade” is this what the young ones expected?) Really? Or was this something altogether different? I say the children had been dragged along in order to further their father’s political agenda. I say they had been dragged along to be photographed in Photo Op Number 903, 904 and 905. But the photos didn’t work. Look at the expressions on the three Trudeau children. What do you see? I see children unhappy and confused. They most definitely look like they WEREN’T enjoying themselves. Mind you, the youngest was probably okay, 100% asleep. But speaking of the littlest one, I protest, most strongly, at the way he was given a sign to hold, as if he held his father’s stated views. And on this point, I say there’s a disconnect between Mr. Trudeau’s stated views and his personal ones. (And consider the expression of the Justice Minister, whose smile seems forced – you know what I mean: one of those smiles with the mouth alone. She looks uncomfortable, if you ask me.) I say this because I note that the very moment that some guys did a tango-style dip with a kiss, Mr. Trudeau decided to Hey! Ask his eldest son if he wanted Hey! A sip! Hey son, hey Xavier, want a sip from the Water Bottle? Look over HERE, son, not Over There. Ahem.


More miscellaneous thoughts. I don’t like End of the Roll, a place for carpet. You think you’re getting a deal because you’re putting up with a showroom that has an exposed concrete floor and oops look out there’s a forklift behind you, but the truth is that they’re not so gosh darn bargain basement cheap. They charge the going rate, yet they have some questionable policies. I say, hey, why do they ask for 100% of the payment in advance? They say their cross-country policy is to collect every dime before the carpet is in your hands, and before the carpet is installed in your home. Really? But why? I dislike. Upon being questioned as to why they cannot collect the second half upon completion of the job, or upon delivery of the product, they say that they aren’t equipped for that. No? Why not? What is so terribly difficult about having a point-of-sale machine like those pizza-delivery people have? I distrust a company that requires all the money up front – it puts all the risk of the transaction on the purchaser. What if they go bankrupt? What if they ‘lose’ the paperwork? And while I’m at it, I also question why they insist on cash for those little carpet mats that they sell. Hey, is this a secret that you don’t want the CRA to know about? Okay, well maybe I won’t tell. I look forward to the end of the End of the Roll.

I like carpet on stairs. Hardwood or whatever elsewhere, but carpet for the stairs.

I asked EfficientOne to build me a Blurb book. He did. Volume 1 has posts 1 – 50, volume 2 has posts 51-100 and volume 3 has posts 101 – 150. So I’m very glad. The books were expensive (fancy paper) but they look great, and now if Mr True Believer comes along and decides that he wants to korantine my entire blog again, at least I’ll have these. And yeah, I do know who took down the blog. I hadn’t challenged him, his politics, his culture or his religion, but he wanted to be out of the picture.

I hear that the Edmonton Police Service hasn’t collected the revenue they had hoped for. Alas and alack, the budget is short 2 million dollars! The reason? Citizens aren’t speeding Quite as Much as Expected. The EPS administration is vewy vewy sad – couldn’t collect enough of our bucks. (Ha ha ha.) Couldn’t sneak up on us and nab us going too fast. Their favorite cash-cow hiding places aren’t working out. We’re keeping it steady. We’re watching the dial and we’re keeping our money. Way to go, Edmonton! One day maybe we won’t need speed limits at all – we’ll just all drive calmly and the concept of revenue from speeding tickets will be a thing of the past. That’ll be great.

I asked EfficientOne to make minedgems have a new tab leading to a new page and to post some images from my garden. He did. So the blog now has a gallery. It’s really pretty. I used the camera’s date stamp on purpose. Why not? This geeky feature, the sure sign of an amateur, is rather refreshing.

I once knew a woman who said she loved me like a daughter. In my hour of need – you can imagine – I sought her. She wasn’t there. I went to rest my head on her heart, but her heart wasn’t there. How strange. Everything reversed. Where there should be a heart, an empty space. Situs inversus: found in about 0.01% of the population. Chesterton once wrote about how the human heart was amazingly and unpredictably a little to the left. I was fooled by the footnote, the exception to the rule.

And speaking of cats, the only animal which is suitable as a house pet is called a dog. Cats aren’t domesticated enough. A dog is, in general, a straightforward creature. He has simple needs and when he wants to get something, he lunges towards it. The cat, on the other hand, prowls and sneaks, crawling along the ground in a slinky fashion. You see it slither as it moves its shoulder blades this way and that. Yucky cat. The dog barks and growls. Sure, it sometimes howls, but it never makes the sounds that a cat does. Haven’t you heard those unearthly moans and hisses and screams? You’ll hear them sometimes at night, fighting and screeching. Nocturnal creatures. And consider those eyes. Sure, a kitten looks nice, but they unfortunately grow into cats and those eyes, well, they just aren’t open and trusting. They are slanted and sly. A dog will wag its tail, but a cat will bring you a dead mouse. Here’s an offering. Um, yeah. A dog will knock you down with a ‘hug’ but a cat will rub its body against your leg. Rub, rub. No thank you, Sheeba. Go climb a tree. Go hang with the lemurs, the chimpanzees, the ferrets and the parrots. Be free.

I got some business cards made. Double-sided. On the one side, some theatre stuff. On the other, the blue gem from my blog. And my name. And underneath: “World Famous Blogger.”

They’re really nice.

A joke?


I got a dog collar made for my dog. It’s got her name, my phone number and beside that: “(WFD).”

These initials – something simple:

If is a world famous blog, then this doggie is a World Famous Dog.