Archive for the ‘Ottawa’ Category
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
The big Alice Cooper show is coming up on Monday. Maybe you couldn’t get tickets. Maybe you DO have tickets, but would like to whet your Alice Cooper appetite ahead of time. Either way, a good reason to check out mALICE & MONSTERS, Ottawa’s own Alice Cooper tribute show, at the new Brass Monkey this Friday, May 13th.
From all accounts, mALICE & MONSTERS is a terrific show and the Brass Monkey is a great new place to see one. I haven’t yet had a chance to check out the bar – 250 Greenbank Road in Nepean – but I hear great things about this place that used to be the Broken Cue. Still has a ton of pool tables, but more space for live music and great acts. Like this one! And what could be better than seeing an Alice Cooper show on Friday the 13th?
Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
So yesterday, we discovered that Ottawa is the whiniest, pettiest city in the province. Per capita, Ottawa has more complaints to bylaw officers than any other municipality. My neighbour’s lawn is unkempt! His garage door is red! He fixes his car in the driveway, his dogs bark, he doesn’t share his pork tenderloin with me! That’s a lot of complaints…now, here’s the real deal:
Apparently, 50% of the complaints filed with bylaw here in Ottawa result in a fine for the complainer! That means, if you’re, say, MY neighbour, and you call bylaw because I came home from work in my “ring girl” outfit and cracked a beer at 9:30 in the morning in my garage, and the bylaw people came by and determined that I was in no way disturbing the peace, YOU will be fined for wasting their time. You hear that Ted?
What has always amazed me about Ottawa, (and particularly Kanata, where I have lived in several houses over the past few years) was how WELL we all know the bylaws. Just this fall, someone called bylaw to come to my house and speak to me. Because the city-owned lawn in front of my house hadn’t been mowed. It’s a huge swath of lawn. It’s all far beyond MY fence. But apparently it’s MY responsibility to mow it.
I didn’t know this. No one I spoke to knew that. But apparently one of my neighbours did. It took me HOURS to borrow a gas-powered lawn mower to do the job, and even more hours to actually get it done. And I did it, so I wouldn’t be fined several hundred dollars. Some do-gooder neighbour of mine knew that I was neglecting the city’s lawn! And he (or she) sure did their part (as have so many of us) to ensure that Ottawa retains the title, for one more year, as the City That Fun Forgot!
Thursday, August 12th, 2010
Who doesn’t love a good game of ping-pong? Nobody! I must admit I can’t recall the last time I played ping-pong sober. I expect it was when I was nine years old, in my grandpa’s basement. But then, I can’t recall a single time, ever, where I haven’t enjoyed a good, hard-fought table-tennis tournament. And so I bring you the inaugural Ottawa Charity Ping-Pong Tournament, being held August 27th at the Capital Music Hall, 128 York Street. It’s a Friday, it starts at 7:00, and that means that beer will be served.
There are only 100 slots available for potential tournament players, but there are still a few available. Registration deadline is Tuesday, August 24th, so get in on this now! Just click here to register, and you’re in! Rory Gardiner will be playing later that evening, so entertainment will not be restricted to just beer and ping-pong. But then, what else would you want, for an entertaining evening? Invite everyone you know who could get into something so fun and ludicrous. Tickets (which include a minimum of three games) are either $30 or $50, depending on the package you select. (Full package descriptions at the same website address.)
Full disclosure – I’m making this suggestiong because the charity tournament is raising money for three great local charities – the Youth Services Bureau, Christie Lake Kids, and the charity with which I am personally involved, Operation Come Home. So yes, this is a blatant plea for funds. But it’s also beer and ping-pong, in a tournament format. And I can get behind that.
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
People all over Ottawa are paying tribute to Constable Eric Czapnik, who was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday morning while sitting in his car at the Civic Hospital. Heather Auger has started a facebook page to honour Mr. Czapnik, you can get to that from here. She is suggesting a campaign to wear blue on Tuesdays in support of law enforcement officers.
There are a number of other ways you can pay your respects – a full list can be seen here.
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Yesterday’s killing of Ottawa Police Constable Eric Czapnik has led to an outpouring of emotion from many in the community. Books of Condolence are available to sign from 9:00 to 5:00 at Ottawa Police offices around the city at these locations:
4561 Bank Street 211 Huntmar Drive
3343 St. Joseph Boulevard
245 Greenbank Road
And 24 hours a day at the Ottawa Police Headquarters, located at 474 Elgin Street
Condolences can be passed on online as well. There is a facebook page dedicated to Constable Czapnik, and email messages are being accepted at email@example.com
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Hey, Larry O’Brien! What’s the matter with you? You went out yesterday and pre-emptively threatened the OC Transpo union? You decided that you would lock them out in the summer to prevent another Christmas-time strike like the one that paralyzed the city last year. You know, in case it comes to that. Like, if you think there’s a chance they’re going to strike. Maybe. What a great idea! That way, no students are disrupted trying to get to school, and no one can complain about not getting their Christmas shopping done. Unless the lockout lasts past the summer. Which it probably won’t, you think. Maybe.
What the hell is the point of antagonizing the union again? Now? Perhaps you think this plays well to the right-wing nutters who are rabidly anti-union at all costs, regardless of the situation. And maybe it does. So, this may have bought you every rabidly anti-union nutter vote in Ottawa. So that’s fifty for you in the next election…an election which, by the way, you may want to consider sitting out. You’ve run your course here.
Now, I don’t want to suggest I support the OC Transpo union. They chose the winter to go on strike last year because it would make the people of Ottawa angry, and it would invonvenience the people. Knowing full well that only the city needs to do what the people want, and the drivers at OC Transpo do not. They aren’t affected if the people are furious, only the city is tangibly affected. That is garbage. But to go out and attack them long before it might become necessary, to threaten them with a lockout at a time where no strike is being threatened at all, and to threaten the people of Ottawa with another extended period of no bus service on a hypothetical basis is not just wrong, it’s insane. What the hell is wrong with you?
Also, Barack Obama. What is the matter with you? Why are you pursuing bipartisanship at all costs, when it is costing your country a chance to enact real, meaningful health reform? You now have a health care bill in front of the Senate that is actually worse than nothing. It now mandates health insurance. Without a public option. Which means that there is no competition for insurance companies through a public option, while every person in the United States will have to purchase insurance from those companies with no checks and balances on the rates they charge. Those who can’t afford insurance will get government money to help them buy that insurance…from the very insurance companies that fouled up your system to begin with.
That means the government will be spending more money. Without including the public option, which was the key to all those billions that would have been saved had that bill passed. So now you are saving no money at all, you are forcing more people to purchase that very insurance which has bankrupted so many already, and you are allowing insurance companies to set their own rates. They can quadruple the rates for older people, if they like. This bill is now just a ridiculous gift to the insurance companies, who will make a ton more money, and nothing else. I get that the industry can buy Joe Lieberman, but they can’t buy everybody, can they?
Obama, you have an overwhelming majority in the house and senate. Just force this through. And any Democrat who doesn’t get behind it – kick them out! There is no such thing as bipartisanship here. The Republicans will not vote for this bill under any circumstance, because they exist only to oppose and not to think. The right-wing nutters will hate you regardless of what you do, and the Laura Ingrahams of the world will call you a socialist and a Marxist and all those losers will hold up their signs about you regardless of bipartisanship. So forget it. I know, the perfect should never be the enemy of the good. But the good should be the enemy of the bad. And this bill is bad. It’s horrible. Let the Republicans and the few paranoid scared wussy Democrats kill it. Then try through other means. I have no vested interest here – after all, I live in a country with universal health care. But I like Americans, and I would like to see fewer of them go bankrupt and more of them stay alive. What the hell is wrong with you?
OK, Stephen Harper. I understand that you don’t believe in global warming and pretend it exists only because your denial would lose you some votes. And I get that you believe the oil sands and their money are more important to the people of Canada than having a country is to the people of Tuvalu. And I even understand that you think India and China should be held to the same standards as the rest of the world. I even agree with you there. But do you have to be such a dick about it? Maybe some of those “developing” countries are more worried about our contributions to global warming not because of the economic divide, but because when sea levels rise, they will be the first to go? And say what you will about the oil sands – hell, keep them around if they mean so much to you. But realize that if you do, we ought to be paying more. Climate change is a crisis. What the hell is the matter with you?
And lastly, Gordon O’Connor. My own member of parliament from my own little riding out here in Kanata. For a long time, I thought you might be dead. I hadn’t heard your name mentioned since you were the defense minister. And even then, I think I heard you speak maybe once. When you DID speak, in 2007, you said, on the subject of the mistreatment of Afghan detainees, ”I fully and without reservation apologize to the House for providing inaccurate information to members…I regret any confusion that may have resulted from these statements. The answers I gave were provided in good faith. I take full responsibility and do so without hesitation.”
Since then, you have been the J.D. Salinger of politics. I assume you have been working on political things behind the scenes, and not holing up in your basement with a tinfoil hat, a mattress full of ten-dollar bills and 41 cats for companionship. And maybe there hasn’t been a good reason to make yourself known for some time. Maybe the hermit-politician lifestyle has been the result of there being nothing going on in the House of Commons worth speaking about in the media. Until now. You intervened in the case of that postal worker in Pakenham who lost her job because she didn’t speak French. And she got her job back. Good for you – you got out of the house, spoke your mind, and did something.
But perhaps the thing we’d like to hear isn’t your opinion on Postal Politics in Pakenham. Perhaps, we would like to hear what you think about the abuse of Afghan detainees while you were the defense minister. In 2007, you told us all that the Red Cross was reporting to us on the status of those detainees. And that was not true. You thought it was, but it was not. This, at the time, screamed cover-up! Now that allegations have been made about a cover-up, that began while you were defense minister and continues to this day, this might well be the time to come out of your rabbit hole and speak. Sure, you might just want to toe the Conservative party line and paint Richard Colvin as a dangerous lunatic. I hope you would not do that. But please. Say something! Seriously, what’s the matter with you?