Weekend Craziness

On Saturday I'll be taking part in the third annual Brainsgiving comedy benefit show in support of St. Michael's Hospital Neurotrauma ICU. I will be playing a dragon, and Carl Jung.

Then on Sunday, Honduras will have a sham election that hopefully won't tear the country in two.

The TTC's Bad PR Clinic Part III

It gets worse.

1) The TTC is continuing their "tokens are sold out" line of bullshit, and have now begun selling paper tickets instead of tokens.

The very same paper tickets they pulled out of circulation last year because they were deemed too easy to counterfeit.

Translation: "We'd rather get ripped off than have our regular customers put some tokens aside in advance of a fare hike."

Oh, by the way, how do I know the supposed token shortage is bullshit? The automated machines still dispense them, although they're now programmed to only sell one at a time.

2) The TTC followed up their useless flyers advising people to move down the southbound platform at Bloor/Yonge by setting up wooden barriers during morning rush hour to try and force people coming off the Bloor/Danforth line to walk fifty feet out of the their way before boarding the train.

Need to run to catch that southbound train before it leaves? The TTC spits in your face. Like to board the train at the back because that's where the exit is at your station? Go fuck yourself, is apparently the TTC's response.

The first morning I saw the barrier, there were 10 TTC employees loitering around it, plus four TTC pseudocops. Maybe after the fare hike, they'll be able to afford six cops!

3) I decided to switch to the tickets for the moment to guard my small stash of tokens. When I gently bitched to the collector about how ridiculous it was, given that tickets are useless at unmanned entrances, she nodded in agreement and told me to make sure the higher-ups in the TTC heard my complaint. Not in order to release the tokens, mind you -- she said it was so the TTC would start manning those entrances.

Yes, additional labour costs which could be used to justify further rate hikes... another brilliant solution to a fabricated problem.

I hope the weather doesn't get too cold this winter. I suddenly have the urge to do a lot of walking.


Palin's book can't even cite the rules to Scrabble correctly.

I mean, Jumpin' Jesus on a pogo stick, did no one fact-check or edit the thing at all? (Yes, that was rhetorical). How hard would it have been to say, "Everyone took great pride in hoarding the rarer/more valuable/any-goddamn-phrase-you-want-that-means-'worth more points'-without-actually-naming-letters tiles and slapping them down..."


In a completely unrelated event, the weirdest thing happened to me in Facebook Scrabble. I just started a fifth game with Steve-O from Neutral having just tied the series 2-2, barely squeaking out the fourth game by three points (he had a G left on his rack. You do the math). He had the gall (he won the second game by three points) to bitch about it in chat just as I was set up for a bingo (REZONING, on a double word, 90 points, cha-ching!). I typed "Justice!" into the chat box, played my seven tiles, and received... J-U-S-T-I-C-E on my rack.

Needless to say neither of us were able to duplicate that bit of cosmic weirdness afterwards by typing words into the chat box and then receiving those letters.

Channeling My Inner Sully

OK, let's take it as a given that Sully is right about Levi's cool demeanor in the face of Palin's attacks means he really has something devastating on her, and isn't just a reflection of the sense of invincibility you'd expect from a teenage hockey player.

What the heck could Levi have? It would have to be something tangible; otherwise, it's just a he said/she said situation.

It would have to be something too awful for her devotees to ignore or shrug off; otherwise, it wouldn't be much of a threat to such a talented dissembler as Palin.

And it would have to be something that Levi would have a reason beyond any sympathy for Palin herself to hold back on releasing; otherwise, he'd have let the world know already.

I can think of only one thing off the top of my head that would fit all those criteria, and also tie into Levi's statements that the Palin marriage was a facade: email/text message/photographic proof of Palin making advances towards Levi, and/or of a sexual relationship between the two of them.

Something like that would provide Levi with actual proof, not just hearsay; would kill Palin dead as a political figure; and would be unpleasant at best for Bristol, someone Levi wouldn't want to hurt needlessly.

That theory is, of course, nothing but pure, reckless, unfounded, mean-spirited speculation on my part. But it fits the facts as Sully presents them.

The TTC's Bad PR Clinic Part II

After announcing their upcoming price increase, the TTC immediately started rationing tokens, limiting purchases to five at a time. OK, fine, no big deal, that's just a minor inconvenience.

Yesterday, however, signs started going up on all collector booths saying 'Tokens Sold Out', and they started selling "temporary tickets" instead. This was clearly designed to prevent token hoarding in advance of the upcoming price change.

That'd be a smart move on their part, except for the fact that some subway entrances are only accessible by token or Metropass. So if you don't have a pass, and can't buy tokens, and want to use one of those entrances... the TTC is telling you to go to hell.


Must... Resist... Homicidal Urges...

Wall Street firms are still trading mortgage-backed derivatives, and finding a new way to shift all the risk to the taxpayer:

Investment funds are buying billions of dollars’ worth of home loans, discounted from the loans’ original value. Then, in what might seem an act of charity, the funds are helping homeowners by reducing the size of the loans.

But as part of these deals, the mortgages are being refinanced through lenders that work with government agencies like the Federal Housing Administration. This enables the funds to pocket sizable profits by reselling new, government-insured loans to other federal agencies, which then bundle the mortgages into securities for sale to investors.

While homeowners save money, the arrangement shifts nearly all the risk for the loans to the federal government — and, ultimately, taxpayers — at a time when Americans are falling behind on their mortgage payments in record numbers.

I guess this cuts out the step of having the funds nearly destroy the country before getting bailed out by the federal government. Now we're just pre-bailing out their risky investments. Progress!

Where the hell is an Old Testament biblical plague when you really need one?