The downside of being a litter vigilante

Dad points out that The Toronto Star has coverage of a psycho motorist attacking a cyclist who did exactly the same kind of thing I used to do when I lived in Toronto:


"He had popped open his car door and whipped his food on the road, like a beef patty on a bun in a paper bag, and then slammed the door ... so obviously now, against better judgment, I leapt up, grabbed the food, opened his door, shouted something about `Don't litter in my neighbourhood,' and threw it back in his car and shut the door. He lost it."


Friends used to worry about my safety when I lived in Toronto, 'cuz I used to do pretty much exactly that on an almost daily basis. I remember walking along Queen Street out front of City Hall and putting some Burger King garbage back through a car window from where it had emerged seconds earlier. I think I even said "please don't litter in my neighbourhood." I used to say that pretty often, actually. On the street, on the sidewalk, on subway trains. Amanda was scared to go places with me 'cuz she didn't want to see some loogan lay the smack down on the ol' Superstar.

I haven't done that here, yet, since I really don't see a lot of littering going on in Halifax. I mean, there's some litter here and there, but it's not as chronic as in Toronto.

I was at an anti-littering news conference held by the City of Toronto a coupla years back. I asked the city councillor leading the fight how people should handle litterbugs when they see the offense taking place. She stopped short of endorsing my confrontational approach, but suggested that a comment here and there would not be inappropriate. (Perhaps, "Oops, you dropped something.")

I had hoped that Mayor David Miller's campaign to restore civic pride would inspire people to reclaim ownership of their environment. Maybe this incident will help. Even so, shoving the trash back through the car window may be seen as going too far for some people.

But really -- do these jerks who toss their trash willy-nilly expect that the decent folks who like their city will just roll their eyes and pretend it doesn't happen? I don't expect that a dramatic gesture such as picking up the garbage and handing it back to the offender will prevent them from doing it again, but at least they should know that their actions are seen and are seen as inappropriate. Maybe next time they'll at least look to see that nobody's watching them.

Photos of the psycho driver vs. anti-litter cyclist incident, along with extensive commentary, are posted at http://www.citynoise.org/article/2770. The photog says Mr. Yellow-toothed Litterbug came at him with a bat after the incident. What a piece of work.

Side note -- the Star reports that the photographer had "just finished photographing an elderly woman wearing a colourful headscarf" -- long shot, but I hope it wasn't the Shaky Lady!

Slow to react, quick to die

People who fare poorly on tests intended to assess mental skills are at greater risk of early death, according to a report in Psychosomatic Medicine (who knew there was such a journal?):

Experts have considered the connection between poor test scores and mortality as a reflection of the deterioration of the aging body. But that would not explain the higher mortality rates for younger people.


Damn. I guess that means the young stupid people of today might not be around to take care of me when I'm old and feeble. Stop with the skateboarding and video games for a minute, kids, and read a book!

Continuing with the theme of stupidity ... Tom Cruise and his pregnant "girlfriend" are nominated for Razzie awards aplenty this year. Says the National Post:

There's great Razzie potential for TomKat this year. Tom Cruise is nominated for worst actor in War of the Worlds, and he's mentioned twice in the "tiresome tabloid targets" category -- once for his anti-psychiatry rant and again for pretty much everything to do with his romance with Katie Holmes. Holmes is also up for worst supporting actress in Batman Begins.

The world awaits the delivery of TomBrat, which some are hoping will not come out as a mass of undefined goo as a result of Mr. Cruise's amateur ultrasound bombardment.

And for your "what's he on about with this Scientology nonsense?" link du jour ... check out Through The Door, a series of questionnaires filled out by ex-members that gives some insight into why people get in, and why people get out.

A long January speeds past

Hey, rockstars. Man, this has been a long month. Post-xmas blahs, winter blahs, election blahs, whathaveyou. January seems to be whipping past and crawling along at the same time. Apologies to anyone who I'm usually in touch with and haven't been -- it's just been one of those months, if you can dig it.

Thank goodness the election is done. Monday was a long night at work. Glad that's over with. Just hoping this doesn't become Common Sense Revolution: The Motion Picture, with protests and angst throughout the term of Harper's term.

Got out to do a small bit of sight-seeing in south-end Halifax on Saturday. Some gorgeous old houses in some beautiful neighbourhoods. I wish I'd brought my camera along. Next time.

Paid a visit to Pete's Frootique, home of CBC's Produce Pete Luckett, he of the "toodleedoo!" fame. Saw lots of imported goodies from Britain, the USA, and parts unknown. A neat, if unfruitful, shopping excursion.

Not a whole helluva lot to write about right now. As said, January is dragging along.

Oh, I read a book! Yes, a book! I don't remember the last time I read a book! Eats, Shoots and Leaves is a book for punctuation sticklers.

Had a one-second TV appearance last Friday when various outlets made a big stink out of deputy Conservative leader Peter MacKay telling former NDP leader Alexa McDonough to "stick to her knitting."  Grabbed clips from Little Eddie Dingle and burned DVDs for the bosses to score a brownie point (and for them to score points with their bosses uplines).

Hoping February will bring an upswing in activity and enthusiasm, and many more interesting tales and adventures (and photos!) for the bigass fan base. And fingers are also crossed for 'manda to score a lucrative employment opportunity to alleviate a percentage of stress for her and help ensure continued prosperity in the BigAssHousehold. We'll make do even if there's a gap in employment, but y'all can understand the stresses involved with end-of-contract dates looming.

'Til next time, I leave you with something a regular read passed along that prompted a giggle: Feminal, the portable urinal for women. Enjoy.

Oh, and same reader, the man with The Plan, alerted me that it was on this date in 1985 that Church of Scientology founder and Battlefield Earth author Lafayette "L." Ron Hubbard (aka LRH, Source, The Old Man) died. There's some controversy surrounding that, as Wikipedia relates:


Several issues surrounding Hubbard's death and disposition of his estate are also subjects of controversy -- a swift cremation with no autopsy; the destruction of coroner's photographs; coroner's evidence of the drug Vistaril present in Hubbard's blood; questions about the whereabouts of Dr. Eugene Denk (Hubbard's physician) during Hubbard's death, and the changing of wills and trust documents the day before his death, resulting in the bulk of Hubbard's estate being transferred not to his family, but to Scientology.

Churchill also died, same day (different year). The Mac was released. Worst earthquake ever happend in the 1500s. Etc. etc. But BigAssSuperstar.com doesn't report on those things.

'Til next time, mes amis ...

Christmas wrap

A week and a half overdue, but here 'tis. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, joyous Festivus to all.

I had some much-needed time off over Christmas, and spent most of it in Ontario visiting friends and family and generally doing the Christmas thing.

Flew in to Toronto on the same flight (same aisle) as coworker Jennifer Macdonald. In fact, she had all three seats to herself and stretched out for a nap. Lucky her. I zonked out for a bit but didn't get any significant sleep. Canjet was good, cheap, and cheap.

Spent some good time with mom, dad, Shannon and Chris, and the Simpson cats in Stratford, and enjoyed some delicious wraps for lunch/dinner. Mmm, bacon.

Headed up to Bradford for Amanda's side of the family, and met their new puppy. Good times there, and a big ol' traditional xmas meal. I was reminded of a Simpsons moment after some time with the little dog, Molly:


Burns: "Dogs are idiots! Think about it Smithers! If I came into your house and started sniffing at your crotch and slobbering all over your face, what would you say?"

Smithers: "Uh, if you did it, sir?"


We visited with Amanda's grandmother and aunt for an hour, and 'manda headed home on the plane to return to work. Back to Stratford for another night with the 'rents, then back to continue the tour in Toronto.

Visited the 680News gang for a while and caught up on the office gossip. Hit House of Lords for a new haircut. Dropped by the Church of Scientology Class V Org afterward for a stress test and baffled a French-Canadian Sea Org member with my utter lack of stress and astonishing knowledge of the inside workings of her organization. Chatted up the local franchisee about the South Park episode that exposed Incident II. Bill says, "Oh, yes, I think my son told me about South Park. Isaac Hayes plays Cook." Bill claimed no knowledge of Incident II, and I wasn't about to have him sent off to Ethics by telling him more than he knew. Though I think he was lying.

Got to chill at the Magic 8 Ball launch party with John and Rick (see below), then grooved the next night with Michael Hainsworth. Hey, Jimmy. Thanks for the tour! Howdy to Mrs. H who was sleepin'.

Sandra & Byron returned home from their westward adventure in time to kick back on Friday night before shuttling me to the airport after our traditional post-xmas lunch at Swiss Chalet. Big thanks to S&B for putting me up in the Monkey House during my time in the T-Dot. Greatly appreciated. Nice to be able to give my buggy a hug.

Thanks all around to everyone who was able to share some time. Halifax is great, but I miss y'all.

New Year's Eve was pretty cool. We stood on the balcony with champagne and watched "The Most Intense Fireworks Display in Atlantic Canada." Then watched the replay on Eddie and noted that our view was much better. Flicked over to Dick Clark an hour later (it was 2006 here before NYC) and felt bad for poor ol' Dick.

Back now to the regular weekly grind and its regular weekly stresses and tribulations. Ratings have begun at the new radio station, so the intensity is being turned up for the next coupla months.

A loss for the family

George Quibell, 1920-2006


Grandpa died in Lindsay this morning after a heart attack.

He was a hard-working man who raised five kids and was married to my grandmother for 64 years. Used to call me Joe-Joe The Goon. Shannon and I spent lots of time as children at his cottage near Coboconk. He'll be missed by a lot of people.
My condolences to the whole family, especially my mom.
Update:
QUIBELL, George Edwin Passed away peacefully on January 7th, 2006 at the Lindsay Extendicare Home in his 86th year. George Quibell, beloved husband of 64 years to Margaret (Moore). Dear father of James (Beth) of Oakville, Brian (Linda) of Deep River, Kathie (Mrs. David Simpson) of Stratford, Richard (Mary) of Pickering and Jane (Mrs. Mark Ewen) of Katy, Texas. Treasured grandfather to Martine, Andrew, Geoffrey, Scott, Shannon, Justin, William, Matthew and Sandy, (Andrea and Adam predeceased). Great grandfather to Alanna, Christopher, Bruce, Storey, Jack, and Nyah. Predeceased by his brothers Jack and Ted and his sister Grace Beggs. George was with the RCAF from 1941 - 1946, and served his country overseas during WWII. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Lindsay, for 52 years. Visitation will be held at the MACKEY FUNERAL HOME, 33 Peel Street, Lindsay on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. The funeral service will be held in the chapel on Friday, January 13th at 2:00 p.m. Interment Riverside Cemetery, Lindsay. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Lindsay Branch of the Alzheimer's Society. The family wishes to extend their appreciation to all the staff and care givers at the Lindsay Extendicare Home for the care and compassion.

Magic 8 Ball: Decidedly So

The latest CD release from BigAssSuperstar and gang, Magic 8 Ball: Decidedly So, has hit the streets.

Copies of this new double-disc package were distributed to most regular bigasssuperstar.com readers during the holiday tour through Ontario. Stops included Pearson International Airport, The Cat House in Stratford, The Dog House in Bradford, The Monkey House in Willowdale, the stately Bain Estate near Greektown, Your Fired (sic) in Richmond Hill, Nana's in Ajax, and the official launch party at the East York rehearsal space/recording studio where the 8-ball was first shaken.

Disc One is the complete debut/farewell concert recorded live at The Spotted Dick in Toronto on September 23, 2005. Ten audio tracks plus CD-ROM extras including pictures from the night of the show, MP3 versions for sharing, and even a few videos.

Disc Two is a collection of notable recordings from the Jams At Rick's sessions, 2003-2005. Nineteen CD tracks including standout covers of songs by cub and Ween, plus four previously unreleased original recordings: No More Holidays, Pick Up The Phone And Call, Cookies at Rick's, and the epic Everybody's Got To Die/Moderation.

I joined Rick and John in the green room at the East York complex for a private listening of both discs. It was a trip back in time to some joyous moments. Good times. We all wished we had instruments there to jam for a few hours once again. But since that wasn't practical, we talked about collaborating over the infernet to produce more music through the magic of MP3 and multi-track recording. Anyone who's got a copy of Decidedly So is invited to suggest songs on there which would merit a more polished recording.

I hope to have sample tracks from Magic 8 Ball: Decidedly So, plus ordering information, online some time in the (near?) future. Meantime, if you're desperate, get in touch and I'll see what can be arranged.

Rock over London -- Rock on, Chicago. Wendy's. Do What Tastes Right.

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the...