Rambling thoughts gurgled through my mind these last couple of weeks while recovering from a bout of strep throat and a couple of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease on the home front.
- Top of mind, of course, are the expected layoffs across the country at newspapers owned by Postmedia, the Courier's former owner. But I wonder if anyone outside of journalism actually gives a damn given how few people buy newspapers compared to what they spend on coffee. Silly me. They can get their news for "free" somewhere else. God help us because She's obviously helping the Harper government now. Who needs more nosey reporters when another coffee franchise could be opening around the corner? Is that a celebration I hear at Tory headquarters?
- Is that camera going to make me look a stone heavier? This question buzzed around my fuzzy cranium the other day when Brit TV show host Jason Bradbury of The Gadget Show ambushed me outside my home, exhorting me to eat a waffle. When a strange, bespectacled man sticks a maple-syrup-drenched waffle through your hedge and says, "Oh, come on. It's free and freshly made" it's time to open the gate and investigate beyond the hedge-and hope you're not going to encounter a crazy man. Outside my house were two cars: one with a fetching woman (his co-host I later learned) making the breakfast meal on a travel waffle iron-the "gadget"; in the other car were three men perched behind cameras to capture my unscripted reaction. I can predict what will make the cut. "That's the most insane thing I've ever heard of" and "I wouldn't leave that waffle on the ground. There are bears around here." Can we do a re-shoot, Jason? I wasn't ready for my close-up.
- Good-bye and good riddance, AirCare. I've loathed AirCare since 1994 when I purchased a new Dodge Colt and failed AirCare two months after driving my car home from the dealership's lot. How is this possible, I demanded of the dealership? Don't worry, I was told, just fill up on the expensive gas before for the test then take your car for a spin on the highway and then go through the test. Passed with flying colours. And how is this helping air quality? Then there was my husband's dependable, but aging small Toyota pickup, which kept failing AirCare and draining our bank account. So what did we do? We drained our pockets even more and purchased a used, but newer and bigger domestic truck. The price was reasonable but the truck uses twice as much gas and probably pollutes more than his trusty, four-cylinder Toyota. AirCare shuts down at the end of 2014. Send in the clowns.
- Rafe Mair is awfully rude to Suzanne Anton, much the same way he was condescending to Alise Mills who previously represented the B.C. Liberal Party's point of view on Rick Cluff's Early Edition show on CBC Radio. The two political pundits, who appear along with B.C. NDP president Moe Sihota, square off every Monday morning and this week differed little from previous weeks. Hey Rafe, the average listener knows a shill when they hear one. We don't need it reinforced so disrespectfully. Back of a bit on the insults, will ya? You sound like a bully.
- Former CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin writes about my life in The End of Growth and how the world is about to get much smaller. Get? It already is a lot smaller for many of us and has been for years. Gas prices (and a crippling mortgage) have forced me to cut back on places I used to visit. I haven't been across the U.S. line in eight years. I visit the in-laws in the Okanagan but twice a year (and I really like them), rarely fly to my home province of Quebec unless my mother generously pays for it and purchase only what I need for food, clothing and to maintain a 1,500-square-foot house. I also wash in cold water and hang my laundry out five months of the year and turn the heat off at night in winter (ain't I just grand!). I splurge on wine, fresh halibut and good ice cream. I've adjusted to a smaller world and it's fine, not that I don't yearn for a trip to Hawaii like everybody and their dog has taken this year. But the playground we have in the Lower Mainland offers ample opportunity for fun. Am I the future? Read Rubin's engrossing book to find out, but don't look for my name. I was speaking in universal terms.