Let us suppose, for a moment, that Superman is real. There is a real nice Kryptonian flying around doing good deeds, saving lives, and helping old ladies across the street. He has all the powers and weaknesses of the comic book hero.
Now, in this scenario, what should be the legal status of Kryptonite? This is a green rock that only has one purpose, and that is to kill Superman, a man who 9 out of 10 of Metropoleans think is a good guy. He even seems to be on the side of the United States government.
And you have to admit, it would be suspicious if you saw a kilo of it sitting on someone’s desk. Why would he have it? There is only one reason.
But then it only affects one person.
Well, what if there was a rock out there that killed U.S. Presidents. (And I don’t mean like granite at a high velocity to the head. Stay on topic people.) Wouldn’t the government have a very vested interest in making sure Presidentite was kept safely away.
But what if there was a rock that killed Bob, and only Bob. Bob being a nice guy who lives down the street, an accountant who pays his taxes on time. Nothing really interesting about him, other than a huge allergy to Bobite. Would Bobite need to be controlled?
But back to that hunk of material sitting on someone’s desk. What if, instead of Kryptonite, it was plastique. An easily detonated explosive. Same story. Awfully suspicious to find it sitting on a desk.
But if we use that analogy, we are getting into NRA territory. The right to bear Kryptonite. Everyone has a right to defend themselves from Kryptonians. If owning Kryptonite is against the law, then only criminals will have Kryptonite! (Well, duh!)
I can see the U.S. Military stockpiling the green rock in case Superman suddenly becomes a threat. That’s just common sense. And maybe some research centers will be allowed to have it to study. That nice Mr. Lex Luthor says he wants to test its radioactive properties, so why shouldn’t we let him have some.
However, if the National Kryptonite Association (with its sister organization, the NRA) forms and starts demanding legalization of Kryptonite, then I can see things being awkward for Superman. I could easily see him immigrating to Canada, where there is no second amendment making him easy to kill.

Mission results

Operation Foaming Horse could have gone better.
The litmus test was today. Last evening she went to Calgary to be with my parents. If she slept all day, then the mission would be accomplished. I called and checked, and while she was very tired, she did not sleep all day.
But I did a good job. On Friday morning I treated her to a Swizzlesticks haircut and then we went to Costco to pick up steaks. In the afternoon through to the evening we saw three plays, “Letters in Wartime”, “52 Pick-up”, and “Kind Hearts and Coronets”. After my sister went to bed, I snuck out and saw “Pajama Men”.
The next day, my sister counterattacked. She “claimed” she was sick and used that as an excuse to sleep. It was hard to argue with that. We did see “Mules” which I found very depressing for a supposed comedy. Due to the illness, we watched the two “American Werewolf” movies instead of doing other things.
Sunday she was feeling better, so I got to try and exhaust her again. We started slowly though, but went to the noon show of “The Overnight”. (Good play!) Then grocery shopping to get the final ingredients for a barbecue, that we then had. After, we saw “Get Off the Cross, Mary” which I wouldn’t really recommend. Then off to the Belke play, “The Raven and the Writing Desk.” To top off the evening, Karaoke!
On Monday I abandoned my sister while I went to work in the morning. I took the afternoon off. There were plans to see plays, but they mostly evaporated. We wandered the Fringe, and then hung out in Hawrelak park for a few hours. We went to dinner at Chianti’s. While my sister went to bed early, I went out to go for a run with a friend. That didn’t end well (see previous entry) and it resulted in me staying up later than I would have liked. That affected me for the rest of the trip. The missing of a couple of hours sleep is hard to make up with a tight schedule.
On Tuesday, energy levels had risen in my sister. I was tired but I refused to let her win. So after working in the morning, we went to see “Man 1, Bank 0”. Then we rushed off to an extravagant dinner with friends. After the dinner, salsa lessons at the Funky Buddha!That worked out well for me in my goals as I could get other people to dance with my sister and tire her out. (Of course, on my end, it is depressing to ask a girl to dance and, after she declines, to see her dancing with another girl five minutes later.) When we got back in the late evening, I made sure to doubly wilt her by starting to watch a movie.
Wednesday, I worked in the morning, and my sister slept. That’s probably where I lost the most points. It allowed her to rest up. She said that she didn’t have the energy to get out of bed and walking hurt. “Suck it up, buttercup!” We went and did a bit of shopping on Whyte Avenue; Wandered the Fringe; Checked out the hat store. We nearly saw a play; It was 45 minutes, but charged the maximum price, which implies a rip-off. So instead we finished the movie we started the previous day. Then I took her to the Sawmill restaurant to gorge herself. Hey, free salad bar with purchase of a prime rib! You try not leaving bloated. After, we had twenty minutes to kill before I needed to take her to her bus. She decided to try and embarrass me by going next door, to Diamonds Gentlemen’s Club. According to a quick poll of my friends, this makes my sister totally cool. However the joint wasn’t really happening at that early an hour. In the end, my sister was more embarrassed than me. Come on, I’ve been to Hedonism where I perfected the art of getting tired of looking at beautiful naked women.
And then I shoved my sister on a bus.
We did a lot, but apparently not enough. I will need to exhaust her better next time. And not be fooled with her pretending to be sick.

Street fighter

I was in my first street fight yesterday.
Well, more of a park fight…
I’m an amateur, so I really don’t know what to call it. I would like to stress my lack of experience in these sort of things. I don’t know if I conducted myself properly.
Basically, I went for a run with a friend yesterday evening. After over an hour of pounding pavement, we ended up at the top of Victoria hill and were resting in the gazebo there. It was a quarter to eleven, so it was dark out. But the gazebo is lit up quite well and we were near a major intersection.
Suddenly, an indian came up and asked where the smokes were. He was dressed mostly in black and had a scruff of facial hair. According to my friend, he smelled like pot. Let’s call him Black. We didn’t have anything for him. Heck, we had just been running. You want to carry as little as possible, and you certainly don’t want to have cigarettes.
Anyway, he started to take offense at us. Apparently we thought we were better than him because we had a place to live and he was homeless. (In this economy, you can only not have a job by choice. So my pity-meter for the homeless is at an all time low.) He was looking for a fight. His friend, a portly indian dressed in white and with a ball-cap, came up. Let’s call him White. It looked like he was trying to calm his friend down, but not very well.
We got up to leave. We didn’t want trouble. According to my friend, Black hit him in the back of the head at that time. So when Black tried to jump over the gazebo railing to get at us, my friend pushed him back. White was now no longer trying to calm his friend down.
They both ran around the gazebo and Black hit my friend in the face. His glasses went flying. My friend then TACKLED Black. They then started fighting on the ground. I have no doubt that my friend could beat up Black, no problem. Black was, after all, high, and probably not in the best of shape.
But White started kicking my friend while they were on the ground. I tried to stop him, and so White turned his attention to me. He threatened to stab me while reaching into the front of his jeans. Not the most pleasant of imagery. So I backed off. At no time did I see a weapon. When White went back to attacking my friend, we repeated that scene.
I figure that White wasn’t looking for a fight. But he had to support his friend’s stupid decisions. And that meant he couldn’t let a fair fight happen so they were trying to both beat him up.
Then the fight just stopped. They both got up and parted ways. I can’t remember the reason why. I figure that our side wasn’t looking for a fight, and when the indians (does that make us the cowboys?) stopped we didn’t pursue the matter. They walked away.
My friend was covered in the blood streaming down his face from where his glasses got knocked off. We went to his place and phoned the police. We gave a brief description of the assailants, and then waited until midnight for an actual officer to show up and take a report. While waiting we got ice on the wound. He seemed fairly upbeat, but that might have been the adrenaline talking.
My friend’s wife took him to the hospital to get stitches. I went home.
I ended up without a scratch on me. My friend had blood all over the side of his face. I feel I should have done more, but I’m not sure what the proper protocol is in these sorts of things. I didn’t want to escalate the situation, but I didn’t want two people beating up my friend.
The people I’ve told the story have varying opinions. My sister is wondering why I was in a park after dark. A co-worker wondered why two runners didn’t run away from the problem. Another thought the whole thing was surreal.
Ironically, those weren’t the only vagrants I had trouble with that evening. While leaving to go for the run, I found three people sitting in the stairwell, with backpacks, smoking. Initially I just told them smoking wasn’t allowed. After I had gotten to my car I realized it was obvious they didn’t belong. I went back and escorted them from the building.

Day Two of Operation Foaming Horse

On the way back from the airport last night my sister pointed out a flashing sign that was saying “Thank you”. Just sitting on the side of the road. I don’t know why (might have been troop related) but my sister thought it was very Canadian.
I asked her what it would say in America.
“Your tax dollars at work” next to a big road project that had been abandoned for a year.

Operation Foaming Horse is off to a poor start.
I raced home to try and see the play, but we didn’t make it. Probably five minutes late. They don’t let you in late, and that is a rule I support and I wish they would enforce more.
However we got up at an early hour and I’ve kept her going. She collapsed fifteen minutes ago, demanding a nap. I won’t let her rest for long. Then I’ll drag her off somewhere for more fun.

Sister visiting

Today my sister will arrive from Miami. She is visiting for nearly a week before continuing on to my parents in Calgary. As usual, when I have guests visiting, my goal is to exhaust them.
My sister is actually the one that started this tradition. The first time she visited I kept her busy doing stuff. When she went home, she slept for an entire day. The same thing happened the next time.
So, now I just need a mission statement. After brainstorming with a co-worker we came up with some ideas. Operation: Pheidippides. Operation: Jenga (They are known for collapsing.)
In the end, we chose “Operation: Foaming Horse”. It gives nice imagery.
So I’ll pick up my sister and see if I can drag her to a fringe play starting at 10:00. Unfortunately, her flight is coming in half an hour late, so it will be tight. I hope she doesn’t need dinner.


In a seven day period I was at three barbecues.
The first was at a friend’s place last Monday. Then on Friday my company had another one. Then on Saturday I threw one myself. This was a part of my You-people-were-supposed-to-drink-all-my-beer-the-first-time party. I bought six more beers just in case I ran out, but in the end, I still have seven beers that are lingering in my fridge.
Unfortunately, alcohol wasn’t the problem. Food was. I had too much of it. Corn on the cob. Buffalo chicken wings. Marinated drumsticks. Hamburgers. It didn’t help that a Korean friend brought Bul-gal-bee as well. I had planned to do all the barbecuing myself, because I’m the host, I should be doing the work. But I wasn’t allowed near the fire. Other people were more insistent that they get to handle the duty. Fine, I’ll go back to making sure people are decently hydrated.
Of course there was a problem with that. A group was commandeering the fire and cooking the Bul-gal-bee. Every so often they brought some in to share with the people inside. I later found out that a lot of the meat was being held up in customs and wasn’t making it inside. Apparently Bul-gal-bee is better when eaten directly off the grill.
Still, there was a good turn out. Some groups that didn’t make the previous party finally showed up. So I’m going to call it a success as a party. It didn’t attain its goal, but I’ll decide to be happy with the result.


A few days ago I got an order from Amazon in. The prize book in that order was the latest in the Sword of Truth series by Goodkind, Terry.
Of course I have more of an inhalation process to reading than most people. So all 592 pages were done the next day. Needless to say, it is a good book. Heck, it is a good series. In the first book, my sister pointed out that everything seems to get worse and worse for Richard, the main character. I have to agree, the drama seems to have more tragedy than A Series of Unfortunate Events. The latest book continues this trend as properties of Richard that you have come to count on evaporate away.
But the past few book seem to have a theme behind them that is both interesting and creepy. In “Faith of the Fallen” it seemed to be a tirade against communism. That was the sixth book. The ninth book seemed to be not-so-subtlely mirroring the current Bush administration. This book, the tenth, actually had Richard going around advocating terrorism.
Political beliefs (or observations) aside, it was edge of your seat reading that I couldn’t put down.
In other news, I bought the complete Sherlock Holmes. I’m wondering if I will ever read it, or will it sit on the shelf looking classy.

Best laid plans…

Since I’ve paid off my mortgage I decided that I would buy a new laptop. A MacBook Pro looked like just the thing to sate my nerdity. But, then I heard that July was the worst month to buy a Mac. Because the WWDC happens in August, that is when new Macs will be announced. Probably at the Steve-note. My goal for major purchases these days is to not feel stupid. So I don’t want to buy anything that will be obsolete in a month.
But said Steve-note was today. No new Mac laptops were announced. So that leaves me with a dilemma. Another rumor has been out that since Intel released new chips that new Apple laptops would be arriving at the end of this month or the start of the next.
Peer pressure is mounting that I stop waiting and start spending my money and get a laptop. But that conflicts with my “Don’t feel stupid” policy. I should wait a month, but my current laptop is feeling old. (Don’t say that out loud. I don’t want it to hear.)

Heritage Days

I went to the Heritage Days festival yesterday. A fine time to take a dose of other cultures. I went with a co-worker who is working in Canada temporarily so she can apply for a visa to return to the states. So, that’s an added bonus of culture.
We walked from Whyte avenue all the way to the park, which is about 4km. Add on the run on Wednesday and Thursday, and I was fairly exhausted for the Sunday morning run today.
But, let’s talk about the festival. It was nice. The Iberian-Canadian exhibit had the best performance with the martial-arts dancers. The song they sang got stuck in my head for awhile after. Usually I just go for the food and try to avoid the culture, but I got more of it this time.
The thing is fairly well organized, but it could be better. One idea I had was instead of having all the pavilions in a semi-line, they should instead be in the form of a map of the world. However, I can also think of problems with that. For instance, popular exhibits like France would be totally dwarfed by other countries like India. (Not to say that India isn’t popular, but I recall long lines for the French exhibits.) That could probably be solved by stylizing the map. But the biggest problem is that countries that neighbor each other frequently don’t get along. Ethiopia would be next to Eritrea. China next to Taiwan. Serbia next to Croatia. Israeli vs. Arab. And most importantly, France next to Italy.

Lunchtime options

For me, Earl’s is a lot like Sony.
When you buy a Sony product, you aren’t necessarily getting a better product. You will probably get a fine piece of electronics, but you are paying extra for the advertising.
With Earl’s, the food is quite a bit overpriced. They are somewhat more subtle with their advertising though. I don’t recall ever seeing a commercial for them. Their advertising is via gorgeous waitresses. They only seem to hire the drop-dead beautiful. (Unless you accidentally get the table being served by the owner’s daughter.) But the food isn’t any better, and the girls want nothing to do with you after you’ve given them their tip.
Other restaurants have a more economical bait-and-switch approach. They hire one drop-dead beautiful woman, then have her work as the hostess. So when you go to the restaurant, the first thing you see is this beauty, but then when you sit down, you find yourself interacting with something that may have crawled out of the sewer.
I suppose what is most annoying is that as a man I will fall for it every time.