Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Time Is Up

Need a good therapist? Choose one with one foot in the grave. I liked this a lot.


Beautiful video from Faith 47

the restless debt of third world beauty

Find out more about South African based artist Faith 47 here
Thanks to Uncertain Times

Canadians overwhelmingly oppose Iraq war

A recent poll tells us what we already knew:
Canadians are solidly (89%) opposed to the war in Iraq and most Americans (59%) now believe that our decision not to join that prolonged and unpopular conflict was a good one.

We have Jean Chretien to thank for keeping us out of that fiasco. It it had been up to Steven Harper, opposition leader at the time and now Prime Minister, we would now be up to our necks in it.
In my judgment Canada will eventually join with the allied coalition if war on Iraq comes to pass. The government will join, notwithstanding its failure to prepare, its neglect in co-operating with its allies, or its inability to contribute. In the end it will join out of the necessity created by a pattern of uncertainty and indecision. It will not join as a leader but unnoticed at the back of the parade.
  • Hansard, January 29, 2003
In 2003 Harper was one of Canada's biggest hawks. Don't forget this when and if the federal election ever comes to pass.

Drinking wine in the afternoon

Some friends of ours who recently celebrated a major wedding anniversary were passing through town yesterday. I won't tell you which anniversary or you'll think our friends are very old (actually they married at an obscenely early age and I'm older than they are). One of the pair is bird phobic and the inevitable attack of the front porch robins made for an interesting arrival. We went out to a local winery restaurant for lunch to celebrate the longevity of their union. We ate a three course meal and drank a moderate amount of wine. By 3pm it was all over and I felt overfull and slightly tipsy. Time was I could have kept that party going. Alas, I'm ashamed to say, no longer. I felt like I needed a nap but thought that would show some innate weakness. Worst of all the midday drinking interfered with my happy hour routine; I'm such a creature of habit (mostly bad). It's just as well I wasn't a businessperson 20 years ago. I wouldn't have survived the three martini lunches.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Star Trek Frasier


Thanks Blort

Sounds sinister

One Election Outcome Certain: A Lefty Will Win White House

The Quiet Corners of Paris

"Intimate, lightly trafficked and often quirky, the small gardens of Paris can be ideal places to relax and to read."

I've just booked a September trip to Paris and am looking forward to resting in many of these quiet spots after a day of walking has made me a little weary. One park not included here is the lovely Parc Monceau which is close to the apartment we rent. It's my second favourite park in Paris next to the Luxembourg Gardens.

Girls In Their Summer Clothes

All the Trimmings

Declercq Passementiers is a 6th generation family firm in Paris dedicated to the production of elegant trimmings using traditional craft techniques. A very pretty website.
Used creatively by the greatest interior designers, trimmings are the perfect partner to decorating fabrics. Trimmings enhance and enrich, bringing contrast or compliment to a dominant color while adding delicate refinement.

Friday, June 27, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Shoots Down Weeny Cannon Ban

More than two centuries after it became one of America's most fervently held constitutional rights, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday affirmed citizens cannot be denied the use of weeny cannons and weeny rockets to celebrate the 4th of July. Canadian border officials gird for increase in illegal tube steak traffic.

Vintage ad via I'm Learning To Share!

Hmmm, sounds too familiar

Will Write For Chocolate is a weekly comic about a group of freelance writers living in one house.

Dogs acting human

Nothing melts The Nag's cold heart like old photos of puppies engaged in human activities . Strangely enough people acting like animals produces the opposite effect.
See more cute puppies

For History Buffs Only

William Kirby, (1817 – 1906), was a Canadian author, best known for his novel The Golden Dog. He was born at Kingston upon Hull, England, on October 13, 1817, and came to Canada with his parents in 1832. He settled in Niagara, Upper Canada, in 1839. He married the daughter of John Whitmore, Niagara, and had two sons. For more than twenty years he edited the Niagara Mail. From 1871 to 1895 he was collector of customs at Niagara. In 1883 he became a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada. He died at Niagara on June 23, 1906.

This plaque marks Kirby's house in Niagara-on the-Lake:

We came across the stone below a few years ago while wandering around Quebec City:

"Je suis un chien qui ronge lo En le rongeant je prends mon repos Un temps viendra qui n'est pas venu Que je morderay qui maura mordu."
In 1669, the surgeon Thimothée Roussel moved to the Canardière. He quarrelled with his neighbours and one of them killed his dog. Roussel complained to the Council sovereign. Two years later, in 1688, he built what later became the home of Philibert and installed on the front this bas-relief of the golden dog. The murder of Philibert forms the basis of Kirby's novel.

And now Kirby's house has come on the market. It's one of Niagara-on-the-Lake's oldest homes and has the added bonus of being just down the street from The Nag.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Proustian remembrance of la musique québécoise

In the 1960s when I was a younger teenager in Montreal, skinny and flat-chested, yé-yé was the music of the francophone boys I hung with. Acts like Les Classels, Les Baronets, César et les Romains, Les Sultans, Les Excentriques, Les Miladys, Tony Roman and Jenny Rock were hot. French kids watched them on Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui. English speaking girls were exposed to them in the pool halls and on the street corners where the guys with ducktail haircuts played them on their transistor radios. These guys (Les Classels) had a unique look. They were a little before my time but some of my less cool friends liked them.


Then there were the bands that did cover versions of the English top ten. This group (César et les Romains) had hit after hit. Go figure.


And these guys! If the Quebec pop scene needed anything it was definitely not dudes doing The Freddy en francais. 

 Bang bang, somebody should have shot this song down when Cher did it.

 At some point local anglo groups appeared. Maybe they were always there and all it took was a move to an English speaking neighbourhood for me to discover them. By this time I was old enough to go out and wait (often in vain) for guys to ask me to dance. I hated those days but I really loved this band:


The Rabble was arguably the best of the Montreal bands of this era although some of their songs like Black Potato and Can I Squeeze Your Boil were a little weird even for the times.

When birds attack

The Boston fern on my front porch has become home to a family of avian squatters. The frantic screeching accompanied by swoops and dives have prevented me from using that entrance as well as doing any yard work in that area. This is what happens when I have the audacity to peer hesitantly through my screen door ( I don't dare open it for fear of losing an eye). Mr. and Mrs. Robin form an intimidating tag team and keep swooping until I back off. Now I know how Tippi Hedren felt.

Like Rocky but with eight arms!

He's the Calamari Wrestler!


Ask Martha

Don't know what a blog is? Ask Martha. She says you can reach 100 million people in an instant - awesome! I bet she learned all about this in a prison education program.

Via Urlesque

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Which medications do doctors avoid?

"Of course, plenty of M.D.'s do know which prescription and over-the-counter drugs are duds, dangers, or both. So we asked them, 'Which medications would you skip?'"See them here

I took Celebrex for a very painful torn rotator cuff and didn't find it effective. I was surprised to see the innocuous seeming Visine on this list; I never use it because I'm convinced that crimson enhances my green eyes. Actually I hesitate to use any medications. Mr. Nag says I'm like Granny Clampett on The Beverley Hillbillies, preferring to use home remedies (nothing involving possum innards though). A couple of glasses of red wine usually cures what ails me; if not at least I stop giving a damn.


What's cuter and more cuddly than LOLkittehs and LOLdogs? Not LOLmoddles.

See more skinny stupidistas at Starving Models & Marionettes
Via Notcot

For those who take blogging far too seriously

How To Beat The Blank Page of Doom provides tips on how to craft what you have to say into a brilliant and coherent blog post.
Those of you with an attention deficit may prefer to follow The Nag's advice: surf, link, post, move on.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rice Paddy Art

In recent years, a growing number of local governments around Japan have started organizing rice paddy art projects as a way to attract tourists and educate people about rice farming. See more at Pink Tentacle

Bad Beaver Vase

This is so funny and so Canadian - yet utilitarian.


Internet Meme Timeline

A brief history of Internet Memes from the Trojan Room Coffee Pot, 1993 (They had memes then? I didn't know they had the internet.) to the ever-so-annoying Rick Rolling, April 2008.

La Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Bonne Saint-Jean à tous mes amis au Québec!

I guess I'm not much of a wife. Oh well.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

On the positive side I don't go to bed wearing curlers or too much cold cream and the seams of my stockings are seldom crooked.

Via Raincoaster who, much to my shame, is a better wife than I.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Nag Doesn't Not Like Change

The other day I had a marathon phone conversation with an old friend who connected with me via Facebook. Among the many topics we discussed was blogging. Friend feels that blogging is a powerful tool that can effect real change and urged me to use my power for the good of mankind, etc. There are many bloggers who do just that but me, I scour the internets seeking mildly amusing links (just call me La Triviata). Don't get me wrong, I'm rabidly political but politics absorbed most of my working life for many years and I see this blog as an entertaining diversion (you want political writing you'll have to pay me for it, that's what I'm used to). However, in a nod to the spirit of change, here's this:

If you need a reason...


Change the Margins, Save the World

Reducing our carbon footprint one page at a time:
Change the Margins , a campaign to save the environment by changing paper margins.

On This Day

June 23, 1985 - Air India Crash
It's the third-worst air crash in history, and it has taken more Canadian lives than any aviation disaster before it. Of the 329 people on Air India Flight 182, 280 were Canadian.
I watched Sturla Gunnarsson’s film Air India 182 last night. It follows the 16 hour journey of the bomb rigged suitcase that tore the plane apart. It's a brilliantly crafted mix of documentary footage and drama. Watch it if you get the chance.

RIP George Carlin

George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV" routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

National Aboriginal Day

I had forgotten that today is National Aboriginal Day until I turned the radio on. I am feeling incredibly moved by the stories that are being told.

Whistle Tips?

Why do these folks want to draw attention to themselves? I don't want to be judgmental but if I were these dudes I'd probably try to fly below the radar. Have I become an old fart? I just don't understand this fad or, for that matter, this or this.


It must be summer

It's June 21 and here's a perfect summer song to welcome in the season. Roll the car windows down and crank up the volume!
Fountains of Wayne - It Must Be Summer

Christine Sajecki

I discovered artist Christine Sajecki at Uncertain Times. Her work appeals to me in a big way. She uses a technique I haven't heard of before:
Encaustic painting is the 2000+ year old process of painting with melted, pigmented beeswax. It began with ancient Greek shipbuilders, who used beeswax to seal their ships, and eventually added color. From there, the practice travelled to Egypt under Greco-Roman rule, and some work from this period still remains in the form of the Fayoum funerary portraits. These small paintings done on wood were placed over the face of the departed and buried with the mummies.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Heart This

No fireflies were imprisoned in the production of these solar powered Firefly Lamps

Whole lotta roses going on

Geeks talking about cookbooks

Killjoy Cooking With the Dungeons & Dragons Crowd:
"If geeks talked about cookbooks the way they talk about RPG books, the results would not be pretty:

Posted: 12:15 a.m. by LordOrcus I'm so mad that there's a new edition of The Better Joy Cookbook out. Thanks for making my old copy obsolete, you greedy hacks! For five years now, my friends have been coming over for my eggplant Parmesan, and now I'm never going to be able serve it again unless I shell out 35 bucks for the latest version.

Posted: 12:42 a.m. by Kathraxis Hey, I have a question! When you preheat the oven, can you start it before you measure out the ingredients, or do you have to do it afterward? Please answer quickly, my friends and I have been arguing about it for four hours and we're getting pretty hungry."

Via Mefi

Logos in their natural habitats


See lots more logos here.
Via Miss C Recommends

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When we examine a nest

"When we examine a nest , we place ourselves at the origin of confidence in the world.” -—Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space"via Jahsonic

Reminds me of the nest on my front porch:

This is where even I draw the line!

I plan to table these delightful vintages at my next bum wine and cheese get together. Just kidding! I don't even know if these are sold in Canada and don't want to find out.

Call them bum wines, street wines, fortified wines, wino wines, or twist-cap wines.
Whatever you call these beverages for the economical drunkard, this page explores the top five.
So curl up on a heating duct and enjoy...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Moira McLaughlin at Dog Art Today created this beautiful video.

So You Know

Calculate Age In Dog Years

No wonder Max is getting lethargic. He's extra large and 8 years old which makes him 66 in human years! I'll have to start treating him more deferentially.

Radical Light

I would love to see this show but, alas, will not unless London becomes affordable. Click the image to see the slideshow.

"In the last room of an exhibition avowedly dedicated to Italy's 'divisionist' painters in the 1890s and 1900s, you suddenly stand in front of some of the greatest paintings of the Futurist movement."Read more

Monday, June 16, 2008

A wee bit of Joyce on Bloomsday

Pop vs. Soda Stats

This map only shows the US but they also have statistics for Canada.
When I was growing up in Quebec I would ask for a "soft drink" (probably the "other" in the stats). After many years in Ontario I now call it "pop". One of my boys says "pop"; the other, for some unknown reason, says "soda".

Pop vs. Soda Stats
Via Cartophilia

Monsieur A. Dancing Up a Storm

Monsieur A. is a French graffiti artist who paints a stick-figure character that pops up everywhere in Paris. It's brought to life in this video, dancing with Lou Doillon, actress daughter of Jane Birkin.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Souvenir Shop

The Souvenir Shop is a unique retail experience devoted to that often overlooked carrier of meaning — the souvenir.

The best collection of Canadian souvenirs ever! Nothing screams hoser like these charming beer cosies. Bob and Doug McKenzie would love them, eh?


Blogging or non-blogging?

blogging or non?

Creative censorship

Censor Bar Fun
Reminds me of happy hour chez Nag.
Thanks Tom.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Great Lake Swimmers

Toronto's darlings are getting a lot of airplay because they're here for NXNE. I like them. Very retro.

Friday the 13th Port Dover

Unfortunately I had to take a pass; a friend was coming over for some semi-civilized gossip and wine. It's a safe bet they're rockin' on in Port Dover though.
Friday the 13th Port Dover, Ontario, Canada.

It's time this story was told

Down With Pinatas, a blog about pinata related violence:
"A friend built me this site so I could tell my story and warn unsuspecting parents that the gift of a pinata has a darker, violent side."


When Album Covers Attack

These album covers were less violent when I was young.


Even evil bastard dads deserve a thoughtful Father's Day card.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Get exactly what you deserve

Life Goes On In Tehran

Life Goes On In Tehran - A Monthly Photoblog:
"A personal monthly photo blog by a former Los Angeles resident who recently moved to Tehran. Featuring photos taken using a camera phone."

Wonderful photos. Once I started looking at them I couldn't stop.

Pastel pussycats

Tim Walker's best shot

"We didn't really think about which cats, or how many, should be done in which colours. We just did each one, and then they had to go back into their cat beds in the owners' van. I think I lost count of how many were pink and how many were blue, but when we were finished they all came out and looked great together."

The photographer says the cats loved having the coloured talc brushed into their coats. I can't imagine that licking that powder would be good for them but they sure look pretty.

Inspired Landscapes

If you'll be coming to Niagara-on-the-Lake this summer try to catch this show at the local museum. It's sponsored by my friend and her husband who are great collectors of Canadian art and have loaned several of these paintings. We were at the opening last week but plan to go back and take a closer look when it's not so crowded.

It's about time

'We are sorry'
"We now recognize that, in separating children from their families, we undermined the ability of many to adequately parent their own children and sowed the seeds for generations to follow," he said. "Not only did you suffer these abuses as children, but as you became parents, you were powerless to protect your own children from suffering the same experience, and for this we are sorry."

When I was a little girl I lived close to the Kahnawake Reserve just outside Montreal. I had my tonsils removed at the reserve hospital by our native family doctor. The kids from the reserve went to my high school. My mum's best friend is a Mohawk as is my son's long-term girlfriend. I feel a deep sense of shame about the plight of Canada's Aboriginal people, the survivors of the residential school system and their descendants. Is this long overdue apology a first step toward healing the wounds? Will this symbolic action lead to real change? I sincerely hope so.
More about residential schools here.