Sunday, March 30, 2008

Food and books, a yummy combination

Books 2 Eat
The Edible Books Festival pays homage to Brillat-Savarin. Now you can have your cake and read it too!

What did you expect? Leadership on the environment?

Harper snubs Earth Hour:
Thanks to its place of prominence in the capital, 24 Sussex Dr., the Prime Minister's residence, is always easy to spot. As Ottawa went dark last night for Earth Hour, it was even easier.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's lights stayed on.

Okay so earth hour was just a symbolic gesture but couldn't he have pretended to support it? He had nothing to lose but good will. Methinks the lights are on but there's nobody home, if you know what I mean.

A taste of what I'm in for

Cuaderno de Viaje / a photoset on Flickr
I'm planning on visiting many of these places in northern Spain and the south of France very soon. These photos are making me ultra eager to get the show on the road.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Campaign Against Excess Packaging

Via clusterflock

Now with comments!

I can't stand the clamour! Alright there were only 12 emails and 3 came from people who have been requesting comments for ages and 1 came from Mr.Nag who demanded both comments and more photos of Max but, as Hanan pointed out, "They're free". So go ahead, comment.

Yippee - more snow!

I got up this morning , looked out the window and nearly went right back to bed.

Plastic Bag Animals

They come alive when they fill with stale city air.

Inspirational street art

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring has almost sprung (I hope)

The weather continues to be abysmal but I looked out my bedroom window and spied a harbinger of spring. No, not the winter aconites with their yellow flowers pushing up through the snow but trucks moving stuff into the Courthouse Theatre, which is virtually in my backyard. I guess the Shaw Festival is just around the corner along with lots of new faces in the Valu-Mart as the actors, technicians, etc. take up temporary residence in town again - sort of like a flock of birds returning from a winter down south.

This explains a lot.

Now I know why, at parties, men scuttle away from me in horror.

Thanks for this, Blort

Carla Does London

Mrs. Sarkozy visits England and, in an obvious attempt to pander to the Queen, puts her clothes on. If you're from another planet and don't know what I'm talking about, you can view France's first lady in her usual attire here (NSFW)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Smelly drain may be the fountain of youth. Or not.

Sewer Gas May Allow For Suspended Animation
Suspended animation — the state that space travelers are always put into in movies so they don't age while traveling for many years — may turn out to actually be possible, and it's a simpler process than you'd expect. Yep, all you need to fall into a deep sleep and not age is a good dose of sewer gas.

This is good news for me. We have a nasty sewer gas odour that oozes periodically from the kitchen drain at the National Historic Site where I work. The plumber, after several visits($$) hasn't been able to determine the source. From now on,when we have classy little hors d'oeuvres events, I'll just explain that breathing in the noxious fumes is better than a nip/tuck . We'd probably see a huge increase in visitors, noses pressed eagerly to the drain.

Scares the living daylights out of me!

World's Toughest T-Shirt
If they can't do it no one can.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Brava Firenze!

Dog Art Today - Dogs Allowed (almost) Everywhere Now!
In June a new law goes into effect that allows owners to take their dogs with them into art galleries, theatres, restaurants, cinemas, post offices, museums and beaches. In fact, the only place, dogs (and all pets) will be banned from is The Teatro del Maggio Musicale, the Florence opera house.

The law, passed in order to 'break down barriers that separate Man from his best friends,' accomplishes what to me seemed impossible; it makes Florence, one of the most magical cities in the world, that much more spectacular!

Max is packing his chew toys as I post.

Guys Who Do Housework Get More Sex

The average dad has gradually been getting better about picking himself up off the sofa and pitching in, according to a new report in which a psychologist suggests the payoff for doing more chores could be more sex. The Associated Press

Mr. Nag's response to this was, " Yeah, with the vacuum cleaner."

Kitchen Gun!

Hey guys, according to the post above housework gets you laid. Bet you didn't know that you can spice it up even more by adding a little frisson of violence to the mix.

Via Presurfer

Monday, March 24, 2008


I need just one post to push that annoying bubbling sound from the Irish Spring post off the page. This is that post.


Lapdog , felted wool, taxidermy
"The natural outgrowth of the outdated need for cute little 'accessory' dogs to actually walk."

via Notcot

John Lennons Jukebox

A few years back, a portable jukebox that had once belonged to John Lennon, in the 60’s was discovered. On it were Lennon’s hand written labels for his favorite 40 songs. This documentary is about those songs.

Found this at Smashing Telly It's smashing! Watch it if you've got 48 minutes to spare.

Plus ça change...

Action urged on unpaid wages
Mike Harris and his slash and burn gang gutted the Ontario Ministry of Labour when they were in power. Unpaid wages were a major issue when I worked for an MPP and it seems that nothing has changed. McGuinty tore into the Conservatives when he was in opposition but it looks like this is another instance of him failing to do anything to rectify an unfair situation when he has the power to do so. These workers earned their wages; they deserve to be paid.

Let there be light!

The Nag is young at heart (Some would say immature. To them I say, "I know you are but what am I?) and old age is at least twenty years older than I am. Somehow no one thought to inform my body of this. As you may know, I have that scourge of the elderly-cataracts- and my vision is not what it used to be. However I don't want anyone messing around anywhere near my eyes so I've been putting the surgery off.
The other morning I had a scare when I logged in and couldn't read text on the screen of my MacBook. It's a tiny screen but I'd been able to read it the day before. I was convinced that I'd become blind overnight as punishment for my procrastination.
Just then Nag Jr. happened to walk by, pressed the F2 key and, hallelujah, I could see again!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He has risen!

The Passion Fruit of the Christ Easter Soufflé
"Girls, the only ingredient that takes a bit of poise and wrangling to procure is, of course, the flesh of the Christ. But for Heaven's sake, don't order over the Internet or you are likely to wind up with something in an Igloo cooler that came out of a Chinese dissident! Instead, I have found, that Catholic priests are rather alacritous in their willingness to allow me to score a stack of freshly consecrated hosts for my Body of Christ Soufflé. But come prepared with an envelope full of crisp twenty-dollar bills and a comely young boy who gives off the vague impression of being up for almost anything."Read complete recipe here

Sacrilegious! But what else would you expect at Easter from an atheist who isn't particularly fond of chocolate?

Comments? Or not?

Over the past few weeks I've received a few emails (3 to be exact) from folks requesting that I add comments to my blog. What do you think? Would you comment? Would you be civil? You can email me at the address in the sidebar and if there seems to be an overwhelming (I'll decide how many because it's my blog) demand I'll add comments.

Britons can't imagine a life without booze

Britons can't imagine a life without booze
Most people in Britain do not believe they could lead their lives enjoyably or successfully without alcohol - but don't consider this to be a problem either, according to new research.
The fear of a life without alcohol is so endemic that most adults say they are scared by the idea of socialising, relaxing, taking part in any celebration or trying to have a good night's sleep without drinking.

All I have to say about that is, judging from a get-together with a group old friends last night, Canadians also like to down a lot of alcohol when they socialize (in this case margaritas). I don't know if fear is the driving emotion here but we sure love us our alcohol. Luckily Mr. Nag had to get up at 4:30 this morning to go to work so we left before any real damage was done. I'm betting some of my compadres are wishing they'd left early, too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wash those whips first....

Turns out crucifixion is bad for you . Who'da thunk it?

MANILA - Health officials in the Philippines warned the Roman Catholic faithful Wednesday that re-enacting the crucifixion could be bad for their health.On Good Friday, dozens of people, mostly men, will be nailed to wooden crosses, while hundreds more will strip to the waist and whip themselves until their backs are cut and bloody as a way of atoning for their sins over the past year.
The department of health advised people taking part in the rituals to have a tetanus injection and to check the condition of the whip they will use before lashing their backs. It said dirty whips "welcome all sorts of infections and bacteria like tetanus.

If I were inclined to atone for my sins I'd rather just say 2 Our Fathers and 6 Hail Marys.

Owney the travelling dog

Futility Closet is an intelligent blog that never fails to amuse me. Today this story about Owney, the world's best-traveled canine was featured and I just have to share it.

Can't Tase This...

Via Optical Poptitude

And in a related Gadling piece:
Lampered, a firearm training system, has patented a bracelet that delivers shocks when activated. What does the company see as the ideal use for such a bracelet? Aviation safety. Lampered proposes that the TSA require every passenger to wear one of the bracelets, and as soon as any safety related problems arise in-flight, flight-attendants can give a disabling electrical shock to a suspect passenger.



As Mr. Nag and I slip into our twilight years we sometimes find ourselves unable to remember the names of people we have recently met so we refer to them in a code only we can understand - sort of like twin-speak only in this case it could be called old-speak. One fellow who bears an unfortunate resemblance to the kid diddler in the movie "Little Children" is known to us as "The Pedophile". Another, who made the mistake of dressing as a woman one Halloween, is "The Transvestite". The strange guy whose name I never knew but who stops me on the street to talk politics we have dubbed "The Pundit". The plasterer down the street is called "Phil", short for "Phil McCrackin" (fill my crack in, get it?). So far we have been able to keep any references to "The Pedophile" and "The Transvestite" between ourselves and have thus avoided being sued.
Years ago I knew a fellow who was 6'8" and shambled along in a distinctive fashion reminiscent of a certain Adams Family character; he also, I'm sad to say, bore similar facial features. He was christened with the obvious nickname and was seldom referred to, at least when he was out of earshot, by his given name. I knew the nicknaming thing had gone too far when I heard someone introducing the fellow to some colleagues as "Lurch".
I wonder what people call me when I'm not around? I shudder to think about it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

World’s Most Expensive Foods

World’s Most Expensive Foods
I wouldn't spend money on gold flake or hand painted bottles. That's not food. Nor could I tell the difference between $250 whiskey and $25,000 whiskey (although I could probably tell $25 whiskey from the$250 stuff). Maybe I'm just not a connoisseur. On second thought, there's no maybe about it.

Dog Years

A sweet little film about a mature, castrated, British dog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ne dites pas ça, c'est sacré!!

The latest dance craze from my hometown makes me mildly uncomfortable. The use of names of sacred objects as profanity (calice, ciboire, tabarnak, etc.) is, I think, peculiar to Quebec. I still cringe a little when I hear these words uttered outside of catechism class or church.

The end of the affair

Petra the swan separates from boat
BERLIN–A long and unusual German love story is over.
Petra the swan and her swan-shaped paddleboat are parting ways.
Petra, a black swan, became a minor celebrity in 2006 when she became so attached to the boat – which is shaped like an oversized white swan – that she refused to leave its side.
Officials in the western city of Muenster decided to let her stay with it over the winter, bringing both bird and boat into a city zoo.

However, Petra met a live swan this winter.
Zoo director Joerg Adler says Petra and her new mate – a white swan – are building a nest together.
The boat is to be returned to its local owner on Thursday.

Roll me one with a side of eggs over easy

This is for the legion of bacon lovers who haunt the web, trolling for smoked pig products (you know who you are).

Forget about peeling me a grape...

Use a razor-sharp knife to carve me a radish!

The Three Graces Go Ginsu at

I think I'm becoming a font freak

Isn't this folded paper font special? A little difficult to read, maybe, but lovely all the same. Via Design Observer

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cooks Illustrated Parody

Cooks Illustrated Recipe: Boiled Water
Like many people, I enjoy the moist aroma and sinus-soothing vapors from a pot of boiling water. But it is often difficult to get a roiling boil just the way you remember it as a child. More
Via Verbatim

This is dizzyfying

A 360-degree look around Michelangelo Pistoletto's mirror installation in Beijing.

Yeah, I'm him (said sarcastically)

You most resemble Marlon Brando

You are very smart, and very talented, although you don’t really enjoy social company. You prefer to live alone, go to movies alone, cry alone in the corner...

Take this quiz at

Here comes the sun!

It's been a long, long winter but the sun still pouring through the window at 6pm makes me think that the end is nigh. The flood in the basement is a less uplifting indicator that a major thaw is underway.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A little St. Paddy's Day humour

Two Irishmen were sitting at a pub drinking beer and
watching the brothel across the street.
They see a Baptist minister walk into the brothel, and one
of them says, “Aye, ’tis a shame to see a man of the cloth
goin’ bad.”

Then they see a rabbi enter the brothel, and the other
Irishman said, “Aye, ’tis a shame to see that the Jews
are fallin’ victim to temptation as well.”

Then they see a catholic priest enter the brothel, and
one of the Irishmen says, “What a terrible pity …one of
the girls must be dying.”

Read more excellent Irish jokes at Smoke & Mirrors

Muppets for grownups


These blankets rule

Baby blankets from Baby Leo Designs make me wish pregnancy on someone (definitely someone other than myself) just so that I can buy one of these as a gift. It was hard to choose a favourite among the skulls and robots and sock monkeys but I am quite taken with the vintage tattoo design above. I bet you-know-what still sticks to them though.


There once was a nag from...

Creepy,yes, but I like it too.
This reminds me of the time my Auntie Sheila was in Cleveland, celebrating St. Patrick's Day, and her purse was snatched. When it was retrieved later that night all that remained in it was the "Kiss Me I'm Irish" button.
Via Neatorama

Dirty Old Town

In case you're wondering:
Shane MacGowan- the most infamous walking dental disaster area in rock history - plans to address the appalling state of his teeth.
"I am going to get my teeth done - emergency dentures to stop my face falling apart," he says.
"It's not painful but your bone structure is kept in by your teeth, so I might get some dentures in and leave it at that, or get them done gradually. "

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ten ways to get kicked off a plane

Make sure you read this before your next plane trip
"Are you dressed revealingly? Is there a large toy crocodile in your hand luggage? While on this flight, do you intend to read pornography, emit offensive body odour or perhaps sing a topical football-based ditty?
If so, the chances are you’re going to get slung off."

HolyJuan nails it

This image ran through my mind when I read the news article but I lack HolyJuan's awesome artistic skills.

What do they put in it?

Lots of Saturdays Mr. Nag and I visit The Book Depot in St. Catharines. We always come out with a carload of books and then we adjourn to a local greasy spoon where I devour a club sandwich and Mr. Nag eats a cheese omelet- same thing every time. We enjoy our meals but, when we leave, we both cough up copious amounts of phlegm. I know this is a disgusting topic but I'm burning to know what the chef (sic) puts in our food that results in temporary (I hope) lung malfunction. Any suggestions? (Not that it will stop us going there.)

St Patrick's Day changes for Holy Week but no one told me

The Issue with This Year's St. Patrick's Festivities

In 2008, March 17 falls on a Monday - but not just any Monday. It falls on the Monday of Holy Week, the days that follow up to Easter. Holy Week is meant to be a solemn week reserved for prayer and remembrance of the week leading to the death of Jesus - a deep contrast from the usual festivities associated with St. Patrick's Day.

It was Irish bishops of the Catholic tradition who wrote to the Pope asking on what would be done.

The decision? St. Patrick's Day in 2008 would not be celebrated on Monday the 17th during Holy Week, but on the Saturday before on Saturday the 15th. This is the first time in almost 100 years (since 1913) that St. Patrick's Day has not been celebrated on March 17th. It won't be until 2160 that this uncommon occurrence of date and festival clashes will occur again.

I thought for a minute that I'd missed it but the Irish pub around the corner is gearing up for all day festivities tomorrow.


My friend and used-to-be-blogger sent me this link. Thanks Tom.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Evolution in 5 Minutes

Based on the New Yorker art of Bruce McCall, the pride of Simcoe, Ontario.


A day late

Agonizing over how to put down his ailing cat, Alexander Woollcott consulted Dorothy Parker.

She said, "Try curiosity."

I wish I'd read this yesterday! I could have offered some constructive advice rather than mere commiseration to a colleague who was bemoaning a $2500.00 veterinary bill after her cat ate something it shouldn't have.

Via Futility Closet

Et tu Brute

It's the Ides of March. You can watch your back - or watch Marlon Brando's funeral oration.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

That's a Lot of Books

Memo To Eliot Spitzer
Shoulda bought books.
Via verbatim

I am not surprised

A recent poll conducted by Lavalifefound that on the sexiness scale, men rated doctors and nurses (50%) over athletes (21%), bartenders (17%) and firefighters (12%). Women clearly preferred firefighters, with an overwhelming 70% of women indicating firemen as their top pick. Women voted bartenders the least sexy (7%), followed closely byathletes (11%) and doctors/nurses (12%).
"We're not surprised by this result. There's something irresistible about a man in uniform with a big hose", says Lori Miller, Lavalife MarketingManager."

Some of you may think I chose Mr. Nag for his uniform and hose but he was not yet a firefighter when I met him. (He was incredibly sexy though.) I just think there's definitely something appealing about big brave guys who rescue kittens in distress.

It's definitely not all about the uniform and the hose

Yesterday, as I was about to leave for work (all grizzly and harried), Mr. Nag presented me with an unexpected gift, this beautiful Japanese kimono from a friend's shop:

When I came home in the evening I found these wonderful French casserole dishes from another friend's shop!

Two big gifts in one day! My first thought was ,"What has he done now? Must be something pretty major."
I racked my brain (Though the phrase wrack your brain is in common usage, rack is the original form. It appears to be derived from the Germanic rak meaning to stretch or strain. wrack generally means something misery-related, such as destruction or wreckage.) but I couldn't nail him with any unusually egregious behaviour. Maybe it's a form of insurance, just in case he ever does transgress.

Want Skittles?

This is not the way to get them.

Via Bad Banana

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sushi Art

I don't know much about art but I know what I like to eat (Vincent van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' ).
Via Spluch

Found in Eliot Spitzer's pocket

I think this is called a ho map fo map hoes

Seen at Strange Maps

A rose by any other name...

The Right Gift for Japan's White Day
Louis Vuitton... it's the one brand name status-seekers in Japan prize over all the others. On 'White Day' (when Japan's men buy their women, and female friends, bosses, co-workers and so on, something white, usually white chocolate) Louis Vuitton monogrammed roses will ensure that YOUR name receives the same appreciation.

Thanks Steve (I wish you'd have sent me a rose along with the link, though)

Where's the beef?

In this vegan strip club it's on the pole, not on the plate:
In late 2006, Johnny Diablo, a committed vegan of 23 years, opened a restaurant/bar in Portland, Ore., to prove that meatless fare could be delicious and satisfying — something guys could eat while they're hanging out and just being guys. But the venture flopped. 'Even though Portland is known for being open-minded and liberal, I just could not get these guys to come in here to try the food,' he says. 'We do a very good job of making authentic-tasting, meat-style dishes — but in their heads, they were like, 'I can't go into a vegetarian place.' ' So last month, after retooling both the space and the concept, Diablo reopened the doors, unveiling a devil-themed venue called Casa Diablo Gentlemen's Club — the world's first vegan strip club — where, as he told local media, 'We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate.'

Oops, I'm Doing It Again!

Back in the spring of 2006 I went on a Peeps blogging binge and I vowed to stop before it totally destroyed my life and my relationships with those who are most important to me. It looks like I've fallen off the wagon. I just can't resist these pastel seasonal treats when they're placed in delightful tableaux.

The photo above could do double duty as an illustration for my vegan strip club post.
Via Photo Basement

Monday, March 10, 2008

Recycle or go to Hell

Looks like today is sin day chez Nag:
Failing to recycle plastic bags could find you spending eternity in Hell, the Vatican said after drawing up a list of seven deadly sins for our times.

The seven, which include polluting the environment, were announced by Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, a close ally of the Pope and the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, one of the Roman Curia's main court.

Recycling could save your soul from eternal damnation
Polluting the environment by failing to recycle is one of the new seven deadly sins.

Adding the accumulation of obscene wealth to this list is particularly galling when one considers the obscene wealth of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

Seven Deadly Sins, Hybridized

Getting creative with the Seven Deadly Sins


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Streetwalking lawyers

Thanks to Blort , the Cadillac of link blogs (is that still a compliment?)

My other dogs

Mr. Nag decided to paint the fireplace mantle and set this vicious-looking pack of King Charles Spaniels loose on the dining room table


I finally have to say something about this weather! I look out the window and wonder what exactly Mr. Nag did to piss off Mother Nature. The geographical attributes of Niagara-on-the-Lake create a micro-climate and we generally have warmer weather, less snow and shorter winters than much of Southern Ontario. This year, however, we have not been spared.
Mr. Nag had to dig out a toilet area for Max this morning. He's a huge dog but the snow comes up to his haunches, making it impossible for him to lift his leg to do what he has to do. We used to have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Violet who loved to chase snow flakes. This winter would have exhausted her and/or driven her psychotic.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Richard Thompson does Britney

This cover of Oops I Did It Again is truly inspired.

via Rashomon

Pimp your ride for Easter

You'll have the cutest car in the Easter parade.

Around-town errands become hop-skip-and- a-jump field trips with these hilarious Easter bunny ears and puffy pink nose that easily attach to your car or truck.

Via Blog on a Toothpick

Why International Women's Day matters

Three films about key issues that affect women in the developing world.

Life will be much easier now

Nag Jr. has asked me to follow the Vice Canivore Diet. It looks easy enough, taste be damned.

Dear Vice,
Canned food is being canned. Supermarkets are phasing it out in favour of food in cheaper-to-recycle tetrapacks. So to mark the end of two centuries of canning, I decided to eat nothing but canned food for seven days. To make it interesting, I procured the finest tinned treats from around the world, like canned cheeseburgers from Germany, canned fish from Sweden, canned intestines from Spain and canned bread from the USA. And with this intercontinental smorgasbord spread before me, I grabbed my can opener and dug in...


A New Career For The Nag

I could be the next Ignatius J. Reilly.

New York Hot Dog Vendor Cart via Optical Poptitude

Friday, March 07, 2008


Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our shoes...
I've worn saddle shoes, go-go boots, earth shoes (anyone else remember them?), airsick-making platforms and ankle twisting heels. Now I wear whatever won't give me blisters.

The Century in Shoes is like a footwear time machine.
Via Plep

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Old Niagara Postcards

I love these old Niagara images I bought at the fudge shop. I live very close to the clock tower in the second photo.

At last, help for the blind drunk

Have you ever been so drunk you can't see but would like just one more beer to keep that buzz going? Worry no longer about snapping the cap of a pop in error. The downside is you have to learn braille first.
Soda cans, beer cans, canned coffee... in Japan, it's not always easy to distinguish one from the other with your eyes closed. With that in mind, Japanese brewers have begun stamping patterns of raised dots on top of their beer cans.

Via Inventor Spot

Pimp my chicken


It is excellent to have a giant's strength, yes it is

Douglas Jones’ clients include the New York Times, Washington Post, Penguin Books, Fast Company and way more. But, these posters – which recontextualize Shakespeare against “the rural Canadian experience” – were made as a self-promotion piece (translation: for fun).


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It is a dark and stormy night

The wind is howling and the ice pellets are beating against the window. "Ice rain" I think. Hey, wait a minute, that's not what it's called! I had to struggle for about ten seconds before the correct term came to me: freezing rain. And what I suffer from must be freezing brain.

Now you don't have to choose between brains and brawn

René "Don't Start" Descartes (above)

I'm thinking he pumps iron therefore he is :-)

It could always be worse

A reader from Scotland emailed me asking whether Mr. Nag ever gets annoyed with me for spending so much time blogging. Truth is that my guy is a big fan of any hobby that keeps me from nagging him about the myriad home repairs that are crying out to be done. As long as it keeps me off the streets where I might scare the horses (yes, there are lots of them here in Niagara-on-the-Lake) he's all for it! I suspect he's also grateful that I'm not a Trekkie, a taxidermist, a Civil War re-enactor or an erotic falconer.

Attention ketchup lovers

The Sauciest Tattoo Ever! at about:blank