Friday, January 14, 2005

So this dyslexic walks into a bra...

I haven't felt much like writing, or anything else, lately. As you've probably heard, Her Honour Lois Hole, Alberta's Lieutenant Governor, died last week, and her death has hit me hard. She was an extraordinary woman, and I will miss her.

So, completely inappropriately, here's a melange of other stuff to amuse you. Perhaps after the memorial service on January 18 I'll be able to prepare a more fitting response to Lois' passing. In the meantime, if you want to read a beautiful tribute, click here.

And now, without further ado, my Friday blog.

• What do you call a fish with no eye? A fsh.

25 Most-Played Songs on My iTunes as of today

Tiny Thing, Jenson Interceptor
Fire Lake, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
I Drove All Night, Cyndi Lauper
All Hell For A Basement, Big Sugar
This Little Girl, Gary US Bonds
Without Me, Eminem
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Gene Pitney
Crazy in Love (featuring Jay-Z), Beyoncé
I Did It for Love, Harlequin
Get Closer, Seals & Crofts
I'm Your Baby Tonight, Whitney Houston
Don't Stand So Close to Me, The Police
How Do I Make You, Linda Ronstadt
Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard
Wednesday, Tori Amos
Summer Breeze, Seals & Crofts
Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon, Urge Overkill
Brand New Lover, Dead Or Alive
Summer Night City, ABBA
Welcome, Heather Nova
Billie Jean, Michael Jackson
Hush, Deep Purple
Steppin' Out, Joe Jackson
A Sorta Fairytale, Tori Amos
What You Waiting For?, Gwen Stefani

(please don't comment on my execrable taste: I already know!)

A new outlook for the new year, courtesy of Dear Abby

JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things I can correct and accept those I cannot.

• Doctor to patient: "I've determined the cause of your illness. You have Tom Jones disease." Patient: "That sounds bad. Is it rare?" Doctor: "It's not unusual..."

Steinbeck's hometown to shut down libraries

SALINAS, CALIF. - The cash-strapped hometown of author John Steinbeck will close down its library system, including a branch named after the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, starting in early 2005.

Cutbacks in state funding, rapid growth of the city and rising heath-care costs have forced the city council of Salinas, Calif., to slash $8 million from its budget over the past year. It faces a similar cut for the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

Earlier this month, council voted to shut down its three libraries by spring 2005, after residents rejected in November a number of tax increases aimed at funding city services.

"The reality is that we live in a blue-collar community where people are struggling, and they're afraid of new taxes," Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero told the Associated Press. "I don't think they realized the enormity of what we were facing."

Steinbeck once described the region, which is dominated by produce farms, as "pastures of heaven" and memorialized the area in many of his works, including the 1952 novel East of Eden. Located about 160 kilometres south of San Francisco, Salinas also goes by the nickname "The Salad Bowl of the Nation."

A large number of Salinas's 150,000 residents are poor farmworkers and immigrants who regularly visit the three branches – The John Steinbeck Library, The Cesar Chavez Library and The El Gabilan Library – for books as well as for other resources, including citizenship information, literacy courses, English-as-a-second language material, after-school programs and to access the internet.

Library officials estimate that almost 2,000 people make use of the library system on an average day. The closings could leave Salinas the most populous U.S. city without a public library. About three dozen people employed at the libraries will lose their jobs.

• "If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot." —John Bunyan


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