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Destination - Shit Hole

May 11, 2007 @ 09:14

There's a report out today revealing some shocking statistics about travel to Mexico for Canadians.

Of all the countries we can travel to, Mexico carries the highest risk for harm. Here's the deal.

A total of 1,133 Canadian travellers reported to Canadian authorities they were assaulted on foreign soil between the years 2000 and 2006. Of those, Mexico leads the list with 173 reported assault cases. China was next with 105 and Cuba with 62. Thailand was fourth with 45 and the United States followed with 40.

Meanwhile, I had a couple of responses to yesterday's posting about Mexico. A couple of people feel I'm being hypocritical for being so hard on Mexico because I've traveled there.

But there's a bit of a time line problem here, and a misconception.

The last time I traveled to Mexico was early 2004, before all this bullshit started to happen.

Most recently, it was my son Danny who went to Mexico and it was against my better wishes as you can see in this posting from February.

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Bacon And Eggs Are Going To Peterborough

May 10, 2007 @ 09:03

It didn't take long to find a home for Bacon and Eggs. By noon yesterday I received a response from "Karen" in Peterborough.

She's a school teacher and after reading my posting she quickly arranged a new home for Bacon and Eggs with a family that had actually been looking for a pet to adopt.

Bacon and Eggs will move on to a loving home with lots of room to exercise and play with a couple of anxious kids.

So yes, the story has a happier ending than I expected. Not only do Bacon and Eggs get a new home, but they get to do something that most of us can only dream of.

They get to flee the GTA and live near the Kawartha Lakes.

And I should take this opportunity to thank the Dimitrovski family of Burlington who also offered to provide a new home for Bacon and Eggs.

But their offer came after the Peterborough offer so they missed out by a couple of hours.


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Rabbits

May 9, 2007 @ 09:14

It was interesting to read reports yesterday about the exploding rabbit population in the GTA. The balance of nature was upset about five years ago when a bout of mange wiped out the local fox and coyote population.

Since then wild rabbits have had no predators, and doing what rabbits do, the result has been a huge pain in the ass for people, including me.

Last spring I planted some nice Boston Ivy along the back fence of my yard and it was strong and healthy by the fall.

During the summer however, I had noticed a lot of cute little rabbits hopping through my yard but never thought much of it. Not until this spring when an inspection of my Boston Ivy revealed every one of the eight plants had been chewed off at the ground.

Some of the branches had grown out ten and twelve feet, but they were all dead because when the weather got cold, and the grass had gone dormant, the rabbits turned to the Ivy.

Fortunately the Boston Ivy survived at the roots, and it's growing again, but I lost a whole year of progress to the bloody rabbits.

The problem with these rabbits is that they're so damn cute. Now when I see one in the backyard I want to go out and club it with a shovel, but I can't bring myself to do it.

I'd much rather it be eaten by a fox.


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More Rabbits

May 9, 2007 @ 09:13

About two weeks ago due to circumstances beyond my control I inherited a couple of domesticated rabbits.

Their names are Bacon and Eggs. Bacon is the fat bastard with the floppy ears.

I took control of these rabbits after the owner decided she could no longer care for them. She was a loving and caring owner, but it got to the point where adopting the rabbits turned out to be a lot easier than actually caring for the rabbits, and a hell of a lot easier than giving them up.

That's where I stepped in and offered to find them a new home.

The game plan was for Bacon and Eggs to come to Brampton and I would quickly move towards finding them a new home. I live near a lot of farms and a few petting zoos, so it would be no problem.

Bacon and Eggs took up temporary residence in my garage and my son Danny built them a little pen in the backyard. But again, these were just temporary measures because they weren't going to stay long.

And it wasn't long after that that I hit the brick wall. Nobody wants rabbits, not the farms, not the petting zoos, not even the Brampton or Mississauga animal shelters.

I've asked teachers if they want Bacon and Eggs, and I've asked a few pet stores if they want Bacon and Eggs. Nobody wants them, and the meantime I've sort of grown attached to them.

I'm not about to compare rabbits to dogs, but I'll tell ya, these rabbits have neat personalities and they're hopelessly attached to each other. Bacon and Eggs could never be separated.

So now I'm in a real pickle. I'm still trying to find a new home for the rabbits but they've stolen my heart which means I want to make sure they go to the "right" home.

But how do you find the "right" home when absolutely nobody wants to offer their home.

Here's how ridiculous the situation has become. The other day someone tipped me off to a place called Rabbit Rescue. The said it was a place for any and all rabbits and there was no question Rabbit Rescue would take Bacon and Eggs off my hands and find them a good home.

I placed a quick call to Rabbit Rescue and the right off the top a recorded phone message told me Rabbit Rescue was not taking in any new rabbits.

So I turn to you, the readers of FreddieP.ca. If you can provide or recommend a home for Bacon and Eggs, please contact me and let me know.

Bacon and Eggs come with a brand new cage, some food, bedding and alphalpha.


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Woodpeckers

May 9, 2007 @ 09:12

And while we're on a nature kick how about this. This is a cedar tree on my buddy Darren's property that was attacked by a woodpecker.

It truly is amazing what these birds can do. The holes go right to the centre of the tree, and they're almost perfectly round.

Woodpecker's can sense bugs and that's why they pick a particular tree.

I'm afraid this may indicate that Darren's tree might have some insect issues which could lead to weakness in the tree and maybe even death.

And that's a real son of a bitch because this tree holds up one end of a hammock that holds up all of Darren for most of the summer.

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Finger Food

May 3, 2007 @ 08:12

I had what I think was a cultural learning experience yesterday.

While out and about I decided to feed myself so I stopped in at an Indian buffet on Kennedy Rd S. in Brampton.

It's a great deal, eight items including butter chicken, curried lamb, tandoori chicken and naan bread for $5.99, surely an economical feast for an unemployed radio guy.

Anyway, I grabbed my plate and as I approached the end of the buffet there were three people sitting at a table eating their lunch, and I couldn't help but notice one of the people was eating his meal with his fingers.

I'm not talking about a piece of tandoori chicken, or a big hunk of naan to mop up some butter chicken gravy, I'm talking about full blast "finger" eating everything on the plate.

He was literally picking up his basmati rice and butter chicken gravy with his fingers and shoving it into his mouth. He was doing the same thing with the lamb chunks and a couple of runny vegetable dishes.

For a split second I thought. "poor guy, there must be something wrong with him", but then I noticed the other two people at the table were doing the same thing.

They were all eating their lunch with their fingers regardless of the consistency, and then it hit me, it must be acceptable in this environment.

I've been to many Indian restaurants before but I've never seen anything like this. All the Indian restaurants I've been to have offered knives and forks and so did this little place in Brampton.

But these people were plowing in their meals with such ease and disregard for the people around them I now assume it's alright to eat Indian food with your fingers - and to tell you the truth I'm OK with it.

It's a lot easier than using chopsticks.

(learn more)

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Stafford's Irish Stew

May 3, 2007 @ 08:09

Stafford's blog, as usual, was a good read yesterday. He talks about Bell Canada's annoncement that the price of a pay phone call will rise to 50 cents next month.

He also talks about the sanitation of using a pay phone, and it reminded me of something that happened to me about ten years ago.

I was in the A+P near my house and halfway down an aisle I couldn't remember something my wife had told me to get. I didn't have a cell phone at the time so I went to the pay phone.

I grabbed the receiver and put it up to my ear and I got this horrible feeling.

Someone had horked onto the ear piece. Taken the receiver, worked up a good and gooey green one and horked it right in the middle of the ear piece.

As I pulled the phone a piece of stretchy phlegm kept my ear and the receiver connected.

It was terrible. I ran to the cashier and asked for some paper towel but even that wasn't able to get in all the nooks and crannies of my ear. I had to go right home and have a shower.

Ever since then, I always give the receiver a good goin' over before I use it.

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Whose Dough Is It Anyway

April 30, 2007 @ 09:16

Today is tax deadline day and this day always reminds of how bizarre our system is.

This is one of those years when I actually got a refund. So did my wife and my son, but my daughter had to pay 13 bucks.

Like everyone else, when my tax guy told me I was getting a refund I got that feeling of exhilaration like I had won a raffle or some modest jackpot and that's why our system is so stupid.

This isn't found money or extra money or any other kind of a windfall. It was my money that the government had control of up until about two weeks ago. I just got back what was mine in the first place.

Lucky for me I'm not in a situation where that money was make or break for me, but there are lots of people who could really use the money the government holds on to for most of the year.

My son is a great example. He was lucky enough to get a great summer job last year that paid him over 20 dollars an hour. But it was only for a couple of months so the final total wasn't that excessive when you consider what it costs to go to school.

Problem is, because he made such a large hourly wage he was taxed to the hilt, so from the beginning of September to the middle of April the government held on to a couple of thousand dollars he could have put to great use during the school year.

He got back every penny he paid in tax, but he had to go several months without it while the government used it.

Needless to say the money has come in handy because it was like a forced savings plan, but that's not the point.

The point is, the savings plan paid no interest and making deposits wasn't an option.

Certainly there's got to be a better way.

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Global Swarming

April 28, 2007 @ 09:10

On the subject of global warming, the above e-mail displays some of the hysteria that's taking place recently and that's why I call it Global Swarming.

From my perspective there are two distinct issues. There's global warming, and there's Kyoto. Actually, I'll define it even more. There's global warming, global warming hysteria, and Kyoto.

Just because you're against Kyoto doesn't mean you deny global warming because they are two separate issues. It reminds me of the gay marriage issue, anyone who was against same sex marriage was considered anti-gay or homophobic and it just wasn't fair.

Just because someone preferred to keep the traditional definition of marriage didn't mean they were against homosexuality. Problem is, it gave those in favour of same-sex marriage a powerful tool in their argument.

Same with global warming, I don't deny global warming exists to some degree, I just don't think Kyoto is the way to attack it, and I definitely don't think we've got the problem that a lot of people claim we do. But it seems you're not allow to take this position and if you do, you're anti-earth.

Let's not forget the global warming issue was kick-started by a movie - An Inconvenient Truth - a compelling movie but a movie just the same.

Al Gore got the world revved up about global warming with a movie that many people, (of all the nerve) have questioned the accuracy. It's believed Al Gore may have massaged a few facts to make a more interesting movie and the result is what is going on right now.

Hysteria.

Much the way people got freaked out by birds after the movie "The Birds", or how people were afraid to go in the water after "Jaws". I'm sure there are more contemporary examples but I can't think of them right now.

Wait a minute. Yes I can. A guy named Argie mentioned it yesterday in a posting called "Sensible". He compared the global warming to Y2K. Remember how we were all led down the garden path with that pile of bullshit? The need for some minor adjustments turned into the prediction of Armageddon at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, 2000.

There's no doubt global warming is an issue. Given what we've done, and are doing to the planet it's got to be an issue. But to what extent and for what reasons?

Is it so horrible to stop down and ask a few questions and throw your support behind more moderate views?

Those who've drunk the Kool-Aid and blindly follow the movie makers and highly paid lecturers like David Suzuki like to label skeptics as "deniers", and they like to accuse big business of clouding the issue for monetary reasons.

Well if any of those people don't think there's some big dough being made off the hysteria right now, I feel sorry for them.

Meanwhile, I realize there are a lot people out there who look down their nose at the Toronto Sun and consider it not worthy of reference material, but I really think you should take the time to read today's editorial.

I couldn't have said it better myself.


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Times Have Changed

April 26, 2007 @ 08:55

I read this stuff and I just can't believe it, and I definitely can't relate to it.

What took place in Scarborough early yesterday really hits home for me because that's precisely where I grew up and an area that's still close to my heart.

For grades nine and ten I went to Winston Churchill Collegiate and then for grades 11, 12 and 13 I went to Stephen Leacock, and these two schools were the focal point of what happened yesterday.

You can read the story here, but police suspect it was a case of bullying that led to a Molotov cocktail being thrown through the front window of house situated between the two schools.

A kid named Pream Anandarajah who attends Leacock was the apparent victim of ongoing bullying by a Sri Lankan gang called the BNS gang and it was his house that was attacked, leaving his mother in critical condition with burns to over 30 percent of her body.

And if that's not enough, police also suspect a stabbing victim at Churchill the day before may actually have been a kid who had stuck up for Pream.

I'm sure details will be revealed over the next few days but I've heard enough to make me sick to my stomach.

I graduated from Leacock, but I lived near Churchill and to imagine stuff like this going on makes my head spin. I may sound like an old guy, but back in the 70's in your wildest dreams you couldn't have predicted stuff like this would ever happen.

It's same old story from someone of my age. Back then there was virtually no crime, no guns and definitely no ethnic gangs. If there was trouble, it was settled after school with a few punches.

But not today, and like most law abiding Canadians it pisses me off. Without getting too emotional it goes back to my mom and dad and grandparents and all ther Canadians who built this country with the intention of us all living free and safe.

When that area of Scarborough was developed it was intended for families to raise their kids in a decent environment with good schools, parks and facilities - never was it intended for packs of little creeps to run around terrorizing the neighbourhood.

Welcome to the new Canada.


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