I'm off this morning for my first trip back to the Old Country. I'll be staying at my mom's, also seeing my sister and her family, my dear friend NN and a certain dog-loving fan of wmtc.

Poor Allan, after working a 14-hour shift yesterday (and that after two 11-hour days) now has to drag himself out of bed to drive me to Buffalo. When I made the reservations, he didn't have the job yet.

So what will Redsock do while I'm gone? Will he (a) paint the accent wall in the bedroom, (b) attach the blades to the ceiling fan, (c) rent every episode of South Park on DVD, or (d) never leave his computer except for dog-walks? My guess is some combination of the above, involving South Park, computers and maybe, just maybe, a can of paint. We have a love-hate relationship with South Park. He loves it. I hate it.

Have a good week, everyone. I'll be back Thursday afternoon - and Allan is taping Rick Mercer.


Marnie said...

Ha! I was going to mention taping Rick Mercer. Glad you've got things covered. Bon voyage!

Niko said...

Have a nice trip...remember to treat the Americans nicely :-)

BTW, I love South Park too...so I think Allen and I will get along well

James said...

Lori & I are that way with Ren & Stimpy; she's not too keen on them.

Out of curiousity, how many people here saw the orignial South Park video Christmas card, the one that led to the creation of the TV series?

orc said...

But wait, can't you get a train from Toronto to Buffalo?

... yes, the Maple Leaf. The big problem is that the schedules aren't the greatest; if you went out to Oakville you'd have to catch the train at 8:55am, and it would take about 4 hours to pass through the maple curtain and get into Buffalo.

redsock said...

What happened to (d)?

Actually, I may rent a few seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm to see all the bonus stuff. L loves the show, but can't watch more than one episode per day (if that). Me, I could watch Larry David all day and night.

And ... The Colbert Report finally debuts up here tonight!

(I wonder if L will post via her mom's dial-up connection.)

L-girl said...

Yes, I will. :)

What happened to (d)? Good question. I deleted something that might be vaguely offensive, then forgot to renumber! Oops.

A train to Buffalo - and then what? Somehow that doesn't seem like a good way to get to the airport. Thank goodness we can go door-to-door now.

See you all Thursday!

Wrye said...

I guess we'll just have to forget to be vaguely offended, then.

Go Sabres?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised L-girl; no comments about the French Riots by Muslim Youth? It must be Bush's fault too, right. I guess Radical Islam is just something made up in some neo-con thinktank. I guess you'll sit in Toronto and watch Paris burn to the ground by Islamofascist youth and revel in your so called ideological superiority. But what do I know, I'm a dumb American, right?

Liam J said...

You might be a dumb American, or you might be a dumb Canadian. But you are definitely a dumb coward who insists on hiding behind anonymity.

If you want to debate, than go for it. Present an issue you feel strongly about, and people will be glad to argue with you in a civilized manner. But stop being a little weenie who insists on ad-homonym attacks while hiding behind the crutch of anonymity.

L-girl said...

Thanks, Liam J, I couldn't have said it better myself!

I wonder... Through another blog, I did find a racist post about the Paris riots. I left a comment to the effect that the religion of the rioters was irrelevant. I used my name, of course. I wonder if the owner of that blog is back to tell me a thing or two, but is too much of a wuss to actually stand and debate.

Or perhaps it's that same anonymous commenter who appears every so often to ask why I'm not blogging about something - the Iraqi "constitution" or some other bullshit.

Ah well. As the sig line goes, "Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience."

James said...

It's important to remember with the riots in France that these are economic riots, not religious riots. People, tired of feeling like second-class citizens, were sparked into outrage by an incident against one of their own, much as various "race riots" in the US have been in the past. The French riots are no more "Islamofacist" than the Rodney King riots were "NationOfIslamofacist".

The suggestion that anyone would suggest the riots are Bush's fault is just inane. French economic policy regarding immigrants has been a huge problem, and Chirac has managed things abysmally. Unlike some, most of us can appreciate that social dynamics are very complex, with multiple causes, multiple faults, and multiple outcomes.

Liam J said...

Don't forget France's Interior Minister throwing gasoline on the fire.

Wrye said...

And LG hasn't commented on the Terrell Owens situation either, Anonymous. C'mon, don't get lazy now. The fate of the Republic rests on your ability to harrass an emigrant. The President and the NFL is counting on you to make the points that will convince her to come back to the Home of the Free. Pick up the pace, man! You have to bring your A-game around here!

Kyahgirl said...

Have a good trip L.
Funny that you mention South Park. My son pulled a VHS tape of South Park out of the basement yesterday (where we keep all the things not to be viewed by those of tender years). He couldn't figure out why I wouldn't let him watch it since it has cartoon type characters on the package. Ah, the good old days. I haven't watched South Park for years. I'll have to do that again some day. :-)

James said...

Off topic:

Someone posted this to a mailing list I'm on. you may be interested:

I'm also appalled to hear from Kelly about problems with the health system there... and I didn't know what to think... so I did some research...

WHO Core Health Indicators, US/Canada

United States: $5,274 on health care / $2,368 is government spending.
Canada: $2,931 on health care / $2,048 is government spending.

United States: Infant mortality rate, both sexes (per 1000 live births) (?) 7.2
Canada: Infant mortality rate, both sexes (per 1000 live births) (?) 5.1

United States: Under-five mortality rate, both sexes (per 1000 live
births) (?) 8.0
Canada: Under-five mortality rate, both sexes (per 1000 live births) (?) 6.0

United States: Adult mortality (per 1000) males (?) 139
Canada: Adult mortality (per 1000) males (?) 93

United States: Adult mortality (per 1000) females (?) 82
Canada: Adult mortality (per 1000) females (?) 57

United States: Life expectancy at birth (years) total population (?) 77
Canada: Life expectancy at birth (years) total population (?) 80

So what's really interesting is that the US government spends 15% more money per person on health than the Canadian government does. US individuals spend over *three times as much* per person on health care as Canadians do. Yet by all measures, Canadians are healthier.

And Canada has special problems that the United States does not. It has a tenth the population in the same area. The great majority of that is clustered within a couple of hundred miles of the southern border. The native peoples of the north present unique health problems and are widely geographically dispersed. Canada has taken in many more immigrants per capita than the United States, many from countries with poor health records.

So, based on these numbers at least, it's hard not to feel that Canadian medical care is better, on average, and costs both the Canadian government and the individual patient less.

There's another dimension that those raw numbers do not express and that's that the financially catastrophic nature of illness is taken away from you in a "socialized" system. Kelly's story was very upsetting, and I fear as Canada suffers from the "race to the bottom" where a worker in Canada with good health care, clean air, safe roads and highways, has to compete with a worker in Mexico who is not getting any of these things. The thought of needing medical treatment
and waiting unnecessarily sucks badly.

All of these are true, and yet, the phenomenon of a financially stable person being wiped out by sudden medical expenses is a peculiarly American problem.

You pooh-poohed my friend's family being ruined as an anecdote. It was, but I picked it because it was not extreme at all -- her stay in the hospital cost her $24,000. Do you think I'm exaggerating?

I'm sure you don't. When my roommate fell through a hole in the floor and hit her head, the bill for over a week in hospital was $120,000. $120,000! She stayed in intensive care for 18 extra hours -- over $18,000! -- because they couldn't find a doctor to release her.

She shouldn't have had to care because there was a lawsuit and the insurance would pay for it. Even so, the insurance companies play this stupid game where they pretend they aren't going to pay and then pay at the last minute before they get major penalties....

feh, you get the point. more anecdotes.

Point is, you have no trouble in believing that someone gets charged $100K+ for a long week in hospital. That would ruin most people. And you can't get out from under.

And about a fifth of Americans can't afford insurance. They just have to gamble on their health. And when they lose, even if they survive, they lose everything.

So when you see a number like:

United States: $5,274 on health care / $2,368 is government spending.
Canada: $2,931 on health care / $2,048 is government spending.

you should understand it means something in the shape of:

United States: 99% of people spend $4000 on health care. 1% spend
$100,000 on health care.

back to work for me. great things are expected of me and I must not fail.

James said...

Another off topic:

As oddly as it started, the widespread problem with some garage doors in the Ottawa region had disappeared by Friday.

The powerful radio signal causing the problem stopped transmitting on Thursday afternoon, around the time CBC News contacted the U.S. Embassy to ask if it knew anything about it.

The embassy categorically denies that it had anything to do with it.

From CBC Ottawa via Boing Boing.

redsock said...

Driving back from Loblaws the other day, I passed by two guys talking on the sidewalk (in front of the Hooks restaurant on Lakeshore) -- and one of the guys was a dead ringer for Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

He was balding with a long ponytail, a too-tight t-shirt straining against a big belly, shorts, white socks and sneakers. It was amazing.

If I had heard him speak, I might have driven off the road.

A thinker said...

Hi L-girl,

Found your blog through David Cho's blog. I'm interested because I am in the beginning stages of immigration to Canada (submitted application in July 2005). I lived in Canada, downtown Toronto to be precise, for 6 years, and loved it (still do). Contrary to some comments here, I encountered anti-American feeling but never as an American had people treat me unkindly when they found out--they always went out of their way to assure me that they did not hate Americans. Then again, I'm not a typical American--whatever that means.

I notice from an earlier post that you are in Port Credit--I'm very familiar with that area. My church is in Oakville, close by, and I've spent reasonable amounts of time in PC. A lot of people who are part of my church come from Port Credit.

All the best.

L-girl said...

A thinker, thanks for this nice comment, and welcome to wmtc. Good luck with your application. Please feel free to update me as you go along.

L-girl said...

James, do you have a source for that health care info? I'd like to blog on it if you have some links.

And re garage doors, WTF???

L-girl said...

Oops, wait, I just noticed you linked to the WHO site. All those stats are from that site?