in which you expect a worthy Canadian election post, but get something about a lady who impersonates operatic chickens instead

Seriously, Orriel Smith — yes, that one who was so earnest on Hootenanny in 1964 (it must’ve sucked to be alive in the early sixties, living in low-resolution black and white) and the two spaced-out tracks on Fuzzy Felt Folk — is definitely the best chicken-impersonating coloratura I’ve heard. She even gives the Cackle Sisters a run for their money.

Sunday night at the chalet

The craving for second-rate chicken came over me. So I’m sat here in the chalet next to two couples who are having a conversation from two decades ago: how they drive out their way for Burger King, how the auto industry’s dying (but still a good place for a pension), bemoaning the lack of the Gardner extension, why recycling doesn’t work … and how John Tory’s a really nice guy who just can’t catch a break.

Just another Sunday night in Scarborough.

ebay chicken

For the last week or so, I’ve been playing eBay Chicken. I have to say, I’m pretty good at it.

The trick is to bid as high as possible on an item that you might want, but not high enough so you might actually get it. So far, I have bid on about 7 items, and quite failed to get any of them. I’m pleased to say that on a couple of them I was the second-highest bidder.

In a small way, I’m doing my part for the world gross domestic product. And doesn’t that feel good?

Update: The above is all well and good unless you happen to be in a just woken up and befuddled state, and realise that the auction you just bid on was in GBP, not CAD, and thus you’re just about to pay twice as much for something …

hey livejournal, quit claiming my content

Read this. Oddly familiar, huh? It would seem that LiveJournal is republishing my blog on its own site http://syndicated.livejournal.com/wesawachicken/.

The thing about syndicated publishing is that the author has at least given permission that it takes place. I gave LiveJournal no such permission. Sure, I have a public RSS feed, but I don’t expect people just to grab my whole site and publish it for their own ends. That’s not syndication, it’s theft.
They also have the gall to claim there’s a “syndicated user” wesawachicken. Again, I didn’t set that up. I wonder if I can make it implode by getting it to syndicate its own feed?

providing cannon fodder for empire since 1867

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the toll of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan is the price Canada is paying for playing a leadership role in world affairs.

I reckon that if I took a random street poll anywhere (anywhere outside Canada, that is), no more than 3 out of 10 people would consider Canada as having a leadership role. I do not wish to make light of the soldiers’ plight; I just don’t want them there in my name.

(I was going to make a comment about the nearest thing to a role to most Canadians would be a Swiss Chalet 1/4 chicken dinner, but that doesn’t work in a written context, and barely works when spoken.)

mmm, mistaan

Ritesh & Abhay introduced us to a great Indian restaurant — Mistaan, at 460 McNicoll. It’s mostly a Bengali sweet shop, but has a food counter. The chicken saag I had was great. We’ll be back.

General Tso’s Beef

It’s a little known fact that General Tso’s Chicken does not celebrate Zuo Zongtang‘s liking for eating chicken. Instead, it commemorates his pet chicken (whom he named Maude) who travelled everywhere with him in a silk-lined portable coop of fine rosewood.

Chicken Payback

I had the misfortune to have a Swiss Chalet lunch near an argument. It was actually more of a harangue since it was very one-sided, and I was on the verge of getting up to tell the antagonist to shut up.

I don’t know the relationship, but it was an older guy and a younger woman, possibly his daughter. He was going on and on about how she was cutting work to go to the gym, how she was being paid for working 37.5 hours a week but was only working 35, did she feel good about stealing from the company, it didn’t matter if she got the work dones, she was paid to be there, her a manager too, etc, etc.

What was particularly pathetic was that he only ever gave her a couple of seconds to answer before launching another tirade. I think she maybe said about 10 words in a fifteen minute period.

I suspect he thought he was making a good point, but he was just coming across as a complete dork. And he was putting me off my food, too.

new icon

hen, from openclipart.org
Like the new icon? I thought the Atari ST character set image of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs was getting a bit tired, so I found a suitable chicken-related image on openclipart.org. Seems to work in my browser, don’t care about yours.

I should really have used the Nong Shim Worried Chicken, but there’s too much editing, copyright and glutamate-consumption—condoning there.

Instructions on how to make a website icon for Unix users are from Matthias Benkmann, “How To Create And Install A favicon.ico“.

working for chicken-feed

Democracies depend on the political participation of its citizens, but not in the workplace

 — sign in a Tyson chicken processing factory, Springdale, Arkansas.
(quoted in Utne, Jan-Feb 2004.)

exobrains, ad campaigns, gherkins and marauding chickens

I got pointed at ihaveanidea.org by Caroline, who recommend it for a friend who’s looking for an advertising internship.

They have TV ad showcases on the site, and I found this New, by hotdogboy. It’s odd.

how the blog got its name

We showed this film to an audience and asked them what they had seen, and they said they had seen a chicken, a fowl, and we didn’t know that there was a fowl in it! So we carefully scanned the frames one by one for this fowl, and, sure enough, for about a second, a fowl went over the corner of the frame. … The film was about five minutes long. …

Wilson: We simply asked them: what did you see in the film?

Question: No one gave you a response other than “We saw the chicken”?

Wilson: No, this was the first quick response— “We saw a chicken.”

— from “Film Literacy in Africa”, by John Wilson (Canadian Communications vol.1 no. 4, summer, 1961, pp. 7-14), cited in McLuhan’s “The Gutenberg Galaxy”.