Monday, October 31, 2011

Home for Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! I got home last night after having an awesome time away at the film fest and then in Baltimore. I've got lots to tell you about the trip but for now let me just say that I enjoyed myself overall and I'm happy to be home. As you can probably imagine, I'm exhausted and looking forward to some time at home to recuperate.

I'll write brief film reviews as well as an overall description of my time in Baltimore over the next few days. Tonight I'm relaxing with Ian while we give out candy to the kids. The little costumes are adorable :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Opening Day: Monster Brawl

The Toronto After Dark film festival has begun! They opened the fest with the movie Monster Brawl, which is basically a monster version of pay-per-view (PPV) wrestling. Before the film opened, some of the actors who'd been in the film did a little play-fight thing where they gave and took away a heavyweight champion belt - much like you'd see from wrestlers appearing at a televised event outside the ring.

I'm not a fan of wrestling at all and I've never asked myself which monster could beat which other monster in a fight, so I wasn't thrilled with this choice in the lineup. However, it is an all-Canadian movie that was shot in nearby Owen Sound and Collingwood and that interested me. As well, lots of other people around me were excited about the film so I was willing to give it a chance.

There were two middleweight and three heavyweight bouts in this movie. The match-ups seemed to be well-thought out and from what I can tell, each segment in the story was quite close to what a PPV wrestling event would be like. First the viewers see a bit of backstory for each competitor, then each competitor making some sort of statement denouncing their opponent, then the announcers compare the compeitiors statistics, and then the fight starts. The audience seemed to appreciate this attention to detail. I loved the way the voice of the narrator sounded like the narrator from Mortal Kombat when he commented on particularly great fighting moves.

Aside from the subject matter, which I didn't like, the movie was technically well done. The acting in the movie is about as good as the acting in wrestling, which is to say that it tended to be a little over the top. The lighting and scene effects were quite consistent and well done  throughout the movie. The "stone" props were also quite good in that although I knew they were styrofoam, they looked like stone - even when they were broken.Where the film really shone was in the way the monsters were realized. The makeup and costuming were fantastic and quite believable. The Brothers Gore, who did all that work, did a fabulous job - they're clearly very talented and deserve lots of other work based on what they did for this film.

If you've ever asked yourself who would win in a Frankenstein vs zombie bout, then I strongly recommend this movie for you. If you don't like PPV wrestling and you aren't trying to see every zombie film ever made, I recommend you skip this one.

Now, a word about the Toronto Underground Cinema. After trying out the view from three or four seats, I ended up sitting fairly close to the screen because the screen is a bit smaller than usual. While the cinema seats a lot of people the seats are a bit narrow (or maybe the people are wide). Unfortunately, the only sound for the entire cinema comes from two speakers located on either side of the screen. To ensure that the movie or microphone sounds reach the back, the speakers are cranked up just past their best level so that mid-sounds are a bit hollow and treble sounds are a bit screechy.

Apparently this festival is usually held at the Bloor Cinema but it's under renovation so they moved the whole festival to the Toronto Underground. I hope by the end of this festival to find the sweet spot for both the sound and the screen, and I hope that they get to hold this event back at the Bloor Cinema - or any other cinema with a better sound system - next year.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomorrow's the day!

Tomorrow is the start of the Toronto After Dark film festival and I'm so excited! Something tells me that I might have a tiny bit of trouble getting to sleep because I am just so excited. You know how kids get so excited that they're practically vibrating with that excitement? That's me. I feel like a kid the night before Christmas.

I've spent the day packing and getting ready. I think I'm pretty well ready to go except for a few things I have to do in the morning: write a few checks, pack up my toiletries, and wash the few dishes that are dirty. Oh, and unplug the waterfall. If there's time I could unload the dishwasher but I'm not going to rush to do that.

I'm taking two big suitcases with me: one full of clothes and the other full of 10L of water, snacks, and tea. I could put that stuff loose in the car but it'll be easier to take up to the room all piled in the suitcase. If I forget anything, well, Ian will be back a few times so that he can go curling so he can bring back whatever I need.

After I check in to the hotel I'll go and pick up our event passes. I am taking the laptop with me so I'll be able to give you my reviews of the movies and venue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Book publishing revolution on the way

One of the great things about the Amazon book marketplace is that writers have the opportunity to publish their own work. The big publishing companies no longer have the most control over which books are published and while writers can publish their work through vanity presses, they don't have to go to that expense anymore. These days, they can upload their work on amazon,  charge $0.99 or $2.99 - almost always for less than $5 - and wait for the readers to find them.

Obviously this - on top of digital books - will revolutionize the publishing industry and I imagine that the main publishers are running a bit scared. The traditional publishing industry doesn't need to give up just yet, however, because they have one thing that many self-publishing writers lack: editors.

Sadly, it seems that many self-publishing authors are unable to spell- or grammar check their works. Many others have no idea how to pluralize a noun, so that something like "the students went to the mall" is often written as "the student's went to the mall". Other common issues include things like their/they're/there, to/two/too, hear/here, and anonymous/anomalous homophones as well as dangling modifiers, comma splices, and inability to keep to one narrative mode.

Sure, these works are cheap, and some say that you get what you pay for so one's expectations should be lower. My expectations are lower with self-published books than books from the main publishers but I still expect basic editing to be completed before the work is published. I've heard that editing costs about $2500 - $3000 per work which would be prohibitively expensive if the author doesn't expect to recoup that cost through sales.

Even so, there must be people out there who are willing to go over the work and edit it without changing the story who are willing to give their help. Maybe authors can help each other by editing each other's works. I don't know what the solution to this issue will be; all I know is that my willingness to take a chance on an unknown author decreases every time I read another self-published book lacking basic editing.

I used to just go ahead and buy the books because they were cheap. Then I read samples of the works, but that's a pain and doesn't always give a true picture. Now I only consider self-published books that have been reviewed: I skim through the reviews first and if I find one that says that the work is in sore need of editing, I bypass it. If there are no such reviews, I download a sample and read that before buying the book. This is a whole lot of work to do for a cheap book, isn't it?

Honestly, sometimes it's just not worth doing, and that's a shame. There are lots of gems hidden in these self-published works but they're easy to overlook because of the sheer volume of badly edited works in the same category. Until these authors realize that good editing is as crucial to the success of their work as the initial idea and story and find a way to get their works edited, self-published works won't be seen and so won't be any kind of threat to the major publishers. The publishing revolution will have to wait.

Monday, October 17, 2011

An unexpected bonus

So much for tonight's party! I was a little sad to have to cancel tonight's Pampered Chef party but emergencies don't generally happen at convenient times, do they? I don't know what was going on that caused my consultant to have to cancel tonight but I figure that it must have been serious and urgent. We're going to reschedule the event and she's going to give each of the affected guests a free thing by way of an apology.

Having the evening to myself hasn't been so bad; it's like getting a great, if unexpected, present. I've spent the evening watching tv and surfing the interwebs. TCM is showing classic horror movies each Monday in October so I've been quite happy to sit and watch them. I'm even recording the movies that are airing in the wee hours because I love being able to watch them at other times. Besides, several of tonight's movies star Vincent Price and I don't often get a chance to watch these old classics.

Of course I think of watching horror movie after horror movie as practice for the upcoming Toronto After Dark film festival starting this week. Apparently there will be 19 shows over eight days! I'm so excited! That's a lot of sitting through a lot of movies, however, and I need to be sure that I can pay attention to all of them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm having a party

I'm hosting my very first Pampered Chef party tomorrow evening. Although Ian and I have hosted one or two parties together, I've never hosted a party on my own so I'm quite nervous. Whenever I've had people come into the house like this, I spend time upgrading things and adding little touches to make the house look more homey. Basically, I set things up one way knowing that things need to be added but I don't add them until other people outside the family are going to be seeing things.

So we spent today hanging pictures and shopping for a mirror for the main bathroom and shopping for the food that'll be served tomorrow. The consultant is making a recipe for which I need ingredients and I hope to make some cookies tomorrow for which I need other ingredients. While we were doing all of this, we were also doing laundry because Ian is heading to another office tomorrow for a few days. And he was curling tonight. I'm sure you can imagine what a turmoil our household has been in all day :)

Fortunately, I don't have too much left to do tomorrow. I have to do dishes and generally tidy up for the cleaning person and then make the cookies. They dough gets refrigerated partway through so I think I can probably get at least half the batch baked up. If not, I have other food to serve my guests.

If you're reading this, live within reasonable driving distance (or are willing to pay for me to ship it to you - sorry, only in Canada), and are interested in ordering Pampered Chef products, you can place an order with me up until this Thursday. Just have a look at the catalogue; I think you're able to place an order online from that link. If that link doesn't work, let me know what you want and I'll place the order for you.

UPDATE: My consultant is experiencing an emergency and had to cancel tonight's party. We're re-scheduling the show for mid-November and she's promised me that we'll still be able to take advantage of the October 20% off stoneware special.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Belated Thanksgiving dinner

We made up for having to cancel Thanksgiving dinner in Mississauga by having a yummy dinner there tonight. Ian's mom made a delicious roast beef with popovers and vegetables, followed by a fabulous pumpkin cream cheese pie. I haven't eaten that much in along time and I'm feeling deliciously fat and happy now :)

In some ways it was good to go this weekend instead of last weekend. Not just because I was sick, but because last weekend was so nice and sunny and this weekend is cold and rainy. By staying home last week, we were able to get the outside work done. We definitely don't want to be outside working on the yard this week! It's so cold and windy and rainy that just being outside is unpleasant and I don't want to be out there working.

And being at Ian's parents when it's not nice out means that we get to just stay inside and chat instead of doing yard work at their place. Of course we'll help out whenever we can there but not having to do that was a nice change. It made for a more relaxed visit that we enjoyed very much.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Psychology appointment

I stopped by the shoe store this afternoon and, sadly, it didn't have the boots I wanted or any other pairs that would have worked. I'll just have to wait until I'm in Toronto to continue my search - and that's no hardship, believe me.

I spent the entire psychologist's appointment crying. The last time I saw my mom was two years ago this month and I've been thinking about her a lot lately. I hadn't intended to go and cry the whole time but that's what ended up happening. I think it was good timing, and something that I needed to do. We talked about different ways that I can deal with this overwhelming emotion without becoming overwhelmed.

So much for starting on mindfully dealing with my emotions, which is what we were supposed to start working on today. Then again, that's kind of what I'm actually doing, isn't it, whether or not she named it like that.

Because I'll be away in two weeks, I won't be able to keep my regular every-other-Friday afternoon appointment with her. I didn't think that this was the time to wait four weeks before seeing her so we're switching my appointment to the first Tuesday in November, and another appointment two weeks after that (since she'll be away during my normal session time that week). Hopefully we'll be able to move on to new topics in our next sessions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back to metalsmithing

Because I'm feeling so much better, I was able to go to my metalsmithing class today. I've missed the last two classes so I'm way, way behind. Fortunately my instructor is running classes on Tuesday nights that are quite empty so i can make up my lost time then.

She's introduced two new concepts: reverse bezel construction and mold-making. To make a mold, we just take the object we want to copy and basically pour a liquid rubber around it. The rubber cures and the mold can later be used to cast new objects. My instructor either making multiple copies of a small object for use in a bracelet or necklace or making an object to be cast in a more precious metal (like gold). I haven't decided which approach I want to take but I'll keep thinking about it.

I've started working on the reverse bezel. In a bezel setting, the bezel band (the one that encircles the stone) is soldered to the metal and the the stone and bezel band are both visible. In a reverse bezel setting, the bezel setting sits below the metal so that the stone pushes through the bottom instead of sitting on top. I'm going to put other circles around the reverse bezel setting to either create a flower- or grape- shaped pendant. I might add some other, smaller, gems to give extra sparkle to the finished piece.

I looked through her selection of stones and picked one that had some flash in the middle. It turns out that I picked a star ruby. It's very low quality for a ruby but it's a gorgeous stone nonetheless. The star shows through in the right light so it's hard to see but the flash is lovely on its own.

I do love this metalsmithing class. I can hardly wait to finish designing and finishing this piece.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hunting for boots

Although I bought myself a new pair of winter boots recently, I've been on the hunt for some fashion boots that I can wear with skirts and skinny pants during non-freezing weather. There are so many great boots out there that work with the kind of things I wear. The trouble is that I have a hard time finding boots that fit because I have short legs and, ahem, "curvy" calves.

I've spent quite a bit of time looking at boots online and I have a few favourites. If I had normal-sized calves I'd definitely go with a tall, fully-laced boot like this one:

Oh, how I love them! Sadly, there's no way that they'd fit and look good on me. There are shorter lace-up alternatives out there and while they're ok, I don't love them as much as the taller versions. As well, the shorter lace-up boots also remind me of the boots that were around 20 or 25 years ago and I'm not sure that I'd want to wear something I saw a lot back in the day.

Of course there are other styles that I'm drawn to, like these tall slightly slouchy boots:

These gorgeous boots are ridiculously expensive. I've only seen them online and I don't want to just buy them sight unseen without ever having tried them on. It's one thing if I try them on, they fit perfectly, and look fantastic on me because then I could justify the cost. However, there's no way I want to spend that much on something that isn't right.

Fortunately, I think my favourite shoe store in Guelph carries that brand so I'll see if I can try them on there before my psychologist's appointment on Friday. Even if they don't have the exact same style, they'll have others that I might like. And if I don't find boots there, well, I'll be in Toronto late next week and I can continue the hunt.

No discussion of footwear would be complete without mentioning my mostest favouritest type of shoes ever: the wingtip. I have always loved wingtip shoes and they're back. If I had unlimited money, I'd buy this pair:
I love love love love the multiple colours - aren't they gorgeous? I'd love to own them! That's not likely to happen - ever - as they cost even more than those boots above and if I had to choose between these shoes and boots, well, I'd have to choose the boots. Here's hoping I actually find a pair!

Monday, October 10, 2011

More about trees

We decided to go ahead and shape some of the remaining trees and bushes today. Instead of waiting to buy proper shears for the job, we just used our clippers to cut off individual branches. It worked really well; we were able to make the trees look neater. They've got approximately the right shape now but they look more natural and not really manicured, which is a look that we prefer.

I think those some of those trees might also be grafted. There were two of them that had stems and leaves growing out beside the main trunk of the tree that looked completely different from the stems and leaves at the top. I think these things were suckers coming out from the roots and so I cut them off as far below the soil level as I could. I read somewhere that this is how to deal with that kind of growth because if they're not cut off, they'll take over the plant.

In fact, one of our other trees looked like a Jekyll-and-Hyde plant; one side had berries and small leaves and the other side had large leaves and looked suspiciously like the suckers I cut off from the other plants. However, instead of being a bunch of suckers, the non-berry side was as large as the berry side! We ended up cutting off the non-berry side - I hope that the berry side will live.

We also trimmed down a few other trees while we were out there until we were both tired of working on them. I spent some time looking at other plants around the yard and I noticed that one of my lupins had aphids! It's been warm out so I guess the aphids thought it was spring or something.

Even though we've done so much work, there's still more to do. Since we had to be at home, it was a great way to spend our Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh, and yes, I'm feeling much, much better. I think I'm actually back to normal, thank goodness! Now, all I need to do is stay healthy so that I enjoy the rest of the month.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Pruning our trees

We spent some time this weekend pruning our ornamental trees. The one outside the kitchen had sprouted three branches that were growing straight up instead of down and looked awful, and our other weeping trees were all messy and wild.

We didn't know that our ornamental trees, including the one outside the kitchen, were grafted trees where one type of tree is grafted onto another (the rootstock). Or that the huge sticky-uppy branches looked like that because they were the rootstock growing up, not the weeping part growing. We just chopped off all those vertical branches, as well as any branches growing out of the rootstock trunk - which was the right thing to do anyways.

In pruning the ornamentals we also tried to take out all the dead stuff, any branches that were crossing over others, and any branches that didn't look right so that the plants looked balanced. That turned out to also be the right thing to do, thank goodness.

Unfortunately (and perhaps unsurprisingly), the previous owners hadn't properly pruned these trees. Instead of thinning out the branches, they wove some horizontal ones to make them weep and cut off other ones to create a particular shape. These trees have branches twisted and curled all around each other which isn't good for the tree. In theory, these trees should be gorgeous and have lovely architectural shapes even in winter but these just look like haystacks. It will take a few years for us to prune them enough to make them look their best.

Thankfully, we don't need to give any more trees the same kind of drastic haircuts we gave the ornamental trees. The remainder of the trees just need a trim to prevent them from looking shaggy (the way hedges are trimmed) but we don't have the right equipment to do that yet.

We also wanted to move the tall decorative grass to cover some of the holes the trees left when we removed them but we can't do that right now, either. It turns out that the grass is Miscanthus 'Giganteus', or Giant Silver Grass, and it can only be divided like that at the end of winter. We'll have to live with having the privacy holes in our fence for a few months.

Taking care of all of these trees is our yard is a lot of work! I still love the yard and everything, but knowing what I know now, I might have chosen differently. Then again, there's something satisfying about working with our land to make it beautiful, isn't there?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Election changes

The Liberals have taken Ontario again... sort of. They managed to get one seat short of a majority so they'll be working with a minority government this time around. While it would be theoretically possible for the NDP and PC parties to work together against the Liberals, the chances of that happening are quite small as the two parties are ideologically completely different. In our riding, the Liberal candidate was re-elected with 300-odd votes over the pompous former weatherman as a PC candidate.

Unfortunately, the election turnout was the lowest in 36 years with only 49.2% of eligible voters showing up to vote. This isn't much of a surprise, really, given that there were no big issues in this election.

I'm also happy that Alberta swore in its first female premier, Alison Redford, today after Ed Stelmech stepped down. She'll be in power until she decides to hold an election - and she isn't required to do that until 2013. Yay for Alberta! Yay for women! Honestly, it's about time that Alberta had a female premier, isn't it? I feel like we should be past all that by this point, that we shouldn't even have to acknowledge that the person holding one or another office is female. I guess we have to start somewhere.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Another treatment down

Today was bloodwork and denosumab day. They hadn't even set up an appointment for bloodwork until yesterday and when I went to get my labels (bloodwork requests), none were available. They had to page my nurse to order my chart to figure out what bloodwork was needed. I don't understand why that couldn't have been done yesterday or when my nurse sent the note asking to be paged when I arrived.

Fortunately, bloodwork went well, as did the denosumab. In addition to compulsively using hand sanitizer while I was there, I wore a mask. I looked pretty silly because the mask covers a lot of my face but I figured it was better to look silly than to possibly infect people. If I could infect people in Mississauga, I could infect people in the chemo suite, right? The nurses were very nice about it and thanked me for being courteous towards others, telling me that most people in my situation wouldn't bother with a mask. No wonder the best place to get sick is at a hospital.

After the appointment I voted and came home instead of going to my metalsmithing class. I'm really not feeling all that well: I'm tired and my throat hurts. So I've been resting and trying to drink lots of fluids.

I forgot to mention yesterday that they took my temperature when I visited the clinic. It was 34.2C or 94.28F. I'd been sweating before that and was cold but I hadn't realized that my temperature dropped into mildly hypothermic territory. The doctor noticed how much I was sweating and suggested that I try one of the treatments for it. I explained that I thought the side effects would be too much and he said, "you'll never know unless you try."

He has a point.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Just a virus

This afternoon I went to the walk-in clinic near the mall because I wanted to know why my throat was sore and whether I was contagious. I'd never been to this clinic before and I was happy to not have to wait too, too long to see a doctor. They also have a bloodwork lab, pharmacy, xray and ultrasound. The longest lineups were for the clinic - there was no lineup for the lab and only a ten minute wait to get prescriptions filled at the pharmacy.

Anyways. I started off by telling the doctor that I had a sore throat and that I wanted to know whether I was contagious because I wanted to go to Mississauga this weekend (which I can't do if I'm contagious). Later on he wanted to hear my lungs and he remarked on how much I was sweating so I told him that I had sarcoidosis and metastatic breast cancer.

Oh boy, did I get in trouble for that. He told me that I should always, always start by listing my pre-existing conditions and only then tell the doctor the specific problem. He made the very good point that when a doctor walks into the examining room, they've already started thinking about the differential diagnosis and possible tests and treatments. If the patient reveals critical information later, they have to re-trace that thinking. For example, sarcoidosis (which he knew about!) usually affects the lungs so a person with sarcoidosis walking in with an upper respiratory infection or sore throat needs a different set of tests than someone else who doesn't have the sarcoidosis pre-existing condition. I hadn't thought of it that way but of course he's right.

The nurse had taken some of my vital signs and did a swab for a strep test before I saw the doctor. I don't have strep throat and there was no other bacteria in the swab so I have a virus. Sadly, there's nothing that can be done to make the virus go away except time.

He also strongly discouraged me from going to Mississauga because until my throat is completely better and I'm no longer coughing at all, I'm contagious. I'm not as contagious as if I was sneezing or coughing a lot or if my eyes were still goopy... but I'm still contagious. So we'll plan to go to Mississauga next weekend. I'm a little disappointed by that but it's the best thing to do under the circumstances.

One thing that has occurred to me (and that someone pointed out) is that I started to feel sick shortly after my first denosumab treatment. I have my second treatment tomorrow and if I start feeling worse instead of continuing to get better I'll strongly suspect that the treatment is interfering with my immune system.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Getting better?

I think it's possible that I've been sick due to allergies. I started to feel icky right after we brought the brugmansia into the house. It's never had as many flowers on it as it has this year - we had eight flowers at a time, which is a record for us. I'm also not accustomed to the environment around the house: there are different plants here, closer to the river, then there were where we used to live.

It's also possible that I've got some kind of virus. The goop in my eyes wasn't allergies, however, because my eyes weren't itchy or watery; they were goopy. I have been using some Polysporin antibiotic eye drops for the last couple of days and they seem to have cleared up the goopiness.

I still have a very sore throat, however. I think I have some post-nasal drip which might account for the productive cough I have only in the morning, and that could cause my sore throat. But there are actual sores on my throat and I don't know if that could be caused by post-nasal drip or allergies or something else.

Tomorrow I'm going to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic and get checked out. Aside from the fact that I want to feel better, I also want to go to Mississauga for Thanksgiving. I can't go if I'm sick because I can't take the chance that I might infect them with whatever I've got. At least if I go to a doctor I can find out whether I have allergies or I'm infectious or what. And maybe I can start to feel better.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Goodbye trees

When we talked to the tree guy last week and he said that they'd send the guys when it rained, we didn't expect  to see them today. Sure, it was raining (well, drizzling), but we didn't really expect them to show up so quickly.

They arrived at about 8:20am, which was quite a surprise for us and our neighbours. The chainsaw and chipper are noisy! Ian was already up and I managed to get up as well once I knew that they were here. It only took three hours (including a 15 or 20 minute break) for them chop and chip all 17 trees and to prune the apple and one of the pear trees. They were good about being careful with our property and cleaning up after themselves. I was impressed with the care they took as well as their efficiency and I recommend them if you live in my area and need help with trees.

Our backyard looks so different without all those deciduous trees and with all the gaps between the trees. There's so much more light and space in the backyard. Parts of it look a bit bare, and we can see our neighbours houses and properties much more clearly. I don't really like being able to see that much or having our yard that exposed so I think we'll be wanting to plant some new trees and/or grasses and/or bushes. There's so much light up at the back of the property that something will grow well there.

The side of the house looks much better without the spindly ash trees although it's now much more obvious that the fence there is crooked. When our neighbour (you might remember that this neighbour didn't get along with the people who used to own our house) put up that wooden fence on his side of the property line, he couldn't come onto what is now our property to put posts in to keep the fence upright. He couldn't put the posts on his property because he's got concrete there. Some might ask why he built that fence there in the first place, of course.

It's going to take some time to get the backyard feeling private and cozy the way it used to feel. At least this way we'll be making our own mark on the property and making it more our own. It's just a shame that we and the previous owners spent so much money on trees and a layout that wasn't feasible in the long-term.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Still sick. Sigh.

Ian bought me some Cold FX and I've started taking it. I hope that it works because I still feel awful. I'd be so happy to not be sick. Actually, it would kind of be ok if I were even more sick so that I could say that I was really sick. I sort of wonder if people who were sick like I am would be up and about and doing things instead of staying home like I've been doing.

I know that it's sort of boring to listen to me whine about how sick I am but I can't keep much else in myhead these days. I'm not a good sick person, as you can tell.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Election debates

Our local tv station was re-airing the election debates it sponsored today so we watched the debate for our region. Only the major parties were represented at this debate and that was fine with us as those are the only ones we're interested in hearing from. There are no real issues going on in this election so all we can use to base our votes on is the overall platform for the parties and the way the candidates presented themselves.

Our PC candidate is the former weatherman for a local television station and personally, I found him to be a bit pompous. He stuck to the party line which seemed to be mostly about denigrating the Liberal party. I know the Liberals didn't keep all of their promises but there was a global recession going on and that's enough reason for me to absolve the Liberal party for breaking their promises.

The Liberal party candidate was well-spoken and while he also stuck to the party line, he didn't spend nearly as much time denigrating the other parties. I respected that. The NDP candidate is young and went into politics because of Jack Layton's historic win; he has no experience in politics. The Green candidate also has no experience in politics.

So I'm left with a comparison of their policies; our local paper has a good point-by-point breakdown of their platforms.

Ultimately, I don't know who will get my vote on Thursday although I have my theories. I'll definitely be voting one way or another.

I do have to say that there's one thing I really dislike about this election:  the use of auto-dialers calling us to (automatically) run polls or send messages. It wouldn't be so bad if they only called only once a day but they've been calling multiple times per day. Worse, even if I do answer the phone there's no one there. In the debate the PC candidate said that they had to use auto-dialers to reach more people.Can the auto-dialers be reaching more people if they're not working?

I'd mind the calls less if they were from real people who were there when I answered the phone. Sometimes new technology isn't good technology.