Love Those Fags

I hate to say it, but I fell off the wagon. I’m smoking again, though certainly not nearly as much as before my attempt to quit. And I intend to get back on the patch on Monday. But by late last night I lost it. 🙁

Oh well. It would have been unusual for me to succeed on the first serious attempt. Plus, while I’m rediscovering why I like smoking, I’m also discovering what I like about not smoking. The icky smell in my apartment and my coughing that’s not so mysteriously coming back are only two reasons why I’ll be giving quitting another go as of Monday.

Gas Prices: No Rhyme or Reason

Back in December, I bitched about how gas prices can climb considerably literally overnight. Well, I never did get around to telling you that on January 1st, the price of gas here in Halifax climbed another $0.05/litre, bringing it to $0.84.9/litre.

Fine. To an extent, I actually could understand the rise. War mongering on Iraq was only getting worse and the Venezuelan general strike was ongoing. But then, about a week ago, the price dropped to $0.82.9/litre. Then to $0.81.9/litre a few days later. And a day or two ago, to $0.80.9/litre. Yet the war mongering is even worse and the Venuzuelan situation shows no signs of ending.

Do you suppose oil companies have us by the genitals?

Jack Layton: Yes!

With 53.5% of the vote on a slate of six candidates, the members of the federal New Democrats elected Jack Layton as their new leader after a single round of balloting, and I think this is a very good thing. Alexa McDonough, the Member of Parliament for Halifax, was the party’s leader since 1995.

It’s impossible to dislike Alexa but, in the final analysis, she wasn’t the best choice for the party, which is credited for being the force behind treasured national institutions such as universal health care. Not since Ed Broadbent or Tommy Douglas has the NDP had a leader with Layton’s blend of media and popular appeal. The trick now is to get his name known more outside Ontario, but that shouldn’t be too hard for someone who had The Barenaked Ladies play at the function announcing his leadership intentions.

This is the first time in decades that I feel so hopeful about the ascension of a new party leader. And yes, he and the NDP are uncompromisingly pro-Romanow Report (on health care), pro-Kyoto Accord, and anti-war-on-Iraq.