From the “Witness My Shame” File

BeeGoddessM could attest (while squeezing the wind out of me with her bare hands) that sugar — specifically craving sugar — is not a big deal for me. Oh sure, I’ve been known to make myself icing sandwiches and indulge in my mother’s sucre à la crème (fudge), which would be outlawed in some loony-religious U.S. states for being sinful. But generally I can keep my sweet tooth under control. What got me in trouble to the point of flirting with 200 pounds last year is my undying love affair with spuds and bread.

For the last few days, though, I’ve been craving something disgustingly sweet. Last Saturday night at Sobeys, I went through both the cookie and chocolate bar aisles but, in the end, I didn’t buy any. But today I’ve been besides myself craving sweets, which happens to me two or three times a year. So tonight I bought myself some Oreo cookies, and I just finished eating a full row in record time. Absolutely hoovered them!

Oh… Witness my shame! 🙁

Hope I Didn’t Piss Her Off

I’ll probably write more about it later (i.e., when I calm down), but I just finished replying passionately to a comment/question in Julie‘s blog, and I hope I haven’t pissed her off in the process. I really should have left it to her to reply as she saw fit and simply written an entry here at aMMusing, but the comment/question hit a chord in me and I just couldn’t stop myself.

What was the discussion about?

Broadly, the eventual separation of Québec; specifically, what would or could happen to the Acadians if separation were ever to occur. The comment/question revealed what I perceive as the deplorable lack of understanding within Québec of the reality with which francophones outside Québec must deal. But the comment/question also opened wide my own “one-minute-yay, one-minute-nay” turmoil on the whole matter.

Anyway, Julie, if you’re reading this, I hope I didn’t offend you or your friend who left that comment/question. That wasn’t my intention… 🙂

Citizens First

I won’t name it outright, but there’s a chamber-of-commerce-like lobby group that’s been very aggressively trying to get me (and/or my business) as a member since the summer. The first contact came when I was too preoccupied with other things to respond (although I can’t for the life of me remember now what those things were). But despite my lack of response, the e-mails, voice-mails and snail-mails started coming in with a vengeance as though I had agreed to become a member. All were urging me to answer various questionnaires on government policies and their effect on business in Nova Scotia and Canada.

I had an issue of the organization’s newsletter on my dining room table for the longest time. It took me a while to get around to reading it because I was really turned off by the picture showing the sullen face of (I believe) the organization’s president, above which was the caption, “Enough, Already!” This was in reference to last spring’s antics in the House of Commons, when the Liberal minority government came to a hair of falling in the confidence vote on the budget.

What bugs me with an organization like this one is that they always recite the same expected platitude: lower taxes and less regulation for small- and medium-sized businesses. The principle that’s generally espoused by such groups is that social responsibility by businesses will result within a more “competitive” market because they’re allowed to maximize profits (i.e., they will “naturally” engage in donations, sponsorships and partnerships, and will be able to stimulate the economy in virtue of their ability to hire more people). In other words, it’s the early 21st century rebranding of trickle-down economics in which 1980s world leaders such as Reagan and Thatcher strongly believed.

Yes, I’m a devoted social democrat, and no, I don’t believe profit is evil. But what turned me off this organization was the last phone message I received, which was promised to be the last — a message that contained a loaded and very “we, the victims” question along the lines of “Aren’t you tired of the way the government is treating us [small- and medium-size businesses]?”

Oh peh-leeze!

Look. I know that businesses comprise people — people who invest talent, energy and, yes, their own money to make an entreprise viable. But in the final analysis, I’m much more concerned about citizens. If ordinary citizens — the majority with low to medium incomes — don’t go broke because of medical necessities and carry a reasonable tax burden, they (a) will consume a bit more and (b) might be able to invest in a small- or medium-sized business, perhaps with the help of micro-loans in some cases. Policies should focus on citizens and give them the means and knowledge to innovate in this so-called “new economy” which is increasingly starting to look like the old economy at the turn of the last century. But policies which, in the end, focus more on investors and shareholders aren’t going to improve the lot of ordinary citizens, that is, the average Canadian.

The First Snow

Seems like every place in Canada has already had its first snow of 05/06, except Halifax. Until today, that is. Not much, mind you; the ground is barely covered and the streets are just wet. But it has finally arrived after a relatively mild autumn that saw the leaves change colour and fall much later than usual.

I have to admit that I like it when there’s a little bit of snow on the ground around Christmas. In Halifax, the chances of that happening are about 50/50, and it’s still way too early to tell which 50 it’ll be this year. But after January 1, the snow could go away for another year and I wouldn’t be disappointed …although, of course, it’s the opposite that invariably happens in these parts.

With some luck, only seven months before tanning at the beach becomes viable again… *sigh*