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Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

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the moon is on fire [Jul. 20th, 2018|09:24 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , , , ]
[mood |overheated]

Back in court with all the other rejects. Apparently everybody else has also figured out that these things never start when they tell you, I wandered in at quarter past and I was one of the earliest to arrive.

It's also quite comfortable in the waiting room today. I guess a building this massive just takes a while to cool off after a weekend of sitting empty.


I am so utterly done with this place and this climate. I'm spending $60 a month on medication just to try and breathe. I am done with feeling like I've inhaled a wet sweat-sock. I'm done with not being able to sleep, and migraines and skin rashes from the fucking heat.

We spent the first 10 years in this house using nothing fans and that was enough. But each year the summers get hotter and longer and I just can't fucking do it any more. And Canada obviously doesn't give a shit about anything but extracting as much money out of the ground as possible to make sure oil companies continue to turn a profit.

I don't even like air conditioning but it's now moved to the head of the list of things to spend money on the next time we have some[1]. I just wish to fuck I could charge the cost to the fuckers who just cancelled all the wind and solar projects.

[1]Ha ha ha ha. That's a whole 'nother rant.

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the justice league [Jul. 17th, 2018|12:39 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |hot]

My second time being called up but my first time actually getting out of the waiting room. They pulled the entire crowd of us - about 200 people - into a court room where the charges were read. Then they broke us up into groups of 25, gave each group a time to return, and started pulling us one by one into a separate room to be interviewed.

Thing I did not know, jurors get a say in the process of jury selection. The first person picked get to say yes or no on the second. Then they both get a say in picking juror number 3. Then 2 & 3 get a say on juror number 4. Then 3 & 4 get a say on number 5. And so on. And they pick 14 people, not 12, in case there is a last minute reason why somebody suddenly can't make it.

So now I've learned something.

Anyway, I did not get picked for the jury. They have another jury selection to do this week but that doesn't start until the first one is filled so I don't have to be back in the courthouse until Friday.

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boil like a frog [Jul. 16th, 2018|10:34 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |Superior Court of Justice]
[mood |overheated]

There was a "heightened security alert" downtown last week that was apparently caused by some guy threatening to copy-cat the van attack.

Nothing actually happened. But still, fuck that guy.


The Toronto District School Board has a program where adults can take classes in their empty schools in the evenings or during the summer. They offer everything from salsa dancing to basic car repair. I took a household electrician's class once many years ago and it was really worth it.

So I decided to sign up for intro Spanish, just for the heck of it. Duolingo has been great for learning to read, but less so for learning to speak it or understand what I hear. I figured being in a room full of people struggling with the same issues would get me past my initial reserve about mangling the language in front of people, and then after I could go join a meet-up group or something.

So because I am very very dumb, I signed up for a class in a high school. In July.

High schools don't have air conditioning.

It's my own damn fault, I know full well that schools are big brick ovens. There was even an article published about a year ago about how now that summers are getting longer and hotter what used to be about a two-week period of students rendered useless by the heat at the end of June has now stretched into two to three months. Last September was brutal, I can't imagine anybody being able to think clearly in that soup. And of course the online comments are full of people ranting about how when I were a lad we had no air conditioning and kids these days are so spoiled yada yada yada. Cause as we all know, the people who post to comment sections have never actually read the contents of these articles.

The school where the class is being held is one of the older ones in the city and a technical school to boot, so to say it's been subject to neglect would be the understatement of the year. And you know, it's one thing to read a headline about how the province has a $15 billion dollar repair backlog, it's quite another to be walking down the halls. Almost all of the lockers are some degree of broken. The paint is peeling, and there are regular patches on the walls where somebody has obviously filled in holes. None of the water fountains work, but it's probably just as well since I would lay down money that the pipes have lead in them anyway. In the bathroom there are only a handful of stalls that have doors, and there are obvious signs of mold damage everywhere. And of course, because the province had set aside the budget to cover 0.001% of it, our new Premier cancelled the funds.

It's become kind of a subject of horrified fascination for me. How bad will things get before somebody decides it's important? When kids and staff are regularly getting injured? Or will having roofs falling in on top of teenagers just become normal, like school shootings?

But you know, at least all those millionaires will be taken care of.

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my civic duty in the 19th century [Jul. 16th, 2018|10:09 am]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]
[mood |sleepy from the heat]

This week I am in a downtown courthouse for jury selection duty. I dug my way back through my archives and apparently the last time I did this was four years ago. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago.

So I have now experienced this building in both Toronto temperatures, the 50 billion degrees below zero one and now the 50 billion degrees above one. Can't say I'm impressed.

Also, I figured I would use this time while I'm not at work to post here more, but the wifi is sooooooooooooooooooooo slow.

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a cat-shaped hole in my heart [Jul. 1st, 2018|04:17 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[mood |overheated]

So those of you who follow Darrell or Axel on Facebook already know, but Jack didn't make it.

I miss that fuzzy asshole like you would not believe.

Brock is such an airhead at the best of times that it's hard to tell if he even notices that Jack is gone. But he has been extra needy for the last few weeks, so I guess that means he does.

I suspect we won't have Carlin for very much longer either - beardies live about 10 years in captivity and I think he has to be about 11 or 12 now. He's gotten really near-sighted and he hasn't been moving as easily as he used to. He sleeps more, eats less - in general just seems to be just gradually winding down.

On the other hand he is loving this 40+ weather we're having, so maybe he'll outlast the rest of us.

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2018 books: 21 - 27 [Jun. 12th, 2018|02:41 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta

I'm definitely not going to hit 100 this year. I'm using the bus for my Duolingo time, which has really cut into how much I'm reading on a weekly basis.

Since I'm not currently culling books, I decided to go back to the "read a few good books followed by a less good book" strategy from last year. I think it's working, I'm find I'm getting better at picking out exactly what I'm reacting to when I decided I don't like a piece of my own writing.

And no matter how much I hate a book, they have fans. So there's that, too.

here there be world-building under the cutCollapse )

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Jack aka Jackalope aka Jackaloaf aka JackOLantern aka The Big Purrbowski [Jun. 11th, 2018|04:36 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[mood |worried]

Jack's return home from the vet lasted less than a week. He was obviously still feeling pretty shitty and over the next few days he gradually got worse. By Thursday he had stopped eating again and Darrell took him back to the vet where they did more fluids and mixed in a little antibiotics and painkillers. Saturday he came home once again, a little wobbly but eating and drinking on his own.

By Sunday he had gone downhill so fast he couldn't even walk and was very obviously in a lot of pain. We packed him back into the cat carrier and drove him to the emergency vet. They drew blood and told us his blood glucose was at 1.6. (Normal for a cat is around 7.)

I got a call from Darrell earlier today and according to the vet he's responding well to treatment. They did an ultrasound to see what's going on in there and while they don't have the results back, they suspect a severe infection. He'll be there for a few more days while they run more tests and keep monitoring him. Meanwhile he has thoroughly charmed everybody who has worked with him.

When he finally does get home I'm going to change his nickname to The Million-Dollar Cat.

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welp, it's all fucked and i hate everybody [Jun. 7th, 2018|11:08 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[mood |spiralling]

I'm going to bed

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a closer call than i would have liked [Jun. 4th, 2018|12:50 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |heard the wooshing sound]

So the saga of the tree has finally reached it's thrilling conclusion. Metrolinx sent some workman, who stood on the other side of the fence, talked to each other for a half an hour - and then left. After several more days I emailed them and got the response that "there is some question about ownership". I read that to mean "We are going to faff for at least another month and then tell you we're not going to do anything."

So fuck them. Thursday D went out and bought a small chainsaw. The tree is now in big chunks all over our yard. I guess I should call Bell, since their cables are still dangling in our back yard.

Since D has been out in the back yard so much in the past month, he's been letting the cats outside for some supervised sunbathing time. He mentioned to me that Jack was really interested in one of the plants growing out there - didn't eat it, but took a couple of nips at the leaves. Cats eat grass all the time, I thought nothing of it.

After the first time they went outside, we agree that as a precautionary measure they should go to the vet to get their shots updated and make sure they were both chipped. We noticed Jack seemed really off his food afterwards - we chalked it up to feeling crappy after getting his vaccinations and he would feel better in a couple of days. Except he didn't get over it. In fact as the days went by he kept getting worse. I sat on the floor with him one night petting him while he lay on the kitchen tile and he was so obviously sick and miserable and this... little bell just went off in my head. And I went to the computer and looked up plants that are poisonous to cats and said, "Oh FUCK!

Long story short, he spent four nights in the hospital getting his system flushed out with fluids. He came home on Saturday and is obviously still feeling pretty shitty, but he is drinking water and eating a little. He will probably have kidney problems when he gets older.

We moved the plant. I'm going to make a point of identifying all of the plants before we let either of them outside again.

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something i've always wondered [May. 25th, 2018|03:46 pm]
Hemlock B. Bootsalotta
[Tags|, ]

What does "nanny-state" mean?

I've seen conservatives throw the term around so it's obviously meant to be something bad, but what does it actually mean?

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