Quick hits

In no particular order:

  • Of the many, many things that irritate me about the Harmonized Sales Tax, nothing is more irritating right now than the fact that the referendum isn’t a debate so much on the merits of the tax itself, but rather the implementation of the tax. Thanks a lot, BC Liberals! ’cause some people — maybe even most people — might have been persuadable when it came to the merits of the tax itself, given the need to ensure a healthy revenue stream to protect programs. But you guys managed to screw it up by sneaking it in, and now people are angry and just as likely to kick the thing to the curb. Way to go, dorks.
  • On a related note, announcing that a 2% cut in the HST rate (effective in two years time!) will amount to savings of $120 per family per year is not actually a selling point. Most families can do math. Most families with more than one person in them are probably not so stupid as to ignore the part where inflation will quite happily eat the $5/month/each they get back from the 2% rate cut. It’s not the rate, guys, it’s the way you sprung it on the province. Nobody was complaining about the rate, so the idea that the province “listened” is, uh, flawed.
  • The real reason why the FAA won’t move to an enlightened position on air traffic controller fatigue has less to do with human factors research and more to do with the prevailing political climate. Doy, right? But who’s going to complain about the fact that controllers can take naps? Answer: anyone who (a) has an axe to grind against public service employees and (b) has this vague sneaking suspicion that somebody, somewhere, is getting away with something — the politics of resentment, even a resentment that has no basis in reality, at work in fatigue management. I want to throw up, but… yeah, no, I just want to throw up.
  • I’m reasonably sure that when the newsreader says that a person “suffered serious injuries after making contact with a grizzly bear,” they’re really looking for the most euphemistic way to say that a person “got chewed on by a grizzly bear.” “Making contact” doesn’t quite have the same visual punch, does it?
  • As a somewhat interesting culinary experiment the other day, I shelled a pound of peas, minced a clove of garlic, sauteed both in a bit of butter, finishing it off with some chopped basil. It was surprisingly tasty: not enough “there” there to make it a side in and of itself, but I can easily see an application for it in (for instance) couscous or quinoa. The next time I have a bunch of leftover peas, I think I’ll try this again but throw in some panko to add to the crunch.

We’re done here.