Howl of the Covid Briefing Bingo

Today’s briefing is brought to you by: the 1988 Paul Naschy wolfman movie Howl of the Devil. And by mercifully late starts as one waits for the coffee to brew. Today, as we “enjoy” intermittent flurries, it is a particularly low-energy day, and neither for the first nor the last time I wish I had my trusty espresso machine by my side.

The ‘puter is being super-laggy today, so that’s great. 2020 is 2020ing. I should take some of that juicy CERB and put it towards another machine. If only there were some “made in Canuckistan” ones with no Chinese parts. Oh well, I’m generally doing pretty well on that Boycott China thing. And hey, found my new Christmas cards already:

Charlie Brown has gone full “Fuck around and find out.”

But to the Briefing! Here are all our Briefing Bingo cards. Play one or play them all. Or play an idiosyncratic subset. The hell I care?

And all the previous bingo episodes are on the Briefing Bingo Category page

Mark your “starts more than ten minutes late” and “My aunt calls during the briefing” and “Reporter sits in the front row,” a reporter I’m not entirely sure is wearing pants. Choose the colour of your leggings carefully, people!

Here we go:

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. The prime minister is joined by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer.
Actually, I DO recommend that mashup

The Related Video list for today’s CPAC #Covid19 Briefing from YouTube is a thing of beauty and consternation. Madonna’s “Dress You Up”, noir jazz which is the perfect 2020 soundtrack, and a mashup that begins with the immortal words “Okay, are you ready to go? Let’s start this motherfucker up.” Took the words right out of my mouth. By all means, let us do even so.

CBC is so passive-aggressive. They literally couldn’t be more Canadian if they tried. Just take a look at the thumbnail on their version of the live coverage. Compare and contrast to the CPAC one in the video up there.

Cheery opening to the briefing, and by “cheery” I mean bleak because it’s #2020, with new record high diagnosis rates in several provinces and Nunavut too. “Begins in English” square active. And a story about “Jonathon” in Ontario (hello Doug Ford, are you listening?) who values the economy, but values the lives of his friends and family more. Be like Jonathon. And Trudeau reminds people that doing the best things to protect friends and family is also doing the best thing to protect the economy, because dead people don’t buy shit. Well, he only implied that last part. I may be paraphrasing slightly.

And we get another reminder that federal supports to the provinces “are not infinite”. That’s the politest threat you’ll ever hear. Make no mistake: it is a threat.

“Second wave” active now and “Vaccine” and also “CBC cadence” and “app”. Haven’t had the CBC cadence in a long time; seems like I’m not the only person whose batteries are running down.

Speaking of apps:

302192 cases and 11000 deaths so far says Dr. Tam. 6.6 positive rate, which is gruesome and three times the rate of the spring. And the disease is spreading more in the elderly too, in co-op living, long term care homes, and hospitals. Full info on the Health website.

Oh, now we are apparently “planking” the curve. We were just “bending” it last week. I like bending better; it sounds like a surf movie. Planking sounds like work.

Mark off your “Dr. Tam’s red and black jacket” square and “Begins in English” and “Blue Suit” for Trudeau, from back when the briefing cards only included him because we all thought this would be over before shirtsleeves weather, and what fools we were. Ah, how innocent!

In Other Yet Simultaneous Conversation news, nothing I like better than getting thrown into a Twittercanoe about TERFs that resulted from a misunderstanding that could have been cleared up in 30 seconds if they talked to the person who made the error. So productive. MUTE CONVERSATION.

Question time:

Mark your “Touches face” square. And there’s a “Sorry” in there too.

Beautiful question about Scheer hiring his inlaws and the inlaws hiring his family. Bunted by Trudeau back to the Conservatives. “Shades the Tories” square active. And “Shades Harper” as well.

I HATE that I’m about to defend Andrew Scheer hiring his wife’s sister on any level, but here goes. There’s what’s allowable within the rules and what isn’t, and then there’s what bothers us and smells bad and what doesn’t. These are, importantly, different things. #cdnpoli 1/6

Yasmin Ratansi hiring her own sister was outside the rules as written. That’s a bright line. Scheer hiring his wife’s sister – we may not like it, but he hasn’t literally violated the rule. Is the line arbitrary and stupid? Maybe. But the difference still matters. #cdnpoli 2/6

There’s always going to be outrage and finger-pointing in the gray areas. We’ll never agree when it’s debatable, and partisanship will always rule the day. So we need, at absolutely minimum, to agree that when someone steps over a bright line rule that’s different. #cdnpoli 3/6

Call out Scheer if you want, call out Poilievre and others for their hiring and their hypocrisy. Have at it. But don’t obliterate the difference between inside the rules and outside the rules as you do it. The damage you’ll cause goes far beyond partisanship. #cdnpoli 4/6

Rules matter because they’re objective. Only people utterly determined to deny reality (coughTRUMPcough) fail to acknowledge them. If the rules suck then we make better rules. We don’t argue that the rules are unimportant or meaningless. That’s a death spiral. #cdnpoli 5/6

Without agreement that rules matter, all we’ve got left is a competition to be most outraged. And be outraged if you want, perhaps with good cause! Just don’t forget or deny that violating the actual rule, and outrage over a perceived wrong, are not the same thing. #cdnpoli 6/6

Originally tweeted by Jeff Rybak🍁😷 (@JeffRybak) on November 17, 2020.

Late-breaking update, OOOOH POPCORN TIME!

dis gon be gud

I really do need a square for “Fails to translate the answer”. Cuz my French is still ass. And you can just SEE my English.

Also “Snowbirds” needs to be on the next card. Florida is, clearly, the hill on which many Ontario seniors choose to die. It’s not THAT nice. Should we accept that request from the Turks and Caicos to take them over, turn Canada into an imperial power, just so we can have a safe and Canadian-government-run warm place to send our dimmer elders for a few months each year? Because when they go to Florida they bring all those nasty Murikkan cooties back with them.

And people wonder why I want to go back to BC

But seriously, isn’t that just what Victoria is for?

In related news, when some of those snowbirds returned in the spring, they apparently returned to entire communities they were barred by law from entering (see below). Maybe, I dunno, buy a real house if you’re rich enough to have more than one? These people bought houses in wintery zones that are not winter-proofed; apparently they rely on being able to leave the country when the weather changes. And when the epidemiological weather changed, their gated communities shut their gates against them.

“Drinks water” square now active. And “From the beginning” too. Good question about the reluctance to mandate a lockdown. There’s your “Gesticulates” square, Very Low Energy Day continues.

Random thought: Are masks with amusing words on them today’s slogan tees? Will we see articles about how unprofessional they are soon in Working Woman magazine? (spoiler alert: we will not, because it folded years ago)

A bit late with this, but mark your “Strenuous nod” square on the sixth generation card. Trudeau, not Freeland this time. Too bad: she’s an outstanding nodder, as well as a sharp dresser and probably the finance minister who will bring in UBI for Canadians.

Am I stanning? I feel like I’m stanning. < /stanning >

Oh yes, there’s your “Swaps out sign language interpreters” square. Did I already say “Second Wave” square is active? Mark it if you haven’t already. This damn computer is so laggy after the last upgrades that I’ll have to come up with a different way to do this next time. There’s your “Pushes responsibility to provinces” and “PPE” squares.

Multiple references to Christmas, so mark your “religious holiday” square, like twenty times. You just know if the Tories had a handy Jewish person they’d make a stink about the lack of other holidays mentioned, but they don’t and we all know it. There are Reasons For Things.

And Trudeau’s out. There’s your “Maple Leaf Accessory” and “Wears Mask” from the first generation card. And “Brown shoes with blue suit WHICH IS JUST MORALLY WRONG”. Justin, my late mother wants to have a word with you. She’s not so much angry as disappointed. The camera followed him out, but nobody was speaking, so no square for you!

Dr. Tam is “pushing responsibility to provinces” like a pro. But after six months, she IS a pro at this. We do need more uniformity across provinces and territories in the medical realm and PARTICULARLY in the coverage aspect. And mark your “Touches microphone” square too.

And Dr. Njoo is giving you his trademark “button down Oxford shirt” so mark that square. “Gesticulates with a pen” needs to be on the next bingo card for sure.

Dr Njoo’s pin looks an awful lot like a Mont Order pin. Weird. I rather doubt he’s part of the Order. Of course we have “Someone wears glasses” because Dr. Njoo is there.

That’s good. Testing at a higher rate than usual for the flu, but we’ve got a vastly lower rate of infection this year, in part because of the uptake in vaccinations, which reminds me to get mine. And mark your “Flu vaccine” square.

YAY! Mark your “Hockey” square FINALLY! ‘Bout time this was CANADA, amirite?

And now a question about how while the initially projected deaths 9 months ago were estimated to be around 10,000, we now have 11,000, something referred to as “a massive difference.” Well, uh. I’m on the fence. Was that a “Stupid gotcha question” or not? After all, the difference between 10,000 and 11,000 is only one thousand, not “massive.” I need to add a square for “Dr Tam explains basic science and/or math and/or logic”. She does it really well, too.

Dr Njoo makes a good point about Covid fatigue changing all the other risk factors. People know about masks and distancing, but they’re emotionally exhausted and deliberately saying “Fuckit. Fuckit just a little bit, just this once. Again.” I may be paraphrasing slightly.

And mark your “Technical difficulties” square as my internet briefly went down. Like I need yet another issue.

And we’re done. I’ll review later tonight and add in all the squares I missed because of logistical issues. It really doesn’t work to tab back and forth between the video. For once in my life I want another monitor, like a gamer.

And now for a slightly different perspective on the questions:

Its stupid question time! Up first Globe n Mail and of course stupid Scheer question. Follow up so so but still hoping Trudeau plays to hedes which he doesnt. Nat Post, decent yet rambling Q on rcmp, with crap interjection in middle, but eventually finishes Q ( simply your position on rcmp info report would do) follow up on recommendations ( after review of course). cdn press, oh good grief, do your homework, believe those supply chains set up under harper shipbuilding and davie bankrupt at time, but hey good work ..lol follow up, sigh cpc huawei bs, good grief, tho brings up michaels, ps PM not gonna negotiate in media. Cdn press anglo, oh boy snowbird Q, can you comment on stupid morons please ( ignoring travel advisory posted, but please attack cdns for good headline). Ctv now, holy shit stupid framing, and the old lets ask 3 Qs rolled in one, please ignore jurisdiction and provs refusing to give ok to feds, are you afraid, cripes like the girl on school yard screaming Fight fight fight you chicken.. Radio canada cppa act, oh this seems like good q, but doesn’t seem well asked but anglo translation could be reason for that. Star – Qs about vaccines, good Q and first one on vaccines, not designed for clickbait hedes. @raincoaster card must be filled by now.

Originally tweeted by Lori King (@1loriking) on November 17, 2020.

I haven’t actually gone through the cards to see what’s been filled out and what has not been (That’s YOUR job YES YOU) but it sounds like a good project I could do while knitting or doomscrolling, so why not? I am sure we have ONE line completed, but I’d put good money down that we’ve not completed any of the cards in its entirety. I mean, we got “Blue Steel” once, but we’re never gonna get “Ascot” are we? Or “Attack and Dethrone God?” Anarchists the world over are praying for that one; but to whom? I asks yez.

I don’t know why I even try. I’m NEVER getting an rt.

And you have no answers for me. None of us have the answers.

Meanwhile, in the US:

Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 2.0

PM Zoolander rides a moose. As one does.

PM Zoolander rides a moose as one does.

If you’re new to Daily Briefing Bingo, check out Daily Briefing Bingo Edition 1.0 and get your first-edition Daily Briefing Bingo card. From this point onward, you can play either or both cards from this point onward.

The first edition card does not have any completed lines yet, but here’s hoping! Come on, Ascot! Come on, Jeans! Come on, Blue Steel! Sadly, second column is a complete skunk, with not a single box ticked at this point. Ou est le blue plaid jacket d’antan?

Here’s the Daily Briefing Bingo Card Edition 2.0. It’s a PDF, so if you’ve got the right software you download and play with it on the computer, or you can print it out and mark it up in meatspace, rollin’ old skool.

Moving forward, from this point on, our new reality is (sorrynotsorry) squares featuring appearances by a diverse cast of characters and phrases including international vaccine alliance GAVI, visible perspiration, porchscaping, “Ramping up”, “The new normal”, “Who we are”, and the highly controversial Wears brown shoes with a grey or blue suit, which is JUST MORALLY WRONG.

Remember to play safe, and maintain good social distancing and mask hygiene while playing, and to never, and I mean never, speak moistly.

 

 

Ride for Dad: but give Dan the donation money!

Dan Sparling Ride for Dad

Dan Sparling Ride for Dad

This is my almost-brother-in-law, Dan Sparling, boyfriend to The Sister for lo, these 23 years, and many thanks are due him for taking her off our hands. He’s spending his weekend doing the Ride for Dad through scenic southern Ontario, raising funds to fight prostate cancer.

We raise funds through large scale one-day motorcycle, snowmobile, watercraft and ATV ride events and through ongoing public fundraising throughout the year. TELUS Ride For Dad events take place in multiple cities across Canada, representing every Canadian province. To learn more about a ride in your city, please click here

Since 2000, the TELUS Ride For Dad has donated more than 13 million dollars to the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation, charitable number 85133 3179 RR0001, to support prostate cancer research and awareness in the communities where the funds were raised – we give where we ride! 

Dan’s already met his goal of $500, but if you’re feeling generous and like possibly saving the lives of any of the prostate-having men you know and are fond of, click through and kick him a few bucks. God knows, it’s hard work touring the scenic countryside on a motorcycle on a beautiful spring day. Eh?

So it sprinkled! They earned their money! NOW GIVE THEM SOME!

So it sprinkled! They earned their money! NOW GIVE THEM SOME!

 

Happy Birthday, Paul Rudd!

Paul Rudd covers up his Rudds

Paul Rudd covers up his Rudds

Give the man what he asks for: a cure for cancer!

“I know it’s the thought that counts, but…the money counts too!”

Normally, as you know, I am so NOT all about the self-conscious hipsters (apologies: I repeat myself) particularly those of ironic eyewear, but in this case I must give it up to Mister Paul Rudd, who suggests that on your birthday, you ask your friends to donate your age in dollars to the Cancer Society. Now, this may well bankrupt my friends, but you, according to Quantcast, are younger, and you should be doing this. I mean, if they spend that money on PBR you’re just gonna have a beer belly and a hangover to show for it the next day, right? Whereas fighting cancer provides a glow which makes one irresistable to the opposite sex (as several cancer fakers of my acquaintance know and have taken advantage of, and don’t worry, I’ve taken care of them in ways they don’t even know yet).

Am I ranting? Oh, let me rant. I beat cancer: I’m entitled to rant a bit. If you’re feeling ranty right along with me, here are some infuriating, medically-themed gossip links for you to read and ensure that your blood pressure remains elevated. If you get angry enough, it even counts as aerobic!

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Liveblogging Morphine

Cover of "Midnight Phantom"

Cover of Midnight Phantom

I wrote this when I was in the hospital with my first gallbladder attack. I was there five days, and in my memory I wrote this over the course of many, many days and recorded many, many different experiences.

I did nothing of the kind.

What I did was, write it on morphine. Holy crap, how Coleridge ever puked up Kublai Khan while on this stuff is entirely beyond me. Prolixity is not a quality it confers, lemme tell ya. But in the vague hope that you’ll find it amusing, I will copypaste it here for your enjoyment (?).

Demerol better bring its A Game

Demerol better bring its A Game

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