Justin Trudeau as Napoleon, from (where else) the National Post

The Napoleonic Covid Briefing Bingo

Hello, Possums, and welcome back to another episode of the Justin Trudeau Hour, coming to you live today from Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall, yet again. Just like old times, really. Will we have new porchscaping, Possums? An appearance from the family dog? Will we get the Sophie square? One is on tenterfuckinghooks, one is!

Today’s briefing is named after Napoleon, in accordance with our overarching nomenclature theme. Still no correct guesses in the comments section as to what that might be. But some plenty great visuals!

Justin Trudeau as Napoleon, from (where else) the National Post
Justin Trudeau as Napoleon, from (where else) the National Post

We shall see if either of my computers can make it through today’s #BriefingBingo alive. One can’t get on the internet, the other refuses to boot.

We’re running a bit behind, so today’s intro will be abbreviated in the interests of expeditiousness which, unusually for a Canadian political interest, has no money or votes at all to trade for influence, but where were we? Oh right, getting to the point.

Here’s the video:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic.

Well, that was a right Royal or at least Imperial clusterfuck, wasn’t it?

You can bet Napoleon would have had the whole CPAC team beheaded today.

So let’s for once use the CBC video and you’ll want to skip to 13:30 to avoid all the talking heads CBC has on salary and has to give airtime to. Well, for all I know they’re very good, but they’re just the warm-up for the actual bingo, right Possums?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal ministers, and public health officials update Canadians on the latest measures the federal government is taking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

And here are our bingo cards:

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#AstraZeneca: What a feeling!

Or not. Your mileage may vary.

Let us begin in the accepted narrative fashion, with a flashback. For lo, I am nothing if not acceptably narrative and fashionable.

The revolution will be fabulous

The year, it was many ago. The Place, it was Carleton, or rather a side road several miles outside of town. The occasion was an afternoon ride that my friend and I had taken, she on her rather awful hackney cross Colonel Blake (nicknamed Flakey), and me on a borrowed Quarter Horse hunter called Abby. She, my friend, turned off the road and popped over a jump, encouraging me to follow. I did, despite never having taken a jump that size. Abby had no trouble with it, having gone over that jump probably a dozen times with her owners that summer. I, also, got over the fence; the problem was that the horse and I parted company at some point, landing separately, her on four graceful hooves and me squarely on my butt, sitting straight up with perfect posture for once in my life.

My friends, this is not a good thing to do when falling from a horse.

It took me north of twenty minutes to get back on the horse, which did not surprise anyone later when I was X-rayed and discovered to have broken my back. But back on the horse I did get, because we were three miles from home and this was before cellphones, so we rode all the way back, me crumpled and resting my upper body’s full weight on the horse’s neck, much to her annoyance, but she was a Quarter horse so she just took it rather than dumping me, and we got home and me to the hospital and, after a few weeks of rest I was mostly healed up, but with some lingering nerve damage on my right leg which remains to this day from where the nerve connected with the spinal cord and got partially disconnected, and so it remains to this day. Weakness in the sensory nerves, but the muscle controlling nerves are just fine.

There’s a QAnon army metaphor to be made here, but I’m taking the high road today.

Flash forward to the 90’s, when I, like virtually everyone else in Vancouver, worked for Starbucks. An eight hour shift there will give you a great education in how to work hard (seriously, Starbucks gave me whatever work ethic I possess to this day, never had one before then), an appreciation for finely-prepared beverages, and almost certainly a collection of painful varicose veins if you stay long enough, and I stayed for seven years. The first hour after getting home from work was usually spent with my legs resting against the wall while the rest of my body formed the foot of the “L” configuration, draining my overtaxed blood vessels and trying to make the infernal pinching feeling go away. It took a good five years after leaving retail before my veins stopped bothering me on the reg.

Flash forward to four and a half years ago, when I took a tumble down a flight of stairs, landing on my head. Yet another experience I do not recommend to most people. A few, though. A few of them, they have it coming.

Once I was sufficiently recovered to hold short conversations and notice symptoms I noticed a creeping numbness in my right calf. It felt like a cross between my leg falling asleep, but only from the calf muscle on down to the ankle, and wearing an 80’s legwarmer slouched way down. Now, this was problematic enough, but over the next several weeks and months it crept upward, eventually affecting all of my right leg from the hip on down.

Saw a doctor. Doctor’s advice, as far as I can recall, was “Well, keep an eye on it and try not to fall down.” Sooper. So I kept an eye on it, tried not to fall down, and did my own research. Ended up more or less treating myself by cutting wayyyyyy back on alcohol, taking B vitamins, making sure to get enough Omega 3’s from my diet, and walking miles for exercise. The phenomenon, known in medical circles as “peripheral neuropathy,” began to recede, very slowly. First I got pins and needles in my thigh, then the feeling came back and pins and needles shifted south to my knee, then my knee was fine, and the pins and needles moved on to the calf, then the calf was fine and the ankle was tingling, and then everything seemed back to normal.

The de-tingling, de-neuropathizing, re-normalizing process took in excess of two years, by the way. It ain’t easy to normalize ol’ raincoaster. Ask anyone who’s tried it.

Which brings us to modern times…

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It was not red nose day

The Sensitive-Nose Covid Briefing Bingo

You’re right, the title seems random.

It is anything but.

For literal months now, we’ve been naming these after an arbitrarily-chosen convention that has nothing (or very little) to do with the content. It’s almost like a metaphor for politics and media in the 21st Century.

Almost.

In any case, today we have Sensitive-Nose, which is in line with our naming convention and ALSO literally relevant because after my AZ jab my sense of smell went off the charts (upwards). Which has made living with The Roommate challenging at points, but he does seem to be transitioning to a low FODMAP diet, so that’s something. Not much, but at least now I can light a candle without blowing us all to Kingdom Come.

Anyhoodle so far we have had:

Please note that arbitrary does not equal random. Hashtag LessonsInPower.

If you think you know our naming convention, put your guesses in the comments section at the bottom of the post. You remember those? Don’t put it on Facebook; I may have once said something about Trump and how firing squads are an opportunity for national healing and a great way to promote volunteerism, and they haven’t allowed me back since Halloween of last year. Some people are so touchy!

It was not red nose day
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau stands in the House of Commons during Question Period on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Monday June 17, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand via https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/06/03/Parliament-Bozo-Eruption/

Anyhoodle, here’s our video for today:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by Jim Carr, the federal government’s special representative for the Prairies, and Anita Anand, the minister of public services and procurement, as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

And here are our Bingo cards, all ten of them. Play one or play them all: new one coming soon! That’s 250 squares in play. No wonder I’m always forgetting something!

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The Gassy Covid Briefing Bingo

Well, The Roommate has returned from his brief sojourn away at his mother’s house, and suddenly, for no reason I can think of, the completely arbitrarily-chosen title of today’s covid briefing bingo simply came to me.

And if I had a dog, why would I enshrine its poo thusly?
a sentence I never thought I would have to type

Have I told you the story of the time I nearly hacked his Google Home to tweet every time he burped or farted? He averages four an hour after dinner. I had to stop using the scented candles I love, for fear of blowing the place sky-high.

So far in our united-by-one-mysterious-yet-overarching-and-completely-arbitrarily-chosen naming convention we have had:

Gassy (Today)
Wolf

Guesses in the comments section. The winner receives an all-expenses-paid and completely virtual vacation to a hidden beach resort in the South Pacific or maybe just the Equatorial Pacific if we’re pressed for time and GIPHY doesn’t have what we’re looking for, prize-wise. Plus an equally-virtual Maserati, because why the fuck not?

Our video is here:

On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He is joined virtually by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, as well as by Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, and Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer. The prime minister announces a federal investment of $12 billion for transit projects in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton.

And our bingo cards are here, including the very newish Tenth Generation Card:

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that's no mushroom

The Toadstool Covid Briefing Bingo

Good rainy morning, Possums. We are coming to you live from Ottawa, although today CPAC is apparently not covering Trudeau’s briefing so we are going with the CBC video instead, as the actual PMO team doesn’t get the video up for eight or ten hours and never includes other people’s speeches or the questions from the media. This should be jarring, and bad for my French, but here goes.

If you want to take a guess at our arbitrary nomenclature convention, we’re still going. One theme unifies all our briefing titles lately and we have had:

Guesses in the comments section to win fabulous, completely imaginary prizes. Our choice today is not completely arbitrary, however, as toadstools and politics could well be more interconnected than most people think. Forget mind control chips in vaccines and fluoride in the water supply: how about dosing the entire population with shrooms to fight fascism? Or at least the Alberta and Ontario legislatures?

Researchers found unlikely heroes in keeping the world from authoritarianism – magic mushrooms. Scientists from the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London showed that psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms, makes people less likely to embrace authoritarian views like fascism and more connected with nature.

The study, authored by Taylor Lyons and Robin L. Carhart-Harris, a leading researcher in this field, shows that psilocybin treatment can lead to lasting changes in such mindsets.

that's no mushroom
that’s no mushroom

Here’s our CBC video, and I’m wondering about the backstory here. Did he piss off CPAC? Is Their Person sick today? I see they’re covering Question Period but not this. Come, let us overthink it together! [later: CPAC did in fact cover the briefing, although they didn’t have their placeholder in place on YouTube in advance like usual, and it wasn’t there five minutes into the briefing either].

The CBC does not go in for descriptive captions, they only promote their other channels.

And our Bingo cards are here. Play one or play the whole set or play a completely random and arbitrarily chosen subset, because it’s 2021 and arbitrary absurdism is where we are at now in Canadian politics.

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