Miscellaneous improvements


The View: In the same way that I’ve previously suggested that a parallel version of Wilco could be put together using Jeff Tweedy’s discarded bandmates, there are just enough former co-hosts of The View to start their own alternative version of the daytime talk show. With a lineup consisting of Meredith Vieira, Rosie O’Donnell, Star Jones, Debbie Matenopoulos, and Lisa Ling, there’s just the right blend of professional journalism, pot-stirring loud-mouthism, and bubbleheaded idiocy to make it extremely watchable. Better yet, even as the hosts of both the regular View and the new Mirror Universe View bickered among themselves, each show could take thinly veiled shots at the other program, resulting in controversy and ratings success, much as the WWF and WCW enjoyed during the Monday night wrestling wars of a few years back.

The TTC’s Transit City plan: Sure, let’s put in light rail transit. However, a Downtown Relief Line must become a priority, or all that extra traffic dumped onto the Bloor-Danforth line is just going to mean more congestion at Bloor/Yonge station. Union station doesn’t need more traffic running through it, so make the DRL a subway line running in the Queen/King corridor. But, unlike previous DRL plans, don’t connect it to the Bloor/Danforth line at Pape. Make it a real Queen subway and connect it to the Bloor/Danforth line at Main station, where there’s also a GO connection. The Pape LRT can just extend south to the Queen line. In the west, connect it to the Bloor/Danforth line at Dundas West station (where there’s also a GO connection), as in previous plans. however, to avoid unnecessary transfers, run the Jane LRT eastward past the Junction via the rail corridor to also connect at Dundas West.

Credit cards: A fast-talking representative from my credit card company phoned to give me a hard-sell about how I need to protect myself from the fast-growing industry of identity theft with Credit Alert, now available for only $14.99 a month. I declined, telling the rep that if I were in the financial position to just hand over an extra 15 bucks a month, then I might have an identity worth stealing, but I’m not, so I don’t. My girlfriend was actually ticked off about this, and said I should have told her that if my identity was so unsafe with them, maybe I should just go with a different credit card company. And you know what? She’s right. If Credit Alert is so necessary, maybe they should add it as a basic feature of my credit card instead of trying to scare me into giving them an extra $180 a year. It’s not like it wouldn’t be worth their while, since if my credit does get stolen, it’s their insurance that’s going to cover the fraudulent charges.

The long jump: Olympic long jumpers try not to fall backward after landing because the distance jumped is measured to the nearest mark in the sand to the foul line, whether that mark is made by the heels or not. Fair enough. But it doesn’t really approximate the real-life conditions a warrior might face, say, if he’s trying to jump over a chasm, where falling backward may mean plummeting to his death. The long jump should have more of a pass/fail system like the high jump: You select the mark you think you can beat, then go for it. But in this case, instead of either clearing a bar or knocking it off its posts, you’d either land safely on a padded, retractable pit cover in the distance or fall backward into the uncovered span of pit. The pit itself should be filled with water to prevent injury, but the waterline should be far enough below the edge to allow a jumper to barely fall short of his mark but manage to catch the edge by his fingertips and scramble up to safety.

Having a case of the Mondays: My brother-in-law’s Facebook status recently read “David is mad the weekend is over.” He’s totally got the right attitude. Others might say they were sad that the weekend was over. But not Dave — he’s mad! How dare the weekend be over? Get your ass back here this instant, weekend! If more people showed this kind of passion instead of mere passive resignation, I think we could finally usher in the four-day workweek and stretch weekends a little longer.

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