I, Ian Island Is

10/24/03 Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada

It’s time for Name That Pictureâ„¢!


What do you think THIS is?

The girl in the magazine shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia kept referring to Canada as “we.” I bring this up because she did it the last time we were in Halifax, about two months ago, and I think she should be made Minister of Tourism for the entire country. When I think of the Maritime Provinces, sure, I think of Peter and that creepy Anne of Green Gables chick, but this cashier represents all that is good in the world. I thought about the last time I could say “we” about the United States and not have to apologize, or make a disclaimer, or just feel a little sick inside. Sorry, right wingers, you fill me with shame.

But it’s the essence of “community” that lies in her “we,” and perhaps America just has too many people in it for that to be true as a whole. We are satisfied with our balkanized, splintered tribes of like-minded friends, artists and businessmen, but I wonder what it must be like to “we” your country like that. I’m too much of a pinko leftist froth-mouthed freak to even contemplate it.

We pulled into Cavendish (after making the 7pm ferry by seconds, thank you very much) in time for the last talk of the evening – we’re attending the Zap Your PRAM conference up here at the top of the island. Fortunately, the attendees and I don’t care what you think of the name, it’s still an amazingly cool gathering of technology-savvy thinkers that have been kind enough to import us for a showing/Q&A of “The Pink House” tomorrow night. In any other circumstance, we would never show the film like this, especially during the late trimester of its possible distribution, but we knew the crowd might enjoy the myriad techie aspects of the movie, and besides, I basically trust Peter with my first-born.

Anyway, tonight’s talk was a well laid-out metaphor of the Web versus a public library, a discourse so rife with cool emerging internet stuff that Tessa leaned over and said “I wish Steve were here.” Actually, she didn’t say it with a hyperlink like that, but wouldn’t that be cool too?

The topic devolved into the moral quagmires of Kazaa-esque file sharing, the impermanence of data (which interests me, if I want my grandkids to read these words) and then someone said that people were typing certain things into Google, and getting his blog, when they really shouldn’t be.

I have exactly the same problem. One of the top Google search terms that brings people to this blog – is “rimadyl overdose.” Rimadyl is basically doggy Advil, and is given to most dogs for hip problems, dysplasia, and lots of other painful afflictions. It comes in biscuit form, which means that dogs will find the bottle, eat the whole damn thing, and then act very strangely as their livers and kidneys begin to fail.

In desperation, their owners type “rimadyl overdose” into Google, and instead of getting Pfizer, or a vet, or a FAQ on aging dogs, they get… my story of Chopin eating 80 tablets. This ain’t right. Fortunately, I saw how many hits this was getting and inserted another blog about what to do. That can be found here, but since you’re already reading this: if it’s less than three pills, don’t sweat it. If it is any more, you need to take your dog to the animal emergency room right away so they can force him to vomit, and then treat him with fluids and “activated charcoal.” If you don’t, you risk serious kidney damage and even death.

Anyway, the idea is that the Web will have to be smarter about how it parses out information. Although I do appreciate everyone who has stuck around here because their dog couldn’t control himself. Howdy!


Another cool thing about Cavendish, Prince Edward Island is that it is not only the ancestral homeland of that little-bit-nutty, little-bit-slutty Anne of Green Gables, but that the lodging is totally sweet! Each room is marked with a letter rather than a number, and we got room I. Do you know how rare that is? Everyone in the States always skips I, afraid it will be mistaken for the number 1. Not just in room numbers, anything. There are no key chains, letter openers, backscratchers, knick-knacks, NOTHING with the letter “I” on them.

As an Ian, I always grew up with a bike license plate that said “JAN” with half the “J” erased. It looked like shit. As for all Ians, Irenes, Ivors – the Man told us to blow ourselves. “No ‘I’ keychain for you. We’re going straight from ‘H’ to ‘J’.”

Well, not anymore. I am reporting to you from Room I.


0 thoughts on “I, Ian Island Is

  1. gthacker

    Is the picture a stairwell on a ship? Or possibly a newly developed technique for teaching illiterate football players the alphabet while they run stairstep drills?

  2. certainly NOT the same guy that posted the last comment

    Ian – obviously you’ve been mislead regarding why the letter “I” is so rarely used in the grand old U S of A. The real reason it is avoided is that we Americans (not to be mistaken with Canadians) are a great collective of caring intellectuals that are constantly looking out for our fellow citizens and putting the good of society before our own petty desires.
    Canadians are willing to use “I” because they lack a quality football or basketball infrastructure and are unable to adequately instruct their children on the importance of teamwork.

  3. not Sean, but it would have been funnier if it had been

    On the rare occasions when I try to sound funny in print, I am painfully reminded that not everyone has the gift for written humor that the Williams family is blessed with. On these occasions my respect for Ian turns into a dark hatred feuled by jealousy.
    Since jealousy is generally green, I guess I’m saying that my respect turns a dark green, maybe a hunter green. Kind of an odd color for respect, but hey, whattaya gonna do.

  4. mamasmurf

    It’s the A-B-C wing of the figurative mental ward where we all need to check ourselves into every now and then. jus’ kiddin’

  5. Kelly

    This is looking down the stairwell between parking decks of the Wood Islands Ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI.
    Glad you and Tessa had a good trip to “our” Island. It is even more lovely in the summer, and in my humble opinion, the most wonderful place to live. Hope to meet you both in the future, I had to leave the Zap conference earlier Friday and missed the viewing Saturday — nothing but rave reviews from the guys on Monday at the office.


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