Beware the Ides of March

Trenchcoat Doctor

Somebody suggested to me that March was naturally a busy month, especially for university towns such as Kitchener-Waterloo. March is the month between February and April — between the icy grip of winter, and the fearsome toil of exams. It is a first gasp of spring and Ontarians, knowing spring in this region to be fickle, tend to make the most of it. Lots of university events happen in March, and a lot of projects have to rise for March. Remember, the end of the fiscal year (April 30) is just around the corner.

Whatever the case, Erin and I are finding ourselves busier than we’ve been in quite a while. I’ve already mentioned the website work I’m doing for the Social Planning Council, but I’m also getting together websites for author J.S. Porter and painter (and sister-in-law) Wendy Ewell. I’m finding it a struggle to keep the house clean.

Still, progress is being made on all fronts. I’m pleased to report that I received the last batch of artwork for the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project:. My friend, Martin Proctor, came through with the last illustrations that allowed me to lay out the last story. After four years since I started this :doctor who: fan fiction project, I’m finally able to make concrete plans about getting a printer and a bookbinder, and distributing the copies many patient people have preordered. Let me tell you that this is a relief.

The Trenchcoat/Ninth Aspect fanzine series has been a big part of my life. I probably wrote or edited upwards of a million words on that thing, and it certainly had a part to play in developing my writing style and my decision to actually try to write for a living. Also, through it I met a lot of important people: Martin, Dan, especially Erin. Thus I am pleased that the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: will allow me to celebrate that.

At the same time, it’s been four years since I’ve started this project and it has, in its way, shown me that time starts to slip past you unnoticed as you get older. A day goes by that’s chock full of work, household chores, fun stuff, other stuff, and then two weeks later you suddenly realize that it’s been two weeks, and wasn’t I supposed to get this done two years ago? In this respect, it’s become a chore, and fan fiction is never meant to be that.

Fortunately, there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment one feels when one brings such a big project through to completion. Though I shouldn’t say that, as I still haven’t finished putting the issue together, and I still have to take it to the printers.

You Can Dine, If You Can Rhyme

It started with Harveys.

A couple of years ago, they distributed coupons to mailboxes throughout the neighbourhood offering a good deal: two hamburgers, two orders of fries and two drinks, all for one low price. To market this special deal, they coined a catchy phrase: “Two Can Dine for $7.49”. It had a secret weapon: it rhymed, you see. Now, every time you walk past a Harvey’s, you can’t help but hum the phrase to yourself: “Two Can Dine for $7.49! Two Can Dine for $7.49!” Just try to walk past a Harvey’s without doing that, I dare you!

Well, the forces of McDonald’s couldn’t let that aggression stand. Recently, they distributed their own set of coupons, with the same deal (two sandwiches, two fries, two drinks) and a similar low price. But they couldn’t do $7.49 — oh, no. That phrase was probably copyrighted. So, what else rhymed? What else could they jingle in our heads? I don’t know how long the braintrust of McDonald’s marketing met on this one, but they came up with a winner:

“Two can eat great for $7.48!”

Take that, Harveys!

I now await the other fast food chains to join this rhyming price war. I expect Wendy’s to come forward with “Reach burger heaven for $7.47!”, Burger King to come up with “Try our fish sticks for $7.46!” and possibly KFC getting into the act with “Fry our birds alive for $7.45!” — okay, maybe not.

Where will it all end?

Commentary Problems

Some of you may be having difficulty commenting on this web page. You may, for instance, be getting a 500 Internal Server Error after you hit “POST”. What you should know is that your comment has been registered. Hit the BACK button and hit “REFRESH” and you’ll see it.

This annoying (but not fatal) problem is on 1and1’s side, and it may be related to a throttle they’re putting on web resources. My blog is pretty big (almost 750 posts) and might be rather hefty to manage, and this error may be the result of that.

I’m going to see what I can do about this. If anybody has any suggestions on how I can streamline my blog, I’d appreciate hearing them. Until then, please keep posting; you are getting through.

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