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Today was the 25th anniversary of Montreal's infamous ice storm. That's when millions of people lost power as the ice toppled the transformers in rural areas as well as urban areas. Some people didn't have power for a month.

Yesterday believe it or not, there was another ice storm. Clearly not as bad as 1995, but enough to knock out power to a lot of people again.

It appears, as we have written here, that Hydro is not updating their equipment. What they are doing with the gzillions of dollars they get is anyone's guess. Chasing after Giuseppe's Italian restaurant because the words Fettucini Alfredo are not in French? Incompetent, make-work projects for Quebec's biggest employer - the government.

The other insane thing that happened yesterday was that instead of salting and plowing sidewalks downtown, Madame Plante and her band of save-the-trees-turtles-and-whales group plowed and salted the bike lanes. They were bone dry.

Seriously Blanche, maybe there are two people on bikes during an ice storm? And that's a lot. What are Madame Plante and her gnat-brained minions trying to prove? That they hate cars and don't give a rats if people fall on icy sidewalks? Because that's what this looks like.

Do they not know that emergency rooms are overflowing? Are they so out of touch with reality that they think unless you ride a bike with your grandmother on the back holding on for dear life you are contributing to the end of the world?

Someone should take Madame Plante on a tour of her city, the one she purports to govern.

What the heck is going on in the United States? There have been ten votes and still no speaker of the House. We found a website that actually unpacked this in a way we could understand it. Here ya go:

Without a speaker, the House cannot get anything done. Members cannot be sworn in, committees cannot be assigned and legislation cannot be vote.

Plus the speaker is second in line from the presidency. This means he takes over if the president and vice president cannot perform their jobs. Kevin McCarthy, the Californian designated by the vast majority of his party’s 223 members as the speaker-designate, has moved into the speaker’s office but he has no power.

How do they choose a speaker? A speaker must be voted on by a majority of the 435 members on their first day of session. This means that a speaker must get 218 votes to win. If no candidate reaches that threshold, lawmakers continue voting until someone does. The record for most votes was set back in 1856, when it took 133 ballots and two months. The last time a speaker was not chosen on the first time was exactly 100 years ago, in 1923.

Why are 20 Republicans not voting for one of their own? A stubborn minority of 20 Republicans is vowing never to elect McCarthy.

With only a five-member majority, this means McCarthy must flip 15 of them or make way for someone else. But there are so many “Never Kevins” that it appears difficult to do that.

Who are the alternatives? Some suggest Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican as a possible alternative. He is closer to the conservative wing than McCarthy and may swing some of their votes. But he won't put his name forward until McCarthy gives him the green light.

Last night, McCarthy has offered a new slate of concessions to a group of Republican representatives who voted against him for speaker. They didn't bite and they are now on their 10th vote, with no end in sight. We are watching both democracy and insanity at the same time.

Parts of Harry's book Spare have started to leak out and it's way, way worse than we imagined. It also shows that he's way, way more damaged than we ever imagined.

In one extract from the book, Harry refers to William as his "beloved brother and arch-nemesis".

When questioned about the quote the Duke responded: "There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into or always played by the 'heir/spare'." Buddy - you were born second - it's nothing anyone could change. If you are still harping on that, you have a monumental psychological issue.

In a very telling part of the book, Harry shared that for years he thought his mother was in hiding following her tragic death. It seems his brother William felt the same way but clearly it affected Harry much more deeply.

Reconciliation could one day take place, but it is obvious that Harry is in desperate need of serious therapy and it is not going to come from his wife Meghan who seems to be egging him on. This is one of the saddest, most pathetic stories.

Before this website, we used to post Blanche via wordpress. It was a costly way to get our blog out but we had no choice. Mercifully, with our site we have eliminated that expense.

It has taken us a long time to extricate ourselves from wordpress. We are pretty sure most people trying to stop payment on something that is taken monthly from your credit card has had the same issue.

We are almost gone from them except for the double charge this month. We reached out to their chat line and were relatively successful. As this is a continuing issue, we are receiving emails from them. And here's when we realized how insane the world really is.

The person signs their email like this: Tamsin (she/her), Happiness Engineer.

We have a relatively normal vocabulary and are guessing that Tasmin is a woman. We cannot figure out however, why the she/her after her name?

And what is a happiness engineer? Here ya go: Happiness Engineers love helping people use Automattic's products like wordpress.

Clearly the definition was not written by someone whose first language is English as the word automatic is misspelled. Nothing else to say here. This piece speaks for itself.

Good Shabbos

We'll talk...

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