"Look at the size of that thing."
-- Wedge Antilles

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here

Well, the writing’s been on the wall for a while, but I think it’s time to finally call it: this blog is now dead.  I’m about to export the content to a static archive (so we can peruse our brilliant words in perpetuity), but from now on, you won’t be able to comment, and I’m guessing the search won’t work either.

This was a lot of fun to play with, and I hope others had fun here as well.  See you on the interwebs!  While you’re out there, check out my Tumblr: http://autotrophs-began-to-drool.tumblr.com


We all know that Han shot first

If you haven’t already seen this on the interweebs, check out the Geek and Gamer Girls video, an excellent parody of the extremely ridiculous California Gurls by Katy Perry. There are many references to our favourite elements of geek-dom, and the one in the Lara Croft outfit is Seth Green‘s wife.


Leaving New York never easy

On our last day of sightseeing yesterday, we did a quick stop by Carnegie Hall, followed by visits to the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum. Pictures are below:

Afterwards, we headed back to our apartment to drop off the souvenirs we’d gathered, and then finally had dinner at the Feast of San Gennaro, which has been running outside our windows all week.

We’re packing up this morning to head back to the Great White North (which is apparently going to be the Great Rainy North this evening). It’s been an unbelievable week here in New York…I’m sad to go, but at the same time I’m glad that I’ll get a chance to rest… :-)


You say tomato…

I’m sure you’ve all heard that Stephen Colbert testified before Congress regarding migrant workers, but if you haven’t seen the clip – well you should! :) http://www.colbertrally.com/


I want to be a part of it

Yesterday was our day to start seeing some of the big museums. We spent a couple of hours at the Met (and could have spent a couple of days), and then headed over to the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA). On the way to MOMA, we had a bit of a treat…the streets were all blocked up for President Obama’s motorcade (I assume heading out from the UN).

Pictures of the museums and the motorcade, followed by some quick visits to the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal are below:

Afterwards, we headed off to see an Off-Broadway production of Avenue Q. I always pictured “Off-Broadway” as being somewhat at a distance from Broadway…but we were only a block away from the Gershwin Theatre that we had been at the night before (which is considered a Broadway theatre). The difference actually seems to be the size of the theatres and the cost of the productions.

Anyway, one more day of sightseeing…this week has been a blur and a blast, but I am one tired tourist! :-)


Concrete jungle where dreams are made of

We made it a bit of a slower day yesterday, mainly because our legs were so sore…oh yeah, and because we had tickets for a Broadway show in the evening!

We started off the day at the New York City Police Museum, learning about the history of the NYPD and in particular about all the changes that have been made since 9/11. Next, we went to the Seaport Museum, which is actually a 12-block area around Piers 16 & 17 (between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges). Pictures below are from these stops:

From there, we headed back towards our apartment, with a few stops on Canal St. for some shopping…but really this is where Kamelot would have been in heaven. For me, it was just an opportunity to pick up a few souvenirs for the folks back home.

After a short stop to rest up and change for the evening, we headed out for our dinner reservations…and managed to head the wrong direction on the subway (for the record, our first subway mishap of the week). This resulted in taking the N train across the Manhattan Bridge, with a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge, so we weren’t all that upset about it. We were a little late for our reservation, but they still had our table for us, so it all worked out. We had a fantastic meal at Plataforma Churrascaria, a Brazilian barbeque near Broadway.

We ended the evening seeing Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, which was quite spectacular. I’ve seen it at the NAC in Ottawa, but somehow the Broadway version was just a little bigger… :-)


Right through the very heart of it

On Tuesday, we started off by going back to Rockefeller Center and taking the NBC studio tour. I don’t have any pictures of that, as we’re not allowed to take pictures on the tour. It was interesting to see the studios (the Saturday Night Live studio is tiny!), but if you’ve watched Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or even 30 Rock, there wasn’t much new information about how television is made.

We then went to the Top of the Rock (the observation level of Rockefeller Center), followed by more bus tours. Those I have pictures of:

We ended the day with a visit to the World Trade Center site, but I don’t have any pictures of that…there really isn’t anything to see yet. The whole area is fenced off while they build the WTC Memorial Park. There’s a little preview site, where they have videos running talking about 9/11, and it really brings back all the emotions of that day. Standing there, you get the smallest sense of how this horrible thing we all saw happen on TV affected the people who live and work here.

After that, we made our way back to our neighbourhood and found a nice little Vietnamese restaurant with fantastic food…a great way to end the day!


First we take Manhattan

OK, 12-hour stretches of wandering around New York are definitely taking their toll on my feet…we might need to slow things down a bit if I’m going to last all week… :-)

Yesterday, we took a boat over to Ellis Island and had a look around. It was amazing to think of the 12 million people who came through that facility in the years that it was actively used as an immigration processing center. After that, we took another bus tour. Looks like we won’t be able to see the United Nations building on this trip…the security is pretty high for the UN General Assembly, so all tours are cancelled. Also, there are protestors galore out there, so I’m not too keen on getting anywhere close to that mess.

Here are some pictures of Ellis Island, various sights from the bus tour, and then Central Park:

Afterwards, we made our way to the Empire State Building, making sure to get to the top after dark to get some spectacular views of the city:


These vagabond shoes

Well, the first real day of the vacation (i.e. the one not spent getting here) was a lot of fun. We did three major things yesterday, shown in the three galleries below.

First off, we took a brunch cruise around Manhattan, also running by Ellis and Liberty Islands.

Next, we stopped by the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Finally, we took a bus tour through parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn (one of three tours we’re planning). It got dark during this tour, so not quite as many pictures.

Today, we’ve got more bus tours planned, and we’re probably going to try and get up the Empire State Building tonight. So I should have more cool pictures tomorrow! :-)


No place that I’d rather be

So I’m in Manhattan this morning. My mother and I have been talking about coming to New York for a proper sightseeing visit for a while, and we decided this year to go for it. We’ve been to New York a couple of times before, but they were very impromptu visits of only a day or two. This time, we’re staying for a whole week to get a proper feel for the Big Apple.

We drove down from the Great White North yesterday (which is actually starting to become a little multi-coloured, with the leaves beginning their fall display). It was a bit of a long drive, but we got through it fine. Going across the border, I experienced my most thorough examination yet, although it still only entailed a few minutes of questions (I’ve never had the full-bore experience of a border inquisition, for which I may thank some sort of deity). The US border guy asked many questions, often repeating the same questions in different forms to see if he could trip us up in a lie. One sticking point was that I was born in Philadelphia, which made him assume I was a US citizen living in Canada. I had to explain that I only spent my first three weeks of life in the good ‘ole US of A before I made the informed decision of leaving for colder pastures… :-)

Crossing into Manhattan was a bit of an ordeal…the path given to us by the all-powerful Google Maps was to go through the Holland Tunnel, and the line-up to get in was something to see. Of course, we were arriving at around 9:30 on a Saturday night, which I’m told is a popular time to be trying to get into Manhattan…at any rate, we eventually made it, but not after I was cursing many people who were using various tactics to skip ahead in line. Curiously, the Holland Tunnel only has two lanes, but there were fully nine lanes of cars leading up to the entrance…it’s almost like they wanted to design in some guaranteed traffic jams.

Rather than booking a hotel in Manhattan for the week, we’ve rented a two-bedroom apartment…it ends up being cheaper than trying to find a couple of hotel rooms (much cheaper, actually), and we have the benefit of a full kitchen while we’re here. Of course, what we didn’t know about is that the Mulberry Street apartment we’ve rented in Little Italy is right over what is now the Feast of San Gennaro, which will be going on during our entire trip. The feast itself is something to see, but it’s also quite crowded and noisy when you’re trying to get home (there are flashing neon lights literally right outside our bedroom windows). Parking during the Feast is also somewhat challenging, but we’ve found a lot and we’re probably just going to leave the car there for the week. They close down the hullabaloo by about 1am, so it’s not the end of the world, but it’s definitely going to add a twist to our comings and goings this week.

To start off the week, I’ve taken a few pictures of our apartment…I’m sure there’ll be many more pics to come! :-)


If I go to hell then I hope I burn well

I woke up this morning trying to figure out if I was having a stroke, but it turned out that I was just smelling smoke from Quebecois forest fires.

In addition to hindering respiration throughout Quebec and Eastern Ontario, the visual effects of the forest fires are a threat to Superman’s powers.


Am I everything you need?

Yup, I’m back. My latest hiatus from blogging has been the longest yet, I think, and it’s been long enough that I even have to do some work to upgrade the blog software and add-ons as well.

Not much is all that new in my life…I’m once again working a little too much, but I’ve moved from the Evil Corporation to the Slightly-Less-Evil Corporation that bought the division I work for. The work to integrate into the new company is what’s got me putting in the extra hours again (sigh).

I’m still sailing…the boat went into the water last month, but it took until a few days ago to get the mast raised so that BogMan and I could actually get out on the river. We actually went for a swim while out last weekend, making it the earliest time of year that I’ve ever been in the Ottawa River. It wasn’t exactly polar bearing, but let’s just say it was cold enough to cause some serious shrinkage.

The biggest change since the last time I blogged is the introduction of a new hobby: Golf! Yes, that sport that I’ve spent many years deriding is now a favourite pastime…let the mockery ensue. Happy Phantom and Kamelot dragged me out last June, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. So I picked up some second-hand clubs and I’ve been slowly learning how to play. I’m definitely not what anyone would call “good”, but I can see some gradual improvement since last year, and that’s enough for now.

At some point, I’d like to talk a little about the Lost finale, but I’m going to let my thoughts on it percolate a little first. I’ve really enjoyed Lost, but the finale wasn’t quite what I was expecting or hoping for. I’m not willing to go so far as to say I didn’t like it, but it definitely left a few things hanging…however, since I’m pretty sure that was a conscious choice on the part of the writers, I’d like to think on it a bit before passing judgement… :-)

Anyway, that’s all I have to say today…I’m back, and hopefully I’ll stick around for a while this time!


You and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals

You know how cats and dogs hide when there are thunderstorms? Well last night one particular lightning strike actually shook our house for a few seconds… I must admit I felt like hiding under the furniture :) This morning we heard the news that the lightning had hit a house VERY near ours and actually knocked the chimney off the roof! So maybe the animals know better than us after all… ;


Extreme sheep herding.

You’ve got to watch this.


My life, or something like it….

This reminds me of how the cats react on those days when I fall down the stairs… (yes, it’s happened more than once!)



When it gets too much

I was just reading about Ontario’s upcoming Harmonized Sales Tax. I’m not an economist, but I think it’s a little silly to raise taxes in a time of economic upheaval.

However, what caught my eye was one of the user comments on the article…everyone commenting on the article was of course panning the new tax, but I was very impressed with the unintelligible nature of this one comment, and couldn’t help but bring it here for everyone to enjoy:

We don’t need our taxes going up or anything else i can’t afford any more how the heck to the exspect us to feed our self now i won’t be able to as much as it’s going to taxes of everything this is outragous and if they think that we are going to put up with this think again it’ maybe it’s time they decrease their pay of our tax money they get their making us poor and poorer every year it’s our government fault their no more jobs for everyone so now their trying to bleed us dry again time to change our vote and get someone in their who’s for us and who’s not going to raise any more taxes we want tax cuts i can’t afford to pay hydro as it is or innurance on my car or take a bus or gas in the car to go get grociers and is our goverment going to help not likely are they going to pick us up no their going ride in their fancy car with our tax dollars and their fancy houses with our tax dollars and getting paid way too much for doing nothing for us but putting us is the poor house time to take a stand weather you vote or not time to stand up and say enough is enough do away with all this taxes it’s bad enough we got carbon tax which we don’t need to pay get real i pay more in taxes than buying food can’t afford to pay hydro or own vehicle their ripping us of on taxes they don’t give us rise in anything it’s all talk what about tax break what about raising minumin wage to 10.00 and cooks to 18.00 ahour and with benifet also social assistance should go up instead of going for drug needle to give to the druggies on the streets i’m not paying for their habits forget it our goverment corupted in every way, cruel and heartless and a disgrace to our country i’m sure glad their not in my family or relative i’m already imbarressed enough to admit i voted for these crooks sickining

There’s plenty in that comment to argue over, but I think it takes a special kind of skill to write a run-on sentence that long… :-)



"When it gets too much" is from Bryan Adams' Run to You, which I chose because of the impressively long run-on sentence that is the subject of the post.

So say we all!

iamadama.jpg My thoughts on the BSG finale are still percolating, but I’m planning on posting a review (with spoiler warnings, don’t worry!) later this week. In the meantime, though, have a look at a fun survey: Which Battlestar Galactica character are you?

Apparently, I share traits with a certain gravelly-voiced Admiral, as you can see at the right. Although I really don’t drink as much as he does… :-)



"So say we all" (the Galactica version of "Amen") was used in a very disturbing way in a recent Least I Could Do comic.

What, no comments??

Hard to believe there is NOTHING posted here about the current political craziness in Ottawa. Don’t you people have opinions? :) Personally, I feel pretty strongly that the GG made a mistake today in allowing parliament to be prorogued. I am a fan of hers, and of her office, unlike my hubby who thinks the post of GG is archaic and should be eliminated. I think she just made his argument a little stronger. I feel that Harper should have faced the confidence motion and faced the music in terms of his failed economic strategy and bully tactics. Not that I am saying that I think Stephane Dion is so wonderful… I have respect for the man and for his thinking, but his image as a PM is not all that impressive. However, if I have to choose between someone who consistently fails to listen to the majority opinion in the house (when he doesn’t hold a majority himself) and then accuses those who try to bring him down of being unpatriotic and undemocratic – but speaks English well and handles himself like a leader; and a bumbler who has poor language skills, comes across as bookish, but is definitely speaking the language of the majority in terms of policy, I know who I pick. Those icy blue eyes and that lovable pot-belly will only get you so far, Mr. Harper.


Hi again!

Hey all, I’ve been so lost in dissertation-writing world that I have forgotten to check this site for awhile. Hello ;)

Here’s my rant of the day. What a brilliant stroke of marketing genius the grocery stores have invented. So first you sell re-usable bags with cool logos on them; and because they are ‘green’, everyone goes out and buys 6. They start using them religiously, and stop using the bags you have provided for free, so your costs go down. Then when the customers run out of stockpiled bags, they have to buy kitchen catchers – which, incidentally, you SELL in your store! ;) How incredibly smart and evil….

Which brings me to my question: Does anyone know where I can buy biodegradable plastic bags?


…yes, the goons have gone global / and the CEOs are shredding files / and the democrans and the republicrats / are flashing their toothy smiles…

Slick, from SinFestSinFest Logo'Nique, from SinFest

Presenting my latest favorite Web Comic, SinFest, which is currently on a streak about the U.S. financial woes:

F-ing Libertyà la Guerre des Étoiles.

And not too shy to take on the abortion debate.

p.s. Nearly 3000 strips on archive, giving this site one excellent procrastinatory rating!


Interesting idea…

So here’s an interesting article:


There’s a facebook site set up for people who are struggling with wanting to vote their ideals, yet worrying about splitting the liberal/left vote and thus allowing the conservatives to get a majority. It lets you trade your votes with people in other ridings. E.g. If I live in a riding where the conservatives and liberals are close, but I want to vote green, I trade my vote with someone in a liberal stronghold who would normally vote liberal, they’ll vote green on my behalf, and I’ll vote liberal for them. An interesting attempt to unite the left….


Maybe we should all use tin cans and string?

First post to this blog in a long time, and you’d think the first thing I would have to say woudl be related to the upcoming election. But no! I’m I’m pointing fingers at Canada’s telecom industry yet again!! :D

CBC.ca has a special report on the issue entitle Disconnected. Haven’t read it yet, but hope to soon. I’m sure I’ll sympathize with a lot of it.

Further to a pre-movie conversation with the Bird Lady and the Friendly Redhead (we really need to get her on here, by the way…), the Green Party is now invited to debate. Although having read the news reports, I understand a little better now why there was an objection in the first place. Even if the Greens can be considered to be the same viewpoint as the Liberals (although I don’t think that assessment is entirely fair), I still think our PM was being a spoiled brat by saying he’d skip the debate if the Greens were invited. Glad to see he’s put on his big boy pants and reversed that decision.


Move over Bananaphone

Yesterday, the Globe and Mail published an article describing how Canadians are far behind most of the world in cell phone usage. Reasons for this include relatively good quality and reasonably cheap service on land lines and that “Canadian’s frugality might stem from the phone operators’ habit of locking consumers into three-year plans in return for heavily subsidizing their handsets”. I almost laughed out loud over that one. OF COURSE that’s the reason – in fact, it’s the main issue Birdlady and I had with getting one when we were discussing our respective mobile acquisitions. Another factor of course is all the extra charges that get piled onto that low monthly rate. What annoyed me the most is that I could get exactly what I wanted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but had to suck it up and just accept that fact that I was going to get hosed up here.

With luck, this may all be about to change thanks to yesterday’s wireless licence sale. Although the current big mobile companies don’t think much will change, hopefully the new entrants on the scene will start providing more attractive services and less confusing billing.


I guarantee a great big smile

Woo-hoo! Joss Whedon has a new project in the works! Apparently during the writer’s strike earlier this year, Joss decided to put something together to demonstrate to the very dollars-driven Hollywood that show business is supposed to be about fun…and thus Dr. Horrible was born…

Check out the teaser at the main Dr. Horrible site, and then check out the message from Joss about how and why the project came to be…


A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou, setting vehicles afire…

Wine makers running amok!


Pluck away

Well, the Bananaphone reminds me of a clip from a TV show that someone showed me several years ago. I seem to recall I was at the home of soon-to-be-married Footguard and his recenly married roomate TC (at least, I think that’s where I was? What can I say, there was beer involved…) and this British chick was trying to convince us all that a certain English children’s TV show had scarred her for life. The following clip demonstrates how humour injected into a children’s TV show for the benefit of the adult audience can be taken much, much too far… LMFAO!!


I’ve got this feeling, so appealing

Anyone who’s experienced an SMP-inspired music-fest chez Grabber and Righteous Guy will appreciate this little ditty:-)


Goin’ to the chapel

Well, since the UK had to add “Jedi” as a religion to choose from in their national census, it is only appropriate that someone actually found a Jedi church. Click here for an update on the goings on at the Jedi Church, Anglesey order…


Cats for engineers

I just got this great YouTube link from a friend, and thought all the cat-lovers out there in Idiot-land would enjoy it :) I particularly like the yodeling and am planning to try it tonight!


Dig if u will the picture

While upgrading the blog software, I also decided to install a very cool photo gallery plugin. You can see it in action on the Sailing Photos page (linked above, under the site name). I haven’t quite gotten as far as adding comments on all of the galleries or photos yet, but it’s a start.

This also means that my fellow bloggers will need to learn a new way of uploading photos for their posts — I’ll send an e-mail around with some instructions as soon as I work out the steps myself… :-)


Different types who wear a day

I finally bit the bullet and did another long-overdue upgrade of the blog software. This time, I decided the site needed a bit of a facelift as well, so enjoy the new colours! :-)


Funny commercials

Check these out – my hubby, commonly known as Evil Genius (so dubbed by Kaveman at our wedding for his nice-guy image (?)… I really should get him on here so he can take issue with my wry humour!), sent them to me. Your healthcare dollars at work ;)


It doesn’t show signs of stopping

Well, the massive snow dump has come and gone. Most of the city is actively trying to dig themselves out…I got out reasonably early this morning to shovel out the driveway, only to discover that the plows are apparently too busy on the major roads to get to my smaller road yet. And despite having some very good snow tires, the femtovan is not quite capable of making it through the foot or so of snow that’s sitting on the main road. I don’t know what the official measurement is yet, but I’m pretty sure this was the biggest dumping we’ve had so far this winter…

I read somewhere that in the northern Ottawa Valley, OPP are having to resort to snowmobiles to get anywhere, which I think is pretty cool. Imagine having to use snowmobiles as part of your job! :-) Personally, I’m hoping that we get another couple of big storms this month, so that we can break the snowfall record…apparently the snowiest winter on record for Ottawa is 444.1 cm back in the winter of 1970-1. With the big dump of the last couple of days, I think we’re within about half a meter of setting a new record. If we’re going to have this much snow, we might as well get some bragging rights out of it! :-)

I’ve attached some pics of my street to this post, just for posterity’s sake. I’m sure anyone in Ottawa will be able to show a similar story — snowbanks towering over both people and cars, and pathways completely blocked by snow piled too high to navigate. I never saw the point of owning snowshoes in an urban setting before (other than for the exercise, if you’re into that), but this winter’s got me seriously thinking about it. Maybe then I could actually get into my garage… :-)


Death Star Canteen

Your video reminded me that I’ve been wanting to share this video for a while:


He also riffs on James Bond:



Your tax dollars at work

Yes, this is for real.



I gotta have Faith…

Check this out:


Joss + tv series = quippy wonderfulness!! Of course it may get canned before it even has a chance, but I live in hope :) .


Electoral reform in Ontario

…has me really confused. Oh, I understand how the proposed mixed member proportional system works; what I am confused about is how this is an improvement. OK, I know, I should read the report; and perhaps I’ll find the time to do just that before the referendum. However, I’m pretty sure there is a downside to the proposed MMP, and I’m really not sure what it is.

It also seems to me that MMP still retains the flaws of first-past-the-post, and then essentially give you the right to vote for a party. Given that I usually vote by candiate, not by party, I’m not entirely comfortable with this. I’d rather have a system where I get to rank the candidates; Candicate C is my first choice, candidate A is my second choice, and candidate B is my over-my-cold-dead-body choice. I remember this was one of the ideas that was bandied about when this debate started, but it appears to have fallen by the wayside. I can see that MMP might be a way to get more representation for smaller parties such as the Greens, but I think there are other ways to accomplish this.

Anyway, before I start distracting myself too much from my thesis by reading reports and platforms, does anyone else have any opinions on this?


I’m an Auntie!!

Check out my new nephew, Joshua Alexander, born August 20th (ok I’m a little slow, it’s been a rough month…) He’s all arms and legs, not unlike my brother!


Speaking of water…

Ok, things like this make me believe that there’s hope for the future yet…


Of course it will now make sea water a commodity which will lead to a whole new set of problems… sigh. Ok, I think my moment of hope has passed :) .


Oh, the water…

Coming back to previous discussion topics, here’s a piece on feasability and dangers of water exports.


…though it doesn’t take an all-knowing deity to figure out that still you wouldn’t want to sleep with me

Awsome song/poetry to share from the Morris Quinlan Experience. (Click on the “NoExperienceNecessa…” link in the player on their MySpace page.)


Wouldn’t it be sweet

Limbo & I were discussing something I had heard about artificial sweeteners and how they are linked with weight gain while I was visiting her last weekend. I wasn’t sure of the mechanism, but the following Globe & Mail article does a pretty decent job of explaining the connection. Turns out the digestive tract has taste buds too, and when they detect sweetness, the body responds by releasing hormones to increase the body’s absorption of glucose. “That means that even though a diet soft drink is sugar-free, the artificial sweetener leads to a greater uptake of sugars from other foods that might be in your belly at the same time”. Now if I recall my biochemistry correctly, all foods when digested break down into some proportion of glucose, even meat. Am I remembering correctly?


Closer to the heart

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

If any of you are still out there…

Recently, the state of Virginia had to pull it’s tourism add campaign, because it turned out that making the shape of a heart with two hands (connecting thumbs and fingertips) is a gang symbol. I’m not sure which is stranger; the fact that the ad campaign designers didn’t do enough research, or why a gang would feel the need to use a heart shaped hand sign?

In other news, some interesting advice on how to “hack” Starbucks by creating cheaper versions of your favourite drink. A friend of mine used to make herself a cheap ice-cap (or latte or frap or whatever the kids are calling it these days) by ordering an espresso in a large glass on ice, then filling up with cream.

Oh, and for those of you following the intense cell phone debate… yup, I got one from President’s Choice. Just don’t expect it to be on much! :D


Whistling in the dark

Somewhere buried in an entertainment gossip column is the news that a new X-files movie is the making, and I’m finding that my feelings are quite mixed. Once upon a time, X-files was my favourite show, and I wasn’t alone. During my undergrad, the bars would be empty on the night it was shown (at the time I believe it was Thrusday nights?) and would have a sizable influx of people about a half hour after the show was finished. However, it eventually declined into the realm of serious loopiness, and by the time the 2 hour finale come along I could barely watch. In fact, I skipped the last 10 minutes, so I honestly can’t say I know how it ended! Fun blast from the past or pathetic recycling? I suppose we’ll just have to wait & see.


Bathroom paint

new bathroomHey everyone, while we were staying at my sister-in-law’s mansion two weeks ago, we figured it was a good time to paint the bathroom. After a dismal attempt with a paler green than the Kermit I had already painted it when we moved in, Bird Lady was kind enough to give me some remote colour advice and voila, we are finished! What do you think?


Great quotes for the wall

When I was in Michigan, my two close friends were working on a ‘quotes’ wall, and I have a small collection of my own that I haven’t added to much in recent years. However, I found a great Douglas Adams quote today that you all might like, and that is very relevant to my dissertation research. This is by Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and notorious for not making deadlines (the story goes that his editor locked himself in a hotel room with Adams to complete book three of the ‘trilogy in five parts’). And the quote is: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”


Violent vids and… Toyota?

Apperently, Toyota is now using a violent video game to promote its cars. Right or wrong, I can’t help but agree with the reviewer, that as a piece of advertising, it might just miss the mark… (BTW, I haven’t actually checked the game itself out, as I am at work, but there is a link to it in the article.)


So meet me at the mission at midnight

This might have been a much more interesting story if it didn’t come down to some idiot not being able to read the directions on his prescription.

However, I’m very entertained with the article both leading and ending with the Star Trek reference, even though they clearly have to (and do) acknowledge that there’s actually no real connection, other than the green colour of the blood. Although I suppose I should be impressed that the journalist took the time to find out why Vulcan blood is green… :-)


Call me baby anytime

Well, trying to meet up with folks at Bluesfest has really got me thinking it is time for me to get a cell phone. I’ve complained for years that I haven’t gotten one because I’m annoyed with the packages / don’t want to sign a contract / they aren’t up front about long distance charges. However, now that almost everyone else has a cell phone, no one wants to make a plan, they just want to play things by ear & call when they arrive. So now I am forced to go with the social flow and *groan* look into buying a cell phone.

I had a cell phone when I was in the Caribbean, and it worked very well for m; Cheap phone, prepaid service that I top up when & if I need to, prepaid minutes that are good for about 6 months, text messaging and voice mail. All I need, really. Since here in Canada I’m not giving up my landline, I just want something similar that I only use when I choose. So I’ve begun a little perusing online to see what is available.

First stop – Fido. OK, they do have the long distance rates posted. Prepaid vouchers are only good for 30 days (unless you buy the $50 voucher, which is only good for 60 days). I don’t intend to consistently use the phone enough for this, I want ot be able to put my phone down for a month withouth losing my money. Also, they don’t mention text messaging at all in the prepaid section. Finally, I’m really confused about the rates. On the one hand we have $1 per day unlimited evenings & weekends + 30 cents a minute daytime. Or, there is 30 cents a minute anytime – for the same voucher. Or are they different vouchers for the same price? Also – when & how does my $1 day start? Does it only kick in once I make my first call of the day?

Next stop, Rogers. They seem to be a little clearer with their prepaid rates, and they are upfront about long distance, but again the vouchers are only good for 30 days – unless I pay $100 bucks, then they are good for 365 days. An intriguing option… but will I use it enough in a year to justify dropping 100 clams right off the bat? Text messaging appears to be a separate monthly plan; why can’t my regular voucher also pay for texting?

Bell Mobility: Again, text messaging is a separate monthly fee, although at $10/month it’s outrageous. Furthermore, there’s a $3.95 system access fee that will be charged per month… presumably whether I use it or not… And again, prepaid cards expire within 30 or 60 days.

So, I can’t say I’m impressed with my options so far. Any ideas what other companies I should be checking out?

It’s a sad day when you can get more satisfactory service in St. Vincent and the Grenadines than you can here… I may not get that cell phone after all.


and you who dream of liberty; must not yourselves be fooled; before you get to plea for freedom; you’ve agreed to being ruled

“The Supreme Court should not be expanding incursions into privacy and liberty – that is Parliament’s job.”

-Criminal Lawyers Association vice-president Frank Addario (from an interview quoted on the Globe and Mail website’s “Police search justified, Supreme Court rules” story by Kirk Makin, July 6, 2007 at 10:57 AM EDT)


The first rule of Fight Club… is you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry

Edward Norton is the next Bruce Banner! And other 2008 summer blockbuster sneak peeks


The *other* other white meat…

I have to admit at first glance I was going to send this link to Happy Phantom, but knowing her fondness of the little critters and her lack of support for my ‘we should eat bunnies’ campaign, I think it’s best if none of us mention it to her. The festival includes prizes for biggest, best dressed, and tastiest.


I’ve done it again…

So, I’m in the paper, check it out!


I need a hero

Top ten superhero moments in the movies. My fave is #6 (I love wolverine!) What would you add?


Start me up… not.

I’m sitting here at work trying to put in a full day’s work like a good little silly servant, and Word just crashed and told me some nonsense about being unable to retrieve my file and to re-insert my floppy disk. How quaint. I haven’t used a floppy disk in years! :D


Opinion poll

So the results of the Ipperwash inquiry are in, and the commissioner took the time in his 1500 page report (Dear God!) to point out that he thinks Mike Harris did in fact utter the ill-worded slur. So I’d like to ask all those PAI members out there: How many of you think Mikey did it? And as a follow-up, how many think it is appropriate for the commissioner to even give an opinion about whether it was said or not? My own position: Yes, and no, respectively.


They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple…

Babies cavorting with T. rexes? Oh… dear….


Good… Bad.. I’m the guy with the gun. Tra la la.

Evil Dead: the Musical. Gotta see it! :)


Kitty at my foot and I want to touch it

Allow me to introduce you all to my new babies! The black and white one is Salvador, after Dali (he looks like he go into the paint) and the other one is Eric, named after the other friendly redhead we know. (Which reminds me, we need to get her on here…) Both are boys. Anyway, the Friendly Redhead brought them too me quite by surprise one Sunday evening, and they’ve been hapily taking over and turning my life upside down ever since. Both are champion purrers! Kaveman’s already smitten…


What a deal!

Earlier today I hosted my very own garage sale, I even made it a street sale for my neighborhood, and it was a rousing success! Pretty much everyone who knows me knows I love garage sales, and I’m no stranger to haggling (and it’s still fun from the other point of view). We had a great turn-out, part of the reason I organized the street sale was because I thought more people would show up and boy did they ever!

As usual I suprised mum by pulling a two hundred dollar profit for the day, she of course did her usual “it’s not going to work” approach to supporting me in my endeavors. Apparently when highly medicated I am both social and ambitious. And all it takes is a handfull of pills everyday… works for me!


We share the same biology, regardless of ideology…

Anyone seen Harvard’s Inner Life of the Cell yet?

(And here’s the longer, narrated version, for the geeks.)


It’s a demon, a dancing demon…nah, something isn’t right there

It was bound to happen sooner or later:


Apparently there are dates being planned in Canada in August and September…who’s in?? :)


The hail storm tumbles, The rail line rumbles…

“Well, Good Friday is the day Jesus died and we call it Good because He died for our sins and we uh… needed that. And now, every Easter Jesus comes out of his cave and if he sees his shadow we get another year of debauchery.”



We become oblivious to the obvious…


I dare ya! ;)


Gamers Unite!

A new & interesting theme for a video game.


A better theology of sex

No, this guy is not an idiot – in fact, I think he should be applauded. Unfortunately, the fact that so many people are at odds with him just proves how many idiots there still are out there.


Skinny bitches…

Madrid’s fashion week banning ‘overly thin’ models (and the fashion shows that followed their lead…) might be old news but the Participaction post kinda brought it to the forefront of my brain. The policy came after four brazilian models died of eating disorders, and Madrid fashion industry is now trying to incorporate the word ‘healthy’ wherever they use ‘beauty’. They’re using the BMI to determine what is appropriate, which some might consider flawed but seeing as they set the minimum BMI at 18 (which is still technically considered ‘underweight’ but trust me its pretty damn hard to even get down to 18.5 which is the low end of ‘normal’) and they did indeed have to turn away girls who were so far under that they couldn’t gain that much weight in time (including one girl who didn’t even get over 16), well, I’m not complaining.

All the same, models are really upset about giving up being underweight. Giselle Bundchen (a Victoria Secret model) has been quite vocal on the subject, blaming families instead of the media for eating disorders, adding that some people (refering to herself I assume…) have the genes to be a model (if that doesn’t start massive commenting on this post then I don’t know what will). She tries to get away with it all by comparing anorexia problems to how big a problem type 2 diabetes is, but since the policy was created to combat anorexia primarily inside the fashion industry I think someone should quote the stats to her as to how many models suffer from type 2 diabetes. By the way, she had to gain 14 pounds to make the minimum requirements for a show in milan. She’s 5’10″ btw.


memory, all alone in the moonlight…

I found myself reminiscing about Participaction with my students in class the other day, and realized they probably were not born when it was at its height! Anyway, I had brought it up as an example of a pro-active, government-initiated health promotion program that is being resurrected. Then I got an email announcing the ‘official’ relaunch, and I thought I might share some commercials with all of you! :)


Don’t want steak an potatoes…

An interesting article on the latest trend in Asian Frankenfoods.


I can be your hero baby!

For those of you who have been enjoying Heroes on TV, here is an interesting look at un-caped crusaders in comics.


Attack of the Norwalk

It’s been a busy week! I am the lucky bastard in the family who DIDN’T get Norwalk virus. First Morgan, and then Jamie 48 hours later, were hit with it. I’ll skip the gory details except to tell you that it comes from BOTH ends (simultaneously in Jamie’s case). Jamie had a fever of 101.3 and lost 12 pounds (has gained some back in water) and Morgan’s little Buddha belly is a bit smaller now. Check out the shiner though, from a fall face-first on the hardwood floor at daycare! (Her eye isn’t swollen though, I’m just a gifted photographer who can catch her kid with one eye shut). Ah, the toddler years. :)


She’s back

Hey you remember me! it’s the chick who can’t spell who forgot that I was a blogger on this site..cause yes…I am people so there for I am an idiot.
I’m over in the states yay boarder jumping!
Likin the nice weather. it was in the 70′s yesterday but unfortunately it’s down to the 20′s tonight. I’m at work…Not excactly my favorite place on the planet…between here and hell i think i’d rather be in hell. at least they have heat there! I’m so friggin cold! and it’s a well known fact that i don’t produce any heat what so ever. the only way i can get heat is to suck it off some poor unsuspecting person…like Kamin. which unfortunatly is hard to do over such a large distance…by the way kamin when are you coming to visit me? I’m lonely.
anywho i should get going. just lettin ya know i’m still alive. and yay i now have something to fill my unfufilled hours with! can’t believe i still remembered my pass word.


Spiderman’s Hammock

For those of you with fond childhood memories of the Hinterland Who’s Who segments, please enjoy the latest edition, the Canadian Wood Spider. I just love the Canadian Wildlife Service, don’t you?



Kitty at my foot and I want to touch it

Ok, I love kittens and everything, but these photos just look to freakish for me…


Another postcard of chimpanzees

Somedays I just love my job.

Kaveman has for some reason decided that I will be the recipient of cards about primates flinging their waste products. He has sent me not one but two birthday cards about apes flinging poop, but also managed to find a Christmas card this year that referenced this simian behaviour! (Who’d have thought there’d be so many of them out there?) he claims that this is because there are so few funny cards out there that are appropriate for a man to send to his platonic female friends, so being the resident biologist, I get the cards about, well, monkey poop. A flimsy excuse at best, say I…

But art truly does imitate life; right before Christmas, I recieved a query from one of our regional officers. He had detained some samples of monkey urine, and wanted to know if they were controlled by CITES because primates are endangered, and did the importer of these samples need to produce permits for them! :D After I laughed myself silly, I realised I actually had to find out the answer to this seemingly silly question! Thankfully, the answer was “no”, but it took me an hour and a half to find out.


Transparency is great for the other guy

I actually had an idea for a great song lyric to use as a title for a post. Of course, because i didn’t write it down at the time, I’ve forgotten it…

I had an interesting conversation with my parents about corruption and Canadian politics. Dad’s entire public service career was spent at CIDA, and he had many years of experience in dealing with the agency being used as a vehicle to fund pork-barrel projects in the constituencies of high-ranking politicians. Apparently, the Mulroney years were the worst – during that time, my father was asked about corruption in Kenya, he responded that corruption there was only marginally higher than corruption here. Which seems to imply that despite the sponsorship scandal, the Liberals weren’t really any more corrupt than anyone else – they just got caught.

Which brings me, in a round-about way, to my reason for posting; despite all the talk about bringing more accountability & transparency to government, our current Conservative government seems to be just as secretive as any other. I can’t decide if they are raging hypocrites, or if their lofty ideals have just gone “splat” on the concrete floor of reality….


How on earth could I not feature this?!?

A purely gratuitous fart “joke” – with truth being stranger than fiction:


What I really want to know is, what is the woman’s “medical condition”? I can’t remember studying causes of excessive flatulence being due to anything other than the usual culprits of burritos, refried beans, and male gender… :D


Will Wright on the Colbert Report

Will Wright (without whom the world would never have known the joys of video games such as SimCity, SimCity 2000, the Sims, The Sims Online, The Sims 2, or The Urbz: Sims in the City to name just a few) was just interviewed on the Colbert Report (ri-pohrt) the other night and I thought it was too good not to share. Watch the video here.

I should add this comes on the tail of my spending Saturday night with my fourteen year old cousin playing The Sims 2: Pets (which I gave to her…). I also have to confess that I almost had a mini nerdrection* when Will had to explain simlish to Stephen.

*It’s not dirty like it sounds, just watch the video.


I’m off to play Messiah….

Well everyone, the season must be here. I am on my way to my first Messiah rehearsal of the season. This year I am playing first oboe, which is great because I am playing parts that I sing when we go to the Sing-Along with Tafelmusik in Toronto (soprano). It’s not great because I know the 2nd part so well that my fingers refuse to read the 1st part. This is the first rehearsal of only two, two performances and then the Sing-Along. It’s just not Christmas without them, to me. You should try it sometime :)


Nations abound

Further to yesterday’s brunch discussion re: Quebec as a nation, BC premier Gordon Campbell is calling to have the aboriginal peoples of Canada collectively acknowledged as a nation in the same way that Quebec was.

I figured this would be next, but my problem is that I disagree with lumping all of our aboriginal peoples together into one “third solitude”. This is by no means a homogeneous group, even if they do seem themselves as “nations within a nation”.

If we are going to acknowledge the Quebecois as a nation, then you clearly have to also acknowledge the many other nations within Canada. Although it might make for a lengthy proclamation, it’s not such a bad thing, really; I recall more than 15 years ago a TV special hosted by an anthropologist (& funded by the Body Shop) looking at aboriginal peoples worldwide. At the time, he hailed Canada as being a model for the world – many nations within one state. It would be nice to see it happen.


Good morning, Ottawa!

Hi all -

Well Homewrecker recently told me that the Blog was back up and running again. Three cheers for KaveMan! Now that I’ve crawled out from under the heavy breastfeeding fog (read about the realities of Mommy Brain), I’m ready to add to my own growing anxiety about my upcoming thesis proposal deadline by wiling away the hours on the Blog!

Here’s a picture of my latest accomplishment doing her thing (read: being cute).

Oh, and if someone helpful can tell me how to put a link in my post, I’d appreciate it…


South Africa more progressive than the Tories

My jaw almost hit the floor when I read this one. South Africa has passed a same-sex marriage bill. Kind of puts our Conservative government to shame! To say that homosexuality is taboo in Africa is a major understatement; typically, you can count on it getting you killed. If the South African governemnt can overcome the most violent prejudice & pass a bill that upholds human rights, why is our government trying to undo it here, where we are supposed to be more tolerant?


Culture of Entitlement

Well, the Ontario Court of Appeal has just ruled that victims of West Nile Virus can’t sue the Government of Ontario for negligence. The suit alleges that the government should have “prevented the outbreak” of WNV . How on earth they expect that to happen when the reservoir is in birds and the disease is transmitted by insects is absolutely beyond me. Lawyers for the plaintiffs go on to say that this ruling now means that no one can sue over a future Walkerton, or for victims of the second wave of SARS. Talk about a comparison of apples and oranges.

I have to confess that this whole case infuriates me. The threat of West nile Virus to humans is so much smaller than that posed by diseases like SARS or malaria. People in Africa have just lived with West Nile for ages. Nobody bothered to create a vaccine for it. (In fact, there has been a WNV vaccine for horses for years, which just goes to show where people’s priorities lay – race horses, which are admittedly far more susceptible to the virus, were more important that the very few people who developed serious complications.) Only now that it has shown up in the Western world does anyone in this province even know this disease’s name. Expecting to be able to sue the government for negligence over a disease contracted from a mosquito bite just seems to show how spoiled people can be in this country.


Rona’s Awesome Clean Air Act

An environmental group is planning to take the Conservative government to court because inaction on greenhouse gas emissions not only disregards Canada’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, but is also a breach of the Canadian Enviornmental Protection Act (CEPA). Claiming that the government has been acting “illegally” for some time with regards to GHG emissions, the Friends of the Earth Canada is planning to take the government to court.

While this seems to give Friends of the Earth good media coverage, and will of course bring attention to this issue, I question what value a ruling against the government would accomplish; it might make them look bad, but if the government didn’t want to change its ways, it wouldn’t. Any thoughts ont his process?

Soon to come; Rona and the Ronettes on the Air Farce; don’t miss it!!


Wanna go for a ride?

I passed! I passed! I have a G2, I passed….hehehehehehe!


Apologies for being a blog-hog…

Sorry – just couldn’t resist this: we’re front page news on the BBC!


Can I use this excuse for speeding? (Though with a one year old in the car seat and another in the oven, can’t say this little momma does anything BUT the speed limit – on a “daring” day!) :D


Who would have thunk?

I’d always imagined the Crocodile Hunter would be taken by some one tonne reptilian behemoth… A lowly, usually docile stingray did this great one in. Somewhat “War of the Worlds”-ish in its ending…



54 years don’t mean nothin’

Well, let’s see who’s still out there…

Since Birdlady & I revived the old religion debate after our pancake breaky at the cottage this Sunday, I thought I would share with you the following tidbit from today’s Metro:

“The Minister of a church in Watertown, N.Y., that dismissed a female Sunday school teacher after adopting what it called a literal interprtation of the Bible says a woman can perform any job – outside of the church. The church dismissed Mary Lambert after 54 years with a letter quoting the first Epistle to Timothy, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.’”

Some days, I despair…


So long suckers!

I live in peterborough now.


I remembered my password!

Hiya folks…

so it took about a year, but i finally remembered my username/password combo

i decided to drop a line, b/c appallingly, no one has since the beginning of april

now lets see if i know how to insert pictures

aren’t bunnies the best!

where are the bunnies???? stupid blog

aha! bunnies

never mind… i give up…


Roamin’ Gnorman’s first dispatch

OK, I give up with the pictures… I had a whole bunch, but they keep overlapping each other even with the low resolution. I guess I’ll have to share them on an email.

However, this one is priceless.

Cheers everybody!


Simpsons Live?

So I’ve been waiting for illustrious Bloggers to post something about the Simpson’s live-action intro, which we missed due to an ill-timed cranky episode from our firstborn. Did anyone see it? Can anyone post a decent link to a video so we can watch it? (the ones I found were pretty poor quality, and I must say, Marge and Lisa don’t look anything like Marge or Lisa.)


Only in Nova Scotia…

Nova Scotia just has that newfie-like charm/boredom combined with that new brunswicker money that just makes things like this possible (Hint: Click ‘Watch’). Just remember, it’s a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there. Trust me.


Just in time for St. Patty’s Day

Ever want to own your own pub? IPCo will build it to your specifications and deliver it for you!


I’m ready for my close up…

From the Reasons-Kavi-no-longer-watches-television department –

Is it sad that all I take away from this is that i’m pretty sure my new goal in life should be to get my own reality TV show? I mean, it can’t be hard work. And apparently networks are just dying to give one to anyone. Plus, one just leads to another. (And another. And yes, at least one more.) Either that or companies will randomly throw money at you. Even if noone likes you. I wonder if I could get Paris Hilton to come on my show guest star.


Polygamy on TV

After our discussion on Sunday about the new TV show Big Love, a couple of articles about it here and here , and a review.


Gourmet discovers poutine

I never thought I’d see the day that Gourmet magazine would publish a recipe for poutine – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/233993?mbid=RF5

and wassup with the chives??


For you new mothers

I had no idea breastfeeding could be so difficult!


As Kaveman is silent…

Since there are some interesting political doings in the news lately, and Kaveman must be too busy to comment, I thought I might just jump in… I feel somewhat vindicated that after all the talk of shameful Liberal scandal, it turns out Mulroney took kickbacks too. (Oh, OK, he took them after he left office… whatever.) I’ve always suspected that the Liberals were no more corrupt than any other party in power, and this seems to be a little bit of evidence that this may be so.

However, I’m particularly interested in the defection of David Emerson. Grabber, BirdLady and I ran into someone who had worked for him when we were out on Tuesday night, and this person confessed that it really was a surprise to everyone who thought they knew the man well. I find myself more disturbed by this change of allegiance than Belinda’s, and I had to ask myself why. All I can come up with really is that Stronach, whatever her personal motives may have been, did make the case that she did not believe that the Conservatives really had the best interests of her urban riding at heart, and that her move was best for her constituents. Since they re-elected her, a significant number of her constituents appear to back her on this. What I’ve read about Emmerson, however, seems to indicate that this is more about personal politics and less about the people he was elected to represent. (That it is also about personal power goes without saying…)

Is there actually a difference between these two cases?


Punks vs. Disco

Also, for those of you who wanted to see photos of BirdLady and I dressed to impress, here are some photos from the party that should tide you over until I actually get my act together and post photos from my own camera.