Ok, I will admit it, I am sufferring a little bit from blogger's block. The weather is warm here - not too hot (no one is dropping dead from the heat) but nice enough to enjoy the sunshine and think of frolicking beside mountain lakes. We have been utilizing the BBQ (Duncan BBQ's up a mean storm!) and enjoying summer evenings (the ones we get to spend at home) drinking on our patio dreaming up the ways our summer will go. Well until the motivation strikes me, please observe the Quizilla Blog rating (as pictured below) and get yourself a rating as well.
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Disclaimer: My thoughts are mine and mine alone - and I figure if you come here to read, you are entitled to my opinion... if I do say something that offends you, leave your comments (as I am always open to other points of view). But I would admit (I adore dialogue) my aim is more to encourage independant thought in my audience so that knowledge becomes a collective wisdom shared within the expansive medium that is blog.
Saturday, June 28, 2003
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Reading my Adbusters (July/August 2003) today reminds me that I should still be politically motivated in my blog posts, even though the worlds media seems to have calmed down, creating the allusion that there is nothing to scream about. Well, thats a farce. Shit happens everywhere, all the time, even here (I really have meant to post about same sex marriages - which I unequivocally support). I love Adbusters. It is my favourite magazine (Duncan gets credit for my subscription as it was a Christmas gift) and I am glad it comes to pierce my awareness every once in a while, wakes me up. I have a brain for a reason. I need to challenge my beliefs and my existence, and the beliefs I employ within that existence. I need to be uncomfortable and critical atleast once in a while. An oyster slowly forms a pearl from a single grain of sand that irritates it, as it gently mulls it around...
The theme of this latest Adbusters centres around the mixed messages we are consistently bombarded with, culturally and politically (I usually refer to them as "propaganda"). The cover(s) exhibit people screaming (reminiscient of "the Scream") and sport the words:
PREEMPTIVE WAR IS NECCESSARY
PREEMPTIVE WAR IS TERRORISM
The issue contains a provocative article, written by James MacKinnon, who interviewed Richard Falk (Visiting Professor of Global Studies at the U of California and Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University) on the familiarilty of FASCISM in some of what we are hearing and expected to accept within our newest geopolitical climate. It's worth the read, but here is a taste to tantilize:
"Q. Can you tell us your definition of traditional fascism?
Yes: the convergence of military and economic power on behalf of an ultranationalist ideology that views its enemies - internally and externally - as evil and subject to extermination or extreme punishment."
Hmmm. Food for thought... Sound familiar? Irritated yet? Remember, the worst state of being a human can be in is the state of being "right". Wouldn't we rather have pearls? Discuss. Challenge what you have been told!
A Toyota’s a Toyota
Racecar, Level, Kayak, Radar, Madam, Deed, Rotor, Eye, Civic, Nun, Deed, Pop, Toot, Pip, Poop, Peep, Mom, Dad, Sis, heh, huh... ok, ok, so I am pushing the limits now. But most are legitimately palindromes. Let me know if you can think up any I missed!
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
Out for Blood
The New York Times (24 June 2003) quoted New Jersey Mosquito Control Expert ROBERT KENT, as saying:
"The adult mosquito population is not flying, but resting and staying out of the weather like any other adult with common sense. One of our concerns is that when the weather changes and we get some hot, dry days, they are really going to be out looking for blood."
Speaking of blood sucking pests….
The ART of Seduction?
We picked this book up on one of our library forays thinking it would add to our expanding repertoire of sexual skills…. But as it turns out that the book is a twisted how to/self help concoction that is a good example of the steps a psycho-stalker goes through in selecting and harassing their prey. The book even refers to the potential “lover” as the “victim” and elaborates how to employ certain “tactics” (types of emotional and physical harassment) to “convince” the “victim” of their undying “attraction” and “devotion” to you… ummm, yeah, that’s called harassment, co-dependancy and abuse. It lays out a sick, sad kind of pseudo-relationship that could only appeal to the more deviant amongst us… you know the kind that can’t seem to have a fulfilling, healthy, loving, unconditional relationship. It’s an interesting read into the world of these people but I don’t see how you could treat someone you cared about in this manner.
So this would be a great time to re-suggest reading Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear: And other survival signals that protect us from violence” – especially in light of the above book… de Becker outlines the common techniques of sexual predators and illustrates how to utilize your instincts to escape and evade these types of manoeuvres. It’s a great read at any given time!
But for those who seriously would like to increase their knowledge in the sexual arena, and learn how to be more confident in your relationships, we highly recommend Lou Paget’s (A U of Calgary Alumni I might add) "How to be a Great Lover".
And for those of you who are actually looking for ways to expand their relationship with their partner, and indulge an element of competition and control in a safe enjoyable manner, we humbly suggest trying out one of our favourite board games, Sexy Folies. It’s an erotic, stimulating board game only for Lovers where you are encouraged to “Conquer” your mate’s body in a provocative monopoly style game. But in the end, everyone wins!
Monday, June 23, 2003
Anniversary Celebrations Galore, House hunting, fact finding, shopping and much much more!!!
Friday in Edmonton was busy, yet pleasantly successful. We managed to get everything done at the U of Alberta Campus and we left with Duncan actually being a student! After we completed our goals for the day we went to our outrageously beautiful hotel to check in for the weekend. As our trip to Edmonton also corresponded nicely with an anniversary of ours (one year of us living together) Duncan took it upon himself to plan and book a romantic getaway weekend at the lovely Fairmont Hotel MacDonald! It was so very sweet of him to think of it, and I was delighted (and he was well rewarded)! The room itself that we stayed in was impressive... a little hard to describe but the bed was amazing - it came all the way up to my waist, and the mattress must have been a foot and a half thick, maybe even two... it was a dream just to lay on it! The room had a three room bathroom, including a lovely little place for the woman to sit and doll herself up, should she so desire. Just staying at the Hotel is an experience itself, but being there with Duncan made it incredible!
Friday evening saw our celebrations begin with reservations for two at the famous Harvest Room, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. I love eating with Duncan - and we enjoy sampling all sorts of different or exotic fare as if eating was our favourite adventure to share along with the business of living... and I thought this meal was incredible! The meal begans with an amazing assortment of tantilizing breads, which we began to enjoy with our Australian Chardonay, and then with the soups we had as an appetizer. I enjoyed the Wild Field and Forest Mushrom Chowder (with Creme Fraiche) whilst Duncan savoured his Three Year Old White Cheddar Soup. I had the most amazing course of medium rare Pan Roasted White Tail Deer Sirloin with heavenly Foie Gras Butter melted over top of it and Tawny Port Reduction (best deer I ever had!). Duncan devoured the Cider Brined Sturgeon Valley Pork Rack Chop (with smoked applewood cheddar gratin and apple corn salad). The food was absolutley delectable and the company I was entertaining was scrumptious also! It was the perfect evening! Happy Anniversary to us!
Saturday we mostly used up with "House Hunting" type activities, which actually takes more effort then it might sound, but is exciting nevertheless. We did find the area we think we would like to live in and looked at some really nice places there, close to schools and West Edmonton Mall (where we spent the majority of the rest of our time). West Ed is shamelessy consumer driven, but any Mall with an indoor hockey rink is cool in my books! And it's a huge selling point with the kids! Saturday evening we saw How to Lose a Guy in 10 days, which is worth seeing once, in the cheap theatres. I laughed more then Duncan did, but we both managed to enjoy the humour (even if some of it was incredibly evil). Sunday we merely slept in (on that great bed), had coffee and then Duncan drove us home. All in all a good trip.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Almost lunch time and here we are at the U of A. Fact finding mission going well! Campus here is lovely, but there is a lot of traffic!
It's "O" 600... know what the "O" stands for? Oh my God it's early!
Well as we embark on our latest adventure - which includes heading out into this nasty kind of weather we woke up too - I just wanted to let everyone know I was leaving and likely wouldn't be posting much for the next few days...
We are off to Edmonton, house hunting and the like! Wish us luck!
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Time waits for no one, so treasure each moment you have!
I believe that time is relevant - and relevant only to the current situation at hand. I am more abstract then linear, so a lack of time does not usually stress me out - I often find myself wandering (either distracted while on my way somewhere, or daydreaming in my head, which I am apt to do). Sometimes I sit still and purposely watch each moment go by, aware of everything that happens during that time. It's amazing what can fit into one minute. Ever quietly sat and watched an ant?
Lives are lived day by day, and therefore can change moment to moment. Each of our days are made up of many such moments. We can invest and utilize these moments as we please… inducing smiles from those we love, smelling the flowers, petting a cat, watching a sunset, or sometimes breezing too fast through already too busy days.
Each of our “yesterdays” are gone and past, how we spent them now a matter only of the memories that is our life, or have been our lives. We rush through each day, relentlessly towards each tomorrow, sometimes neglecting to recognize its mystery, the fullness of its potential, its promise of a new start. And one of our days, probably too soon even, we will discover we have no more tomorrows.
Time easily passes us by, and we don’t always notice because we are wrapped up in sometimes mundane things. We need to remind ourselves to truly live each day, recognizing the importance of each moment so as not to lose out on an opportunity to make the most of your day! Each moment is precious. Each moment is OUR life. Time is our most precious asset, and our greatest gift to give.
My friend Elizabeth sent this to me today, and it’s worth taking a minute to share with you:
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE-SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Why put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow??
A good friend (thank you Kristen!) sent me this in an email a while back, and I kept it with the full intention of adapting it slightly for sharing on my blog. A brief internet search turns up quite a few pages with this post, but I have otherwise been unable to locate the original source.
After every flight, Pilots complete what’s known as a "gripe sheet"; the purpose of this “report” is to convey to the ground mechanics any problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair and/or correction. After the Pilot records the original problem the mechanic reads it and does whatever is required to correct the problem. The lower half of the form records what remedial action was taken, so that the Pilots can review the "gripe sheet" again, before their next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humour.
Here, reportedly, are some "actual" logged maintenance complaints/problems as submitted by QUANTAS pilots, and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. It has been suggested that QUANTAS is the only major airline that has never had an accident, but I was unable to find their safety records or claims on their website. Regardless, please enjoy!
Key: P = The problem logged by the pilot.
S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except autoland very rough.
S: Autoland is not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more "believable" level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're there for.
P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
Monday, June 16, 2003
Whats Your Summer Coffee Drinking Habits?
This picture snapped by Duncan's Dad (Neil) the Sunday he joined us for coffee (the infamous Sunday we discovered our regular habitually attended coffee place had closed). So here we are, enjoying a pre-summer morning - albeit a tad bit displaced, but content nonetheless!
Thanks to Neil for sending over the picture.
Friday, June 13, 2003
We've child proofed our home... but somehow they still keep getting in.....
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing he said was "DON'T!"
"Don't what?" Adam replied.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve...we have forbidden fruit!!!!!"
Do NOT eat the fruit!" said God.
"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants. A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked!
"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?" God asked.
"Uh huh," Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" said the Father.
"I don't know," said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. Lucky us parents.......
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Slow down, you move too fast...
A friend sent me this story today. It's sappy, but worth the reminder that sometimes, things aren't always what they seem. We can become so self involved at times that we may miss all sorts of opportunities or people who need us.
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?" The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," He pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."
With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me." Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. "Thank you" the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home . It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door... instead he kept the dent there to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick just to get his attention.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Who am I?
Am I alone?
You are not alone.
Somebody tell me.
Why does it feel more real when I dream then when I am awake?
How can I know if my senses are lying?
There is some fiction in your truth,
and some truth in your fiction.
To know the truth, you must risk everything.
Monday, June 09, 2003
Today is a special day!
Today is an anniversary of numerous sorts, and of the best kind - one year ago Duncan came to live with me. One year ago, he made my house feel like a home, became part of my family and brightened my world beyond question. One year that feels short in it's brevity compared to the enormous promise of many more years to come, yet infinite like the lifetime already lived. One year that has been my beginning of loving him the way he deserves to be loved, and I will only get better at it! And, to top it off, what a better way to celebrate our day but with beer and a Stanley Cup final???
Duncan and I share a deep admiration for the sport of hockey and love the chance to share hockey together. Hockey and the Stanley Cup is why god sent me to live in Canada. There is a certain magic entertained in that vessel, like it is the Holy Grail, and to be in it's presenceis to have your heart beat in a sacred momentum with every puck on every hockey stick that has ever brought it's sniper the most holiest and sought after sports trophies. It has a spirit (and a story) of it's own.
Adding monumentally to the varied list of Cinderella Stories can now be found the infamous but woeful tale of the Mighty Ducksof Anaheim. True, it appeared just not meant to be, and although I guess I owe my hockey allegiance to Martin Brodeur for bringing us our first gold in 50 years last year, I couldn't help but feel a little remorse when I saw Giguere's few brief tears that witnessed his realization that it was all over. So close, yet so very far. When it comes to the Stanley Cup, there is no second place - and "close" only counts in horse-shoes, hand grenades and nuclear bombs. The better team won. However, Giguere's claim to the Conn Smythe was more then valid and definatley deserved - and 'bad form' to the Devils fans for boo-ing him... you did just win your third Stanley Cup in less then ten years, and after all, it was a gallant effort on the part of the ducks bringing a team like the New Jersey Devils to game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.
For those who may have missed the 3-0 win that brings the Devils the Cup - check out the video highlights. The playing of Star Wars Theme music as the Cup is hoisted was particularily pleasing for us, I am sure you will enjoy it as well!
Saturday, June 07, 2003
Insert trendy Blog Title here
Red Deer was fun, I improved my tan greatly, and we had some interesting times (got to go out with some new/old friends) and well, we are home again... yesterday we had some fun down at the local park (it has a duck pond and Duncan has a remote control hover craft) - the fun climaxing with Duncan trudging past baby ducks and ornary geese to retrieve/rescue the craft as it batteries wore out in mid pond!
Today has been one of those days that you don't notice until it is gone... we have spent the entire day sitting together at the computer playing Civ III. The Aztecs have fallen to the mighty Japanese and the rest of the world will soon follow. But for now, we are taking a break from world domination to watch the Godfather Part 2. Its nice to have lazy at home days, but hopefully tomorrow we might make it outside!
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
On the Road Again...
Well, we are off this morning to Red Deer, Alberta! Duncan is there for work in the days, but I am there for "la Stress break" (read: heated outdoor pool, exercise room, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, sunbathing, reading books, etc etc). If on my travels I come across an internet station, I might post... but in the event that doesn't happen I won't be back until Thursday or Friday.
Sunday, June 01, 2003
Sunday, Bloody Sunday....
Wow... isn't amazing how, after spending an evening in your local bar drinking, you somehow convince yourself of your sobriety and in those breif moments of infinite wisdom decide to purchase the BIGGEST bottle of wine you can buy at that licqour store on your way home? Yes... well, ahem... wise indeed (winks). Even wiser was the drinking of said bottle... Ack, who needs wisdom when you are having so much fun?
Coffee... must... have... coffee... it is Sunday morning afterall. I want my coffee!