Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fish Holocaust!!!

Almost every fish in Raven's tank has mysteriously vacated this world. There is one left. Emergency Rescue is in progress...

Ebb and Flow...

Writ dropped in August for a September election?

Hmmmm. Interesting...

*Allie speculates poignantly*

There is still so much work to do...

Remember folks, you heard this speculation here first.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Seven Days to go...

Almost everything is done now. Soon all I will have left to do is panic ;-)

Monday, June 28, 2004

In the Land of Meaningful Opportunities...

"History and common sense teach us that an unchecked system of detention carries the potential to become a means for oppression and abuse of others" wrote american Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in a decision that was just one of the high court's first rulings on Bush's terrorism policies; in particular with regards to his assertions of presidential power in order to indefinitely detain prisoners deemed to be enemy combatants.

Making It Count

"... It feels as though people will be voting for the party they dislike the least," said Ottawa computer salesman Mark Harrison as he waited to vote.

Yep. I know how that feels.

Don't forget to vote today, even if you just consider it practise for the real upcoming federal election...

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

George Bush continues to read "My Pet Goat" to a classroom full of grade two kids after being told of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. The first plane hit the World Trade Center's north tower at 8:45. The Second plane hit the South tower at 9:03. What is he thinking?
Dude, where's the president?

Brilliant. The theatre was absolutely packed. We clapped afterwards. We talked until 2:00 am, because we had too.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Welcome to Ireland

Ever get the feeling that you
are not welcome?

Friday, June 25, 2004

When to look a gift horse in the mouth...

I can't shake the sense that this may be one of the most important elections I have ever voted in. I just can't clear my head about the field of choice, and the more I consider this election the more concerns I have. Some people are very excited, but the little voice in the back of my mind whispers "be careful what you ask for..."

The Conservative Party is not really what it would have us believe it is. I am old enough to parade Reform Party inflicted scars, old wounds picked open again by the new Alliance Party - and now this trojan horse appears. I can't tell whether I am just naturally skeptical, or deafened by the alarm bells ringing in my head.

I like knowing where I stand. Trust is not something I am comfortable injecting into federal politics, where I appreciate stability to lay, although I am not afraid of a shake up now and then and a political challenge is always welcome. But maybe that's because I live in Canada, where nothing ever bad has really happened politically and our normative lifestyle seems as assured as our sense of security does.

But how easily and how quickly could that reality change?

I don't think I like any of my current choices, especially locally, but federally as well. And when I do, it is short lived, and on second thought I find myself undecided again.

I think I have Voters Block.

Another Meme: Where was I when...?

Ronald Reagan Died

Calgary, Alberta. Duncan, Quynn and I had just arrived at the hotel for the now infamous Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals. We had read on the internet before we left the White House Statement that he wasn't in good health. I remember thinking if the White House is issuing a statement like that, it's probally game over already.

September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Canmore, Alberta. Dawn, Wesley, Raven and I were helping a friend clean up her house in Canmore so she could sell it. The kids and I sat down to watch it... we speculated on the consequences and possibilties. I spent many long minutes on the phone with Duncan who was at work in Calgary at the time, and I also spoke on the phone with some people in a New York Call Center who were at work (in tall buildings) and didn't know what had happened yet, or how much had happened. The cracks in my world were immediatley and undeniably visible, and I knew everything had changed.

Princess Diana Died

Calgary, Alberta. The day the music died. I didn't have a TV at the time, so I watched the live coverage late that night with my neighbour Thomas Wharton (yes, the famous Tom Wharton). I knew she was dead before anyone reported it, just knew it in my heart. I phoned my sister in England that night, who was still asleep, and I remember her first words were "Oh my god, they killed her."

OJ was Acquitted

Nanaimo, British Columbia. Not guilty my Ass. That trial was a mockery and I refused to watch it on TV.

Curt Kobain died

Nanaimo, British Columbia. I was at work with my young son at the Army Base. I was not entertained.

The Persian Gulf War

Nanaimo, British Columbia. I was at work at the Nanaimo Battle School. I had predicted this was coming and was watching events unfold closely. When I was called to say that my office had recieved a "Secret" memo (which had to be guarded, in a locked safe) I knew shit was going to fly.

Gretzky traded to the Kings

Nanaimo, British Columbia. The King is Dead. Long live the King. It was the beginning of the end, as I saw it. I was 16, and my heart broke. I was angry for years at Gretzky and Sather; perhaps I still would be if maturity hadn't mellowed the edge.

The Challenger Exploded

Nanaimo, British Columbia. A budding astronaut wanna be, I was at school, in Grade 8 Science Class. The teacher said the Space Shuttle had just exploded and everyone was dead. I thought it was a joke, but then they got a TV in the classroom and we watched it as it happened, live. I was devastated, really my first experience of mourning shared by the world. I named all of my gerbils after the seven Astronauts.

Reagan was Shot

Nanaimo, British Columbia. I was only 8 years old, Reagan was really the first President I cared about. I remember watching it on the news with my Dad. This is my first real recollection of a news story that had any impact on me - I was totally fascinated. I had just watched all the election excitement while they elected a president, I had no real concept they might shoot him! "Bang, bang, bang, bang." That's what I remember. My first shooting (I think).

Lennon was shot

Nanaimo, British Columbia. Nothing to kill or die for... I was pretty young, and his death would have a greater impact on me in later years.

Mt St Helens Exploded

Nanaimo, British Columbia. I was outside playing in the front yard when I heard a huge explosion far off in the distance (which I thought must be more of the construction that had been going on). The next thing I knew, the earth moved so violently that I was thrown forward to the ground. The earthquake didn't last long, but the "big" boys who lived next door ran from their tent in their underwear screaming "Mommy" even though I was there to see it. I remember at school during the next week huge flakes of ash falling from a clear sky, like snow...

Munich Olympic Hostage Crisis

Burnaby, British Columbia. I was barely born, but I do have a memory (seen at some point of time in my early childhood I imagine) of the helicopter exploding. Welcome to my world.

Paul Henderson's Goal

Vancouver, British Columbia. I was present in the room at the time that the game was played, even if I was too young to realize how much of an impact hockey would have on my life. Maybe that moment helped define my absolute love of Hockey.

Hat tip: Jon and Rea in Calgary.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

With every great love comes a great story...

A beautiful telling of the most important experience of our lives; all those who are lucky enough to have ever fallen in love will recognize these tender moments of deep truth with fondness and levity of spirit - the feelings this movie evokes touches the heart in a most gentle, yet integral, way.

This is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen - and the best this year. So many of it's key elements speak to my soul and the experiences I have had over this lifetime - learning the difference between loving and being in love with someone, loving someone with all of yourself and the satisfaction that brings to an existence, the patience and wisdom that comes from making difficult choices in love, the romance of dreaming a life with your best friend, and the tragedy of sharing some one you love with dementia. It's all there, it's all real, and it's all true.

Duncan and I saw this movie in previews a while back, and I just finished reading the book. When we left the theatre, almost everyone was crying, but it wasn't a sad story, it was just that touching. I recommend it to everyone. Go and see it - for it is the story of life, what is important in life and how we remember how and who we love.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Still our Hero...

Remember the wedding invitation we sent a while back to the Stanley Cup, care of Captain Jarome Iginla?

I found this in the mail box today.

Along with this note...

We are saddenned too by the summer's lack of the Cup, but they are all still our hero's! Go Flames Go!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Talking Heads and the Human Cost of War

"I think that some heads should roll over Iraq"
- retired General Anthony Zinni

Apparently, people agree. And heads seem to be rolling.

Long before I myself had actually seen a human head severed from it's body (I saw a man decapitated in a motorcycle accident when I was 14) my imagination regarding the condition we refer to as "decapitation" was informed mostly by my father's own illustrations: his early memories, that he would relate to me in story form, whenever he would get it in his head to talk about 'the war'. Being a typical 5 year old in London during the now infamous Battle of Britain (July through October 1940), my father had many images burned forever into his formative memory. The one visual that keeps replaying in my head lately is the story of his neighbour, or perhaps I should say, his neighbours head.

After a particularly bad aerial fight and a spat of bombing, my Dad had ventured out of the shelter to survey the damage, and see if any help was needed. Thats when he saw it, his neighbour's head, rolling down the gutter towards him. The head was rolling.

The more I think about it I realize that my Dad's story may even have contributed to that nasty dream I had in Grade two, where I was at school naked, and then (as if matters couldn't get worse) my head fell off and I had to chase it as it rolled down the hallway...

And why are these things rolling around in my head?

Beheadings are rapidly becoming such common place news from the Middle East I fear losing count. How many people have lost their heads in the modern and televised spectacle of medieval origins? And if one is violently seperated from their head against one's will, is it fair to refer to it as "losing their head"?

Daniel Pearl. Nicholas Berg. Robert Jacobs. Paul Johnson Jr. Kim Sun-il. I don't see an end in sight...

Oh yeah, and I found this today... didn't I say all of this?

Monday, June 21, 2004

Pre Wedding Stress?

Who would have thought that a Marriage Licence would cost 70.00? That renting chairs could be so painfull and difficult? That the dressmaker might have forgotten my maid of honors dress? That all my measurements remained the same from my last fitting, except my boobs, which somehow grew? That my maid of honors plane ticket might be screwed up?

We are coming down to the wire... I am mostly very excited, and geniunely happy, and ever body remarks about how calm we seem, especially so close to the wedding. But thats only because, as well adjusted intelligent, mature adults, we have perfected our coping skills and created a wonderful support network of amazing friends (thanks everyone).

Allie's 8 Ways To Reduce Pre-Wedding Stress

8. Walk. Round the block, up the street, wherever. (Ride bike, rollerblade, run)

7. Breathe.

6. Drink water.

5. Laugh and sing.

4. Stretch your muscles out.

3. Nice hot bath. With candles.

2. Wine. Butterscotch Ripple Schnapps. Chocolate.

1. Sex. Remember you are in love!

For adults only; my few moments of fame...

My Boobies have achieved Google Fame. My Boobs too!

But Google has always liked me...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Midnight Romance

Ahhh... what else are gardens and summers for?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

I want to plant flowers today...

We were actually on our way to the mall... sidetracked by the neighbours moving out sale... and now our household has a surplus (like we didn't before) of computer components.

I guess I can't blame Duncan since he found a Pentium 2 laptop for 25.00. And then the other computer was only 25.00, with the 10.00 printer thrown in... and there are now cables everywhere.

But I still want to go get my flowers. I'm gonna call Quynn.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Well, like everything else that is alive,
people have lifetimes, too.
They live for about 60 or 70 years,
sometimes even longer, doing all the things
that people do like growing up and being grown up.

It can happen, though, just as it does with
all other living things, that people
become ill or they get hurt.
Mostly, ofcourse, they get better again
but there are times when they are so badly
hurt or ill that they die
because they can longer stay alive.
It may be sad, but that is how it is
for people. It is the way they live
and it is their lifetime.

So, no matter how long they are,
or how short, lifetimes are really
all the same.
They have beginings, and endings,
and there is living in between.

That is how things are.

- excerpted from
LIFETIMES: The beautiful way to explain death to children

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Take your time, leave mine alone...

(EDIT)So we went to Calgary, partially for business (Duncan was presenting to the U of C Student Council, and we attended the Calgary West federal election forum while supporting CASA, CAUS, the SU and Rob South, and he picked up his divorce certificate from the court so we can now get a marriage licence) and partially for my Dad's funeral.

It was good at the University - I appear to be a bit of a celebrity at this time. I sopose you can guess why...

Also, I have a message for Calgary West:

PLEASE, anyone but Rob Anders.
May I suggest Justin Thompson?
(Thats for my good friend Rob South)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Life is suffering...

...give me the calmness
to accept the things
that I can not change
and the courage
to change the things
that I can change
and the wisdom
to distinguish one from the other

Buddha taught us that the First Noble Truth of Dukkha is "Life is suffering." Not just physical suffering, but also emotional and psychological suffering. Dissatisfaction, disappointment, even love itself, causes us to suffer throughout our days.

Birth; decay; illness; death; hate; separation; love; happiness; loneliness; frustration; fear; embarrassment; worry; guilt; disappointment; anger; revenge; clinging to our existence... all is suffering.

This is the truth of life - life includes pain. Pain is not a unique experience; that we all feel pain is part of our shared human experience, an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied, no matter how hard one might try. Beyond our ordinary ideas regarding the importance of avoiding our neverless inevitable pains, the real uniqueness lies within how each human individually deals with, and learns from, their pain. It is the suffering that is optional. We all chose how to react and respond to our life experiences. Some choose to get lost in their misery and paranoia... stop clinging - free yourself.

Wisdom teaches us that we don't have the means neccessary to change those around us, or to even judge whom needs to be changed, it is a wasted effort. If we are lucky enough, we just might learn how to change ourselves, and perhaps in doing so affect so positive change in our world as a result.

Soak up life. Meet adversity and challenges head on. Take risks, take your chances. Learn from the pain that develops our character as we mature. Reconcile your problems within yourself so that they no longer exist for you as problems. Grow stronger. Remember, there is peace in acceptance.

In acceptance, one accepts.

Friday, June 11, 2004

"Now watch this drive."

About to be released in Canada, Fahrenheit 9/11 is ready to make some waves. Check out the trailer!

I am very excited!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Three and one half years

Happy Anniversary Baby

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

We’re Still Number One – A Tribute to the Calgary Flames

Wow. Thanks for the Memories!

Team achievements; winning, battling, and sometimes losing, but definitely exceeding our expectations and igniting our fondest dreams. Feelings; happiness, anxiety, astonishment, excitement, inspiration, heart-stopping hockey-crazy madness. Memorabilia; jerseys, t-shirts, car flags, green hardhats, stickers, signs, flags, a Sea of Red known affectionately as the Red Mile - expanding it’s volume with each game – swelling with belief as a city united. And Pride. And awe. And great hockey – some of the best I have ever seen.

In the quest for the Holy Grail, the adventure has tantalized and brought out the truest of fans in each of us, even those that were not previously fans. Even brought Canadians together in the hopes of cheering the cup's return to Canada.

Game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, down by only one goal, isn’t the best possible finish to the series, and maybe some would effectively argue that there really isn’t a “good” way to lose the Stanley Cup, but it is an honorable finish. It was a great run, a terrific fight, and the Calgary Flames have nothing to be ashamed of. They are still heroes in our eyes. Still number one. Still our team.

I wish, and I know Duncan feels the same way, that I could have been one of the 400 fans that greeted the team at the airport coming home. If only just to show our appreciation for all their efforts this post season, but mostly to show we still care, still support them. Still believe. Still love them.

Calgary is planning downtown rally this Wednesday (Olympic Plaza) in honor of our beloved team – our team that defeated three division champions (Vancouver, Detroit and San Jose) to bring us to the Stanley Cup Finals. I am sad that I likely won’t be able to be there to cheer them, so please, everyone that goes, cheer some for me too. Cheer a whole big bunch, because they deserve it.


It really was an awesome Play Off run

I didn't really know what to post but I couldn't pass up sharing what I found on Rea's Blog:

Jon: Can we go to bed now?
Rea: I'm waiting for Allie to post...
Jon: She's probably crying.

I bet she's not alone!

Hmmmm. Yes, I did cry. Duncan held on to me in our shared anguish as I watched in somewhat numb disbelief the Stanley Cup get handed to Tampa Bay. There are too many emotions to really do it complete justice right now - but I am proud of the Flames, it doesn't get much better or closer than that. Now for next year!

You can also visit Rea's Tribute to my "fame & feminism" in her "Allie is a C-Cup Winner" post.

Hmmm Rea... does the C stand for Calgary? Cause really, it should be a D for Duncan!

Monday, June 07, 2004

THE RED MILE: a photo essay

Dare to Dream Calgary, Dare to Dream.

When I wake up, well I know I'm gonna be,
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you

When I go out, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you

If I get drunk, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you

But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door

When I come home, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you

And if I grow old, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you

When I'm lonely, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's lonely without you

And when I'm dreaming, well I know I'm gonna dream
I'm gonna Dream about the time when I'm with you

Hat Tip: I'm Gonna Be: The Proclaimers

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sunday Coffee News Briefs a la Allie

TO LAY IN STATE: A President Dies. Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1981-1999), died June 5th 2004 at his home in California. Reagan was 69 years old when inaugurated, the oldest candidate ever to have such an honour, and 93 years old when he died. He left office with the highest personal popularity rating of any american leader since Franklin Roosevelt, despite such notoriety as the Iran-Contra affair scandal, but will be better remembered for his role in ending the Cold War - standing at the Berlin Wall shouting "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" A little more than two years later, in 1989, that wall would indeed come down, hailing the beginning of the end of the Cold War. In 1994, he announced that he had Alzheimer's disease, and in 1995, together with his wife, founded the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute to help find a cure for the disease.

Smarty Jones Denied Crown: Birdstone takes Belmont win. Smarty Jones is the 10th 3 year old colt since the last Triple Crown winner (Affirmed,1978) to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness only to falter at the end of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes, and it is speculated that Smarty Jones will named the top three year old colt regardless. Birdstone closed the four-length gap in the home stretch to overtake Smarty Jones in the final 100 yards, effectively denying him his Triple Crown Victory, which he was favoured to win. Jockey Edgar Prado, who rode the 36-1 long shot Birdstone to the finish line to win this years Belmont, also rode aboard Sarava in 2002, who spoiled War Emblem's Triple Crown try that year. Future plans for Smarty Jones likely involve the October Breeders' Cup Classic, for it's $4 million purse, and perhaps even a trip overseas for the $6 million Dubai Cup, horse racing's richest event. Go Smarty Jones, Go!

Lessons Learned: D Day Anniversary.(My unit landed on Juno beach as part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division 60 years ago).

OH CANADA: Go Flames go! Canadians unite behind Flames for hopeful Stanley Cup Victory as the possibilty that the cup will return to Canada will be determined by the outcome of tonights game. Go Flames Go!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Calgary Kicks Ass!

Stanley, here we come! GO FLAMES GO!

Oh yeah, Go Smarty Jones!

P.S. Scroll down for the now infamous Calgary Flames Boobs Picture.

Friday, June 04, 2004

One. More. Win.

Right now, it's all about Stanley.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

For everyone looking for Flames Boobies

Here is my contribution to the Flames Boobs phenomenon.

GO FLAMES GO!!!!!!!!!

It's not quite the same trying to celebrate the Flames mad success up here in Edmonton, but the spirit is willing! Duncan and I are HUGE Calgary Flames Fans - and we are sooo excited, we are going CUP CRAZY!!!

The new cold war or world war three undefined?

Having been both a member of a Cold War Military Force and a student of Religious Politics, I have often observed that, in needing an external enemy to define themselves, americans were a little lost when the Cold War ended and "Communism" was no longer a cause to fight against. I would suggest that they looked around to find a suitable replacement and for whatever reason settled on Islam.

Many people have argued or agreed with me, and their insights have informed and influenced my opinion over the years. Obviously I see this new "Cold" War against "Terrorism" (read Islam) to be more dangerous with every escalation and/or matter of retaliation, a sort of perpetual cycle of tit for tat abuse feeding itself as it spirals into potential armageddon (of biblical proportions), dragging all of us with it.

I see, as many do, several uneasy comparisions between our modern conflicts and the evils of World War I & II, and I often wonder if we are actually, without acknowledging or admitting it, a world at war again.

George Bush recently compared his war on terror to both america's propellant into World War II and to the subsequent cold war fought against the enemy of Communism, warning americans that the work of fighting terrorism would take "decades."

"Like the Second World War, our present conflict began with a ruthless, surprise attack on the United States," said Bush, as he prepares for his trip to Normandy (note to PM Martin, it's N-o-r-m-a-n-d-y, not Norway) in commemoration of the 60th anneversary of the start of the D-Day epic.

Flaunting the appearances of a war president, Bush yesterday addressed troops with Eisenhower's words from the eve of D-Day, comparing america's current war on terrorism with World War II, saying "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you." Drawing obvious comparisions to Hitler, Bush took the opportunity to add "In all these threats we hear the echoes of other enemies in other times, that same swagger and demented logic of the fanatic."

Swagger and Demented Logic. The fanatic. Enemies. Words that I am not sure where they should find their definitions in our time.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

What is your personal life?

And when is it no one's business to interfere with it? Just some random thoughts.

I have almost finished my Dad's Memorial page, off of our home page. You are welcome to visit if you desire - the only thing that it is missing is a story my Dad wrote that I would like to eventually include (when I can get it off his laptop).