Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Wonder Years

She wonders where all her years went...

Today we celebrated my Mom's 60th birthday. We took her out to Tony Romas and then brought her home for presents (we bought her a DVD player and the Green Mile to go along with it). We tried to make her feel special without feeling too old. Ok, actally we tried to make her feel old (and I think it worked). What else are family for?

I think I was channelling my brother when I wrote my Mom's card, because try as hard as I did to be nice, I found myself writing the words "Sixty is not the end of the world, but it is freakin' old!"

Also today I had the pleasure of going with Beatrice to pick out her wedding dress. It is gorgeous, and I am very excited about the upcoming wedding.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Daddy

I miss you.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Quote of the Week...

"I'll probably say it three more times. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
- President George W. Bush

President Participates in Social Security Conversation in New York

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where have you been?

At the Legislature with Corgies

Renaming the Provincial Musuem

At Dinner with the Prime Minister

Visiting Edmonton City Hall...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Well, it's official...

It can rain on the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth II with our birthday cake

Boy were we wet! But we had great seats, 30 feet away from the Queen with a good view of the show. The 21 gun salute was really cool and I loved the CF18/Snowbird flyover, and as always the bagpipes and native dancing.

The Queen was beautiful. I forgot the camera so I had to steal a picture for the blog. It's a picture of the Queen with our birthday cake, shaped like our Legislature Building and protuding from a map of Alberta. It was really awesome.

Lets hope it doesn't rain tomorrow! God Save the Queen!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Getting the party started

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Tomorrow I am taking my children, husband, Quynn and Deven to see the Queen at our Centennial Birthday Celebrations. My children will also have a chance to see the Queen at the Leg and the Provincial Museum over the next couple of days.

I was about Raven's age when I first saw the Queen, in Nanaimo BC (March 8th 1983). Ofcourse, it was raining as we waited for the royal yacht Britannia to pull into the harbour. Actually, it had been raining for days (that's the west coast). There was some concern that the Queen might not get off the boat in the downpour and I remember my father stating that "It wouldn't dare rain on the Queen."

Moments later the Britannia sailed in and settled at the dock. Then the rain stopped, the clouds split and the sun shone. My eyes grew very wide indeed as I watched the Queen get off the boat and walk towards us in sunshine, a truly magical and beautiful woman. I never forgot that moment, and even now it's magic still touches me.

I am a Royalist, I come from a long line of Royalists, and it's a part of our heritage I am happy to pass on to my kids. I have always been very fond of the Queen, since before I can remember. I loved Princess Diana, whom I met in 1986 (also in Nanaimo), and I enjoyed meeting (and guarding) Princess Alexandra when she came for the 75th anniversary of my unit, the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Victoria, BC).

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sith Happens... Again!

Obi Wan knows...

We saw Revenge of the Sith again tonight. Loads of goodness the second time around, encouraging more thought and discussion. I can't wait to see it again! Right now I am reading the Labyrinth of Evil, and then I intend to re-read Revenge of the Sith (and watch Episodes 1 & 2, Clone Wars) before seeing the movie for a third time. I can't wait to see it again!

In our expanded Universe, there can never be too much Star Wars. Duncan is thinking we are going to explore the Star Wars role playing game (let me know if you are interested all you Edmontonians). Watch for updates.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Quick Update...

I am such a geek!

Pleased easily, I am.

And my toys please me. Duncan bought me Luke to celebrate our waiting in line for the 12:01am May 19th showing of Revenge of the Sith, and the rest Duncan and Deven got for me when we were in Red Deer for dinner. Yes, that is the covted Darth Vader Burger King Toy. That's how special I am!

After we watched ROTS we slept a couple of hours and then headed to Banff, dropping the kids off in Calgary first. The couple of days in Banff were heavenly. Then we picked Deven up in Calgary and brought him back with us for the long weekend. It's going to be fun - we've rented movies and are likely going to see ROTS again (ofcourse).

Revenge of the Sith = Great! I liked it alot and found that having read the book before hand was beneficial for having all the back story that they weren't able to include in the movie but alluded to. I really am such a geek! Seeing that I am married to the world's biggest Star Wars fan I can attest that this experience has consumed us in ways that most people wouldn't understand, and it has for weeks even. Wesley, Raven, Quynn, Brett and Beatrice joined us for the movie. We waited in line for hours, but luckily they sat us at 9:00PM. We had great seats, and there were light saber battles, great costumes and a beachball that occupied us in the theatre while we waited for 12:01AM. I will likely blog more about the movie later, but it's been a long day and I want to go play with the boys (video games, people!).

Lots of politics lately, of course. But that's a blog for a different day!

The Canadian Rockies - Grand Masterpiece of the West

Enjoying Banff

Banff is a beautiful place, and one Duncan and I love to be. This time we stayed in the Banff Centre. I love how soothed the mountains makes my soul. I love the river and the fresh air, the trees and the wildlife. Before we left we a delicious breakfast at Melissa's Misteak ("our" place in Banff) and had a chance to go shopping. We also stopped in Canmore and then picked Deven up in Calgary and brought him back to Edmonton with us. It's been a great week and it promises to be an even better weekend.

Life's hardest lessons are the most tragic...

My daughter, Raven, learned some hard real life lessons yesterday when she inadvertantly witnessed a fatal collision in Calgary (Bonaventure Dr. S.W.). She was with her Dad when they watched a young woman speed by, only to have her tire blow, causing her to lose control of her vehicle. Her car rammed a minivan from behind, sending it airborne and into a roll... Out of the three people in the mini van only a 5 year old boy was wearing a seat belt. The woman driving was thrown clear of her van and landed head first on the road, while the other woman in the van was sprawled percariously across the back seat of the van with her legs hanging out of the back window (she's in serious condition). The offending car hit yet another car before it stopped.

Raven had to go with her Dad when he went to help. He checked for a pulse on the woman on the ground but she was dead, and then he helped an off duty policeman get the boy out of the van. Firefighters had to cut the roof off to get the other woman out. Raven saw up close the affects and graphic results of both speeding and not wearing your seat belt. I don't think it's anything that she is going to forget any time soon.

People, slow down. Wear your seat belts. What do you have to lose?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My Chosen One

Jedi Master Duncan


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

"I find your lack of faith disturbing."
- Darth Vader, A New Hope

"Apology accepted, Captain Needa."
- Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

"No, I am your father!"
- Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it further."
- Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

"The force is with you young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet."
- Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

"I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am."
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

"You don't know the power of the Dark Side!"
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

"Your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... sister! So. You have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will."
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

"You already have, Luke. You already have. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right."
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

"Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes."
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

Han Solo

Han Solo

"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs."
- Han Solo, A New Hope

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
- Han Solo, A New Hope

"Look, Your Worshipfulness, let's get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: Me!"
- Han Solo, A New Hope

"You know, sometimes I amaze even myself."
- Han Solo, A New Hope

"Laugh it up, fuzzball."
- Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back

"You like me because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life."
- Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker

"I want to come with you to Alderaan. There is nothing here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father."
- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope

"I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."
- Luke Skywalker, A New Hope

"You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
- Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

"You're wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you'll learn to use it as I have. The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And... my sister has it. Yes. It's you, Leia."
- Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

"I can't kill my own father."
- Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

"It is the name of your true self, you've only forgotten. I know there is good in you, the Emperor hasn't driven it from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me, that's why you won't bring me to your emperor now."
- Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

"Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict."
- Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi

Princess Leia

Princess Leia Organa

"General Kenobi: Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars; now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father's request to you in person; but my ship has fallen under attack and I'm afraid my mission to Alderaan has failed. I've placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you're my only hope."
- Princess Leia Organa, A New Hope

"Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold."
- Princess Leia Organa, A New Hope

"Why, you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder."
- Princess Leia Organa, The Empire Strikes Back

"Would it help if I got out and pushed?"
- Princess Leia Organa, The Empire Strikes Back

"Han, it isn't like that at all. He's my brother."
- Princess Leia Organa, Return of the Jedi

Monday, May 16, 2005

Anakin Skywalker

Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker

"You're the closest thing I have to a father."
- Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

"My memory of her is fading, I don't want to lose that memory. I don't want to stop seeing her face."
- Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

"I wasn't strong enough to save you mum. I wasn't strong enough, but I promise I won't fail again."
- Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

"I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too! They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals! I HATE THEM!"
- Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

"One day, I will become the greatest Jedi EVER! I will even learn how to stop people from dying!"
- Anakin Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

"Something is happening. I'm not the Jedi I should be."
- Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith

"Is it possible to learn this power?"
- Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith

"The Jedi turned against me. Don't you turn against me."
- Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith

Anakin Skywalker

Little Anakin Skywalker

"Are you an angel?"
- Anakin Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"No one can kill a Jedi."
- Anakin Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other."
- Anakin Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"I don't want things to change."
- Anakin Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Padme Amidala

Padme Amidala: Queen, Senator, Angel

"I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war."
– Queen Padme Amidala, The Phantom Menace

"Sometimes there are things no one can fix."
- Padme Amidala, Attack of the Clones

"You're not all-powerful, Annie." – Padme Amidala, Attack of the Clones

"I'm not afraid to die. I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life."
– Padme Amidala, Attack of the Clones

"Anakin, you're breaking my heart!"
- Padme Amidala, Revenge of the Sith

Shmi Skywalker

Shmi Skywalker

"There was no father. I carried him, I gave birth to him, I raised him. I can't explain what happened."
– Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"You can't stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting." – Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"Now, be brave, and don't look back."
– Shmi Skywalker, The Phantom Menace

"Now I am complete."
- Shmi Skywalker, Attack of the Clones

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Obi Wan Kenobi

Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi

"The council has granted me permission to train you. You will be a Jedi, I promise."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Phantom Menace

"Why do I get the feeling you'll be the death of me?"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Attack of the Clones

"Be mindful of your thoughts Anakin. They'll betray you."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Attack of the Clones

"And don't forget, she's a politician, and they're *not* to be trusted."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Attack of the Clones

"Who could have done this?"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Revenge of the Sith

"You were the chosen one!"
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Revenge of the Sith

"For more than a thousand generations the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Before the dark times. Before the Empire."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"In my experience there's no such thing as luck."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"Use the Force, Luke."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi knights. He betrayed and murdered your father."
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope

"Luke, don't give in to hate – that leads to the dark side."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Empire Strikes Back

"He's more machine now than man; twisted and evil."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi

"You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, Return of the Jedi

Qui Gon Jinn

Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn

"Feel, don't think. Trust your instincts."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"I will do what I must, Obi-Wan."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"There's always a bigger fish."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"These Federation types are cowards. The negotiations will be brief."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

"Remember: Your focus determines your reality."
- Qui-Gon Jinn, The Phantom Menace

Friday, May 13, 2005

Jedi Master Yoda

Jedi Master Yoda

"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you."
- Yoda, The Phantom Menace

"Mmm. Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing. How embarrassing."
- Yoda, Attack of the Clones

"Pain, suffering, death I feel. Something terrible has happened. Young Skywalker is in pain. Terrible pain."
- Yoda, Attack of the Clones

"The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is."
- Yoda, Attack of the Clones

"Victory! Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen, begun the clone war has."
- Yoda, Attack of the Clones

"The fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side"
– Yoda, Revenge of the Sith

"Twisted by the dark side young Skywalker has become."
Yoda, Revenge of the Sith

"You must unlearn what you have learned."
- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

"No. There is another."
- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

"Luke, when gone am I... the last of the Jedi will you be."
- Yoda, Return of the Jedi

"Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned. Luke, there is... another... Sky... walker."
- Yoda, Return of the Jedi

C3P0, Human Cyborg Relations

C-3PO and R2D2

"I can assure you they will never get me onto one of those dreadful starships!"
C-3PO, The Phantom Menace

"We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life."
- C-3PO, A New Hope

"No, I don't think he likes you at all.... I don't like you either."
- C-3PO, A New Hope

"That malfunctioning little twirp, this is all his fault."
- C-3PO, A New Hope

"I'm rather embarrassed, General Solo, but it appears you are to be the main course at a banquet in my honour."
- C-3PO, Return of the Jedi

"It's against my programming to impersonate a deity."
C-3PO, Return of the Jedi

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Artoo! Am not! Artoo! Am not!

We are going to see REVENGE OF THE SITH for the first time at 12:01AM May 19th, 2005. Thats the very first showing. When are you planning to see it?

I am going to be posting my favourite character quotes, every day, until then.

May the Force be with you.

Who doesn't want the afternoon off?

Harper and the Conservatives/Bloc Coalition adjourned our Parliament early today.

They also collectively pledged not to attend any parlimentary committee meetings, EXCEPT the one concerning same sex marriage (which they are committed to defeating). That says a lot to me. Canadian voters, witness what is important to this party.

And enjoy your paid afternoon off, since I am paying for it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May 19th is Showtime

So we will have a confidence vote on the budget May 19th. If the Liberals lose the vote Parliament will be dissolved and we will go to an election, likely June 27th.

Two recent polls suggest an election now would not likely return a much different government. A Strategic Counsel poll (Globe and Mail) showed support for the Conservatives at 31% and the Liberals at 27%, whereas a Decima poll (CanWest newspapers) showed the Liberals at 37% and the Conservatives at 28%.

Ready or not, here we go.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Harper Out of Order

So today the Opposition managed to win a motion in the House of Commons asking the public accounts committee "to recommend that the government resign" (basically instructing the committee to rewrite it's report so that it calls on the government to resign).

A committee?

Stephen Harper then demanded that the Prime Minister formally call a vote of confidence based on this ammendment.

As it appears parliamentary precedent does not imply todays vote qualifies as a motion of confidence it is doubtful it will be treated as one by the government.

Further, Speaker Peter Milliken ruled Harper's demand out of order.

The opposition could call another vote on one of the three upcoming days where they control the parliamentary agenda.

I just hope they can manage to make it an actual, legitimate confidence vote. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven = Good

Balian of Ibelin

"You are not what you were born, but what you have it in yourself to be."
- Godfrey of Ibelin

Kingdom of Heaven

Missing: Canadian Leadership

Sgt Ernest Smith
Canada's last surviving VC recipient (1944)

"I owe those guys so much."
- Steven Scheffer
(liberated by Canadian soldiers in 1945 Holland
when he was 7

Really, we all do.

Despite this, my Prime Minister chose to miss the celebrations yesterday honouring them, showing up a day late with all my other uppity federal leaders.

I don’t care to hear their fervent excuses. I don’t buy Harper’s plaintive cries of not being able to go without the PMO - he means it wasn’t worth it to him to spend his own money to go a day or so early. Same with Layton and Duceppe. There really isn’t an excuse for any of them. They should have been there.

And while our glorious leaders point fingers and play the blame game I find myself increasingly discouraged that they couldn’t even humble themselves to plan a respite so this important event could be properly marked and our Vets, many of whom might not have another chance to celebrate this day, could be shown the respect that they deserve.

It really is the least they could have done.

Lest We Forget.

On the Eastern Front

"I bow low before all veterans of Great Patriotic War."
- Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia today celebrates the 60th anniversary of VE Day and the end to what they refer to as the "Great Patriotic War."

I have to admit I might be biased from serving in the Cold War Era Armed Forces, but I never could tell if Russia was really an Ally or if we just shared a common enemy... maybe that's a question best left to Duncan to answer.

EDIT: Read this article on the U of A site today, made me think of this post of course. It addresses the quagmire of the Eastern front battles. It's brief, but read if you are interested: Understanding the Great Patriotic War.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

In search of my mother's garden I found my own

Mother's Day 2005

"Mother: the most beautiful word
on the lips of mankind.
- Kahlil Gibran

Triple Dog Bullshit

After promising Premier Dalton McGuinty $5.75 billion in federal financial support over the next five years our Prime Minister justified his "generousity" with this statement:

"Federalism only works, Canada only works, if there is a national commitment to shared prosperity and fairness for all Canadians, no matter where they live."
- Prime Minister Paul Martin

I'll call triple dog bullshit on that one.

Ontario votes are all that has ever mattered to the federal liberal party. I mean really - "shared prosperity and fairness for all Canadians no matter where they live?" What about Newfoundland? Nunavut? British Columbia? Saskatchewan?


Saturday, May 07, 2005

It doesn't matter what you call it...

On May 7 1945 the German High Command surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. Victory in Europe was proclaimed the very next day.

Germany's National Holocaust Memorial

Sixty years later, Germany will "celebrate" this event with what it is calling "Democracy Day."

However, many seemingly confused Germans wonder and debate whether they are marking victory, defeat, liberation, democracy, the end of fascism, or just plain collective guilt. Some Germans will protest and march with neo-Nazi groups through Berlin's streets while the "National Democratic Party" calls for an "end to the cult of guilt" after "60 years of lies."

On my side of the pond, we call it VE Day. And we know what it means.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Canadian Living Magazine

Starring Wesley in:

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinqo des Mayo

If I had remembered what day it was this morning I might not have bothered to get out of bed.

Those who know me well enough will know that prophecy, especially "End Time Prophecy" has long been a hobby of mine, one that fascinated me through childhood and even one I studied academically along with other paranormal phenomenon. It ties in somewhat with my later research of religious fundamentalism and terrorism (helps to understand a people's prophecies as part of their motivations) if only to make things interesting. It is something I should get back to, perhaps even write about it again.

But, I digress. May 5th 2005 has long been a suggested date (in many end time communities) for the end of the world, or at least the world as we know and love it. But, as prophecy is neither an exact science nor is it without much interpretation, I suspect today shall likely pass as uneventful as May 5th 2000 did.

I'd hate the world to be ending while I was stuck at work.

That would suck.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Lost in the shadow of the Watchtower

A 14-year-old BC girl, whose chemotherapy regime has inhibited her body’s production of new blood cells, recently traveled to Toronto hoping that an Ontario Provincial Court would allow her to seek alternate cancer treatments offered in New York that would that would not involve blood transfusions.

The girl broke into tears at the end of the court hearing when the Judge ruled she must return to Vancouver for further treatment. The BC government has a current court order which will allow them to administer a blood transfusion as a part of her therapy.

As a practicing Jehovah's Witness, this girl doesn’t merely oppose her impending blood transfusion; her religious beliefs forbid her from receiving someone else's blood.

The BC Government insists she needs a blood transfusion in order to prevent her untimely death. Ultimately these provincial laws provide protection to children who are in need of urgent medical care and the government argues her religious beliefs are of no import over her basic right to life.

But a blood transfusion is not the only option in this case.

As an alternate to accepting blood transfusions, patients (of all religions) can receive a two week course of erythropoietin (a hormone that stimulates red blood cell production), but the procedure itself is much more expensive than just an ordinary transfusion, and I am not sure it is available in Canada.

I believe that every individual should have the right to influence (if not decide) the course of their own personal health management and rehabilitation, especially when it comes to selecting and refusing medical treatments. I think if this girl has such deeply held principles and religious beliefs then compassion dictates her wishes should be given (at least) serious consideration.

Jehovah's Witness’s, rightly or wrongly, have an absolute prohibition on members receiving blood transfusions (based on their interpretation of 3 bible passages: Genesis 9:4, Leviticus 17:10-14 and Acts 15:20-29). The theological argument revolves around the sacredness of blood, and the decision by the Council at Jerusalem to "abstain from blood". They literally interpret these passages as permanent injunctions against taking blood or blood products into their body for any reason. Even if it means they will die.

Is it controversial? Yes, even among Jehovah’s Witness’s. Is it cult like? Yes, but so is most religious doctrine. Does that remove elements of rationality for people? Yes. Do I think they are wrong? Yes. But that’s me, the Religious Scholar and Academic, speaking. My education can not supersede my humanity.

Of course, I donate my blood, giving of myself so that others may heal faster or live longer. It’s one of the most precious things I have, one of the most intimate things I can share, and the easiest thing to give. It’s hard to imagine not giving it; quite simply, it is the gift of life.

But when is a gift no longer a gift? Would I force it on someone? Would I want it forced on myself?

I fear there are no easy answers to any of this.

Life is too hectic sometimes

I really need to find away to honour my family and create quality time we can all enjoy without letting work and other commitments get in the way. I am too busy. We are all too busy. Everything is great, but every once in a while I remember I should be working to make it better anyways.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom

Today my Mom turns 60 years old. It is her first birthday in 36 years without my Dad, and this month brings to a close a long year of those first's for her. It's too bad that he isn't here to share such a milestone with her. I guess I could say that about everything though...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Bone Marrow Donation Update

My human leukocyte antigens (HLA), were assessed for bone marrow donation when I joined the registry back in 2001. There are three designated HLA’s integral to bone marrow transplants (HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-DRB1). You inherit one set of these three antigens from each parent giving you a total of six HLA’s. In the case of bone marrow donation, tissue typing is critical, so a perfect "six-of-six" match is required. I am a "six-of-six" unrelated match with this person, the recipient, which is fairly remarkable in itself.

Today I went to the Canadian Blood Services in Edmonton for further blood typing to ascertain my compatibility. As well as testing me for every infectious disease it is even remotely possible for me to have, they took enough blood (10 vials) for detailed DNA analysis to compare the DNA code of my HLA’s to those of the recipient. They will also crossmatch our tissue to further determine antigen compatibility. In this test, my white blood cells will be mixed with blood from the recipient to establish if I am compatible with the recipient, meaning how the recipient's immune system reacts will verify if it will ultimately accept my donated marrow or destroy it.

The blood and tissue typing is so rigorous because compatibility between the donor and recipient is essential to a successful transplant. Many potential donors are ruled out in this stage, indeed the odds of two individuals matching are apparently 1 in 50,000, so I guess we are playing the waiting game until the results are in.

Depending on those results, the next step for me is a complete physical exam, review of my medical history and possibly a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, blood tests, urine tests, gynecological exam (ewww) and mammograph... etc. Then the recipient will begin undergoing a massive chemotherapy regime designed to temporarily suppress their own immune system, to facilitate a successful transplant and acceptance of the bone marrow.

For now, I am just letting be what will be. I am sure the path will soon become clear, but I am happy to walk it for as long as there is a path to follow.

In the meantime, I encourage all of my readers to consider placing their names on the Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry, regardless of what country you are in. If you have any questions about it, you can email me.


OMG! It's May already? When did that happen?

I forget to do my taxes. Bad, bad Allie.

NB - Please note this is not actually a distress or emergency message, and I do not require any search and rescue units (unless they are very cute and can do taxes, then please send right away).