Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Its Not Over Until ...

What’s worse than privately musing about your leading opponent’s death?

Using your outside voice. In public.

More than once.

It seems that Hillary Clinton has been using this soundbite since she first went on record with it in March. These are calculated, practiced words that she chooses to say, again and again, for a reason.

To an outside observer it appears somewhat pathological.

Consistently referring to this particular political assassination in order to justify the continuation of her failing campaign is, well, distasteful at best. However, considering that her opponent has been favourably and repeatedly compared to Robert Kennedy by his supporters makes the sub text much more sinister.

With Hillary’s faulty memories, opinions about American heros, imaginary friends, ex friends and Freudian slips I am starting to get a clearer picture about what kind of candidate she really is.

Ever wonder how the Republicans could possibly win back the White House in 2008 after the near disastrous reign of George Bush?

Two words: Hillary Clinton.

If she doesn’t step down soon the Democratic Party might find that the damage she has done is irrevocable.

Someone get that woman an Exit Strategy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Girls Can Be Ruffians Too

I was born during an exciting time for horse racing, with three Triple Crown Winners within the first six years of my life - Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed – and me being born a girl did not need much prompting to fall in love with horse racing.

But it was a different horse altogether with which I actually fell in love with – Ruffian. The perfection of beauty, she was magical to me, a once in a lifetime thing. Ruffian won every race she ran, save her last, including the Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing (the Filly Triple Crown equivalent) in 1975. If you’ve never seen her run – winning by 15 lengths in her debut race – you can take this opportunity to watch her here, here and here.

I can’t help but imagine, if destinies had be different that day, what greatness might have come of a Secretariat and Ruffian combination… but, I digress.

Today is Preakness Day and I will be watching with interest to see if thus far undefeated Big Brown will put himself within winning distance of the Triple Crown, something that hasn’t been done since 1978. The possibility excites me. But really, since the Derby and Eight Belles' nightmarish accident I have been thinking more of Ruffian and the short life that touched mine so long ago. Sir Winston Churchill once said that "there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man..." I don’t know if it can be said better than that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I'm the World's Best Mom

My Mother's Day 2008 Minnie Mouse

When I was a little girl I dreamed of doing all sorts of things - being an astronaut, a horse jockey, a jet fighter pilot, a hockey player and traveling the world - but what I wanted more than anything else was to be a Mom. Jobs and careers have always seemed to be trivial things in comparison, things that helped meet the financial requirements of the kind of life I wanted. I was fairly young, but the moment I knew I was pregnant my life changed and I knew without a doubt that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do, what I was meant to do.

Mostly everything I have done in my life since has revolved around the best interests of my family (I am Mom to the World's two best kids), with the exception of some selfishness along the way and together we have created a life that is the meaningful fulfillment of my childhood dream. I know my purpose in life and I love being a Mom! Thank you to my kids for being both wonderful and understanding - they know me well and still put up with me!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

But Possibly the World's Worst Daughter

Life made me an only child

I still haven't called my Mom yet to say Happy Mother's Day.

I am dragging my feet this year more than usual. I know I need too, and I even want too, but today is a painful reminder that I am the only one left to call her to wish her well on this day. I am sure it is the same for her and I hate the thought of making her feel that way, of having a conversation where we both pretend that everything is ok when we both know what is missing from this day.

Happy Mother's Day Mom. From the both of us.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gimme Shelter or I'm Gonna Fade Away

When Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar on May 2 it hurled a 12 foot high wall of sea water, called a storm surge, 40 kms inland. Winds up to 129 mph flattened the lives it found in its path.

Today the death toll looks likely to exceed 100,000 people – and the storm has left an estimated one million people homeless. Many people do not have water, food prices (where food is available) have risen 300% and further deaths from disease and starvation are inevitable, especially without help.

The International Federation of Red Cross has launched a preliminary emergency appeal for $6 million. All funds raised will be used to provide survivors with basic supplies, emergency shelter, and to ensure people have access to health care and clean water. I have chosen to support the Red Cross because they already have volunteers on the ground in Myanmar and are able to get the aid directly to the areas that need it without interference from the Junta.

You can donate as well – there is no amount too small! You can select to have your donation ear marked by selecting "Myanmar Cyclone" in the online option or by writing it on your cheque.

Online: Red Cross Online Donation Page

Phone: 1-800-418-1111

Canadian Red Cross National Office
170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2
Cheques payable to the Canadian Red Cross

In Person (Edmonton): 9931 106 Street NW, Edmonton (click here for map)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I can ride my bike with no handlebars

Listen/watch Handlebars here.

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars, No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars, No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
hands in the air like it's good to be ALIVE
and I'm a famous rapper
even when the paths are all crooked-ly
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Erikson
I know all the words to "De Colores"
And "I'm Proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:

I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome, No metronome

I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone, On the telephone

Look at me, Look at me
Just called to say that it's good to be ALIVE
In such a small world
All curled up with a book to read
I can make money, open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine
Sixty four miles to the gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
And I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers, shakers, and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the system
I can do anything with no resistance

I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone, With a microphone

I can split the atom of a molecule
Of a molecule, Of a molecule

Look at me, Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower, secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let 'em all die in exasperation
Have 'em all healed from their lacerations
Have 'em all killed by assassination
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like 'em
And I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command

Because I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite, By satellite

I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope, Through a telescope

and I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust, In a holocaust
In a holocaust, In a holocaust
In a holocaust, In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handle bars, No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars, No handlebars

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Happy Bloomsday!

Bloomsday 2008 Finish Line

My daughter ran the 12km Bloomsday Race in Spokane Washington today - 1hr and 21 mins! Her overall place was 10,401 out of 42,697 people, running at a pace of 10:55 per mile (avg pace for 12 yr olds was 15:44). I am tremendously proud of her and can't wait to congratulate her in person when she gets home.

Watching the race starts on TV this morning was very exciting but nothing can top her call after the race to tell me that she had finished! She's even excited and ready to go for next year! Go Raven!

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Matter of Offsetting

It took me a while to warm up to the idea of paying to offset carbon emissions that we create while taking trips. I'm not really sure why though, since we do everything we otherwise can to decrease our carbon footprint; I think my skepticism revolved around an unregulated market and the wide variety of companies claiming to provide this service. It is certainly Buyer Beware - and I was specifically interested in Canadian green energy investment or reforestation.

After some research I have found a company I am happy with - ZeroFootprint. They are a Canadian NFP (certified by ISO 14064-2) that helps sustain and support Canadian forests by planting trees and fighting deforestation, biodiversity loss, and watershed degradation. I found them via AirCanada who partners with them to offset air travel emissions and I recommend anyone considering offsetting check them out.