Friday, December 31, 2004

Questions bouncing around in my head

What can be said about the tsunami? While millions of words have already been written, none can truly describe the way the world's heart was wrenched on December 26th.

Politics aside, the world has responded to this tragedy. I sent my Christmas money to The American Red Cross International Response Fund, as have many other people, to the tune of $18 million in the first three days.

I have been glued to the internet, seeking out information while praying for the lost souls and for the survivors. Perhaps I have missed something - we don't have a television after all - but apart from Linkin Park, I have yet to read of any "celebrity response" to this tragedy. We're all human, and we all do what we can. But after September 11th, Hollywood's "best and brightest" came out in droves - humbly, mind you - to donate their time and talent to the fundraising extravaganza. The number of victims in this tragedy is exponentially higher, but Hollywood seems silent. Why? Is it because this happened "over there?" Is it because the victims were predominantly poor brown people who never had a pot to **** in to begin with?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Somebody's going to be peeling a lot of potatoes

Good for Specialist Thomas Wilson of the Tennessee Army National Guard. He asked The Dark Lord The SecDef a hardball question about the lack of armor for their humvees.

The SecDef told the troops,
"You can have all the armour in the world on a tank and a tank can (still) be blown up."

Such an astute and reassuring observation from a chicken hawk. Perhaps he'd like to try his hand at Macgyvering a humvee and then taking it for a spin across the desert.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Good Karma

The couple who created Garden of Angels, a cemetary for abandoned, nameless infants, has won a $27M lotto windfall.
They plan to use the jackpot to create a scholarship in the name of every child buried in the garden of angels.

There's always a buck to be made ..

even when the idea is SO not original!
Smart American wanderers have been sewing maple leaves onto their backpacks for years.
For a more authentic look, add a Tim Horton's travel mug to your ensemble.
Hmmmm ... perhaps I have an ebay business opportunity here!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Well, of course I am!!!

Canada: "

You're Canada!

People make fun of you a lot, but they're stupid because you've
got a much better life than they do.  In fact, they're probably just jealous.
 You believe in crazy things like human rights and health care and not
dying in the streets, and you end up securing these rights for yourself and
others.  If it weren't for your weird affection for ice hockey, you'd be
the perfect person.

the Country Quiz at the href=''>Blue Pyramid


Hat tip to Venomous Kate

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hello, hypocrisy!

In Newark, a father attempted to discipline his drunken sixteen-year old daughter using the natural and logical consequences approach. He called the cops on her.
Unfortunately for him, when the cops arrived, the daughter ratted the father out, leading the cops to daddy's stash of 4 semi-automatic weapons and 600+ vials of cocaine.


A heartwarming tale about true Christmas Spirit.

Well, actually, this is about the opposite of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards your fellow man." It's about gaudy excess. It's about pettiness. It's about spitting in the face of the reason for the season.

It seems that in one of the suburbs of San Jose, California, there has been a dispute about Christmas decorations. For six years, people have come from far and wide to enjoy the Yuletide artistic stylings of Alan and Bonnie Aerts.

Some of the other denizens of this particular cul-de-sac were less than impressed with the grandeur of the Aerts family's Christmas displays, and presented a petition with 90 signatures to their elected officials, asking that the purveyors of such "oppressive" and "Disneyesque" displays obtain a permit.

In response, Mr. Aerts commissioned a 10-foot tall, motorized Grinch statue at a cost of $2500. The Grinch now stands on his lawn, pointing a finger at the neighbours who initiated the complaint, and belting out "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch."

Somehow, I don't think Our Lord and Saviour would be very happy about this. It's not a very nice birthday present for Him.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Gross, gross, gross!!

Remember the part in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the book, not that pitiful excuse for a movie, you infidel) in which greedy, gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde grabs the (hitherto unperfected) Wonka's magic chewing gum? The gum is a substitute for a complete meal of tomato soup, roast beef, and blueberry pie. Violet turns into a big fat blueberry.

That's all I could think of when I read about this new product. Now, Atkins and South Beach dieters can still experience the joy of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with carb-free, calorie-free beverages purporting to taste like mashed potatoes and gravy, roasted turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry, and fruitcake.

I suspect that the marketing geniuses at Jones Soda didn't actually read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If they did, they certainly didn't understand that Roald Dahl's "meal in a stick of gum" is a larger part of a cautionary tale. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Talking Turkey

No, this is not a post about GWB.

CNN's Gordon T. Anderson explains why that 49 cent-per-pound frankenfowl turkey is no bargain at all.

Last year, our Thanksgiving Turkey (organic, free range) came from Stonewood Farm in Orwell, Vermont. It was divine! There is definitely a difference.

Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Just nuts

I'm so glad that law and order prevails over this great land, to the extent that the Pennsylvania Superior Court can turn their attention to
the plight of Nutkin the gray squirrel.
Senior Judge Joseph Hudock is clearly earning every penny of his salary in churning out eleven pages of opinion on the very important issue of whether or not the Gosselins, of Schuykill County, PA, can continue to cohabitate with an aging rodent.
Now, if said aging rodent was gay .. well, that would be a different story altogether.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Perhaps I should rethink my opposition to gun ownership

This incident brings new meaning to the phrase, "friends don't let friends drive drunk." Unable to persuade his friend not to drive back to Indianapolis after a night of drinking in Bloomington, Indiana, a man shot out two tires on his car.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving informs us that 17,013 people were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in the United States in 2003. That's an average of nearly one person every half-hour.

Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Right there, in that bottle of Jim Bean.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Changes in education in Ontario

Dalton McGuinty has announced that new legislation will be tabled at Queen's Park, mandating that Ontario's students must remain in school until the age of 18. This is all well and good - but I graduated from Grade 13 (yes, I'm that old) when I was 17.
How will this be "workable?" How much money, how many person-hours will be spent chasing down 17 year olds who do not want to attend school? At whose expense? How does this address home-schoolers and non-traditional learners?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Massive internet traffic jam on Canada's Immigration Web Site

Following Tuesday's debacle election, it looks like there were a lot of Americans checking out how to immigrate to Canada.

It would be a lot quicker and easier if the blue states just seceded to Canada. California gets to hook up with Mexico, naturally.

Thank God our son already has his Canadian citizenship card.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I already did!!!

For those seeking refuge from Tuesday's debacle - a new website for you:

I love the pledge:

Now that George W. Bush has been declared the official winner of the November 2 election and shall become the President of the United States for four more years of idiocy, I the undersigned, a Canadian citizen, pledge to liberate, through the legal and binding act of marriage, a willing citizen of the United States of America, of a gender of my choosing, and with one or all of the following political leanings:

discouraged Democrat,
reformed Republican,
apolitical with limited world-domination tendencies.
In addition, I promise to help my new Yankee spouse to adapt to life in the great white north, keeping them safe from (gratuitous) invasion of privacy, and to provide him/her with a reasonable supply of Timbits

The website is satirical.

My pledge to keep Steve in Timbits is not.

Venus and Jupiter in the wee hours

No, this isn't about a new-age relationship book.

We were up especially early so that we could take Steve to the airport in Syracuse. Mid-tour leave is over, and he's headed back to Camp Stanley, South Korea.

While the reason for the early wake-up was a sad one, there was a bright side. Venus and Jupiter glowed brilliantly in the pre-dawn eastern horizon. It was a spectacular sight.

NOT like mother, like daughter

As much as I loathe and fear her husband, I do respect and admire Laura Bush. She brings grace and class to the position of First Lady.
But Laura, darling, what the heck is up with your daughters? I know how difficult it is to raise children these days. Really, I do. Nevertheless, you've fallen down on the job, allowing them to wear these slutty outfits at your husband's victory speech. Please, rein in your children!!
(Your husband is beyond hope).

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Read this, and weep

Dooce has written the most beautiful monthly letter to her infant daughter. This is one beloved child!

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Superficiality alert - a piece about Elton John

Sir Elton,
Why are you apologizing for your "tantrums"?

You were right! The Taiwanese photographers were being rude and vile and piggish. It is an outrage when "artists" charge sky-high admission prices for a "live" show and then resort to lipsynching.

Sir Elton, you are a true artist, both musically and in real life. Art must reflect truth. You have earned the right to tell it like it is.

Udderly mindboggling

For years, I've been wanting to attend The Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. In a few weeks, we'll finally make the trip. I had not realized how big of a deal The Royal has become. Like so many other contests involving beauty and skill, the competition for best holstein is tight, and great efforts are being made to keep the competition clean.

Howard Dobson, a veterinary radiologist and professor in the department of clinical studies at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, is heading the Royal's ultrasound-screening program for the fourth year. He won't say whether he has caught cheaters, but admits that udder adulteration, as he calls it, is "a worldwide problem."

"It's like with doping in athletes," says Dobson, adding that he reports his findings only to the show staff. What they do as to publicity or punishment is up to them.

The Bessies of The Royal seem to enjoy their spa treatment. Trimming, fluffing, powdering, oiling .. makes for pretty cows. Brennan believes even the cows know they look good. "They get your attention, they are even more beautiful to look at. They're walking with grace and poise," he says. "They want to be there and show their stuff."

Suddenly I feel dowdy.

Monday, October 25, 2004

My brother's blog ..

.. is better than mine. Check it out!

Okay, I know that no-one actually reads my blog .. except perhaps my brother.

CBC News: Americans offered anti-flu cruise

There's always a dollar to be made, isn't there? Let's hope that the suckers customers don't catch that pesky Norwalk Virus on this anti-flu cruise

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I have an idea ..

How about Laura Bush for President?
The first lady showed class, grace, and breeding in response to Teresa Heinz Kerry's gaffe du jour.

Mrs. Bush even went as far to say that no apology was needed, as she understood how tough it is.

Golly! Is Laura Canadian? She'd make a good one!

Strange things on my lawn

On this cold and dreary Thursday morning, I looked out on the lawn and saw a bunch of white stuff stewn about. Hmm, what could that be? I traipsed out and retrieved the detritus, which turned out to be one of those binders with all the pockets and a zipper, and its contents. Kind and caring person that I am (no, really!) I carefully sorted through the soggy mess to see if I could identify and notify its rightful owner.

I did not find anything which pinpointed the ownership, but I did find a fascinating 4 page email.

I skimmed through the missive, which was addressed to a "Kelli". The email discussed, at great length, the writer's emotions regarding their relationship and certain events therein. I marvelled at the writer's skills of articulation and of expressing and explaining emotions. I thought, "Wow! This is one sensitive, in-tune guy! And his spelling, grammar, and punctuation are excellent!".

Then I got to the last page.

It was signed,

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

What would a gay wedding be if not fabulous??

'Tis true that we no longer have a TV. (Two months now, going very well, thanks for asking.) I was still intrigued by
this story.

The one, the only, the fabulous Scott Thompson will be hosting My Fabulous Gay Wedding. Yes, yes, it's another fresh and innovative spin on the same old thing.

The first wedding does sound fabulous, of course:

Basking in the sunlight in their designer tuxedos, Bromm and McKeen appear to be a good catch for the cameras. Here, the photogenic pair exchange vows by Toronto Harbour, after arriving by separate sail boats. The dock is adorned with flowers where a jazz singer croons and a United Church minister says a few inspiring words before declaring them legally married. Aside from the minister having to duck under a boom microphone, it all seems to be a fairly straightforward event. But what makes the entire affair a little surreal is that it's being hosted by Scott Thompson, from Kids in the Hall. The irreverent comedian guides the couple through the preparations in the weeks leading up to the big day.

My, my, my. What would Buddy Coleman think of all this?

I'm "Athletic Girl"

This is probably a pretty accurate description of me. Swap out a Saturn station wagon for the Jeep, and a Specialized for the Trek, and this is me.
Well, I'm sure I do have abs of death somewhere in there .. surrounded by a protective cushion of pooch. Hey, you try fitting an 8 lb baby into the uterus of a 4'11" woman, and see if things don't sag a bit after a c-section!!

Cooking to Hook Up: The Bachelor's Date-Night Cookbook: "


Sunday, October 17, 2004

Christopher Reeve

For the past week, I have been contemplating the meaning of the life and death of Christopher Reeve. Words are just that - mere words - and I cannot find the right combination to pay proper tribute to this man.

Margaret Cho has written a beautiful piece about his life and legacy. It's worth a read.

Perhaps it is most fitting, however, that the best tributes to the man who breathed life into the comic book hero, are found in last week's editorial cartoons.

Don't forget the sunscreen

Offered without comment: Nude cruises sail Down Under.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

At last! A headline that tells the truth!

Check out MTV's take on Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire.

If ever anyone needed a good b***hslapping, it was Tucker Carlson. Go Jon!!!

School lunch rant

Apparently, the crise du jour in NYC schools involves a food delivery problem. The practical upshoot is that the kids aren't receiving that wonderful lunchtime nutrition. One principal has sent a letter to parents, suggesting that they start sending box lunches in with their kids.

It is on this very topic that your resident border straggling blogger becomes quite confused. According to Bill O'Reilly and his ilk, (and oh, internet, how I am biting my tongue about his current woes) Canada is an evil socialist nanny state. However, it is on this side of the border that parents can abdicate the responsibility of feeding their children, and can foist it off on the state.

Now, my little socialist self would embrace such a belevolent gesture, if I had not witnessed what passes for a "nutritious" breakfast or lunch at our (otherwise fine) local primary school.

Sorry folks, but breaded, deepfried popcorn shrimp IS NOT FOOD. Broccoli that is limp and brown no longer offers any nutritional benefit.

And school breakfasts .. there's a great social experiment. It must be funded by the makers of Ritalin. Let's see what happens when we put little boys on a bus for 45 minutes, when the school is only 2 miles away. Then let's give them Pop-Tarts (the really brightly coloured ones, with sprinkles too!) and juice and chocolate milk. Now let's tell their parents that these little boys need Ritalin because they are disruptive, and unable to sit still for the next three hours. I maintain that root beer and a multivitamin would provide an equally nutritious start to the day.

Thanks, but this product of the socialist nanny state prefers to provide a decent breakfast and lunch for her child. Call me crazy.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Take that, you infidels!!!!

Rumour has it that Martha Stewart will write a book about her experience in prison. This is a Good Thing. According to the CNN article, such a book deal would be worth about five million dollars.

I am looking forward to the second printing of this tome - the one which chronicles her exoneration and vindication.

Those who perpetrated the Kafka-esque witch hunt will be receive a life sentence of NEVER HAVING A SOUFFLE RISE AGAIN.

In other news, the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived today. As always, it is a thing of beauty. Stay strong, Martha!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Tough call .. not!

A Wisconsin pharmacist is facing the loss of his license because he refused to fill an 18 year old college student's prescription for birth control pills. His justification was that, as a Roman Catholic, he would face "the worst kind of pain - spiritual pain" if he honoured her request.

He is not alone in his refusal to furnish oral contraceptives. A few weeks ago, this subject was addressed on CBC Radio One's The Current.

I have just one question for the pharmacists who are taking this higher moral ground: What would you have done if Andrea Yates had presented a script for Ortho-Tri-Cycline after the birth of her 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th child?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Submariner's body on way to Halifax

This is the proper way to honour military members who die in the line of duty.

Rest in peace, Lt. Saunders. Our prayers are with your family.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Sadness in my heart

As of today, our Martha is in prison.

I know that her appeal will be successful, and that she will emerge from this dark winter with even greater strength and grace.

To honour Martha today, I am hanging a lovely pressed pansy montage in the bathroom.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Last desperate measures

State GOP says Michael Moore illegally offered underwear in exchange for voting

So, as is his wont, Michael Moore is using humor to get his point across in the Slacker Uprising Tour. And, as is their wont in these desperate last days of the Bush era, the GOP is getting indignant.


Ripped from the pages of Law and Order

This is painful to even think about. A 31 year old man shot himself last month. He was twice declared brain dead, and his heart, liver, pancreas, and both kidneys were donated.

Now, the act of removing those organs
has been deemed a homicide because the tests administered to declare brain death were not sufficient.

Ya don't say ...

In the grand tradition of McNamara et al, Paul Bremer has
acknowledged that the US didn't send enough troops into Iraq.

Gee, do you think General Eric Shinseki (USA, fired by Rummy retired) might have known what he was talking about?

I wonder how Gen. Shinseki can function on a daily basis, what he takes to stop himself from shaking with rage.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Because there just aren't enough real issues to face ...

Drudge et al really had to go scraping in order to come up with this Pocket-gate crudge. Amazingly enough, Fox News and The New York Post have cleared up the controversy. Their careful frame-by-frame analysis reveals that Senator Kerry was removing a pen from his pocket.

Has Rupert Murdoch seen the light?

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Just erupt already!!

I've been checking the Mount St. Helens VolcanoCam obsessively today. It's a good thing we no longer have a TV or I would have accomplished even less on this lazy Sunday.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Jeeeeeee-Zussssssssssssss again!!!

A cinema in Houston shut down after an eight foot long snake was seen slithering in front of the screen. It is believed to be a Burmese Python, and it has not yet been found. Has anyone asked Harry Potter what he knows about this?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Have you no shame???

Gah. William Shatner punks birthplace of Captain Kirk. Gah.

... trying to think of something to say ...

And all I can come up with is .. gah.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

This looks like a great invention!!

A young man from the UK has designed a slimline inhaler for asthmatics. I'm an asthmatic myself, so I can see how this will be very useful.

The genesis of this invention is peculiar. Frustrated after seeing his asthmatic friend struggle to breathe in smoky bars, Adam Bates decided to design a wallet-sized inhaler.

I would only add one thing to this medical device. It won't increase the size, but I think it will increase its usefulness. I would have the following warning printed on the inhaler:

Stay out of smoky bars, you idiot!!

You don't even know what you're missing!

Mark Brown has written a funny piece for today's Chicago Sun-Times. It seems that British candy makers will no longer make King-Sized/Supersized products. Mr. Brown sings the praises of his favourite sugary concoctions, and warns that only communists would think they're making the world a better place by reducing the size of candy bars.

Here's the home truth, Mr. Brown. These things you call candy bars are, in fact, rubbish. Some things are simply better above the 49th parallel. Chocolate bars are at the top of this list. If only you could sample a Coffee Crisp, an Aero, a Mirage Bar .. you would no longer feel the need for supersized anything. It's about the quality, not the quantity.

I won't even get into Laura Secord French Mint Chocolate Bars.

Excuse me for a moment while my eyes roll heaven-wards at the mere thought of these divine concoctions .. talk amongst yourselves .. okay

Excuse me for a moment further as I contemplate Bill O'Reilly bursting into spontaneous combustion at the thought of French Mint Chocolate named after the Canadian heroine who prevented an attack by those damned Yankees during the war of 1812.

It's gonna be a great day!

Monday, September 27, 2004

CBC News: Canada considering sending disaster team to Haiti

Ummm ... just considering it??

Sorry to be an armchair quarterback, but one week and thousands of cases of typhus and dysentry later, it's time to fuel up those Herc's and put those water purification systems to good use.


I'm no theological scholar, but I don't think Our Lord and Saviour would be terribly impressed by the fact that fisticuffs broke out at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Police forces were called in to separate Franciscans and Greek Orthodox priests after they got into a fight over who would open the door of the church.

I seem to recall something about "love one another as I have loved you" and "turn the other cheek" in the New Testament. I missed the part about pounding the piss out of one another in order to settle a dispute about doors.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Simply chilling

I can't imagine the pain felt by the parents of Elizabeth Bain. How courageous they are to attend the court hearings that cast doubt onto the actual identity of her killer.

Ms. Mandel asks an astute question:

Taken all together, Baltovich's lawyers have woven a masterful spell of possibility. But there remains one nagging thought. Bernardo had confessed all his evil exploits to Karla Homolka, his infamous wife and partner in crime.

Wouldn't he have bragged about Bain as well?

Perhaps he did. Perhaps, in their sick, sick minds, they gloat about getting away with that murder.

More ranting ahead!

So, they've kept the wolf away from the door. Ontario's Minister of Health will personally meet the Med-Scan van at the border to turn them away.

Here's what I don't understand. Citizens of Ontario (aged 19 and above) can spend $200 on alcohol, or cigarettes, or
Doritos, and the Government gladly accepts the PST and various sin taxes associated with these vices. Why can't these same citizens spend $200 on ultrasounds?

Senior citizens are lining up for these services. No-one is forcing them to have ultrasounds. It's their money! Why can't they spend it as they choose?

Oh. My. God. Look at me, criticizing the sacred cow Canada Health Act. Am I becoming Americanized?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Preying on whom, exactly?

In a move that is causing severe political sphincter-clenching, an American company plans to
offer mobile one-day diagnostic clinics in church basements across the Hamilton-Niagara Region. The "full meal deal" costs $200 and provides four ultrasound tests, designed to screen for vascular problems that could be precursors to stroke or heart attack.

Oh, the horror! Ordinary citizens daring to spend their own money, and refusing to wait for months to beg for a doctor's permission to wait several months more for ultrasounds.

Isn't it funny that the government has no objection to people spending $200 in one of their casinos, but won't let people spend the same amount on tests that could save their lives, or put their worries to rest?

Stop throwing good money after bad!!

The antiquated backup generators at Kingston General Hospital failed. Again. The practical upshoot of this problem is that long-awaited surgeries were cancelled yesterday.

KGH reminds me of The Weasley's house in Chamber of Secrets. Addition after addition after addition has been built, turning it into a labyrinth. Even the most recent addition, the Kidd Wing, is a convoluted and confusing beast. But hey, the carpets are pretty, and the wallpaper is nice. Too bad about that smell.

Here's one reason that the cherished Canadian Health Care system is falling apart. They keep throwing good money after bad. KGH wanted $25 million to repair the electrical system???? For that kind of money, they should be building a new facility. I propose that the new KGH be .. let's call it linear, for simplicity's sake. No more running around in circles. No more carpet!!! No more uneven floors!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Laugh for the day

Farting dog plots world domination

Thankfully, Chocolate the Supermutt does not share Walter's gift.

It seems that everything gets merchandised and licensed out the wazoo these days. I am, by turns, bemused and repulsed at the notion of a scratch-and-sniff version of Walter the Farting Dog.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Re-opening old wounds

Did you hear that? It was the sound of the collective gasp, the instinctive reaction to pains new and old, at the announcement that
Paul Bernardo may have had another victim. Actually, there could be two victims, if you count Robert Baltovich. He has apparently spent 8 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit.

This strengthens my opposition to the death penalty. What if Baltovich had been executed for this crime? How do you make amends for that? How can you even make amends for the 8 years of incarceration he has faced?

Even in the case of Bernardo, I oppose the death penalty. Death is too good for him. I hope he lives a long, long time, festering in his own mental putrience.

Rest in peace, Tammy, Kristen, Lesley, and Elizabeth.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

More intelligence failures

I'm no font expert, but it's pretty clear, when one looks at the signatures of Bush's ANG commanding officer, they're just not the same.

The question to be asked today is not "were the documents faked?"

Instead, we should be asking:

* "Who faked these documents?"
* "why?"
* "whom were they trying to discredit?"
* "from what are they trying to distract our attention?"

Have at it, Mr. Drudge!

Friday, September 17, 2004

A picture is worth a million words

This sums up the idiocy of the attention being paid to what the Skull&Bonesmen were doing when I was still in diapers.

Once again, I don't care about that war. There's a couple going on right now that merit some attention.

Side note to Theresa Heinz Kerry: Please shut up. I'm sure you're an intelligent and articulate woman, Botox addiction nothwithstanding. But this is the age of Matt Drudge, where everything is twisted and nothing makes sense.

Side note to Matt Drudge: Just shut up.

Thank you for the music!

Busy times in the home of the Miniature Rose. Repairs to the plumbing turned into a complete bathroom renovation. Ding, dong, the ugly bathroom's gone! Whoever invented the green and gold formica which graced my bathroom should have to spend time and all eternity encased by it. Beadboard painted "Velvet Sky" by Behr, is much more to my liking!

Now that the shower/drain no longer leak into the basement, I have endeavored to clean things up down there! This involves several garbage bags, a scrub brush, copious quantities of Orange Fabuloso and elbow grease. How does one get through the drudgery of such a task? Why, with the help of The Greatest. Band. Ever.

Yes, yes, yes, I am a Dancing Queen. And I feel as energetic as I did when I was seventeen, bopping around in the dungeon pleasant new living and play space. It's a good thing that I live in the country. If anyone witnessed the spectacle of a 35 year old hausfrau belting out "Mamma Mia" while down on her hands and knees scrubbing away years of dirt and grime .. well, it would surely be discussed at my commitment hearing.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Dear Mary-Kate and Ashley:

I was so relieved to read of your new endorsement deal with McDonald's. I was beginning to worry that you might reach soon run out of money - say, within the next millenium or so.

Now that you have a little pocket change, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, EAT A CHEESEBURGER OR SOMETHING!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Differences above and below the 49th parallel

As I have mentioned before, I am a geographical, intellectual, and emotional border-straddler. My hope is to return to Canada when my husband retires from the Army. Naturally, I pay keen attention when Canada's cherished but flawed system of Universal Medicare is on the examination table.

A particular amusement of mine (and of many expats, no doubt) is to compare and contrast US and Canadian politics and public figures. Case in point: cusses caught on camera.

Dick Cheney unashamedly uses the F-bomb to describe a political opponent. He refuses to apologize. Go figure.

Today, at the aforementioned Health Care Summit, Paul Martin's utterance of our Lord and Saviour's name was picked up by the microphones. Oops.

Here's how it was handled - quoted from the CTV article:

The prime minister quietly let out a curse as Manitoba Premier Gary Doer was speaking, but the words were picked up by the live microphones around him.

Martin had just been handed a note from an official that prompted him to remark, "Jesus Christ."

The Prime Minister's Office acknowledged that Martin had uttered the phrase. Martin later apologized to the premiers and said he was not reacting to Doer when he used the "inappropriate" language. He said he thought he was swearing under his breath.

Martin noted that his aunt, Claire, in Pembroke, Ont. heard the remark on TV and called him during a break in the conference. Premiers laughed as he told them that she recommended he wash his mouth out with soap.

Martin joked that he appealed to a higher power because it's a tough conference and he needs all the help that he can get.

And there, boys and girls, is the difference between the elephant, and the mouse that sleeps beside it.

Merci, M. Brodeur!

And thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of Team Canada, for bringing the World Cup home!

Our TV moratorium continues - a raving success, btw - so I listened to the game on CBC Radio One. Radio broadcasting of hockey (and baseball, for that matter) is a fine art, which the folks at CBC have mastered. I dare say that radio is the superior medium for experiencing The Good Old Hockey Game - especially this game. It brings us back to the heart of hockey - playing for the love of the game, and for God and Country. No contracts, no cloying commercials, no octopi thrown on the ice in cities that never reach temperatures below 10C - and no annoying Americanized red line showing where the puck is going.

To the great city of New Orleans:

I raise my virtual Hurricane Glass to y'all. Be safe!

Louisiana is a state of contradiction, but I truly enjoyed every day that I lived there. It was, after all, the state in which this humble correspondent met her husband. It was also the first of these United States in which I lived. Yes, there was a little bit of culture shock for this babe out of the woods of Northern Ontario, but nothing that could not be soothed by sweet southern hospitality, the ability to sunbathe in February, and the close proximity of a Payless Shoe Store.

My friend, travelling companion, and partner in crime, Liz, described DeRidder, Louisiana, as "the buckle of the bible belt." This geographical fact made life, and my job as the charge nurse on nights, ever so much more interesting. Like the night that a confusted and agitated patient warned me that I would burn in the fires of hell, in a lake of fire in hell. Interesting, is all I'm saying.

Contrast Beauregard Parish - dry as a martini - with its northern neighbour, Vernon Parish. Try not to hurt your brain as you ponder drive-through liquor stores. Night and day, I tell you.

Night and some wild temporal anomaly describes the difference between DeRidder and New Orleans. DeRidder lives and breathes by the schedule of the First Baptist Church. New Orleans blew my mind. I had expected a raucous attitude - laissez les bon temps roulez - but the adult novelties that were sold in the souvenir shops, right next to the postcards and t-shirts, made this former Public Health Nurse and Sexual Health Educator blush.

So, N'Awlins, y'all take care now! I might be a Yankee now, but I'll always remember you fondly.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Les poulets, sans tetes?

Even though Seoul confirmed a huge blast in North Korea, there is no indication that it was a nuclear weapons test.

Somehow, this doesn't comfort me.

An explosion and mushroom cloud in the vicinity of a ballistic missile base makes me nervous. Call me crazy.

It feels like being in a flock of the Anti-Chicken Littles. No, the massive blackout of August 2003 wasn't terrorism. We don't know what it was, but it wasn't terrorism. Subsequent massive blackouts in Italy and the UK .. of course they weren't terrorism. Simultaneous plane crashes .. weren't necessarily terrorism.

As the t-shirt said - just because I'm paranoid, it doesn't mean that they aren't out to get me.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I just know that it tastes good

Spices in Asian cuisine have health benefits

It seems that turmeric is an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Sadly, the only Indian restaurant ever to grace the otherwise bland culinary scene of this area only lasted about 6 months. Round these parts, if it ain't supersized, it ain't good.

Time for a pilgrammage to Kingston, I think.


So a lady in Potsdam - which is not too far from here - takes a used Honda out for a test drive. She pops the hood and finds a FREAKIN' PYTHON!!

I think I'll stick with our old and paid-for cars.

Brianna the Bouncing Bear

This sounds like a good Canadian children's story! A black bear frolicked on the trampoline in a Huntsville, Ontario back yard.

I love the part about using doughnuts to lure the bear into the trap. I wonder if they were the honey-glazed variety from Tim Horton's??

Thursday, September 09, 2004 : Questions Raised About Bush Guard Service

I JUST DON'T CARE about what either Skull&Bonesman was doing or not doing while I was still in diapers.

I want to know how the hell we're going to get out of the current mess that we find ourselves in!


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Yeah, God Bless Texas ..

Attention all you NRA freaks .. the ones who love to pervert the 2nd amendment.

Please justify this sickening incident.

I don't think that this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they talked about the constitutional right to bear arms.

Still proud of yourselves?

Yes, there are weapons of mass destruction .. right here at home. Consider these factoids from the Brady Campaign.

Yeah, what he said

After five years of self-imposed exile from all things flickering on the television, BBC broadcaster John Humphrys offers a sharp critique of current TV fare.

Our hiatus from television began in a similar fashion to Mr. Humphrys'. Upon our return from a few days at the lake last Sunday, I noted that the colours on the X-Box game (SSX Tricky) were much darker. Then, when we switched to television, we had sound, but no picture. I inserted a video - same thing. When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets began to fade to black, I finally realized that our 15 year old television was finally about to expire.

My first instinct was to go and buy a new television. I'd been secretly coveting the flat screen TV with the built-in DVD player, and hoping that the old Magnavox would succumb to old age.

Then, I thought .. let's wait. I had been thinking about replacing the digital cable (at $75/month) with basic cable ($9/month) but hadn't gotten the monkey off my back around to it. I realized that I had a golden opportunity to launch a full frontal attack on the TV monster - immediately. On Monday, I detached the cable box, grabbed the clicker, and brought them back to the cable company. "Here you go", I said politely. "We no longer wish to have cable."

"Would you like to keep your basic cable?"

Steel yourself .. you can do this

"No, thank you."

We are only one week into our TV moratorium, but so far it is going well. Naturally, we still have our high-speed internet. It's vital for having videoconferences with my husband, who is currently stationed in South Korea. Hubby has also been ignoring the television, despite having free cable in his barracks room, and a tv tuner card in his computer.

The most amazing thing about the TV vacation is that my seven year old son has accepted the new status quo with nary a complaint. This morning, he did say that he was going to watch a bit of "invisible TV". It shames me to think of how many hours I allowed the flickering box to be his babysitter - precious hours watching the same episodes of "Stanley" or "The Wiggles" over and over again - precious hours that should have been spent reading, riding his bicycle, or chasing the butterflies in our back yard.

I suspect that a new TV/DVD combo might enter our house at some point .. but not for a while.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Catering to finicky appetites

Now, I'll be the first one to admit that our 3 cats are living la dolce vita, with the saggy bellies to prove it.

But this new restaurant in Manhattan is simply ridiculous and borders on obscene.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Well, duh!

If you're in the Canadian Armed Forces, you're drinking Tim Horton's coffee! Got that, soldier?

I know where my towel is - Hitchhiker guided to film at last

I wonder if they'll be able to do justice to H2G2.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004

Florida .. animal encounter .. again

Rabid bat disrupts breakfast at St. Pete cafe

Seriously .. what is going on in Florida?

Those compassionate conservatives are at it again

Is this flippant comment the 21st century RNC equivalent of "let them eat cake"?

Smoking ban may expand at hospital

Call me a nicotine nazi, but I think that this proposal is a good one.

This is a very divisive issue. Smokers claim that they get treated like second-class citizens, forced further and further into physical and psychological isolation by "nannies" like me. I would argue that in the workplace, it is the non-smokers who become the unter-menschen.

I hated working with smokers. Because of their slavish addiction choice of habit, they were able to leave the floor to have a cigarette break several times a day. They chalked their need up to "the stress of working in this place." What they failed to care about realize was that the minute that they stepped off the floor, all hell would break loose with their patients as well as mine. The non-smokers couldn't even get a bathroom break, let alone leave the floor for 20-30 minutes.

The most ironic and baffling aspect of working in hospitals, especially on the Respirology floor, was the source of this "stress". My fellow nurses would watch a smoker turn gray and die, then go and have a cigarette break.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The ultimate in recycling | Paper to be made from elephant poo (July 26, 2004)

I'm not sure that I'm this committed.

Hyperventilation will commence now

The newIKEA catalogue is now online.

My husband will be so relieved!!!

CBC Sports: Don Cherry re-signs with HNIC

I actually met Grapes while doing a sitter shift at Kingston General Hospital, about a million years ago. And I sounded like a complete fool, because I had no idea which room the patient he wanted to visit was staying in.

My other brush with CBC royalty occured when I was in Grade 7. Our class visited Ottawa, and we saw David Suzuki walking down the street! I'm not sure if he's accustomed to 12 year olds telling him how much they love his show. Glad to see he's still going strong20+ years later.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Some truly amazing pictures

CBC Television - The Nature Of Things - Nature in Focus

The winning entry took my breath away, and evoked a sense of wistfulness and homesickness. I've never really seen the northern lights, but it looks like "home" to me.

Your tax dollars at work - Report: Bigger breasts offered as perk to soldiers - Jul 21, 2004

I can understand the need for surgeons to practice their skills. But I just don't see how the ability to augment breasts or perform liposuction will make any difference in a surgeon's effectiveness in a combat zone.

Walter Reed is currently bursting at the seams with soldiers requiring intensive rehabilitation - physical, psychological, and emotional. That's a priority.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


A ninety-four year old man from Hamilton has discovered the fountain of youth.

Time for some situps!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Well, I'm a woman, and I'm not offended : Schwarzenegger Stands by 'Girlie-Men' Line

Okay, it might not have been the best choice of words. But really, wasn't the Governator just making fun of himself and his image? I hardly consider the phrase "girlie men" to be sexist or derogatory to women.

Innocent until proven guilty, BUT help me out with the math here

APP.COM - Howell man held in Brick teen's slaying

Prayers for Brittney and her family. What a nightmare.

Some very disturbing "stats" about the acccused:

In May 2000, Fuller was sentenced in state Superior Court, Toms River, to five years in state prison for theft and receiving stolen property. Four months later, he received another five-year sentence for burglary, theft and receiving stolen property, stemming from charges in Monmouth County.

After violating probation in December 2002, Fuller was returned to prison. He was released from Bayside State Prison in Cumberland County in April 2003.

Why was this man out of prison? He served no more than 18 months for the theft and stolen property charges ( out of 2, five year sentences), then violated probation and spent another 4 months or so as a guest of the state. Somebody has some explaining to do.

Demoted??? Why is he still allowed to be a cop???

CBC Ottawa - OPP officer demoted for drunk driving

Sob, sob, sob. Sounds like a bad country song .. lost my wife, lost my dog, so I'll get drunk and crash this unmarked police car.

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Martha sentence a joke

Peter Worthington nails it.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

But it's so much more satisfying to squish them

Researchers: Smashing mosquitoes onto skin may cause infection

Growing up in the deep woods of Northern Ontario, I have squished a mosquito or two in my life. I've also cause the demise of .. oh, let's say, millions, as a conservative estimate .. of blackflies. I should have died of brachiola algerae by now, don't you think?

Sometimes I get really really homesick for Northern Ontario. Then I remember the blackflies, and the feeling passes rather quickly.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Paging Frank Kafka

Whom Did Martha Stewart Kill? - by Paul Craig Roberts

I was inspired by the strength that Martha showed yesterday. And I did indeed go out and purchase a couple of items from the Martha Stewart line at KMart yesterday.

Yesterday's mail brought the August issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. As always, it is chock-full of inspiring ideas.

Why are so many people threatened by Martha? No-one forces them to buy the magazines or watch the shows or buy the towels. So what if she's a perfectionist? What is so wrong about wanting to create a nice home for one's family?

I really have to wonder about the government officials who went after Martha. The stock sale was not illegal. Why such venom and gore? Did someone's souffle not rise?

Only in Florida, part two

There's more to worry about than the perversion of the second amendment these days. Is there a specific charge for
assault with a reptile?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Mazel Tov!!

I never thought I'd see a wedding announcement like this one in the Watertown Daily Times.
I will never understand the people who think that it's perfectly okay to kill thousands of Iraqi civilians, but flip out at the prospect of two middle aged lesbians proclaiming their love and commitment for one another. What terrifies me is that these evangelical types who support the war but oppose gay marriage firmly believe that God Almighty is on their side.
If Fred Phelps is gonna get a better spot in heaven than me, then I'll take my chances with the other alternative.

I'm just not sure what to make of this

Terror in the Skies, Again? - WomensWallStreet

Is this just more booga-booga?
Frankly, I'm much more worried about driving in Watertown than I am about any impending terrorist attack.
No, I'm serious. I swear that there is a correlation between the increasingly bad driving and the metastatic spread of crystal meth addiction in the north country.

Only in Florida ...

Pig owner to face charges of cruelty

Tried to write haiku
Palm Beach, tigers and pigs
Need more coffee first

Thursday, July 15, 2004

If this doesn't raise your blood pressure ...

Hack's column cuts straight to the heart of the matter again.

This is shocking. Hack writes:

How many times have you heard me blast the Pentagon for not providing the right stuff for our guys and gals doing the death dance on our behalf around the world? But our warriors are still operating with insufficient top-quality armored vests, the wrong unarmored vehicles and not enough ammo; and they're still saddled with the limp Beretta pistol and the worst rifle – the M-16 – ever issued to an American GI since George Washington kicked out the Brits.

And now, the latest from reliable sources in Iraq is that the new Iraqi army is being issued 13,500 Glock pistols – one of the finest pistols in the world – almost a million rounds of ammo, 900 new vehicles, 50,000 of the latest and best armored vests going and top-of-the-line submachine guns. We’re already spent a billion bucks on the Iraqi army, and there's $2.4 billion more in the pipeline.

Former paratrooper Marshall Waters says, “It seems all the things our troops have been missing and literally dying over are there for the asking for the Iraqi forces.”

Meanwhile, the regime charging our kids for the flicks is blowing up Iraqi arsenals filled with ammo, weapons and gear. “Why not give those weapons and ammo to the new Iraqi army?” asks Waters, “and spend the $2.4 billion on stuff for our guys?”

We've already spent a billion bucks outfitting the Iraqi army, and that's just the tip of the iceburg?

Hey Neocons! That doesn't seem very conservative to me.

I begin my vigil

Fans Speak Up for Stewart (

Tomorrow, Martha Stewart will be sentenced. I am now sorry that I did not write to Judge Cedarbaum myself to plead for leniency and sanity. I just didn't believe - still cannot believe - that this nightmare could happen.

What purpose will be served if Martha is incarcerated? How will it make society safer? How much has this ridiculous witch hunt trial cost the American taxpayer already? How much more will it cost to imprison her and keep her safe while incarcerated?

Martha was never charged with, let alone convicted for, insider trading. Tomorrow's sentencing will relate to conspiracy, obstruction, and lying to federal investigators.

Hmm, lying. Like the lies told by the juror who wanted to insinuate himself into that courtroom and take down a giant like Martha? Like the lies told by the expert witness when he testified that he, himself, studied the ink on Baconavic's notes?

I guess it's okay to lie to the United Nations (cough cough Colin Powell) or to the American People (cough cough Rummycheneybushrice). After all, those lies only resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and over a thousand coalition troops .. and counting.

But God help the successful Blonde Democrat who sets a beautiful table. God help us all.

Truly supporting the troops

Virtual bouquets to the travellers whogave up their first-class seats so that 8 soldiers on their way home for two weeks of R&R away from Iraq could travel in style.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Let's slap the vets in the face .. again

BBC NEWS | Health | No evidence for Gulf war syndrome

Who funded this study? Who were the geniuses behind it? Why is the study being published now?

Admittedly, I'm a big conspiracy theory buff. But this story has a peculiar odor to it. It smells like the powers that be need a little more "scientific ammunition" to buffer against the upcoming cases of Gulf War 2 syndrome.

I firmly believe that the witch's brew of forced vaccines, immunoglobins, and especially antimalarials is making our soldiers sick. Some element or elements indigenous to the Persian Gulf may or may not be a part of the toxic mix. It doesn't matter. What matters is that soldiers are getting sick, and their families are sick of being told that "there's nothing wrong, but if there was something wrong, it would have no connection to military service."

Sunday, July 11, 2004

They're multiplying like rabbits!

Bunnies abound in B.C. suburb

First bullfrogs, now bunnies??? Oh the horror, the horror!!

Seriously, what are they smoking at CBC Vancouver? Isn't there anything more newsworthy going on?

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The important question is, do they taste like chicken??

CBC News:Bullfrog explosion plaguing B.C.

Slow news week, I guess.

That's right .. you're the victim here

Friendly fire pilot will appeal and sue.

So, poor Major Harry Schmidt had his privacy violated. Were his widdle feelings hurt by the judge's ruling that he demonstrated arrogance and a lack of flight discipline?

This is nauseatingly reminiscent of a training accident which occurred at Fort Drum a few years ago. A toxic mix of arrogance, negligence, and human and mechanical errors resulted in the deaths of two soldiers. During a live fire exercise, two rounds of artillery went dramatically off course, and landed in a mess tent at the edge of the impact zone.

The battery commander, CD, was not the only one at fault. I believe that the final report cited no less than 38 factors which contributed to this tragedy. However, CD's actions did contribute to the deaths of two men.

I had met CD once before the incident. He and his wife came to dinner at our house a few years ago. Now, I love to entertain dinner guests. The army is a microcosm of society, and it is full of interesting characters. I am constantly nagging encouraging Steve to bring people home for dinner.

CD is the only person I have ever barred from my dinner table.

A few months after the incident, we went out for lunch at our favourite Watertown restaurant, The Apollo. The food is great, and it is usually a GI-free zone. Usually. In came CD and his wife. Steve tried to avoid eye contact, but it was too late. CD made a beeline for our table.

"Did you hear what happened to me?" he asked.

Steve played dumb. My husband doesn't suffer fools, but he's smart enough and gracious enough not to remind people of their screwups in a public place. Unfortunately, this tactic did not work in this case. CD proceded to rant about how he was getting screwed over in the course of the official investigation. It was all about him. Not once, in the course of his diatribe, did he even mention that two men were dead. Not once, did I get any inkling that he felt anything resembling regret or remorse for their deaths. I was stunned and speechless.

CD is no longer in the army. I believe his plan was to go to law school. How appropriate. If I ever need a bloodsucking amoral vampire lawyer, he'll be the first one I'll call.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Now you see it, now you don't

"Post" Tabs Wrong Horse

Fortunately, there's always The Smoking Gun. Vindictive woman is smiling today.

What's black and white and red all over?

Answer: The New York Post
Kerry Picks Gephardt as running mate

Good one, guys!

Now, about these weapons of mass destruction?

Monday, July 05, 2004

In Canada, he'd get a free two-four. It's in the Criminal Code, eh?

Hollister judge horrified at finding a mouse in his beer

Zero points for originality. Bob and Doug did this years ago.

But seriously, how could one drink an entire bottle of beer before noticing a rodent in the bottle? Puh-leeze.

Baby Beluga ..

in the deep blue sea ...

Now, what were you doing splashing about in the area of Kennebunkport? Did Michael Moore send you?

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Ooooh pretty!

This is so soothing

Exit Strategy, Please

David Hackworth's column gets right to the point this week. Our soldiers have been betrayed by Rummy's arrogance and chicken-hawkish ineptitude. However, if Bush didn't cut him loose after the torture photos came to light, he won't sack him now.

As a Permanent Resident Alien, I won't be able to vote in November's election. (I'll blog about my personal conflict with the whole Naturalization thing at a later date). I remain a powerless observer to the whole process. I am not, however, an impartial one. At this point, I'm disillusioned and disgusted. From my vantage point, it seems that attention is focussed on the most ridiculous things - whether Kerry has had botox injections, just how wealthy is he, and what's in those divorce papers anyway?

Am I just looking in the wrong places, or has no-one come forward with any sort of exit strategy for this mess? Colin Powell, where are you? Oh, that's right .. gotta dance!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Fahrenheit 911

Here is my cousin's review of Fahrenheit 911. I have to say that this is a pretty fair and accurate assessment of Michael Moore's latest work.

I saw F-911 in a sold-out show in Ottawa on Wednesday, with my brother. Viewing this film with a Canadian audience added an unexpected twist to my experience. While those around me chuckled and guffawed at the scenes which portrayed Bush to be an idiot, I felt real and extreme physical agitation, right down to the tips of my fingers. It was like I had just chugged ten cups of Starbucks. I suspect that most of the audience could feel a bit more detached from the lunacy than me. It is my husband, and the husbands of my friends, and the mothers and fathers of my son's classmates, who have been/are currently/will be the ones sent into harm's way by the Commander in Chief and his neocon cabal.

Almost as interesting as the film itself, were the comments I overheard from the two young (ie twentysomething) women sitting behind us. During an unexpected intermission (the film stopped abruptly, the lights came on, and management removed a member of the audience for some reason), the ladies were discussing the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. One said, "how stupid do you have to be, to take pictures of yourself while dragging someone around on a chain? Who does that, anyway?". That was my first reaction to the photos, too. Then, I felt intense pity and pathos for the detainees. Then, my feelings morphed into an incandescent rage when I realized that the actions of those evil fools would put my husband at great risk for retaliatory attacks. There are simply no words and no excuses for what those soldiers did, but there are reasons, and those reasons extend far beyond the stupidity and sadistic cruelty of a handful of reservists. I couldn't help but perceive a certain sense of Canadian smugness and superiority in the tone of the women who sat behind us. I guess they've never heard about Shidane Arone.

At the end of the movie, waiting for the theatre to clear out, the conversation behind me turned to a soundbite in the film. A young soldier is shown saying "I hate this country." (namely, Iraq). The women were shocked by this comment, but then said something to the effect that nothing better could be expected from him. After all, said my smug audience-mates and fellow Canadian citizens, the US Army can only scrape the dregs of the society from the bottom of the barrel to fill its ranks. My brother's hand on my shoulder helped me to hold my tongue. Moore's film does make the valid point that the military is the only viable choice for many American citizens (and resident aliens) who wish to escape the grinding poverty and crime of Anytown USA. What I felt was unfair, was the way soldiers were portrayed as simple, inarticulate, thoughtless, knuckle-dragging bubbas from Redneckville, USA.

It's been 48 hours since I walked out of the theatre, and my body still feels like I have an IV of Starbucks running into my arm, wide open. There is so much more to say about this film, but I will leave that to those who write better than I do.

Thank you, State Troopers!

Troopers to be out in force on I-81

I've been driving for many years now. Thanks to Young Drivers of Canada, I usually feel confident in my defensive driving skills. A few years of driving in Italy sharpened those skills and boosted said confidence.

However, in the last few months, I've become more nervous when driving around here. Perhaps it's because certain young "Fast and furious" wannabes have adopted the stretch of road in front of my house as their personal racetracks - a proving ground for their souped up Neons and Mustangs. One such twenty year old "gentleman" was arrested last week, just down the road from here, with a BAC of 0.10. I wonder if he was the kind soul who threw the Coors Light cans onto my lawn that night. He will answer to the charges in Pamelia Town Court on July 15th. I hope that the punishment will be severe. It's not (just) that I'm a vindictive woman. My hope is that this doesn't happen again.

This holiday weekend, NY State Troopers will be out in full force on I-81. It won't be fun for them. I'm sure it will be hot and muggy. I'm sure our police officers will have to endure outrageous episodes of verbal abuse from the members of the "Let's drive like idiots club, NNY Chapter." I am grateful to each and every one of those who serve and protect.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Hmmmmm ... Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

As a child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl, was one of my favourite books. I didn't see the movie until about a year ago. As a matter of fact, I was unaware of the existance of said movie until last year.

As is the case with most movies based on great works of children's literature, I was sorely disappointed with this effort. I despised the way that Gene Wilder played the role of Willy Wonka .. ie as someone in desperate need of a slap up the side of the head. I have often wished that someone would make an updated version of this film, taking advantage of the wondrous special effects now available. I had envisioned Kelsey Grammer in the role of Willy Wonka. I believe he could capture the mirth and mischief of Willy Wonka that I had imagined while reading the book.

It seems that Tim Burton has not received my telepathic messages on this subject, and has instead cast the delicious Johnny Depp in the lead role. In the words of Farmer Hoggett, that'll do!

Wired News: Solar to Keep Army on the Go

Wired News: Solar to Keep Army on the Go

This will have amazing applications! However, being able to power a television whilst on the beach .. now that's just silly.

New Harry Potter title revealed by author - Jun. 29, 2004

New Harry Potter title revealed by author - Jun. 29, 2004

It is with absolutely no shame that I announce to the world that I am a HUGE Harry Potter/J.K. Rowling fan. Yes, I'm 35 years old. Yes, I went to Queen's. Yes, I am in all other ways a serious, responsible adult.

There, I've blogged it. Whew.

Real life will resume now.

A view from abroad

Rebuke from Canadians as Liberals lose majority - World -

I stayed up way too late last night, watching the returns from the Canadian election. In so many ways, I am a border-straddler. We live about 25 miles from the Canadian border. The radio is permanently tuned to CBC. I am a proud Canadian citizen, but I am no longer a Canadian resident. It felt very strange for me to not vote in yesterday's election. I could only watch from a distance .. and that distance might as well have been from Australia.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Starting out ...

I guess I'm a little late to the party, but here's my blog! I'm not sure that I will have anything of signifigance to add to the blogosphere .. but really, who does? So let the adventure begin.