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.