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!