Saturday, December 31, 2005

What the hell?

Check out this bizarre story out of Utah.

Go ahead, I'll wait.

Yeah, I'm shaking my head and making silly sputtering noises now, too.

Nice kitty

Rosamund Gifford Zoo, 30 December 2005. Posted by Picasa

Happy New Year!

Hello, friends and strangers. I hope you are all healthy, happy, and safe.
A special shout-out goes to Bill, who has spent the holidays in Baghdad. Here's hoping that 2006 is better for all of us. I'm looking forward to seeing you in the spring. Stay safe!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Quote of the day, just for my husband

"I know a lot of you are going through separation anxiety... but there's nothing I can do about getting a Tim Hortons in Kabul," brigade commander Col. Al Howard to troops leaving for Afghanistan.

From the Yahoo! News complation of memorable quotes from 2005.

Hat tip to Cathie from Canada.

I'm leaning in a certain direction

Isn't this a pretty picture? Posted by Picasa

Oh Happy Day!!!!!

It seems that I am eligible to vote in the upcoming Canadian federal election. I've mailed in my registration form, and now I eagerly await my ballot! Woooo Hooooo!

Yummy lunch!

The hubby, the kidlet, and I just returned from lunch at the newly-opened Black River Brewing Company. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal.

We were initially overwhelmed by the plethora of innovative menu choices, and that's a good thing. The owner, Mike Niezabytoski, hails from Lowville. He tells us that he endeavored to put as many North Country food specialties on the menu as possible. The Croghan Bologna Sandwich caught my eye, but ultimately I chose the beer-battered haddock and chips. It was very tasty, without being heavy or greasy. Hubby enjoyed his Pretzel-coated chicken, and raved about the spaetzle which accompanied it. The cranberry coleslaw was delightfully different.

Ironically, the hubby didn't order a beer. The in-house specialties had not completed the brewing process, so ever the beer snob purist, he ordered a glass of Australian Shiraz instead.

The service is friendly, the portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The Black River Brewing Company has earned Miniature Rose's seal of approval.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Spammers are scummy

From my inbox:

Unauthorized access to your PayPal account!

We recently noticed more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address.

If you accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you are the rightfull holder of the account, please visit Paypal as soon as possible to verify your identity:

Click here to verify your account

You can also verify your account by logging into your PayPal account at
If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise but to temporaly suspend your account.

We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated and we strongly recommend to verify your account in that time.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team

Dear Dickheads who think they can fool me with this phishing scam:

I received your email this morning. Nice try. You might stand a chance if you could actually spell. When I see words like rightfull and choise and temporaly, my spidey senses start tingling, and I know that it's a scam.


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 19, 2005

The best Christmas present I've ever received

My husband is home from Iraq for two weeks of leave! Thank you, Santa. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Someone worth watching

On Sunday, Major Tammy Duckworth will be
announcing her intent to run for Congress.

Lifted directly from the NY Times article:

During 13 months of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Maj. L. Tammy Duckworth says, she did a lot of reading about American schoolchildren "losing our competitive advantage" with China. Encountering questions about her top-of-the-line prostheses while walking around a shopping mall, she says, made her ponder inequities in America's health care system.

And there was plenty of time to critique the Bush administration's prosecution of the war in Iraq, where she lost both legs and partial use of her right arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Black Hawk helicopter she was flying over the Tigris River.

So Ms. Duckworth, who was discharged from Walter Reed on Wednesday and from active duty the day before, decided to run for Congress, joining a growing group of a dozen Iraq veterans running next year - most, like her, as Democrats.

Go ahead, Chickenhawks. I defy you to Swiftboat this woman.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Does it really matter if you eat the red ones last?

There's a candy coated, chocolate scandal brewing north of the border. Lies on the Smarties Box? Sacre bleu!
To my American friends - sorry, I know that flew over your heads. I'll buy you a box of Smarties to make up for it. Think M&M's but with better chocolate.
 Posted by Picasa

William and Frosty, sans corncob pipe, plus carrot nose

Yes, I managed to lift those snow boulders by myself. Who needs a gym membership? Posted by Picasa

Winter wonderland

The ice is beautiful. But OY! What a pain to scrape it off the driveway, especially after moving the six inches of wet heavy snow that fell over top of it. Posted by Picasa

Snow day!

Who needs icicle lights? We've got the real deal here! Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2005

What does it mean, to let your freak flag fly?

I think I confused my dear old dad with my previous entry. No, the "freak flag" does not refer to our beloved maple leaf. (Such a pretty flag, n'est pas?)

To let one's freak flag fly means to express one's individuality, without regard for those who might think you to be, well, freakish.

Here is the transcript of a sermon delivered a few years ago at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Palo Alto, discussing what it means to let one's freak flag fly.

Incidentally, my Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Hammer of Charity. What's yours?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Personality Test

Blogthings - The World's Shortest Personality Test: "
Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Gawd, I hope my husband finds my weird ways charming!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I say again: Short stature is NOT a disease!

This has me spitting nails, so cover your kneecaps!

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The drug tamoxifen, usually used to treat or prevent breast cancer, may help short boys attain a normal adult height, researchers report.

Final body height is determined when the skeleton reaches maturity, and tamoxifen decreases the rate of skeletal maturation, according to study findings reported in the medical journal Pediatrics.

"Our results suggest that tamoxifen may improve height potential in pubertal boys with short stature," lead investigator Dr. Nerissa C. Kreher told Reuters Health.

I'm 4'11". My husband is 5'7". We're not expecting our son to go to university on a basketball scholarship.

There is nothing wrong with being short. There is nothing wrong with being tall. There is no need for big pharma to be creating a new "disease" to be treated with a powerful cancer drug. It smacks of eugenics to me.

Monday, December 05, 2005

More fodder for my commitment hearing

I did a bit of crochet tonight - finished a small Christmas themed throw that I started (cough cough) years ago. The kidlet asked if I could make a poncho for Santa Mouse's Mother. Santa Mouse is one of Santa's helpers, who observed Mrs. P's 2nd grade classroom last year to ensure excellent behaviour. Yes, I really did make a tiny Martha Poncho, but we decided that it would look better on the Canada Teeny Beanie Baby.  Posted by Picasa

An open letter

To: The lady who let me in front of her in the long line at Aldi's today.

Subject: Gratitude


You saw that I had just a few items in my cart, and offered me the chance to cut in front of you. You even helped me to get my groceries onto the belt, chatting pleasantly all the while.

Perhaps you already know how much your kind gesture meant to me today. Perhaps you are always so thoughtful. Perhaps you went the extra mile for me, having overheard snippets of my conversation with my friend, S. Perhaps you saw our misty eyes when we talked about how she had been coping in the two months that have passed since her husband died of the wounds he sustained in an IED attack in Iraq. Perhaps you heard her asking me how I was coping with my husband's deployment to Iraq.

Whatever the reason, your thoughtfulness is appreciated. Thank you. I promise to pay it forward.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Cuddling tiger, hidden dragon

Gandalf and Micio, hard at work. Posted by Picasa

The Blizzak corollary of Murphy's Law

When the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway become completely snarled this week - you can blame me. I just had Blizzak snow tires put on the Jetta, thus creating a snow-repelling forcefield covering all of the areas I would normally be driving at this time of the year. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Quote of the day

"I really get the feeling sometimes, especially in this country — and it could be true for Canada, too — that the two parties get together in a secret room somewhere and they go, `They think there's a contest!'* And it's all just being controlled by corporations, anyway. But they have us go out there and run through the paces just to make us believe that we have a choice. And sometimes I really think that we don't ... When I see these giant corporations sucking up every aspect of media and everything else, I realize you can't say anything to them, because they own the toilet paper you wipe your ass with. It's a very strange feeling, you know?"

Jim Carrey, in today's Toronto Star.

Incidentally, the article's byline is a little misleading. Mr. Carrey, a dual US-Canadian citizen, will not be voting in the Canadian elections on January 23, 2006. The article implies that he has chosen not to participate in the voting process. Since his primary residence is not in Canada, he would not be eligible to vote, anyway. I'm in the same boat. If I could vote, I would vote for The Green Party of Canada.

*C'mon, you know it's true. The 2004 election was the ultimate F.U. from the Skull and Bones Society.

Seen and heard at the barbershop today

Alternative title - I'm just bursting to tell someone about this but if you don't understand what I'm talking about then I'm not going to explain it to you and Mom you might want to just skip this post.

Our television died about 15 months ago. I still haven't gotten around to replacing it. Ignorance is bliss when it comes to pop culture. On my forays out into the television-enhanced world, I usually get an eyeful and then some.

This morning, I took the young prince to the barbershop. Now he looks even more like a young Republican. Zoiks. Anyhoo .. The TV in the shop was tuned to Country Music Television. I sat with my back to the idiot box so that I could concentrate on my knitting.

There was a flutter of excitement amongst the Lady Barbers (Barberellas? What is the proper term??) when Keith Anderson's "XXL" video featuring Tommy Lee came on. They couldn't understand, however, what Tommy Lee was doing in such a video.

I'm sorry to admit, I did get the joke. Ignorance would have been bliss, indeed. Now, where can I get some Brillo to get that information out of my head?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

An urgent SOS from Chocolate the Wundermutt

Whine whimper whine whine whine:

Aaaaarrooooooooohhhh! Ruff ruff whine whimper whimper!


Dear Animal Rescue Agency or anyone who will listen:
I am writing to you under the most dire of circumstances. Since joining my current family, I have only gained 20 pounds. My human refuses to heat my food in the microwave. I have to perform demeaning tricks like sitting and shaking paws before receiving my treats. I am allowed only two pillows when I sleep on the human's bed - imagine! When I recline on the couch after our daily 2-mile walk, there is only one pillow upon which I can rest my weary head! Please see photo below for proof of the bleak nature of my existence.
Whinefully yours,

Canine of leisure

Waiting for Ruben to capture her glory. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Oh, puh-LEEZE!!!

This British study by the University of Bristol found low growth hormone levels were linked to low IQ.

I'm 4'11" on a good day. I was a straight-A student from Day one, and I graduated at the top of my class from one of the most prestigious universities in Canada.

Who funded this study? Could it have been the makers of Injectable Human Growth Hormone?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Not that I've been knitting lately, but ..

turbo charged
You are "turbo" charged.
Fast moving and classy, you get things done with
power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be
deceiving, since what you really value is
quality and efficiency. As you're careening
around those corners in life, finishing a dozen
knitted objects each month, stop and smell the
roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I am Gandalf

Hear me roar!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Miniature Rose's Favourite Things

I know that she has used her tremendous and hard-earned power and wealth to create a better world, but sometimes I have to wonder what planet The Oprah actually inhabits. Case in point:

Oprah's Favorite Things

Who, besides The Oprah, could or would actually spend $1800 on a Phillip Stein Teslar Diamond watch?? Or $40 (plus overnight UPS shipping) for 15 frozen croissants - that's $2.67 per croissant and you still have to let the darn things rise for 9 hours then bake them. And Oprah, who are you trying to fool? You are looking very trim these days. Obviously, croissants aren't on your menu.

Without further ado, may I present an alternative to The Oprah List - for those of us who inhabit a little place I like to call Earth. Here is The Miniature Rose List, 2005 version.

The Yardworks 22" Poly Sleigh Shovel, $32.99 (CDN) at Canadian Tire. Save your back whilst dealing with the 18" lake effect snow dump. Also useful for hauling piles of leaves and grass clippings to the compost pile, and for giving children a ride around the yard.

The Columbia Bugaboo 3-in-1 coat, $150 at REI. Women of diminuitive stature, like Miniature Rose, sometimes luck out and find girl's Columbia coats at Campmor for ridiculously low prices. Warm and dry is always in style.

The Jumpstart System from Sam's Club. Pays for itself after only one boost when it's -40 with the wind chill. Oh no, I'm not joking.

Fleece pawprint polar fleece jacket and puppy watch from The Animal Rescue site. Twenty-eight bowls of food for animals living in sanctuaries/shelters are donated with the purchase of either of these items.

Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter. An excellent and thought-provoking book, available at bookstores and libraries everywhere.

Finally, for those who do not fear carbohydrates, Timbits from Tim Horton's. A pack of twenty costs a whopping $1.99 CDN. No rising or baking required, just a quick jaunt up to Gananoque. You've always got time for Tim Horton's!

Frigging lake effect snow, 15 inches overnight

Note (wheeze) the (gasp) perfectly (ouch) symmetrical (cough) snowbanks. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Making Baby Jesus cry

We observed Buy Nothing Day today, thus avoiding the madness that is Black Friday.

Many people were so hell-bent to save a few bucks on crap they didn't need Christmas gifts for their loved ones that they lined up in the cold for hours.

As always, things got violent and ugly. Yeah, I know I should feel some compassion for an elderly lady who got knocked down in the melee at an electronics store. She could be my mom, blah blah blah. Well, my mom is smart enough to avoid stampedes. So, um, nope, I don't feel sorry for the stupid sheeple anyone who was injured today. Caveat emptor.

If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour ...

15:45, Friday afternoon. County Sheriff's department issues "no unnecessary driving" order.

Yeah, I'm glad we stayed home this weekend.

Posted by Picasa

Word of the day

Chutzpah: 1. From the Yiddish, meaning audacity, effrontery, cheekiness. Example: Murdering one's parents then begging the court for leniency on account of being an orphan.
2. Starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm after messing up the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in a way that could only be called spectacular.

The joys of lake effect snow ...

The doppler shows a band of lake effect snow hitting the Tug Hill Plateau ...

What the southern horizon looks like - note the dark clouds over the Tug Hill Plateau and the blue skies above us.

Posted by Picasa

Zen and the art of snow shovelling

Note the perfectly symmetrical snowbanks. Picture Bree Van de Kamp in the snow belt, and you've pretty much got me pegged.

Given the howling wind and blizzard-like conditions we experienced as I went to bed last night, I had anticipated a great deal more snow. Still, the 3 or 4 inches we now have makes the world look pretty and sparkly today.

Watching newcomers to the Fort Drum area deal with snow shovelling (and winter in general) is always a great source of amusement for me, smug smartass of a Canadian that I am. Here's my rant list of helpful hints for the snow-impaired:

1. Shovel early and shovel often! It is exponentially more difficult to shovel six inches of snow once, than to shovel three inches of snow twice.

2. Let your shovel do the work for you. That's why they're called snowSCRAPERs, not snowTHROWERS. Put shovel on pavement, start walking. You'll thank me later.

3. Invest in a shovel for each of your children. Start training them early, when they still think that shovelling is fun.

4. Invest in proper snow attire for your children. I recommend Columbia parkas and snowsuits, but anything warm and waterproof will suffice. Check Ebay and the thrift shop. Then, let them get out there and enjoy the white stuff. It's going to be a long winter, so make the most of it. Oh, and stock up on mittens and hats. These things invariably get lost in January. By then, the stores will no longer be stocking them. They have to make room for bathing suits and gardening gear, ya know. Don't say I didn't warn you.

5. The same goes for you grownups. Find some snowshoes or cross-country skis and GET. OUT. THERE.

6. For the love of all that is holy, clean the snow off your car before you drive. Better yet, clear all the worthless crap out of your garage and park your $30,000 SUV inside.

7. Complaining about the cold will not make it go away. Trust me, it will be oppressively hot here again in July.

8. My husband tells me that it has cooled down to 70 - 75 degrees in Baghdad, a welcome respite from the 130 F oven that it was when he first arrived. Just a small reality check, FYI.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lake effect

Yup, there it is, drifting northward.

From The Weather Channel:





Note to self: every muscle will hurt tomorrow after shovelling out. Find ibuprofen now.

 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


A 105-lb woman won the annual Thanksgiving Invitational. Her prizewinning feat: devouring a 10 lb turkey in 12 minutes.

The prize: a roasting pan.

Do bulimics experience the turkey coma? The article didn't say.

As the season of conspicuous consumption begins ...

Marg Delahuntey, the Princess Warrior, has taken The Nature Challenge. How about you? Posted by Picasa

Eight going-on thirty

Looking very Alex P. Keaton-esque and entirely too comfortable in the new shirt and tie .. what have I done?? Posted by Picasa