31 October 2004

hope you each get all the sugar you need... Posted by Hello

29 October 2004

Before the fun, some frustration.

I try, I realllly try sometimes, to give humankind the benefit of the doubt. But then I overhear a conversation like I did today. I'm on the bus with my kid, heading off to meet hubby en route to New Comic Book Day.... and this guy, who is loud, and who has been saying hello to every other person who gets on the bus, suddenly gets asked a question, "Hey, where are you going now?"

His answer started with a humble "Oh, Open Door," continuing, "and I guess Upper Room for dinner," two local soup kitchens (for lack of a better term). Then, he says, "But I think tonight I'll go to the UVic Bar, and talk to some women." Ohhhh-kayyy. I'm fine until he says, "Yeah, I've been doing a lot of landscaping so I've got a lot of money in my wallet, so I figure I can afford the extra beers." Inside, I am SCREAMING to myself, "Yeah, because you're not spending money on FOOD, moron!"

So tell me, how do I explain that mindset to my kid... or shield her from it? How can I raise her to give the benefit of the doubt, to have an ounce of trust, when mine is constantly being tested and eroded?


In happier news, New Comic Book Day has brought into our home Books of Magic: Life During Wartime #4 (for both of us), Doom Patrol #3 (for hubby), The Witching #1-2 (for me) and Mickey Mouse #268 -- destined to become a classic I am sure (for the kid).

Blue's Clues Jumps the Shark

Blue's Clues, formerly one of the best kids shows on TV has definitelyjumped the shark. The kid and I had been fairly well insulated from his Joe-ness, the syrupy-sweet and slightly dim replacement for the awesome Steve Burns by Treehouse's constant reruns of the older shows.

Now, they have added a segment called Blue's Room which is even worse than adding Joe! How much worse? Imagine the craptacularity of most kid-show costumes (dare I mention Barney?) and/or any successful-franchise-on-ice costume. Now give one to Blue and let her talk. No more friendly "ow-bow-bow!" nope. Now she dances with her talking jukebox and talks about her feelings. Ugh. Allegedly the segments are supposed to develop communcation skills. Ummm... shouldn't someone in real life be working on that with the kids?

28 October 2004


You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.

Road rave

As I pulled up to a stoplight on my way into work this drizzly grey afternoon, my CD player kicked into the next tune on my Halloween mix -- an odd little ditty called Vampire Sushi by Old Time Relijun that sounds like early B-52s -- and I noticed the car in front of me had a Dancing Elvis hanging in its rear window. He was dancing and swingin and swivelling those hips as I followed and it put a twisted little smile on my face for the rest of the ride.

27 October 2004

I love that it is almost November and I can still clip enough salad greens from my garden to have a side salad with my dinner.  Posted by Hello

26 October 2004

Grumpy Old Man run-in

I've calmed down now... but earlier, I was waiting at the bus stop with my kid who was overjoyed to find a big pile of leaves to jump in. No sooner was she knee-deep in maple leaves did this grumpy old man walk up and start lecturing me about letting my kid strew leaves about! I asked if he was serious (because jumping in leaves is like a rite of passage -- and in an urban setting, it's harder to come by!) He continued, explaining that he pays "good taxes to have the leaves raked to the side of the road.... (grumble mumble mumble)..."

Incredulous, I said "You've got to be kidding! She's just playing. No one is getting hurt." He asked if she had any toys, and I said "Your point being?" to which he says "You should be teachin' her better." At which point I very directly told him to "Go to Hell."

He stood there a moment, then jay-walked across the busy street, and I thought wouldn't it just be my luck to witness him get creamed by a truck. Alas, he survived.

25 October 2004

Dangers of Liquid Candy

Know why we are a fat nation? Soft drinks. Seriously! Look at these numbers at the Dangers of Liquid Candy ... and then there's a nasty fact I hadn't realized: Kool-Aid is owned by Phillip Morris. Ewww.

The parent site, SaveHarry.com, is aimed at undoing the alliance between Harry Potter and Coca-Cola.

Take that Keanu!

Heheheh. I just spent far too many minutes defacing an image of Keanu Reeves. Choose your target from a list of celebrities and then embrace your inner vandal, drawing pointy eyebrows, Hitler mustaches, or whatever you like, care of the celebrity defacer. Excellent time waster.

24 October 2004

innocence is lost on me.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't skeptical, or sarcastic, or jaded. I know I must have been, but it's obviously too long ago. Every now and then I run across someone who is still totally grounded in innocence and I don't get it. These are not children; these are adults. A coworker today very excitedly suggested that with my dark hair I could dress for halloween as a witch (pointed hat and all). Now, aside from the fact that I know a number of Wiccans and people who consider themselves witches, I have always had an issue with the stereotypical "wicked witch." But I digress. What was truly amazing to me, was how innocent she seemed... she is considering dressing as a flower. (If she is reading this, I mean absolutely no disrespect, it's just not the way I live my life, and I can't even begin to put myself in her brain.) I did not, however, have the heart to describe in more detail my costume plans beyond "something dead."

23 October 2004

two down...

We are a home with three computers (well, four if you count the old Apple that is for the kid to play with, but it isn't networked) and Hubby's went down a little over a week ago... mine went down at the same time, but was (knock wood) easily resurrected. Hubby's is still hurting... there is something nasty lurking within. But last night, the third (shared) computer just plain died. Power supply went =POOF= and that was that. So... if my posts get thin, it's because we are working on 1/3 the computer power as we usually do.

New Comics

This week Hubby and I "shared" our new comics (we're trying to stay at about $15 per week remember) which allowed us to buy the first 3 issues of the Books of Magick: Life in Wartime series. They caught my eye and since Hubby still had his hands empty after 20 minutes of browsing, I suggested we give them a try (he had also picked them up during his browsing). Anyway, I didn't realize at first that these are the latest spin-off of a substantial series, but what the heck. They are based on a character created by Neil Gaiman, and since I have read some of his books, I figured what the heck, why not? Of course, then I turned to about page 5 and there was a very graphic graphic of an evisceration. So that image will be lodged in my temporal lobe for some time. But, on I shall read.... hopefully I won't be missing too much without having read the rest of the series.

The kid, in case you are curious, bought a nice "evisceration-lite" Donald Duck comic.

Incidentally, while we were in the store, it was stormed by a small herd (is there a collective noun for geeks?) of teenage boys who all complained of having no cash -- except one kid, who got $100 once a month. So (as far as I could figure) all the other kids were trying to get him to buy something they could all read, which led to his being pulled in four different directions of "hey, check this out!", "dude! this series rocks!", "Whoa! Look at her!" and "Heheh. This is soo lame, you have to buy it." Oddly, the guy was wiser than his herd, and chose to ask the clerk for suggestions. He chose one graphic novel and earmarked another for next month.

22 October 2004


Some of the best jokes I've read in a looooong time (and a few clunkers) at defective yeti. Since they are comments, some are a bit ribald, but here's a couple of the short riddles:

Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A: No eye deer.

Q: What do you call a deer with no legs and no eyes?
A: Still no eye deer.

Q: What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A: A fsh.

21 October 2004

Ivy under a bed of leaves Posted by Hello

Are all Cheryl's alike?

Or just me and gasslight?

(OK, it isn't a perfect analysis, but some of it seems accurate...)

20 October 2004

fall just snuck up on me

I know fall officially began a month ago, and my kid has been picking up leaves everywhere, but I hadn't really noticed that they had all changed colour and fallen off in such great numbers... so now the air is pungent with decaying foliage and the sky is visible between branches, and we will soon have our "ocean view" back for the winter. I took a bunch of photos this afternoon and will post the best of them later.

19 October 2004

bad hair experiences

I was reminded by thismostamazing: , who is feeling exposed by her new short hair, that I have had more bad hair experiences with short hair than with long.

Let's start with me, age 4-ish. Our next-door neighbours had a hair salon in in their basement, so I cut across the lawn, wandered into the waiting area, and asked for a haircut. Going in, I had a lovely cascade of blonde curls and my hair was never the same after she was done. She gave me short hair. "Boy hair." After that, my Mother just kept it cut boyishly-short until I could speak for myself.... though I failed to make better choices. Eventually, I thought enough is enough, and I grew it all out.

I have gone back to short hair from time to time... but I feel more comfortable (despite being unable to braid my own hair) when it is long.

18 October 2004

I may never understand Japanese culture

You are "Sleeping"

John Kerry

Responsibility as determined by the state

Newcastle Brown Ale is among the first brews which will carry health warning, "Responsible drinkers don't exceed three to four units a day for men and two to three for women," along with an indication of the number of units per bottle or can.

Is it just me, or does that seem really preachy and condescending? Oddly, in light of this, I think I can finally grasp what has irked smokers all these years...

Subconscious Back Lot

Apparently, my subconscious contains a back lot and sets not unlike those at big studios like Universal or Warner Bros. I was very aware of this when I woke from my dream this morning, which was set in Paris, because I realized that the street and buildings were the same as those from a recent dream set in Vancouver. Oddly, I have been to both cities and don't remember a similar intersection or series of buildings in either. In fact, the city that my "City lot" most resembles is Seattle. Of course it's really just some sort of amalgam that my brain has created. I know my back lot also includes a Mall lot, an Outdoors lot (forest, stream, trail), and several House sets. I am sure there are more I haven't yet recognized.

I also have regular players in my dreams, and often friends and family are "played" by other people, which can be quite confusing, as some of the regular players are friends and family!

Connecting the dots

While Dubya campaigns that America is safer, individuals are left to connect the dots that lead to the next terrorist attack. Kerry R. Fox has connected a couple of dots that point to rural Arizona, an allegation which is more convincing than some of the other rants I have encountered.

17 October 2004

Now this is twisted.

Wow. The TWISTED TOYbox! is like Mr. Dressup's Tickle Trunk as filled by the props department for Tales from the Crypt.


On a side note (but still twisted), while searching for Tickle Trunk references or pictures, I came across a recipe for "cat poop cookies" ... ewww.

Mine All Mine (meme time)

Lifted from dvixen.

Name a CD you own that no-one else on your friends list does:

Shaun Cassidy's Greatest Hits. So now you know.

Name a book you own that no-one else on your friends list does:

Kingsley's Country: A guide to Bideford and North Devon.

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/etc that no-one else on your friends list does:

Fishing with Gandhi -- fabulously funny independent road film that I reviewed for Apollo Guide.

Name a place that you have visited that no-one else on your friends list has:

Bideford, Bishopsteighnton, Ilfracombe, Lynton and Lynmouth... and many other little towns in Devon, England.

16 October 2004

Just for October, the underbelly of a spider. Posted by Hello

15 October 2004

New Comic Tradition

Hubby has suggested, and I have agreed that Fridays shall now be New Comic Book Day in our world. Armed with $10-$15, the three of us shall each select a new comic every week. Cool. Hubby used to collect comics; I have bought comics in a random fashion over the years, often waiting for the graphic novel compilations to be released.

So in anticipation, I started looking for new releases and I think I may have found the grail. Slave Labor Publishing features the kind of artists and stories (like Lenore by Roman Dirge) that I enjoy -- most for "mature readers" (yeah, right).

The kid seems to gravitate toward Spiderman (maybe a little above her age!) and more kid-centric titles like Duck Dodgers.

No idea what Hubby will pick...

Why Russ Francis rocks.

For non-locals, Russ Francis is a local journalist, currently writing for a weekly news magazine. [BTW, the redesign of said weekly's site SUCKS, so don't bother following the link unless you are really interested.] He usually covers politics (especially the local stuff) and he specializes in investigative reports (I attended a seminar he led last Spring on how to dig up/through various levels of government information). Earlier this year, he was allegedly fired by the same news magazine for which he now works freelance -- I say allegedly, because insiders insist that freelance work was the plan all along.


Russ Francis rocks because he used the word defenestrated in one of his pieces this week, "Why hasn't the City defenestrated RG Properties?"

I'm purposely not linking to a definition; I will let y'all have the fun of looking up the word if it's unfamiliar. It sounds like a legal term, but really it's more dastardly.

14 October 2004

Today In Alternate History

I am a fan of alternate histories, so while surfing through Blogger's "next blog" randomizer (top right corner, if ya missed it) I was pleased to find Today In Alternate History, a blog by Robbie Taylor. It's a curiously creative site which I have added to my blogroll for future visits.

If you don't understand what we are talking about, here's a primer from Uchronia. I also recommend either the book or film version of Fatherland for a jumping off point. (I can loan you the book if you're curious.)

I got into alternate history through dystopian fiction, as the genres sometimes overlap. Technically, both genres come under the umbrella of science fiction. It should be noted that "stories set in a future which has since come and passed (such as George Orwell's 1984) are not alternate history" [from brainyencyclopedia], though some people try to file them there.

Dream a little dream?

Is it possible (or maybe inevitable) that married/committed couples start to have similar dreams when they share a bed? Or are we really a starter Borg hive?

Forgive me, but it is 6:30 in the morning, and I got up 45 minutes ago to find hubby already up, showered, and cooking breakfast (about half an hour earlier than usual). I asked why he was up so early and he said he "must have dreamt his alarm went off" because he woke up as if it had, though he was early and out of sync with his schedule. This seemed odd, because I woke up early having felt as though I was disturbed by his alarm. (My actual foggy memory/dream is of the alarm going off for a long time -- long enough for me to raise my head and say "What the f---, hon?" followed by a sarcastic "Thank you." when the alarm was silenced.) I just checked his alarm and it is still set for the same time it always goes off.

So, did we both dream of alarms? Or was there some paranormal time warp? I started searching for "same dream different people" and found the concept of dream telepathy or mutual dreaming.

Studies of dream telepathy and other paranormal dreaming (e.g. lucid dreaming) have been going on for decades. One 1985 study concluded "What is clear is that the tendency toward hits rather than misses cannot reasonably be ascribed to chance. There is some systematic­ - that is, nonrandom - source of anomalous resemblance of dreams to target." (Ah, the incomprehensible language of pseudo-science.)

Since both hubby and I have had experience with lucid dreaming, and since we do share an odd bond (for instance, I once ordered his favourite sandwich (Reuben) at a business lunch instead of my own (Monte Cristo) -- for no apparent reason other than the thought entered my head), I think it is entirely likely that we sometimes dream in tandem. What that means is another story.

Now if you'll excuse me, after wasting an hour researching psychic phenomena and sandwich origins, I am going back to bed before the kid wakes up.

13 October 2004

Alternative Mall

Now this, I like. WhatYouGet.com is an alternative online mall that indexes everything from traditional toys to sleek, modern home decor to ... umm... sex pillows?

Once again, thanks Sarcasmo; now I am looking at online shopping! Lucky for me, most places make it pretty difficult for Canadians to actually buy anything so I am limited to window (shouldn't that be monitor? or screen?) shopping.


1. Think of a word you would use to describe me.
2. Go to Google Image Search and search for that word.
3. Select the picture you see as most fitting, and post a link to it as or in your comment.
4. Post this meme in your journal.

(Thanks, Sarcasmo!)

12 October 2004

Speaking of time warps

I actually had a computer-lite weekend; Sunday was spent getting potting soil for Mom (and a couple of bags for me) to plant bulbs, then it was turkey dinner for the family. Yesterday began with a waffle-icious brunch (thanks, MJ!), and ended with a whole lot of computer maintenance for hubby (something nasty got into both of our systems, though hubby caught and fixed mine early enough -- his is still under the weather. Whatever it is, it's gradually nuking device drivers.).

I'm back to work today. Sigh. Time off always convinces us that we need to be independently wealthy. Not necessarily stinking rich, just well off enough not to have to worry about working. In fact, we'd be happy to both still work part time at something or have just one person working full time, but our current schedule (hubby works 7-3 Mon-Fri; I work 3-11 Sun-Thurs) sucks.

Local Weirdness.

Hey kids! Just in time for Halloween, here's a local paranormal site, Vancouver Island Paranormal Haunted BC

The last paragraph mentions this oddity:
"But strangest of all is the widely documented and experienced time warp on Shelbourne St., south of the Hillside Shopping Mall. In October between 2:00 and 3:00 am, if you are driving alone in your car on this stretch of the road, the city street turns into an overgrown, unpaved country road, deserted and dark. Drive a minute and it shifts back to today"

Now, I have lived in Victoria almost my entire life, and in that neighbourhood (three blocks away) for 8 months, and never heard of this... I also seriously doubt it is anything beyond mass hallucination via suggestion. Still, I'd love to know where it has been "widely documented."

09 October 2004

Bush's Timber Company

Here's the skinny from Sign On San Diego, A forgotten timber concern and other casualties in factual claims of Bush-Kerry debate:

"Kerry startled Bush by saying that even the president is counted as a small business for tax purposes because he once earned $84 from a timber company he owned.

'I own a timber company?' Bush asked. 'That's news to me.' Then he paused and added, 'Need some wood?'

The Annenberg analysis said Bush qualifies under that definition because he reported $84 in income from his part-ownership of a timber enterprise on his 2001 federal tax return."

Filing Purging Frenzy Part Deux

It has been a while since the first part of the Filing Purging Frenzy, but after tripping over and staring at half-sorted boxes of files for a couple of months, the time had come to deal with it. Hubby got it all started with CD-software -- he thinned his rack of CDs by about half and recycled all the beat up cases. Then he started filing, and purging, and soon enough, I joined him. And now, I can see the office again! I even vaccuumed the floor (gasp!).

Now, it's not all done. There are still a few stacks of things that need to be dealt with, and I still have a file box labelled "to file in binders" -- which is all the stuff I tear out of magazines or print from the web, mostly home decorating ideas, recipes, pop psychology, writing ideas, and parenting, kid-related or educational information. But I will get on that in due time.

Plus, I am setting a goal: I want to purge 2 or more boxes of stuff I no longer need/use/want every month for the next six months. For the sake of argument, I will consider a "Blue Bag" of clothes to be equivalent to a box. That's at least 12 boxes by, say, mid-April (and believe me, that will not make a huge dent in the amount of STUFF in my life). I'll try to check in at the half-way point, but do remind me if I forget.

08 October 2004

Emotional day.

Relaxing morning, shopping around for light fixtures, maskmaking supplies, and gifts. Lunch out with Mom, and more shopping followed.

This afternoon, I attended the memorial for Laura. I arrived at 3:00 and seated myself at the back. From the moment I walked in, my eyes were running. I started working at UVic just a few months before Laura, and have worked with her for most of the past 17 years. Laura was at times a mentor, at times a mother, at times a confidant, at times an equal, and at times the manager she needed to be. She was always positive, but not in that fake perky smiley way. Instead, she laughed naturally, and she always found and worked with peoples' strengths. I have also worked with her daughter, and I plan to write her a letter, to share what I couldn't share publicly today.

After a brisk walk, Mike picked me up and we came home to watch the Presidential Debates (part two). All I have to say is "I own a timber company?"


My pirate name is:

Bloody Ethel Kidd

Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

07 October 2004

Long long wait

Well, last night the kid decided to dance on her bed, but fell and whacked her head really hard on her dresser. Great. (Remind me to sue The Wiggles, eh? That's what prompted her to dance.) After trying to get ice on to her head, we couldn't quite determine whether or not anything important was broken... so it was off to Emergency. For three hours. And when the doctor came, he talked to the kid using a Donald Duck voice. I am not kidding.

Thankfully, she is OK; she just looks like she is growing a third eye.

At least we were luckier than the parent and kid across from us. They'd already been there at least two hours when we came in, and they were waiting for the results of an x-ray for confirmation (in the meantime, the kid's hand had continued to swell and had changed color). Anyway, the Doctor who first saw them, and who had ordered the x-ray had gone off shift, and along with the doctor went his password to get to the x-ray (since they are now apparently digitally stored). So there were at least three people running about like headless chickens, squawking about missing passwords and workarounds, for at least 40 minutes. I don't know what the ultimate outcome was as the patient and parent were still there when we left.

05 October 2004

Now I have to see it.

Darren Barefoot has pushed my curiosity further toward actually paying to see Team America:World Police (the latest from the twisted minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone) now that the MPAA apparently hates it. Read all about the fracas in his post, MPAA Bearish on Puppet Oral Sex.

04 October 2004

truly, an odd day.

Up (literally): the X-prize is claimed by SpaceShipOne.

Down: my endodontic surgery (apicoectomy) will cost approximately $650 up front, though some amount should be covered by extended dental (thank goodness!); the surgery is tentatively scheduled for next month.

Up?: Mt. St. Helen's erupts (okay, it's a minor eruption, but significant enough to register).

Down: received news that my former co-worker and boss, who quit in May, passed away over the weekend after losing a long battle with Cancer. At least she figured out that living the rest of her life as fully as possible was more important than her job, and she quit almost the moment she figured that out.

Up: we are going to dine at Bravo this evening.
EDIT: Bravo was excellent. I had the Portabella and Balsamic Steak Fettuccine; Mike had Sesame-Encrusted Seared Ahi Tuna. Yummy.

Up: after dinner we found How to Marry a Millionaire on the telly, and curled up amid crafts (and sans daughter) for two hours to enjoy some Technicolor™ silliness.

Happy Anniversary To Us

Seven years ago today, we tied the proverbial knot at UVic's Interfaith Chapel. It poured with rain that day; this morning after several days of almost unseasonal sunshine, we have dense fog. Hmmm. I am going to try and plow full steam ahead on the scarf I am knitting for hubby. I know I won't finish it today, but "wool" is the traditional gift for year 7, and I have (except for last year's "iron") been able to keep to the traditional gifts each year. Happily, the tree I planted for year 5 ("wood") is still growing.

01 October 2004

The war on drugs is older than you think.

Long before Nancy Reagan urged a generation to "Just Say No," radio serials warned of the dangers of marijuana. Check out Old Time Reefer Madness Radio Shows & Plays care of onlinepot.org.