30 June 2005


Ack! Has it really been three days since I posted? The new job keeps me so busy I don't get a chance to pop in and post odd thoughts through the day and now I spend more time in the evening with the family, I barely have time to catch up on odd news and wacky blogs...

Anyway, today is my birthday! Wheee! I'm off to wander the city soon and I will post an update on my return.

27 June 2005

Sarcastic Kid

This morning, the kid was taking longer than she should in the bathroom, so I went up to check. I asked what was up and she held up a long strand of TP and said, "I was just trying to fold it up." I sighed, and said, "Just crumple it up." She does, finishes, then says, "Thanks for the lousy advice."

Geeeeeez. You're welcome, kid.

25 June 2005

movie binge

We've been on a bit of a bender film-wise in the past week. Here's the quick run-down of what we've seen since Tuesday: (max rating 5)

Ella Enchanted -- nice twist on an old tale. good solid family-friendly fare. I'd buy it if I found it at a good price. Rating: 4
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events -- great sets. great concept. annoying adult cast (youth actors were great!). acceptable entertainment, but wouldn't rush to see it again. Rating: 2.5
In Good Company -- nice. amusing. unoffensive. took the road less travelled and surprised me. I'd watch it again. Rating: 3
Shaolin Soccer -- amazing cgi/effects. funny and silly. definitely original. I'd buy it if I found it at a good price. Rating:4
Shaun of the Dead -- funny! not as gruesome as I'd expected. Definitely, I'd watch it again. Rating 3.5

We still have Jersey Girl cued up to watch.... we'll see whether that comes to pass or not.

23 June 2005

Changing the Profile

The Star Trek connection [Macleans.ca] is just one of the common threads among the more recently accused/convicted pedophiles.

According to current studies, pedophiles are more likely to be left handed, and have a slightly lower IQ, though the author admits, "Differences in intelligence could be explained by the simple notion that the smarter pedophiles are less likely to be caught."

The creepiest part of the article is the allegation that pedophiles may be born, not raised. In today's climate of prenatal screening, the argument that a trait may be detectable before birth opens a very large can of worms.

Of course, profiling is not always the best way to catch any criminal -- including pedophiles. The article alludes to the fact that in today's global internet-infused world, the profile of a middle-aged white loner male pedophile no longer fits. Rather than abandon the concept of profiling, however, authorities are simply looking for a new definition.

21 June 2005

Let's start over, shall we?

There has been a spate of STUPID vehicle-related deaths lately in our city and it's time they stopped.

I propose that every Victoria resident with a valid license turn them over to authorites and be re-tested.
I will happily include myself in that group, I'm not even sure I'd pass -- I know I have picked up bad habits in the past 20 years -- but it would be worth it to get some of these IDIOTS off the road.

Why am I ranting about this today? Shortly after the fatality at the bus stop today, which meant traffic was diverted for about a 4-block radius, another idiot managed to flip their car off an overpass closing the Johnson Street Bridge (no fatalities as I understand)... so all the traffic into VicWest and Esquimalt was diverted to the Point Ellice (a.k.a. Bay Street) Bridge. We were caught in the midst of all the traffic, so the 25 minute trip home from Oak Bay ended up taking us over an hour as we got stuck in both diversions. Grrrr.

EDIT: The second car did not flip off an overpass but rather crashed under the overpass. Makes more sense, but my bet is that they were (a) not driving the posted 30 km/h speed and (b) not adjusting for the rain which had started about 30 minutes prior to the accident. Thankfully the child in the back was in a properly installed car seat.

Titanically Scarred?

Sympatico / MSN Entertainment : DiCaprio faces surgery after bottle attack

"The Hollywood heartthrob narrowly escaped death in the attack at a party after the jagged glass just missed his jugular."

Gosh, this and Tom Cruise getting sprayed by a phony microphone in the same week. It's open season on celebrities!

Contest Alert

BC Ferries Life on the Coast Contest - canada.com

Wow. Grand prize for writing 250 words about life on the coast (and having that entry selected in a random draw) is free ferry travel for a year. Since this comes at a time when ferry fares are increasing, this is even more appealing to island-bound folks like me.

19 June 2005

I think I'll make it an early night.

Saturday, since hubby was off pelting people with paintball pellets, Mom and I hit the thrift store circuit with the kiddo. She didn't find the bookshelf she was searching for but we found lots of clothes for kiddo (suddenly she's sprouted an inch or two and none of her pants fit); I found a pair of shoes (Aldo, $6.99), a pair of sandals (Speedo -- pretty much new -- $12.99) and an American Sign Language dictionary (1994 ed. $3.99). At another stop I found a dress for the kiddo and a sweater for hubby both on the 99 cent door-crasher rack. Niiiice.

Saturday afternoon was spent lazily watching movies and cramming more music on my Psyc. Now that I have figured out how to use the proprietary compression settings I can fit over twice as many tracks on there. I chose a slightly lighter mix (Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Barenaked Ladies, some world music, some classical, and a lot of soundtrack tracks) in the hope that it won't annoy me if I listen to the same songs all week.

Saturday night, I went a little nuts cleaning: I gathered all the garbage from the "little bins" around the house, hosed out the kitchen garbage can, washed the kitchen sink and scrubbed the kitchen floor. Then I tidied off the dining room table and de-cluttered the living room a bit.

This morning, I was on brunch duty for Father's Day. Brunch for six was: pancakes (from scratch), corned-beef hash, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, eggs and breakfast veggies (fried mushrooms, peppers and onions) with juice and coffee to wash it all down. Yummy.

This afternoon, we did the split movie thing again. This time, I chose to go to Howl's Moving Castle with my MIL and the kiddo while hubby took his neice and nephew to see Batman Begins. I should have gone with them. Howl's Moving Castle was VERY disappointing. Miyazaki's adaptation of the novel is awful. Major storylines are edited out completely and some radical changes are made to the plot that result in the third act being scattered and unmoving. I was annoyed, too, by the casting of Billy Crystal as the voice of Calcifer (the fire demon) and Miyazaki's choice in the way Sophie's curse is visualized. If you are curious about the film, skip it and find Diana Wynne Jones' novel; it's far superior.

Kiddo was so exhausted that she fell asleep at 7:30. I will certainly be asleep before 11 tonight.

17 June 2005

Oddest Organ.

In the "you learn something every day" column, please add the factoid that the human liver is able to regrow a substantial part of itself. I find this incredibly odd. I found out from a friend whose relative recently had a large part of her liver removed. Apparently transplanted livers will also regenerate in the host's body, so in theory one liver could be split and donated to two hosts with each side regenerating to about 80% original size.

Physicians Reference Laboratory - Liver Panel

[No doubt, hubby is shaking his head that I didn't already know this.]

14 June 2005

Early Morning Activism.

This morning, there are two things on my "geez, that really sticks in my craw and I should do something" radar:

1. Same-Sex Marriage Bill C-38.

The National e-Referendum on same sex marriage seems to be losing at the moment, so I have added my name to the "yes" list.

"I have voted in the national e-referendum on whether Parliament should pass bill C-38 which would legalize same sex marriage in Canada. This referendum is located at http://www.referendumcanada.ca and I hope you will take the time to visit this site and also cast your vote."

2. BC Ferries Proposed Fuel Surcharge.

The proposed fuel surcharge is 70 cents for passengers and $2.50 for under-height vehicles on major routes connecting Vancouver Island to the mainland, and a surcharge ranging from 25 cents to 70 cents each way for passengers and from 60 cents to $2.50 for under-height vehicles each way on smaller inter-island routes. Higher surcharges would apply to northern routes that have significantly longer travel distances.

We do not have a permanent link to the mainland. If we want to travel anywhere else in North America we must either fly or take BC Ferries. The Ferries are currently a legislated essential service but they still have us over the proverbial barrel in their ability to set the rate of the toll. I highly recommend that all British Columbians take a few minutes to contact BC Ferries or email info@bcferrycommission.com to voice your opinion on the matter. Hubby and I already have.

13 June 2005

Papercut Zine Library

Now if only I were closer to Boston...

Massachusetts College of Art student Michelle Millette recently founded the Papercut Zine Library which currently houses over a thousand zines.

They accept donations, so perhaps I will try mailing my backlog down there... though who knows whether they would make it through customs!

Related reading: Boston Globe, "Ah, a new literary oasis, and she the zine queen"

12 June 2005

Weekend wrap-up

Friday night was family movie night -- Hubby took kiddo and the nephew to see The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl (in 3-D), while I went with the neice and my Mother in Law to see The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Kiddo loved Shark Boy; hubby was not as impressed. I was happy to have seen Sisterhood, though I can say it was thoroughly predictable even without having read the book. It was a pleasant evening, though I definitely ate too much popcorn!


Saturday morning was spent watching the Buccaneer Days parade -- Arrr, matey! -- and the afternoon was spent doing laundry and twiddling around the house. Evening brought a dinner invite so we hung out with a half dozen of our friends for a spaghetti feast. Yummy!

Today's plan is to check out the Buccaneer Days midway and then go in search of a new propane tank (ours is both empty and also expired -- doh!).

11 June 2005

Not Wikipedia, *Welshpedia*

Tee hee. I was looking for info about Tom Jones (who I am not going to get to see next Thursday when he will be performing locally -- GrRRRRRrrrrr!) and I stumbled across the Welshpedia! Wiki is everywhere. ;)

The reason I was looking for info, btw, is because the kid was watching Duck Dodgers this morning on Teletoon, and I was thinking, "Wow, that theme sounds just like Tom Jones." Turns out it is Tom Jones on vocals with the Flaming Lips on backup! How cool is that?!

Tom Jones is totally "the Man." Oh, and Memo to Hollywood: Tom Jones wants to play a villain in a big movie. He's hoping to play the baddie in Die Hard 4.0 -- I'll lay it on the line right now: if he gets that role, I am in the theatre opeining night! OK??

Creepy Kids

Loretta Lux is a photographer/artist whose images centre around unsmiling children. It's not that the subjects seem unhappy... but not bored either... just completely without emotion to the point of being almost inhuman. I'm not sure I like her work... but I don't dislike it either. If nothing else she is the anti-Anne Geddes!

10 June 2005

Missing Lou Reed?

If you're a fan of Lou Reed's storytelling lyrical style, check out seedy gonzales on gigantic music. Maddie's Day is just lovely.

08 June 2005

Cubby Sweet Cubby


In case you were curious... this is where I now spend my days at work. Note the so-retro-it-hurts desk! After a week on the job, I'm still not able to dig into my "regular duties" (partly due to software which has yet to be installed, partly due to a training package that has yet to be developed) but in the meantime I am helping with the recon (retrospective conversion) of the temporary records we created when we first moved to electronic records. [Many older books were not included in the initial database (almost everythig published pre-1977) -- and in a library with over a million volumes, that worked out to a lot of books.] At any rate, it is a big, tedious, important project and I am happy to be contributing.

07 June 2005

I'll bet the grass isn't any greener.

Brilliant! A group calling themselves heavytrash have started depositing "bright orange viewing platforms in front of ... gated communities" so that passers-by can have a peek over the fence/hedge/wall.

05 June 2005

Hey, chaos can be relaxing.!

So... Saturday, we missed the ferry. We were there on time, but there were many more cars ahead of us than we anticipated so we missed the 9 a.m. by about 10 vehicles. No worries... next ferry was at 11:45 and we had books to read, a kids' play area for the kiddo and it wasn't raining.


Got to the campsite and found that the air mattress had no plug. Air goes in - air comes out. The giant tent we borrowed had no instructions in the bag and we hadn't done a dry run; the extra blankets I had pulled out to make up for the lack of one sleeping bag were still on the bed at home and there were a few other things missing due to lack of coordination (I thought you grabbed that...). Aside from venting some anger on tent pegs (since we chose to park in an RV spot, the ground was HARD) we just rolled with it, pitched the tent and headed into Ganges to the market.

Unexpected road work meant the short route from the campground to Ganges was closed, so we had to take the long way. This, plus the missed ferry and monster tent meant that we arrived at the market just as vendors were starting to pack up for the day. A quick hustle through the stalls netted us some sharp feta-like hard cheese (White Grace from Moonstruck Organic), two jars of amazing spice blends (Moroccan and Ethiopian from Monsoon Coast), two end-cuts of soap (in a grab bag from (I think) Kama Natural Soap -- they did not stamp or mark their bag or give me a receipt or card), some pickles (sorry, missed the vendor), and some very yummy Rainbow Potstickers for us and a blackberry-yogurt Island Fruitsicle for the kiddo.


From there it was back to the van where we found a cute little apology under our wiper. Hubby had parked between the lines but that meant parking reaaaaaalllly close to the bumper of the car angled into the spot on the driver's side. After depositing the goodies, we headed down to Thrifty Foods for some groceries to augment what we packed then opted to buy a replacement plug and cap for the air mattress and a new sleeping bag for the kid at the hardware store.

Back at camp, we settled in and started on dinner. Hubby whipped together some wonderful veggie-stuffed grilled peppers (secret ingredient: V-8 juice!) to accompany standard camp fare of hotdogs and not-so-standard pita with red-pepper dip and tzatziki.


After dinner we roasted marshmallows. Mmmmmmm.


An after-dinner walk along some of the rustic trails brought us to the edge of the island with a view of the ferries traversing the strait. Then it was back to the tent to read and drift off to sleep, early. It took a while to get comfortable but we awoke well-rested around 6:30 a.m. We had eaten and packed up camp by 8 a.m. and were able to take the short route into Ganges for coffeeeeeee, then on to Vesuvius for the ferry back through Crofton. Two more stops -- Russel Farm Market outside Crofton and fuel in Duncan, and we arrived home before luch.

03 June 2005

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

ooOOooH! September 23rd. Marking calendar now!
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Camping Season!

The kiddo is old enough now that I feel comfortable going camping with her, so our first excursion will be a relatively lightweight one, to Ruckle Provincial Park on Saltspring Island.

The plan is to head over tomorrow morning from Swartz Bay, camp Saturday evening, then head back via Vesuvius (on the north end of Saltspring) to Crofton and down through Duncan, over the Malahat and home. Getting there on Saturday should allow us to hit the Farmer's Market before we head to the campground. The only grey area is how busy it will be and whether we will get one of the 8 available drive-in campsites or whether we will have to pack-in our stuff. Just in case, we are planning to pack light (especially since it is only one night).


Some conservatives are really stooopid. I am renaming their list:

Ten Most Harmful Important Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

01 June 2005

First Day in the New Digs.

Ahhh. It's 9:30 at night and I finished work for the day five hours ago.

What a change!

Today was introductions and some rapid training, followed by some filing and other basic tasks because my desk this morning was lacking both a chair and a computer. We tracked down a chair but the computer is triaged on the IT to-do list, and apparently I am not bleeding data. =shrug=

The biggest adjustment (aside from the time of day I'll be working) is changing from an environment where I was constantly interrupted (or required to change task in an instant) to one where if I want to devote one whole day to a single task, I pretty much can. I also get to plug in to my MP3 player while I work. Yay!

Bonus this week; I get a 3 day weekend, because I was working on Sunday at the front desk. I am a very happy camper. :)