30 June 2006

Happyyy birthday part two!

Well, now imagine a nice dinner out. Somewhere hip, happening, alternative. Somewhere there is a chef, and maybe a wine list.

Now imagine you are me.

Now you can maybe understand why we opted to go to Harveys for double burgers and rings, followed by some impulse DVD purchases to round out our evening. :)

I am a happy birthday girl. I even did another happy dance in the van on our return home.

Oh, and here's some really random birthday number trivia:

"37 candles" produce 37 BTU which is equal to 9,324 calories of heat, which is the equivalent of 9.324 food calories, approximately the number of calories in a teaspoon of sugar.

So... (wait for it)... I'm thinking this is my "sweet 37th."

(Of course, based on what I have eaten, it's also my "high cholesterol 37th" heh.)

tags: itsmybirthday, dining, DVDs, geek.

Haaaaaapy birthday, to me!

Whee! So far, so good.

1. Denny's for breakfast . They had a couple of new grand slams on the menu, and I really hope they keep the Sausage Grand Slam -- three THREE kinds of sausage (2 breakfast sausage links, 2 sausage patties and a smoked sausage, split down the middle and grilled) plus all the usual slam fixin's -- two eggs, hashbrowns, and three fluffy pancakes. YUMMY!!! Oh, I was doing the "I love meat" dance in my seat.

2. Sidney for a wander... bookstores (no book purchases there though) and thrift stores (mostly stuff for kiddo) -- all I ended up with was a bit of fabric and buttons for crafting, a mushroom field guide (for 79 cents!!) and a "food mover" -- a Richard Simmons calorie counter helper, basically -- for a buck.

3. Mattick's Farm -- strictly for a trip to the market, where we spent $73 on about 8 grocery bagsfull of produce, local meat, cheese and other fine foods. Included were ground lamb, beef-maple sausage, a nice pork roast; 4 pints of local strawberries, sundried tomatoes, goat's cheese, a fresh coconut, and a lot of rhubarb.

Now we are sitting around home, trying to decide where to go for dinner. We were going to check out The Superior, but they've got a blues guitarist playing tonight -- not my favourite background music.

On the plus side, we have settled on a vacation destination for next week. We are planning to go to the mecca that is Bellingham, rather than Seattle for a couple of days of cross-border shopping. I am in the process now of searching for hotel deals on a short timeline (we will be heading out, computer-free) on Friday morning, returning Sunday evening. Our goal: clothing and cheese. You think I am kidding. Ha.

tags: itsmybirthday, travel, dining, thrifting

29 June 2006

Sleep Glorious Sleep

I slept from 7:30 pm last night until 6:00 am today!! Obviously, I needed the sleep. I can't believe how much more human I feel!

So, what's up with me that I needed so much sleep? Meetings. This week has been crammed FULL of meetings.... many of which are intense, requiring my full attention. But now, my training duties are done (for now), and my supervisor is back (so I can push all those duties off my desk). Which means, workwise, when I return from my vacation (4:00 today until July 10th), my duties should be back to normal levels. That said, I will be busy on the union side of things, working on the website.

In the rest of my life, kiddo is off for summer vacation; she'll be going to gymnastics camp for two weeks over the summer, and some other camps if they aren't full yet (we left registration a little late.. oops). In review land, I have made an arrangement with Creative Guy Publishing for hubby and I to review most of their catalog through the Medianook; we're starting with ebooks until the print books arrive.

Tomorrow is my birthday. Thirty seven candles. Seems an odd age... not quite middle-aged, not young. I'm now firmly outside the 18-35 demographic, and of course, not a boomer, I am in that nebulous Generation X. Meh. At any rate, rather than a party, I am going to hang out with hubby and kiddo and try to have a low-powered day.

tags: life in general, reviews, workrelated

26 June 2006

Experience? Yeah, I guess so.

So, Victoria's new "premiere attraction," The BC Experience opened to the public today and with all of today's entrance fees by donation (going to The Land Conservancy), we bellied up to the bar for a peek.

I put it in my Near Miss category in my Unofficial Guide to Victoria, because if you are from BC, or you've travelled in BC, or hell, if you spent an hour online learning about BC before coming here, you won't learn much inside the Experience. On the other hand, if you are from out of town but can't afford to see more of BC beyond Victoria, or you are a cartography geek, then this is your kind of attraction.


The centrepiece of the attraction is a BIG map. Very big. Bigger than a tennis court. Around the map are 14 "interpretive centres" (touch screen computers). There are also bigger interactive centres (bigger computers, with zoomable satelite maps -- not unlike Google Earth), and two small "theatres" (big screen plasma TVs) plus one big theatre that shows a 15 minute advertisement short film that showcases the scenery of British Columbia. There are also a number of little displays around the mezzanine and two learning centres on the main floor.

The really interesting thing is that throughout the attraction there is information on the history of the Crystal Gardens. The history only talks about the indoor salt water pool -- at no time do they mention the 20 years (give or take) that the Gardens were a tropical-botanical attraction.

Bottom line, I won't be going back any time soon, but there are some people, I'm sure, who will get their $15 worth.

tags: Victoriabc, tourist attraction, BC Experience

Higher Education makes people immature.

According to Bruce Charlton, a professor in the School of Biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Immaturity Levels Rising [Discovery Channel], and higher education can take a big chunk of the blame.

Charlton argues that because of society's need for a working population with a "childlike flexibility," able to change jobs and retrain many times, that they never fully reach adult maturity.

"People such as academics, teachers, scientists and many other professionals are often strikingly immature outside of their strictly specialist competence in the sense of being unpredictable, unbalanced in priorities, and tending to overreact.”

Charlton added that since modern cultures now favor cognitive flexibility, “immature” people tend to thrive and succeed, and have set the tone not only for contemporary life, but also for the future, when it is possible our genes may even change as a result of the psychological shift.

Wow. So, um, game on folks, we apparently never have to leave college -- at least not in our minds.


And... in the spirit of things immature, how about a blog devoted to eating and reviewing a different breakfast cereal every day for 100 days. [Well, it's particularly funny when you compare it to the earnest Vegan Lunchbox.]

tags: peterpan syndrome, blog review

25 June 2006

Paper paper paper....

I find it odd that a group called Pollution Probe is sending me unsolicited junk mail.


On an unrelated note, I am annoyed with the Cars /Toys R Us/Cineplex "Scam and Win" (oh, my mistake that's Scan and Win) promotion. The cards have been handed out at movie theatres with kids' combos; at the bottom of each card is a barcode, scan it at Toys R Us and see what you win. In our case we won "$2 Gift Card" on both cards. Great, I thought.

Alas, I was told I had to wait for the cards to come in; they were expected the next day. I didn't get back to the store until today, and was told (again) that they had no cards, plus I was expected to fill out forms to claim the cards -- because "it all goes through Pixar." Yeah, whatever. I have just used 20 minutes of Toys R Us staff time, plus my time, plus whatever time it takes for staff to mail, process and return the gift cards. I figure in the end, it will take $25 or more to process $4 worth of "value."

I swear, if Toys R Us sold condoms (which they should -- I mean, the whole place is a GIANT advertisement for not having children), I would definitely use the gift cards to buy them, just to throw off all the data they think they are collecting.

tags: contests, junkmail

24 June 2006


So, kiddo wanted to stay home and "do science" today. She wanted to make a volcano... so hubby made it happen. Most of the morning was spent building the volcano, then this afternoon we loaded it up with baking soda and poured in the vinegar and dish soap. BOOM!


You can see the full eruption on video over at YouTube.

In other fun-with-science news, the creepy looking bugs all over my garden...


... are actually ladybug larvae! How cool is that?

tags: science, volcano, ladybugs

Sex Really Does Sell

Warning, this is not safe for viewing in all places (i.e. work) but it sure is funny. Construction workers show off the finer details of their Scruffs work wear in: Scruffs, Hardcore.

tags: sex sells, advertising, video.

23 June 2006

How Young is Too Young?

So... Canada is considering raising the age of consent. Right now, it sits at 14, with a "close in age" exception so that if both partners are within a few years of age, there's no issue (e.g. ages 13 and 15), but the government is considering 16, with a "close in age" exception of 5 years. (There is one other exception: in areas where there is a risk for exploitation -- prostitution, pornography, etc. -- the age of consent is 18.)

Oddly, this is one of the youngest limits in the western world -- Spain and Japan are lower, with an age of consent at 13 -- most are 16 (Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, even the very moderate Netherlands); France sets the limit at 15 and the United States varies from 16-18 (there is no federal law).

It's funny, I had always presumed it was 16 here, too. I'm not sure how much effect this will have. I know the goal is to better combat internet predators, but I just don't know if the legal system will be able to use it effectively. Time will tell, I suppose.

I still find it annoying that teens can *have* sex, but are not allowed to see 30 seconds of perceived penetration on screen, to say nothing of the fact that even at 16 they have no vote... don't get me started.

tags: law, age of consent.

21 June 2006

Threat Down!



(Spirit Bears In The City project. I like them about as much as I liked the orcas... which is to say, not much at all.)

tags: public art, bears.

19 June 2006

Facts of Life.

Totally forgot to mention... last night, kiddo asked where babies come out of. She was asking about goats (a while back we had seen a goat who had recently given birth at the Children's Farm at Beacon Hill park and she had asked questions which we put off. I guess she remembered) but I explained that all mamals worked more or less the same way.

So, I pulled up a visual aid (after an image search for: female reproductive system drawing) and explained where the colon was, the urethra, and the womb; and explained what came out of each. "Oh," she said, "Well, when I see babies they are usually held like this," she cradled her arms, "at the hospital."

Ahhhh. So I pulled up a photo of her at the hospital, like that. Then I showed her the ultrasound photos of her inside me. I told her in the one photo, the bottom of her foot was three centimetres long. Hubby suggested she hold up her foot now. She did; and I showed her that three centimetres was the length of her big toe now.

I expect the next question will be how babies get in there. Wish me luck.

tags: parenthood, reproduction, tricky questions.

The RIAA Can't Get Enough

YouTube, Google videos latest targets of RIAA's wrath

So, the RIAA is now sending "cease and desist" orders to people who are lip synching or dancing to music for which they haven't paid a broadcast fee. WTF????

What is it going to take for people to revolt against these idiots?

tags: RIAA, music sharing, youtube

18 June 2006

Happy Father's Day...

daddy-daughter dim sum

Kiddo is definitely Daddy's Girl.

tags: family, celebration, kiddo, hubby.

Date Night!

After a day of hard labour (housework) yesterday, Hubby and I got away for a movie night. We chose The DaVinci Code. It was a very typical blockbuster, though at least the performances were good. I never did read the book, but I was well aware of the subject matter. I'm glad to have seen it; I went in with low expectations, but I couldn't hate it -- Ron Howard is too skilled a director. The plot? Well, I cracked the code pretty early... but then I had fun laughing at how freaking obvious everything was. (Look! The camera focused on X for ten seconds -- that should be a key plot point three scenes from now!). There are worse ways to spend an evening...

tags: movies, DaVinci Code.

17 June 2006

Controversial Toys

Among the three bagsfull of stuff I bought thrifting yesterday (most of it was clothes) was a $1.99 bag of Simpsons figures that I picked up for Kiddo.


Now, Simpsons aren't controversial, but in amongst them were two smaller figures, one marked Homie TM, CHINA and the other Homies TM, CHINA on the back.


Curious, I looked up "homies, figures" and discovered they were controversial when they were first released in 1998 by artist David Gonzales. The two I have, Mr. Pit and Officer Placa, are from the 3rd and 4th series respectively, and are now both "retired." The figures are tiny -- only about 1 3/4 inches tall -- and very detailed. Needless to say, I'm keeping these two. More info on the Official Homies Site.

tags: David Gonzalez, designer toys, toy controversy, Los Angeles, race relations

16 June 2006

Not Right For You.

Hee hee. Remember Bambu? I posted about it a while back; it was a condo development that failed rather spectacularly. There is still just an empty razed lot in the middle of "old town." A few other major developments are currently stalled, blaming the lack of trade workers.

However, when I wandered past the now vacant display office for Bambu, it seems someone edited the phrases on their window:


Not for everyone. Right for you.

In the reflection, you can see the fencing around the vacant lot... and the shopping cart stuffed full of homeless gear right outside the window pretty much says it all.

tags: victoria real estate

15 June 2006

God vs. the FBI

This is what happens when someone clever has too much time. They read the Bible and come up with a defense against a particular method of collecting DNA.

God Backs Hacker in DNA Dispute [Wired]

Thing is, he has offered cheek swabs, hair, even nail clippings -- he just doesn't want to have his blood drawn. I love his argument, and I think the whole situation has been blown out of proportion, so why not add another layer of absurdity?

tags: legal defense, Bible.

EEE! How cute....

Wee Wonderfuls: hobbibot is a knitting robot. Well, it's a stuffed doll that looks like a knitting robot. Very cute.

tags: craft-fu

It's my Friday.

I have a day off tomorrow and about a dozen things I would like to and/or should do. These include: going to the library, buying some new (or more likely thrifted) jeans, laundry, seeing my Mom, doing more Buccaneer research, and wandering around town taking photos.

Meanwhile I have a lot of work to do today. Urgh.

I saw a woman in the weirdest outfit this morning -- my camera was not at hand though -- she was wearing silver strappy high-heeled shoes, a little black skirt (possibly dress), a gold plastic raincoat, and a black knit ear-warmer/headband thing. I tried to imagine why she was wearing winter headgear in June, but I gave up when my head started to hurt.

Oh, and there's a new Adult Store in town: Susan James, which is aparently a very high end store, and is featured in this month's Where magazine. It's located in our old stomping grounds at Hillside and Quadra. Before the photos of scantily clad women went up in the windows, we were debating what the store would be; it said it was for "adventurous adults" but since we are on the West Coast, I argued that it could be a sporting goods store. I was wrong.

tags: dayoff, strange outfit, retail Victoria.

14 June 2006

Coffee for the non-shiny people

Tolerate Mornings
is a campaign by the fine people at Folgers Coffee. Not my chosen brew, but OMIGOD this ad is hillarious. Shiny happy morning people, indeed.

Click the television to view the ad itself. The rest of the site is full of fun and funny things to help you "tolerate" your morning.

tags: coffee, advertising.

13 June 2006

Good grief!

Variety.com - Daly digs YouTube talent

"YouTube has churned out its first crossover viral video star.

Carson Daly has signed Brooke "Brookers" Brodack to a talent/development deal, making the 20-year-old the first talent to emerge, in an official capacity, from the online service."

I suppose it couldn't be worse than American Idol.

tags: youtube, celebrity

Funny t-shirts

I don't have any funny or clever t-shirts in my drawers any more. I used to... but somehow I decided to "grow up" and get a bunch of t-shirts I could wear at work.

This morning though, I actually laughed out loud when I saw what the guy slouched at the back of the bus was wearing. His t-shirt had what looked like a warning label in the middle. It said:


Heee hee. Maybe it is time to get some silly/funny/clever t-shirts. There are SO many available. Hell, I could even buy one of my own from CafePress... but they aren't particularly funny.

Oooh. Also, this bag rocks, and this mousepad is excellent.

tags: clothing, shopping, funny-haha.

12 June 2006

Joys of Strata Ownership

Urgh. Some people should not live in strata complexes. I am one of those people. [I find it amazing that four years ago, I was trying to set up a co-housing complex, but this was before we were so solidly dienchanted by co-ops in general. But I digress.]

Anyway... AGM was tonight.... and we had forgotten until an hour before the meeting. Ended up my getting a sitter and going because hubby had already made other plans. One upside, we did get to meet the new property manager. Long story short, our last property managment company was a group of incompetent twits who farmed out as much work as possible to their other company which did maintenance -- also a group of incompetent twits. The new manager is a bit brash, but at least he understands and can apply the Strata Act and has no interest in getting involved in any petty infighting (the last manager often dove into the midst of the mud being flung).

Aside from my grumbling that our strata fees were going up *again* (grr, argh, phoo), the big issue on the agenda was rental restrictions. In theory, I could maybe support a motion for rental restrictions if appropriately set out (in general, I think we are doing OK, and in the spirit of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" I think it would be unadvised to add restrictions). Unfortunately the garbage that was tabled was, as one owner stated, "draconian" and overstated, to say the least. Luckily it was soundly defeated. I was so frustrated by the end of it though, that had I been nominated, I would have let my name stand for council. That didn't happen (thank goodness).

What really made me laugh was our former council president, going on at lenghth about being more inclusive as a community... all the while she was moving her chair in front of me, excluding me from the circle of attendees. Gah.

You know... some days, I just don't think I am a people person.

tags: strata ownership, meetings, community.

Documentary Must-See

Last night, I caught most of the PBS show NOW which was discussing the upcoming documentary: Who Killed the Electric Car?

Fascinating, if somewhat accusatory, it focuses on the EV-1 "test" cars that were leased to many people in the mid to late 1990s (among them, the uber-environmentalist Ed Begley Jr.). The documentary investigates America's outmoded paradigms in the automotive and oil industries.

The film features a number of celebrites from Phylis Diller to Mel Gibson, along with industry representatives and well-known environmentalists. It opens at the end of June in New York and L.A.; hopefully it will play here sometime this summer.

tags: movies, coming soon.


My weekend was full of pirates:


I suspect the rest of my week will have fewer pirates.

09 June 2006

What a week....

Work has been a bit nutty for me this week (we have a big backlog due to equipment failure, and trying to solve/deal with that issue has taken up a lot of my time, as have the preparations for training sessions that start Monday).

We went to the info session/open house for kiddo's new Kindergarten class earlier in the week and, well, at this point we are really hoping they do create a K/Grade 1 split class because she is already way further ahead than we realized, according to the expectations of the Ministry of Education.

The session really renewed my apprehension toward sending kiddo to public school... and so I have pulled out my copies of Dumbing Us Down and Deschooling our Lives, I guess to just remind myself that hubby and I are not the only people with apprehension about modern public school. In some ways, to me, organized schooling can be as detrimental as organized religion.

Meanwhile, I am working on doing some research on local history topics and cleaning up my music files on the computer... both time consuming tasks. The research I am currently doing is about Buccaneer Days, which runs this weekend here in neighbouring Esquimalt. The 3-day celebration includes a parade (tomorrow), a midway, a pancake breakfast, and many other events, all with a pirate theme. What I am trying to sort out is exactly how pirates got into the mix of a celebration that started back in 1939 as a May Day festival. I'll let you know when I get to the bottom of it.

tags: work, schooling, deschooling, local history, Buccaneer Days.

06 June 2006

Triple Boxcars!

Yes, it's the sixth day of the sixth month of the two thousand and sixth year of the Christian Era which somehow makes it 6-6-6. I'm tempted to blather on about how arbitrary this date is and what nonsense it is, but then again, I did see someone on a bike this morning, going the wrong direction down a one way street, wearing a red hoodie pulled tight over a devil mask.


tags: superstition, satan, weirdthings

Cleverly Recycled Books!

Jasmine Deatherage used to have boxes of old books in her cupboards. One day she decided to do something unique and started Ex Libris Anonymous to recycle the books into journals. She keeps the covers and up to 5 of the pages inside then adds 75 pages of blank paper and rebinds them with spiral binding. She sells them each for US$12.

Scrolling through the catalog, I recognized several of the kids' books and many of the others are the sort you find for 25 cents at garage sales. It's not clear if she ships to Canada, but I'm betting she'd work out a deal.

05 June 2006

We caught them, so we suck.

At least that's what the talking heads on American networks seem to think.

Basically, RCMP, CSIS and Ontario Police worked together to arrest 17 suspected terrorists who were allegedly plotting some nasty attacks in Southern Ontario. To summarize: we caught them, before anything happened. Now apparently, this means Canada is a "hotbed for terrorists" and our "security is too weak."

Well, pardon me, pundits, but WE STOPPED THEM. No offence, but American agents didn't exactly stop the 9/11 terrorists. Also, those arrested were "homegrown" not unlike those who planted the bombs in London; they were inspired by Al Qaeda, but not linked to them. Idiots, if you ask me, but at least their plots seem to have been foiled.

So, if those folks who think this means we need more security would just shut up, I'd be a lot less cranky. Our security forces are working JUST FINE thanks.

tags: rant, Canada-US relations, terrorism.

04 June 2006

Walking Talking Puppets

Kiddo got seasons 1 and 2 of Dinosaurs for her birthday and the past few days we've been watching a LOT of them. Hubby was amused to find that Robbie's friend Spike (who seems almost certainly to be based on Mike Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High) was voiced by Christopher Meloni, known best for his work on Law & Order SVU and Oz. My eureka moment was figuring out that Kevin Clash (a.k.a. Elmo) voiced the Baby. Once I put that together it was hard not to see/hear a furry red monster in place of the little yellow dinosaur.

Dinosaurs lasted 4 seasons, from 1991-94. It was aimed at adults, not unlike the Flintstones were in the 1960s, but for those of us raised on puppet-filled shows -- Sesame Street, The Great Space Coaster, the many Sid and Marty Krofft Saturday morning shows, the Muppet Show (OMG -- A Muppet Wiki!!), and more -- it was target marketed to the 18-35 demographic. Suffice to say, I'm happy this show is in my house right now, and I am waiting for seasons 3 and 4. Kiddo loves it too.

Now... in searching for some of the links up there I found some really really funny things:

1. The song Mah Na Mah Na (to which I refered on Friday) debuted in a softcore porn movie. Really.

2. Sid and Marty Krofft successfully sued McDonalds' Corp. for copyrigt infringement -- charging them with ripping off H.R. Pufnstuff characters to create Mayor McCheese, et. al.

...I also found an interesting Wikipedia article on Adult Pupeteering that reminded me of other great puppet shows -- most notably Spitting Image. Damn that was a funny show, but mostly I think of the puppets being used in Genesis' video for Land of Confusion [it's on YouTube!].

Yeah. Puppets rock.

tags: puppets (duh), television.

New Old TV....

As of June 1st, the Global channel Prime was re-branded as TVTropolis. Along with "classic" shows such as Seinfeld, News Radio and teen soap 90210, the lineup includes a host of b-list celebrity reality shows like My Fair Brady (Christopher Knight a.k.a. Peter Brady walks down the aisle with supermodel Adrianne Curry) and Hogan Knows Best, which looks like the kind of trainwreck that causes a paralysis in one's channel-flipping finger.

I dunno what my point is in blogging about this... I just find rebranding amusing.

tags: television

03 June 2006

Sick, tired, rudderless...

As expected, by Friday afternoon my sinuses were waging full out war on my body. I left work about an hour early, not that I was very focused while I was there, came home and I flaked out while Hubby and Kiddo worked on making pasta with our new pastamaker (we got it second hand, along with the drying rack, through Craigslist.)



Last night I finally saw Finding Neverland -- how come I waited so long?? It really was a lovely movie and not at all what I was expecting (twee and overly sentimental). Depp, as usual, was brilliant.

Today was low power, mostly spent trying to move files off my drive (apparently 20 GB is not big enough for all my photos and music). Sigh. This evening, Hubby made more pasta (lasagna) and we headed down for a family dinner (they're all suffering from the same cold) and watched Dodgeball. I think that movie is funnier with successive viewings.

tags: movies, pasta, health

02 June 2006


Oh, how cool is this? The Puppet Project aims to bring puppetry to the masses, providing patterns, supplies (primarily reticulated foam) and plenty of inspiration.

Now all I can think of is Mahna-Mahna, doo doooo DOO doo-doo.

01 June 2006


Been a couple of days since I posted. Hubby and kiddo are both sick (Hubby more so) and so I have been waiting for the hand of ill health to strike at me, too. In the meantime, here's what's on my computer screen of late:

Scary scientific findings: New Orleans is sinking faster than originally estimated. I have to ask displaced New Orleans residents, do you really want to go back? This is what the author of the new report says:
"My concern is the very low-lying areas," said lead author Tim Dixon, a University of Miami geophysicist. "I think those areas are death traps. I don't think those areas should be rebuilt."

Old toys: yeah, it was interesting to have a table at the Victoria Toy Show, but I sure don't want to do that again. Sure, you get to see cool toys, but I can do that online. In several places.

Speaking of childhood.... Ever thought Rock-Paper-Scissors was a stupid game? Thought maybe you should kick it up a notch? Via BoingBoing is RockPaperScissors25 -- using 25 diffierent hand gestures (the original 3 plus 22 new ones) giving you far more chance of pwning the opposition.

And finally, Zombies are on my mind. First it was suggested that I use my mad haiku skillz to enter a Zombie Haiku contest.... which I will do... and then for my weekly writing focus, I doodled out a short-short story called My Zombie Lover, which amuses me greatly.

tags: science, toys and games, zombies.