First half of August 2005

hmmm
2005-08-15— Posted by: allegra

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/15/austrian_signs/

Point and laugh, everybody, point and laugh.

not enough sleep
2005-08-15— Posted by: allegra

Up at quarter after four, feeling scratched over. This weekend simply wasn’t long enough.

Had kebabs for dinner last night; Katie and I made them and Paul cooked them perfectly. So we actually, all four of us, did TWO things together yesterday, which was shop and eat dinner.

Calling all aircraft and lightning fans
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

You absolutely must check out

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/pub/ltg/plane_japan.php

Unbeleegable!

Elephumps is clever
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

Here’s an elephant throwing the first pitch at a West Michigan Whitecaps game. From the story:

I’ve never caught an elephant before, catcher Chris Robinson told The Grand Rapids Press.

Jumping Jimmy Christmas! I should think it’s something you only do once. I am definitely filing this one with “Get out, get out! The alligator is coming!” under “no, duh!”

Yes, we have no bananas
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,20967,1076199,00.html

I heard on the radio that bananas were going extinct about 6 months ago and thought it was bogus. Now I’m not so sure. This article is very interesting, and covers a lot of ground. I recommend it.

I wish somebody would do the same for rubber. Wade Davis says that rubber trees the world over are one good fungus away from being wiped out. If you wanted to make industrial civilization slowly keel over, killing rubber would be one way to do it.

scary dream/dreaming screenplay
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

Last night I had really scary dream, which, as dreams do, morphed into something else. I dreamed my desk had been moved down into the factory (which except for the noise and light level I would actually prefer) and I was taking a call from a customer who had expected a shipment – or so I thought. He talked a lot of gibberish, an excessive amount for a dream, and I was getting increasingly testy with him. Finally the customer said, “I’ve got something for you, but you’ll have to listen closely” and I could hear a gun being cocked over the phone. Somewhat wildly I said something to the effect of, I’m outta here, and pulled the plug on the call.

This next is going to seem like a digression, but it’s not.

Now, I am old enough (and I say it with more pride than shame) that I have actually WORKED with a cord board, and I’ve literally unstuck extensions, going back into the equipment room and taking a plastic spoon to a weird little switch and pushing it up so it could click back down into the disengaged position. A cord board is a switchboard like in the old movies. A call flashes in and you answer it by poking a plug into a hole which has a flashing light on it, and you connect it to a hotel extension (or whatever) by poking its partner plug into a labelled hole on this massive board of holes at your operator position. One of the beautyful things about a cord board is that if you get a particularly interesting caller, say a “What colour panties are you wearing” caller, three people can listen in on the call; I fondly remember rolling across on my chair to listen in on such a caller; however you could not plug in to an existing call without triggering a hail of static into the customer’s ear; he got spooked and hung up. “AW!” ANYWAY, the point I am heading to with about as much success as Umberto Nobile’s Polar expedition, is that when I hung up on Mr. I Have A Gun, I pulled the cord out. There was a little twist you made with your arm to get it to seat back down again (there were reels on them but they were cranky sometimes.) I turned to my boss, who in the way of dreams, was conveniently to hand, and he was most sympathetic. Then I look up and a guy I don’t recognize with a very broad face and high forehead and crazy blue eyes is pushing a cart full of finished goods past my desk and he gets right in my space and breathes (he had a very distinctive voice, sort of honey poured over gravel) “Miss me?” and I realize it’s my “needs to order a product and keeps changing his story” wacky caller, whom, last I checked, had a gun. Well, needless to say I freak; I snap the proverbial chain and run into the bathroom, where I…. perform a duet of the Tapioca Song with a male coworker who was using that particular bathroom to get in touch with his feminine side. Great great harmonies. However I came back out and I was fired, although crazy guy gets hauled off to jail for busting up the factory….

Then the dream turns lucid. I’m thinking, this would be a great screenplay, and all of a sudden our heroine is not a tubby middle-aged woman with a gas problem, but a brunette stick insect not a day over 22. I won’t bore you with the rest of it, but it’s sort of an Xfiles meets crazy guy chasing chick screamfest; at one point he fixes it so that her own cat attacks her…. although around HERE that wouldn’t be much of a plot point.

Muppets in bags
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

Oy vey. I’m assuming they were taking the cast of “Avenue Q” which is a (or so I’m told) very funny musical – out to the dry cleaners, or bringing them back therefrom. I find this pic unutterably freaky, which is why I am sharing it.

Graham Chapman’s eulogy
2005-08-14— Posted by: allegra

I want a funeral service like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch.php?v=fUYfkmgaGC4

baby animals
2005-08-13— Posted by: allegra

Harassed parents
2005-08-12— Posted by: allegra

These harassed looking parrotlets rather abruptly laid six eggs. They have now all hatched and the parents are looking kind of ….. well, busy!

enough sleep
2005-08-12— Posted by: allegra

The little lemur previously posted is Microcebus lehilahytsara, which mashes Malagasy and Latin…. gotta love it.

It’s 5:32 in the morning. I had a horrible nightmare in which I was stung to death by wasps during a Spit (a Spit being, in case you didn’t know, a gathering of Dorothy Dunnett fans). Woke up whining to Paul and of course neither of us could go back to sleep so now he’s doing his yoga and I’m blogging.

For eighty bucks US you can purchase a blank keyboard. Is it a sign that I am easily influenced that I immediately thought Must Have It?

Stephanie of the writer’s group hosted a pot luck / group read last night, and she invented a dessert that I immediately dubbed Blueberry Awesomeness. It definitely had the Buddha nature. Start with a not very sweet shortbread crust, with a thin layer of custard, a fat layer of blueberry compote, a thin layer of cream and then a fat layer of whipped cream with blueberries on top. Maybe I should mention the writing. Never met Melinda before, she read an elegantly constructed two page rant which was an interweaving of her rage with cheap slogans, psycho babble, the war on Iraq and the meditative sequelae from a 20 year high school reunion. We were mesmerized. Celine continued with her autobiography… she’s written 95 pages since I last saw her, bless her… and of course it was amazing as always. Stephanie read a dialogue between an atheist and a deist which could have been a Unitarian sermon, and I read the homily I delivered at the family reunion, at which point several of those assembled told me I should publish it. This somewhat startled me, but I will investigate it. So much of what I write is occasional… not meant to stand the scrutiny of the ages in other words… that the idea of publishing it anyplace more transitory than a blog usually doesn’t occur to me. It was great to see Taylore and Hana and LE and Anna and the rest, and Paul came, bless him, the only boy in a crowd of uprising women.

We brought cheese.

We had a wonderful time and got home around 11 and ColLapsed.

Work is utterly miraculous at the moment. I had a conversation with a coworker that I have been wanting to have for 6 years. I basically bounced around the inside of my skull like a monkey on crunk for the rest of the afternoon, or would have if I hadn’t been trapped in a process meeting. Only the charm and intelligence of the other two people I was trapped with prevented it from being a massive sinkhole in an otherwise glorious day.

Is it possible to hurt yourself yawning, and who might afford me sympathy? I think I’ll traipse back to bed.

Pictured is the recently rediscovered Whiskeytown Falls in a remote area of California; it has a four hundred foot drop. Photo credit AP.

Tori being adorable
2005-08-11— Posted by: allegra

Taken during Mike and Tori’s Hornby vacation last weekend.

Snowbirds in White Rock
2005-08-11— Posted by: allegra

Taken Tuesday evening, credit Rob of Nine.

Snowbirds in White Rock
2005-08-11— Posted by: allegra

Taken Tuesday evening, credit Rob of Nine.

Not enough fuzzy animal pix
2005-08-11— Posted by: allegra

Aw… it will grow up to rake its claws down your arm. Pictured is a baby ocelot. Brother James is in town; I am very much hoping to see him for lunch. More later….

Keith’s day as recounted by him
2005-08-10— Posted by: allegra

It starts out innocuously enough. As John was just leaving the driveway, like before he hit the sidewalk, the phone rang. It was a gent on Elwell Street who was reporting that after several attempts to discern the number on Pokey’s tag, that he had brought him in and fed him. Nobody else was home. Dad was out with the car at Boundary Bay, Allegra was at work and John had just pulled out of the driveway as I was taking the call. It therefore fell to me to retrieve Pokey, as his finder had not wanted to hang onto him any longer than necessary. I was just coming away from a 9 hour shift at the Kay Can warehouse in Langley (a one and a half hour commute, one way) and I felt frazzled, and I felt as though I’d blown every sweat pore in my body. The muscles and tendons in my forearms were issuing cries of pain and resentment of which Job might have been proud. I was in short, rather less able of mind and body than normal. Nothing truly surreal happened to me on my trip to get Pokey until Robert Burnaby park. While walking towards the baseball diamond, I noted a ragged crew, clad in various shades of mottled brown, of perhaps one hundred persons, gathered around two devices strongly reminiscent of medieval catapults. It is telling of my mental state that I did not find either of these sights remarkable and reacted to neither for about the space of half a block’s walk. My brain only engaged enough to realize that they were extras and the devices were props in a movie production, and then I noted the Uhauls, first aid station and white tents set up around the baseball diamond. In such circumstances, with many many people running around frantically, and many others simply looking on, a long haired galoot with an empty cat carrier simply is not remarkable enough to register. I passed this sight by, contemplating my mental and physical reaction, and wondering if I would have bestirred myself had they turned out to be real orcs, having thoughts directed towards me involving full or partial disembowelment and catapults. In the spirit common to fantasy stories, where travellers know their way without knowing how they know their way, I turned randomly at one street and found that it was actually Elwell, although it had not been marked. I walked up the street hearing nothing and seeing nothing of the sight at the baseball diamond, and wondering if it had been some fever induced hallucination. I heard lots of dogs barking. As I continued, I saw Pokey sitting in the driveway of a house which I passed and a youngish couple who came out as I approached. I thanked them profusely of course for keeping Pokey for the time that they did, and made two recommendations should they ever meet the orange mooch again, and those were not to invite him in or feed him again lest he come to consider their house a second home. I got him into the carrier with no difficulty and walked off considering my odd-look-free exchange with the young couple. I thought I must have returned to full or partial coherence and on impulse I decided to test this supposition by returning via the same route, passing the baseball diamond and the same crew of movie makers. Pausing to watch their antics as they packed up from the day’s shoot, I hit most shamelessly upon the notion of using Pokey as my attention getting device, and did attract the attention of two gentlemen getting into a mini van. Feeling a sudden strong sense of civic duty to the social group I identify with, I said to them, You are making a movie of Dungeon Siege. They nodded and said this was indeed their purpose. I replied, Then speaking on behalf of fans world wide, please remove a great deal of repetitive monster killing and add a great deal of plot, as these were, respectively, qualities which the computer game Dungeon Siege had in truly unnecessary abundance or truly appalling lack. Both the gents considered this amusing as they were whisked away in their conveyance. As I continued on, I had in my fiendish & feverish brain the notion that I should variously embarrass and degrade Pokey on the trip back. As I passed a blackberry bush which I know very well which exists at the edge of Robert Burnaby Park I hit upon the notion of a primeval regression similar to that depicted by the extras I had just seen. I decided to set Pokey down while I went blackberrying. Continuing on with a load of blackberries strewn across the top of Pokey’s cage, I met with no further incidents and thus filled the empty minutes with a one sided and rather loud conversation with Pokey touching upon such subjects as his elemental stupidity in crossing 16th Ave and the various habits of cats which make them so violently allergic to any sort of loyalty. The last incident was merely a sighting; tent caterpillars are taking up residence in one of our trees. Freeing Pokey in the downstairs suite, I repaired upstairs to copious quantities of lemonade and media saturation, and wonder even now how much of the above provably occurred in reality.

A wonderful site
2005-08-10— Posted by: allegra

Wonderful photogallery of equipment warning signs.

I posted a reference in an earlier blog and I had to share the whole thing again. I wish I’d written the commentary.

New Mouse Lemur from Madagascar
2005-08-10— Posted by: allegra

Don’t you just want to take it home? This newly discovered critter (pic shamelessly ripped off from New Scientist) is just as sweet as can be. Thanks Jerome.

In other news, I was somewhat … uh…. startled when Mike answered the phone with “Mike’s Drive-in Computer Service”. Let’s just say I’m waiting for the pictures, and that it was a bad way to end a vacation.

Welcome home Peggy and Tom.

Next sermon
2005-08-09— Posted by: allegra

The next sermon I give at Beacon has been moved up to September 11th, and the topic is “Angels Unawares” being a sermon I’m actually basing on Scripture, can you believe it ? (Hebrews 13 1-3, although I, I, I’m holding up at the stuff about fornication).

One of these days I’m going to finish my extended, drunken riff on Revelations. I kind of hinted at it in an earlier blog, but reading Revelations (King James, of courrrrse, nothing matches it for sheer grandeur and rolled r’s) out loud while taking it literally (you can’t take it literally, the whole thing is an extended metaphor) is a lot of fun. And I didn’t get hit by lightning. As I recollect, it was to honour the death of Hunter S. Thompson – he read a lot from Revelations while he was ripped, and who can blame him? Them who’s got ears, let ’em hear. Some dude in the most recent Harper’s said that modern American Christianity, with its emphasis on Revelations (it’s about to hit the fan, and I’m gonna go to Heaven, and You’re Not) over the gospel (love God, love your neighbour – how boring is that) is all part of the medianation thingy…. At the family reunion one of the Mennonites said, I can’t remember the words to these hymns, I’m used to seeing them on a screen; my blood ran cold.

I wrote in a song once, “You want to do well, you want to do well, but if God’s an environmentalist – you’re going straight to hell. I don’t want to be the cold voice of reason that drops a hailstorm on your … tourist season; but it’s hot where you’re going to go. As a gesture…of friendship… I thought I’d let you know….”

News from Belize
2005-08-09— Posted by: allegra

I can add “international recording artist” to my resume.

From Dale:

Well, you have now debuted in the Green Dragon Internet and Deli in San Ignacio, Belize. Full power for the whole house! Its great! (Other bits of the message redacted) I would reciprocate if I knew how. Later

Song debuted low on the charts, but I’m going to be following up Lifeline with the soon to be world infamous

Tapioca Song. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Dale, don’t worry about the religious aspects of my blog. I go to a church where the atheists and the Christians can sit side by side. Makes writing sermons interesting, you always have to have an eye on the atheists, because they offend a lot easier than the Christians (snort, snicker). No, let me rephrase that. Let’s just say that the atheists’ ability to tolerate BS is very, very low. Atheists get made if you insult their intelligence; Christians their faith.

Post for pOp
2005-08-08— Posted by: allegra

Hey Dad, check this out. Saw this, thought of you. Forwarded to me by the Multilingual Mario. You know, the guy who shows me up by doing crosswords in English better than I can, despite it not being his first language.

not enough sleep
2005-08-08— Posted by: allegra

Is your tortoise roadworthy?

Hope everybody had a better night of sleep than I did. Kira is butting her nose into my ear and complaining about breakfast… but it’s only 6 am so I won’t be feeding her quite yet. Katie’s back… I found her keys on the back deck, complete with the little fake ruby Playboy bunny charm which frankly gives my slumbering feminist the pip every time I see it.

Keith will be getting up shortly to see if there’s any work; I imagine Paul will come in from the tent sometime soon.

I really wish the guy across the street would get his car fixed; last night he spent half an hour trying to start it, and this morning at 4:30 he spent about fifteen minutes trying to start it, and it’s about 20 meters from my window, so I get every agonized splutter and grinding noise with hi fi clarity. Who needs an alarm clock?

The only thing I accomplished yesterday was making greek salad. It’s extremely fine greek salad, but it doesn’t seem like much done given the fine day I had.

Manners
2005-08-07— Posted by: allegra

Somebody, whose parents likely weren’t able to pound sense or manners into him/her, raced up and down the streets of east Burnaby on an inadequately muffled dirt bike, at 3 am this morning. I was so mad I got up and clipped my toenails. Little did I know that the annoying …tick…. tick…. tick…. noise was lovingly conveyed outdoors, where Paul was attempting to sleep in the tent (no, no domestic insanity, just him trying to get relief from the heat). So Paul knew I was up. He couldn’t go back to sleep either and after about fifteen minutes got up and found me playing solitaire on the computer. No sooner had we arranged ourselves back in bed but Drunken Rectum was at it again, just long enough to guarantee we’d be lying in bed, dreaming up punishments and floral tributes for the subsequent funeral. I lost a couple of hours and only just got up in time to say goodbye to Paul, who is working today.

None of this detracts from the simply lovely time afforded at Rob, Char and Arden’s yesterday. Brother Jerome and his lovely livein Shannon were there; LOTS of kids, lots of Babies, including ones I’d never seen, sigh, and two dogs – Chari brought her dogs and a couple of the kids tried to exhaust themselves throwing balls. What they didn’t know, and I do, is that it takes TWO straight DAYS of ball throwing to wear those dogs out, Brian told me once.

Pic is from Gapers Block, the Chicago website.

Figs went moldy, darn it.

enough sleep
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

The mosquitoes abruptly got really bad around here. I’m wondering if it’s time to invest in mosquito nets. Katie’s gone to a girlfriend’s place for a couple of days but appears to be picking up her phone, so that’s okay… I’m also a little concerned that she’s going to the fireworks on Saturday but hopefully she won’t sass cops or do anything else that’s dumb.

Paul’s doing yoga, Keith’s asleep, Pokey’s outside crying to be let in and something caught fire in the neighbourhood last night, a firetruck came right by the house and there’s a sort of hint of “burning insulation” smell in the air this morning.

I’m really abruptly turning into a pro deportation hag. (This is not the same as an anti immigrant hag). I am now thinking, on the basis of personal experience and the news over the last six months, that if you are a foreign national on Canadian soil and you commit any crime more heinous than a parking violation, and it’s proven in court, out you go, and if you get caught here afterwards, out you go in 72 hours (basically long enough to see relatives that might be here), no appeal. When I think that three taxpayers were murdered because Canada failed to deport some crook in 1994 it makes my blood boil. I would be a lot happier with my government if it actually started deporting people who commit violence and fraud against my fellow citizens. And if you’re a foreign national and you are a person of interest in an investigation for anything more serious than a parking violation, you’d bloody well better surrender your passport to the local cops.

‘Course, when the pandemic fires up, the whole immigrant thing will be very interesting…. it will trigger the biggest mass migration in history.

weir were we
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

mmmph, missed this

jelly
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

Somehow, when I looked at this picture, it was the shadows that interested me more than the people. So all you get is feet and legs and shadows, which allows you to concentrate on an ugly, stranded, venomous, jellyfish. Bleaaah. Pictured are Carly and Jan’s feet.

And we’ll throw in for free…..
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

Another picture of the fish weirs. What were your ancestors doing a thousand years ago? Turn your face across the water and ask yourself the question.

The weirs are in the estuary in Courtenay.

But that’s not all
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

So I couldn’t stop with just one. Jim sent five pix. What you are looking at, in this picture, is aboriginal title. It is a picture of how the Coastal peoples sank the forest into the ocean to catch salmon and other fish.

When it’s the lowest low tide, you can see the pilings for the fish weirs march out into the ocean and along the beach and estuary for kilometers.

If people want to talk about title, what about a thousand years? What if you could say, for a thousand years, my people caught fish here?

JimJan&Carly
2005-08-06— Posted by: allegra

Okay, I love this picture. It is a family picture. Let me bulk up the richness and the strangeness of it. First of all Carly, Jim and Jan’s athletic, graceful and very amusing youngest daughter, had the idea for it. Next, Jan sat still for it, probably making clever suggestions all the way through. Then Jim lay there like the most esculent parody of emaciated boys ever seen, and parked shells over his pechos. Ah yes, taken all in all, a masterpiece of digital bliss; a picture for the ages. Thank you so much.

enough sleep
2005-08-05— Posted by: allegra

This cat is named Pikachu; he took on a 4 foot alligator while his master went for the phone. I am amused by his resemblance to my cat Zeek!

I am even more amused that the incident occurred in Joliet IL. Nice to know that at any time, in any place, you might be dealing with a critter that isn’t from ‘these parts’, like that chef that got bitten by a Brazilian spider in England and damned near died.

Keith is off at work. He had to get up at five to get to work in Richmond for 7 am. Bleahh. His job involves cleaning and degreasing food grade containers.

Had a simply lovely time at the Steveston Seafood House last night with Bonnie. Misunderstood her – Stephen is in North Bay, not here. Anyway, the best part of the evening was looking at her pictures of Turkey. The pictures of Ephesus in particular were spectacular; Turkey looks like a very dry country, though; and pictures of the Topkapi and the Hagia Sophia were splendid as well. Dunnett fans would have been pleased.

Bonnie herself hasn’t changed much in, like, 35 years. Meant to ask her where she hides the Dorian-Gray-equivalent but decided that would be tacky.

Looks to be another spectacular day in Vancouver.

Paul is doing yoga and looking quite fine and Katie is unconscious.

Here we are, working on our 25th year. Hard to credit.

24th Anniversary
2005-08-04— Posted by: allegra

As blogged previously, Paul and I have 3 anniversaries in August. Today is our first anniversary – the anniversary of the day we met. We are celebrating by going to eat with my friend Bonnie B, who goes back the furthest with me – I’ve known her since I was eight or thereabouts. She has THE most infectious giggle in the known universe. We finally get to meet her sweetie Steve…. how many years is this??? And hopefully we see pix of her trip to Turkey.

Yes indeed, Paul and I have had our ups and downs, but today we appear to be shiny.

going flying
2005-08-04— Posted by: allegra

Paul took Dax flying … only one incipient spin. More than I could take, that’s for sure. Apparently he’s going flying again tomorrow to take computer bits to my folks. This is all a good thing.

Watermelon judgment
2005-08-03— Posted by: allegra

http://www.johnconroy.com/Dunsdon%20Reasons%20Jan%205%202005.pdf

This dude – John Conroy – is also Marc Emery’s lawyer. I haven’t commented about this case because I am angry, and waiting to calm down.

The judgment cited is with respect to Watermelon, may she live forever in song, story, fable and myth. Those of you with legal background may find it of particular interest, as it is closely and finely reasoned… or resined, as the case may be.

corrective and explanatory notes
2005-08-03— Posted by: allegra

I use Alex and Lexi interchangeably.

Brother James is not my brother – I refer to him that way because we were in the trenches of customer service together. Looking forward to seeing you this summer!

That’s Takamine, not Nakamine. Duh.

Paul and I aren’t married. However, when you live together for nearly a quarter century, referring to the father of your children and the other name on the mortgage as ‘spouse’ or ‘partner’ just doesn’t seem right to me, although I normally try to be as accurate as sanity allows.

There’s a lot going on in my life that I can’t talk about. When I am being circumlocutory, it’s because a completely fair rendering of events would either make me look worse than I do (I have a pretty good idea how this blog makes me look, and believe me, the reality is far better and much worse) or would give a greater emphasis to something bad (or excellent) than circumstances and life history warrant; and I know my opinions change over time so I try to be somewhat judicious about expressing them although I can hear the collective whoosh of eyebrows going up as you are reading this.

Also, I can’t talk about work until they fire me or I retire, because I’ll never quit. Okay, never is a long time. But I sure have it in my mind not to quit. And if I do…. Brother James and I will have a little confab, and the results should be quite entertaining.

Bully’s
2005-08-03— Posted by: allegra

Bully’s is a rehearsal space in New Westminster. We were there last night to visit with Katie and Dax, who had space for about an hour; they were noodling, rather amazingly given how long they have practiced, with bass and drums. The people who run Bully’s are Super Nice – Frank and Mark … as in just completely wonderful, and they are obviously trying to make a rehearsal and music space that is as welcoming as possible (ie they have business practices which suggest that they want to make money over the long haul rather than right this instant).

At one point Paul picked up the bass and was noodling with Dax, who was playing drums. Sounded pretty good.

Earlier Paul and I went to the Pho Hong on Kingsway and I ate a number 3 on the patio (a little noisy for my taste but cooler than inside). Dang, but they make good pho.

Then we went by Suzanne’s to see Katie and hang out on the deck at sunset (twas gorjus) and a couple of Suzanne’s buddies were there and I admired pix of her girlfriend’s garden (her girlfriend lives ‘beyond Hope’ and has a moss garden, which is unique and exotic and very pretty.) Taught Suzanne how to sent Rogers text messages from her computer. Rogers makes it really easy, although recent changes to the website made me pretty cranky for a while.

I’m thinking of Peggy and Tom and hoping they have a fabulous time out east.

Finally caught up with John after we got home – he returned safe around quarter to one night before last – and he had, as usual some funny anecdotes.

Lois and Bob’s son Jesse keeps snakes, plural. I me demand why I have not seen pic-a-tures? One is almost completely white with faint orange markings and the other is a reticulated python. And both big. Not small. Jesse! Obey the message on the wind and send me pix!

Paul and Dax go flying today.

I light a candle of thanksgiving that no one was killed in the Air France accident yesterday, and predict hydroplaning as the proximal cause of the accident. And the pilot shouldn’t have accepted the landing – he’d already missed one approach.

Jumping Jayne Cobb, lookit the time. ‘m outta here.

Gizmo the Mighty – From Brother Jeff
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

Weird thing happened yesterday. I went for a walk in the woods with Gizmo. He loves doing that – he gets really excited, climbing trees and racing around. So far so good.

We walked along the path for a while, then Gizmo stopped and went off the path and sat down, so I stopped and looked back. Someone was coming along the path behind us, walking their dog on a leash.

As the dog got closer, Gizmo started to retreat into the woods but I stayed put, thinking that the dog would just pass by. In similar situations in the past, both cats basically disappeared when a dog showed up.

The dog didn’t notice Gizmo but was intent on sniffing the path. I think it probably smelled Gizmo. I don’t know what breed it was, but it was slightly larger than your typical dog, with droopy ears – it looked like a hunting dog.

When the dog was within about 5 meters, it finally noticed Gizmo and lunged for him, straining against his leash. I expected Gizmo to take off, but instead HE LAUNCHED HIMSELF AT THE DOG. Gizmo was a blur, circling the dog and lunging at it with his claws. I think he hit the dog a few times, but in any case, the dog started to whine and back away.

I tried to grab Gizmo but he was out of control and kept attacking. The dog and his owner tried to continue down the path, but Gizmo kept after them. I was finally able to keep him back with a stick, but not without a few angry looks from Gizmo.

I had to apologize to the dog’s owner from a distance, but he didn’t seem too upset, just shocked – as was I.

It’s hard to say what would have happened if the fight had continued, but clearly Gizmo won the first round.

Allegra sez: Pic is, obviously, of Gizmo. I hung out with him & Jeff this weekend. The only thing Gizmo savaged was his food. Jeff lives in Colwood right next to the woods. You can see the stars at night from his back deck – it’s a very peaceful spot.

Mine is an evil laugh
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

A-ha! My mother is now a Firefly addict. Ditto Alex (aka Lexi). She showed up at the door yesterday wearing my recently completed Jayne Cobb hat; I burst out laughing, and then thankfully accepted her cargo of left behind underwear, etc. I do not think I have EVER visited my parents without leaving a debris trail that would make an accident investigator cringe. Two children help with this project immeasurably.

There is a wasps’ nest in the second shed eaves. Something must be done. The figs are STILL dehydrating, they are ver’ juicy. Paul is contemplating the solar dehydrator plans from Home Power magazine back in 1998; he downloaded them or ordered them last night. Animated discussion about how we’re going to deal with food after Power Down.

Animated discussion this morning about commercializing this site. The first first thing I’m going to do is talk to Glenn – the long postponed dreaded talk – at least I already know which software I’m going to use to charge people with. Then I’m gonna put up music, some free (starting with the Tapioca Song, which wants to be free! I asked it), most for coin (sorry, I’m not letting The Evening News go for free. Not gonna happen). Then I’m gonna do is ask my mother if she wants her own subdirectory for publicly posted family stuff and genealogy, as pix are a complete bandwidth hog. Ok, Mummy, consider yourself asked. You too can learn to upload pictures to a website. It isn’t hard; I can do it…. Then I’m going to post all my miscellaneous writing, most free (including the homilies), some for coin (for obvious reasons, I’ll be charging for the erotica… Old enough for a credit card? C’mon down!) And then, to quote Firefly, I’m gonna “be the king of all Londinium and wear a shiny hat”.

While I like Supreme Server which is “mine English host” (they do the job, and they’ve dropped the ball once in one year, and heck, who hasn’t had a denial of service attack at least once), I keep thinking about moving the host to Vancouver. Then I think about earthquakes. Hm. It’s a poser. Back to work and a mountain of emails.

Moving sunset
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

Paul grabbed this picture out of the window of a moving car. I used to yell at him for doing that, now I eagerly wait to see what beautiful thing he’s come up with this time.

Saanich Fair Grounds
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

This is where the reunion was. Great kitchen… and I saw a lot of it. Not that I’m complaining. I love feeding people I love.

Katie smiling
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

Our canoe was called Bambi…. We had a really good time that day, as you can see.

Why go to family reunions?
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

Because the relatives bring mementoes of times past. Does anybody remember the joke that goes with this item from yesteryear?

the coolest cat in Burnaby
2005-08-02— Posted by: allegra

Please take out this catheter
2005-08-01— Posted by: allegra

So I just read in eurekalert.org that if somebody actually programmed a doctor’s pager to go off at some predetermined point after the insertion of a catheter, he or she would be reminded to take it out and thus prevent humiliation, infection, and lots of money to treat the infection. Yeah, I’m always really happy to be intubated, reminds me I’m alive. You can be really really glad that after I searched the internet I chose to NOT post a picture of a catheter. So I’m posting something else instead…the copter I went for a ride in the middle of July in Arlington WA.

In keeping with the helicopter pic, I offer vibrations of happiness to the SFU engineering team that got an RC helicopter (10 kilos) to fly a prescribed 3.3 kilometer course, being the first team to successfully do so. Competition was held in the US. Way to go, guys!!!

I have found out what Keith’s goal is in life. My brother never reads my blog, so I can comfortably say this… Jeff, you’re hooped.

Paul and I are looking for matching old fashioned floor lamps – tri lites by preference – with big solid ugly bases and fabric lampshades. Any assistance in locating them so we can stop buying floor lamps every two years, since the contemporary floor lamps are roughly comparable in quality to a bubble gum machine bracelet, would be greatly appreciated.

Paul was very happy that we came home yesterday evening. And I’m happy too. But I don’t want to canoe Widgeon Creek today because I simply have too much life maintenance, and I sure as heck won’t feel like moving when I get back. Fortunately, Dan P., may his name be blessed and adored, wants to go flying with Paul. As I said to Paul, I sleep in your bed every night, but the weather is only good when it’s good, so that means it’s time to go flying.

Figs, figs, fresh figs, lots and lots of fresh figs, which I am attempting to dehydrate. I think I should have cut them in half first. FOR ONCE, I have one upped my across the alley neighbours, Karl and Cleo, may they also be blessed, because I actually grow nicer figs than they do. However, I got the over the fence love tap right back into hopeless fecklessness AGAIN when she casually handed me a little container of blackberries – that were unusually large, but I didn’t think too much of it. I’m not crazy about blackberries until Tom L turns them into jelly (and he makes jelly….;) but in THIS case, I took a bite, heard a heavenly chorus, and had to sit down from the excess of sensory input. These are NOT wild blackberries. These are a cultivar, and she’s GOING TO GIVE ME cuttings. Oh yeah, baby. They are unbelievably, stupendously good. Oh, and the figs are good too. It turns out that I have a completely different kind than Karl and Cleo. THEY have figs that are white inside. Mine are a lovely wine colour, and although I’m not a big fan of fresh figs I’ve eaten two already, and the skins are so soft you don’t have to peel them.

I send vibes of love to all my peeps, including Mike & Tori, Tom U, Tom and Peggy, L.E. and Doug, Sandy, Liz M, and all my relations, including Paul’s, which would include the wonderful Marilyn, the amazing Glenn, the good Dr. John, the glorious Lois and hardy Bob, and the marvellous Ruth and uxorious John. Hi Dale. I promise I’ll send the CD soon.

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Allegra

Born 1958. I write, I sing, I watch TV, I try to fulfil my responsibilities.

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