Last half of September 2005

I’m beyond irony; I’m justing sitting with my mouth hanging
2005-09-30— Posted by: allegra

This is a screen capture from the Amazing Race game. I am so fricking glad I don’t watch network TV that interpretive dance, fireworks and multiple orgasms couldn’t even touch conveying it.

Rock paper scissors
2005-09-30— Posted by: allegra

Rock Paper Scissors now has 25 hand signals. I am NOT posting a pic, as I can’t fit in this tiny space, but I will post the link.

… you gotta admit, including the cockroach was a coup.

Stayed up half the night to finish a book Patricia loaned me called The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Highly recommended. When you find yourself yelling at the characters rather than “observing the artistry of the author” she’s probably done a good job. What I found particularly interesting is that the scene shifts back and forth between a dysfunctional Southern family (mental illness, death in the family, Daddy’s gone to live in another state with his mistress) and a REALLY dysfunctional Southern family (taxidermy, a decrepit grandmother named Gum, a rebel preacher, a meth lab and addiction, mental illness, siblings in Angola Prison, Lots and Lots and LOTS of snakes who, uh, well, that would be telling) and the language the two families use is really different and very scarily convincing. I mean, I didn’t want to do meth BEFORE I read this book, but Danny and Farish’s twin spiral of doom into complete meth freakeoutness really put a stake in the heart of my urge to “bump” – just this once. As for Harriet, the main character and a child of 12, she’s one of the better fictional concoctions I’ve run acrost recently. The book is a counterpoint to O Brother Where Art Thou; it’s also set in Mississippi.

No more sleeps until Serenity. Excitement is at a fever pitch here.

More meese
2005-09-30— Posted by: allegra

Why, it’s been bally ages since I posted a good moose picture. Tip of hat to Sandy for a simple “Van Gogh” moose moment.

little birdies
2005-09-30— Posted by: allegra

Remember those ugly little birds I had pictures of earlier (apologies to Brooke). Here they are all grown up.

It’s time to cash out
2005-09-29— Posted by: allegra

The balloon is going up

I’m calling my broker….

Blue Sun shirts
2005-09-29— Posted by: allegra

I have made one Blue Sun tshirt for the Serenity opening and have now transitioned to plastic stencils, as the paper one I used yestreen kinda disassembled half way through. I consider it interesting and coincidental that I already had the correct shade of blue fabric paint, and I have plenty left over for the one I’m making for Peggy (the art work should be a) clearer and b) straighter on her shirt). That will be tonight… I had to leave hers til second because she’s not going until Saturday and it needs at least a day to dry.

I am tasting excitement.

Insufficient squid pix
2005-09-28— Posted by: allegra

From the ocean depths…. a GIANT SQUID!!!!!

Credit card debt
2005-09-28— Posted by: allegra

If this link is busted, it’s about how the late payment for charge cards is at an American All Time High. Fasten your seat belts, even Alan Greenspan thinks the deficit is too high.

Real tired
2005-09-28— Posted by: allegra

Wo. Just found out we’re looking at many k’s of dough to fix sewer issues. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Keith scored Serenity tix for all 4 of us last night, yee and likewise haw. Happy happy girl.

Tex Avery Drools the World
2005-09-28— Posted by: allegra

Words cannot describe how much I love the work of Tex Avery. Bugs Bunny on reds and acid. Yeehaw.

Old, but good
2005-09-27— Posted by: allegra

2005-09-27— Posted by: allegra

Cindy Sheehan’s court date for obstructing a sidewalk, leading to her getting busted in front of the White House, is my birthday.

Waiting for the advance tickets to be available for Serenity is killing us.

I really wish I could talk about work.

We’re playing the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou non stop. It’s starting to drive John nuts, especially when ‘the Warby girls’ come on and Katie starts dancing around and singing. Katie has an account on Nexopia, and she was complaining about it last night. I said, “You’re not paying for the damned thing, what gives you the right to complain?” Oh, and by the way, if you’re not ready to stay home for a long period of time, you’re not ready for the flu pandemic. Buy masks and gloves. I’ve been handing out the document located HERE like it was candy since I first located it. It’s sixty pages long, but believe me, I’ve been all over the frikkin web looking for good documentation and this is the best I have found, exspeshully for BC residents. If you can print it out, do so, otherwise print out the checklists for the home preparedness, they are amazing.

Filking Hazard Ahead
2005-09-26— Posted by: allegra

I simply cannot get the chorus of “Ivan, you Idiot” out of my head, which is a Brookean filk of the everlovely Vorkosigan series by the multiply talented Lois McMaster Bujold.

Ivan is, like, the perpetual sidekick, who isn’t quite as dumb as everybody thinks he is, and is nowhere near as smart as he considers himself to be.

RIP Don Adams
2005-09-26— Posted by: allegra

Brother James
2005-09-26— Posted by: allegra

Brother James reports that his hands are cool and dry, thanks. I am interested in YOUR comments, o my other readers. Looks like I’m going to have a 13k hits month. Who is reading my blog? I hear from Sandy, my mother, Brother James, Patricia, Cousin Gerald, Mike and Brooke, but unless they suffer from OCD and are hitting it 42 times a day (uh?) I’ve got lurkers galore.

I know somebody who doesn’t read my blog, and that’s Stephanie – she asked me to dinner the other night in a voice mail. Cue the Hanna Barbera style snickering noises.

Some good news
2005-09-26— Posted by: allegra

Whenever I see grass roots efforts to assist a really marginalized group, I feel a little bit better about the world. I tip my Jayne’s toque to Sandy for forwarding the link.

The costumes for Serenity opening are finished; the teddy bear has migrated onto the leg of Katie’s Kaylee costume, and Keith’s costume is NOTHing short of terrifying. He looks VERY scary; he figures there’s got to be at least one other villain going so he plans to stand next to whoever it is and they can be scary together…. And I’m just wearing my Trinity coat with my Jayne’s toque on top, so we’re are going to look like one seriously verkockt trio on Friday night. Still no advance tix, you bastards! Shaky fisty! Went to Metro-t yesterday and they didn’t have any advance tix, although FOR ONCE I got some customer service and they gave me live numbers for the theatre co. I didn’t get any decent info from Vancouver Browncoats, have no idea why I joined. There will be an advance screening on Wednesday but apparently you have to win tix.

Collapsed yesterday at 8:30 pm. Don’t know what’s wrong with me but I am seriously tired all the time, and I forgot to do a shoulder check yesterday and almost trashed the car. Glad that the guy next to me was awake, I sure wasn’t.

No beach, it was too cold. Did a little earthquake prep, watched Keira Knightley’s commentary on Pirates of the Caribbean, tried to watch Terry and Terry’s commentary on Holy Grail and couldn’t, tried to watch Johnny and Gore’s commentary on Pirates and couldn’t, couldn’t even make myself dinner I was so tired, and crawled into bed and slept. Paul says I didn’t even wake up when he came to bed after his shift, although my restless leg was hyperactive last night. Yes, in addition to everything else that’s wrong with me, I have restless leg. I think it would be funny to do a cartoon of it hopping ’round the house freaking out the cats.

Hey, we have costumes for V-con! I may go filking there.

Insufficient baby animal pix
2005-09-25— Posted by: allegra

Black tailed Marmosets. Ain’t they sweet?

I tried to go through the sliding doors into the plant room this morning without opening the door first. After determining I was not severely injured, Katie killed herself laughing. It was pretty funny. I was trying to catch a glimpse of the woodpecker…. and I did. Got a nice bump on my knee and forehead though.

Heard from Terry yesterday, he’s in a frame and at home. He was conscious through the entire ordeal and has a ‘hangman’s fracture’ of the C1. He’s expected to make a full recovery but can’t work for three months. Katie got to talk to him for a while and was astounded by how calm he was.

Sleep eluding me again
2005-09-25— Posted by: allegra

I’ll start out with something interesting, culled from Google news.

I keep telling my kids that the jobs that will exist in the future don’t even have names now.

It’s 4:16 in the am and I am awake due to a very bizarre dream.

I had sent something to the report generator that shouldn’t been sent because it wasn’t configured properly. The entire company ERP crashed (and it hasn’t crashed in 3 years, so this is like a Really Big Deal) after spitting out bizarre error messages (you know, like

“Your socks are on backwards – 0000045F433V89”

) The CFO – not the current one, the one who hired the current controller – came to my desk with a stack of papers and an irritated expression, saying he was having difficulty understanding what happened, and I replied, waspishly, that it was a keyboard error, and he walked away muttering, “The kids are NOT all right.”

Still at my desk I look up and see an entirely weird looking middle aged gentleman in suit pants and a short sleeved, rumpled, cream coloured dress shirt. He was above middle height and scrawny in the way of men who don’t get enough exercise.

His hair deserves a paragraph to itself; as best as I can describe it, he had a white guy’s ‘fro on the top and straight hair between the top of his neck and the middle of his shoulder blades. To add to the follicular nightmare, he had thinning hair and a forehead the size of a medicine ball, so his hair stood out in dandelion puffs above his ears with a Clown Sized forehead in the middle. Really, he looked Quite Odd.

I took an instant dislike to him. He had commenced to address me without introducing himself. I said, I would really like to help you, but I have no idea who are, and this is a secure area (subtext… don’t talk to strangers).

Still without introducing himself, he said he was on the Board of Directors. I stood up, stuck out my hand, clearly said my name and job function, and he muttered something. I could FEEL his clammy handshake, and his disdain for me came at me in a physical wave. So I said, I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch your name, and he muttered it again and it SOUNDED like Brion Gysin which I knew couldn’t possibly be the case and then he said he was formerly with the Alliance.

Cue the omen-ous muzak, please.

So I said, ah, you fought against the Rebellion, and he said, to the best of my recollection, “You now have no further interest to me as a person.”

So I said, well, if that’s the case you can get the hell out of my work area. He played with his hair while trying to stare me down. When I said, “And by the way, I can tell you’re a premature ejaculator from your handshake,” at which point he figured out he should leave, and did.

By the way, this is true… premature ejaculators have clammy handshakes.

I was reading this book about six years ago written by a clinical sexologist and she says it’s true, and of course it’s one of those things I WANT to believe, so it must be true. So when I say it’s TRUE I’m saying I just spent 1/2 an hour looking for the damned book on the internet, and while I knew it was technically possible to have a lot of different book titles with Sex in them there are about 19000 hits in Amazon; I didn’t have time to go through them all, (and I had no frikkin idear there were so many Christian sex books) so I can’t actually give the book as a citation, but I affirm that I really do believe I read it, and as a matter of fact Brian C at work heard this (I read that part of the book to him over lunch) and he immediately gave me a hearty, warm, firm, masculine handshake which confirmed all my worst (or best) suspicions about him. So I kinda have a witness, but I can’t remember the name of the damned book.


ANYWAY, to continue with this damned dream. Patricia showed me how to use my new cell phone, and while she was showing this to me, ANOTHER member of the Board of Directors came THROUGH my work area (walked behind me around my desk!) and I told him I felt violated, “Not that you appear to care” and then he PUT MY HEAD IN A HEADLOCK as he drew my unwilling attention to a product purchase form. The man’s BO was enough to make my eyes water, and as I grabbed his forearm and pulled up and out to release my head, which he was squeezing hard enough to hurt, I woke up, heart pounding.

I very rarely have dreams with smell in them. I very rarely have dreams with physical sensations in them. And now, it’s 5:07, Paul has sweetly and sleepily asked me to come back to bed, and I will.

One last thing. As soon as I woke up from the dream, I had an insight into Katie’s character that made me realize that my current attitude towards her non boyfriend is not helpful, and that I should possess my soul in patience and be quiet. This is not me, but the insight was very powerful and rooted in a life time of observation of her character – sweet and stubborn – so I know I’m on the right track.

She dyed her hair last night two different colours and it looks amazing. She’s a clever lassie.

I Call BS
2005-09-24— Posted by: allegra

MSM reports on previous Scarebus troubles here Now, call me mentally fragile and intellectually suspect, in the full throes of cognitive fibrillation, but I call me a steaming heap of BS. If my husband, who is the person I trust most (after my parents, but only because they got in line first), tells me, after working on Scarebuses for many many years, that there is NO fix in for the Scarebus nosewheel problem – and the MSM reports that there is, I hope you can forgive me when I believe my husband. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No aircraft is intrinsically safe. Nothing made by humans is. But a Scarebus properly maintained by an organization with enough money to effect repairs, pay its mechanics a living wage and subject to proper oversight by TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED persons who are not completely lacking moral fibre, that is a Scarebus I will fly in.

Keith made coffee and pancakes
2005-09-24— Posted by: allegra

yum. Today we’re going to get an acoustic coffee grinder.

2005-09-24— Posted by: allegra

Some little SD rang my doorbell at 1 am this morning so I am now awake at 2:30 am. I blogged *like, typed* and I type very fast…. for 20 freaking minutes after cruising around the net for about an hour trying to garner something worthwhile to say and then the Spyware scan appeared out of nowhere and NOT ONLY did it kick me off the internet, it destroyed everything I had just written even though I cut and copied it. Shaky fisty.

Patricia and I consumed two beers apiece at Stella’s on Commercial yesterday after work. That woman should write her life story; my life feels like a cataclysm of tedium by comparison.

I light a candle for Terry’s speedy recovery.

I look forward to the house filk at Gadget House East tonight. I guess it’s tonight.

Just found out that Allison Durno has a weblog so it’s really easy to keep up with what Urban Tapestry is up to these days… which is touring Germany! Can you believe it? Filk groups are so … cosmopolitan these days.

Katie wants to go to Corpse Bride but Sean C blogged that he’d forgotten how gross Danny Elfman’s music is (I paraphrase), which it is, damnit. Apart from the Simpson’s theme, he’s hopeless at giving the people a tune they can hum. So I plan to feast my eyes and then rinse my ears out after I see it. Less than a week to Serenity.

Did you know that the Airbus company has no manners? The instantly and universally well known video – thanks Jerome for alerting me to it – of the Jetblue landing should be better known as The Sixth Time it Happened but the First Time Somebody got Video. (I may be exaggerating about the number of previous incidents, but that’s what Ro9 said). All the f-cking Scarebuses should be grounded until the fix is in, I groused to Paul, who gently told me that Scarebus has known about the problem for years and hasn’t figured out how to fix it. The biggest problem with the nose gear is that IT DOESN’T HAVE A CENTERING CAM. This is a mechanical device that forces the nose gear to align with the fuselage when it drops into place. Scarebus, as anybody who follows the aircraft industry knows, has a massive amount of disdain for mechanical anything, prefering to rely on electronic devices to do things. But you know what? I think maybe they will actually have to get a fix in this time; talk about yer bad publicity. And ponder for a moment that there have been other pilots who had to go through that previously….Woo hoo, a chance to use those expensive skills instead of setting the autoland and waking up on the taxiway.

Oh, and another thing. I know it’s all the rage to think composite aircraft are wonderful, but about five to ten years from now any badly maintained Scarebuses (marginal, regional, impoverished and venal carriers….like, there aren’t any of those) are going to start delaminating like the top of the Superdome under Katrina’s tender ministrations, thus creating “large lawsuits”, “substantial debris fields” and “big writedowns”. Oh, did I mention loss of life? No, I don’t think Air Canada will have an issue. Do you know what prevents Air Canada from being an unsafe airline? A bunch of really crabby middle aged guys who occasionally stroll away from their assignments to ‘check on something’ when their managers tell them to push back an aircraft that they don’t think is safe or has blown past the deviation date. A bunch of crabby middle aged guys who occasionally duct tape a coworker to his chair and stick him on top of the lockers when they catch him sleeping in the ready room. Of course Air Canada asks mechanics to sign out aircraft that are over their deviation dates, it isn’t Air Canada that will lose its licence if the government agency – Transport Canada – investigates subsequent to an ‘incident’. Yup, Goddess bless the crabby, middle aged guys who stroll up to the pilot in command and say, Look in the log. Refuse the aircraft! Crabby, middle aged guys who give up evenings and weekends and an awful lot of sleep to keep you and yours safe. Astute, safety conscious, public minded and diligent middle aged guys like the one currently peacefully asleep in our bed, who will be getting up in two hours to keep you safe some more. And if you tell Paul that he’s one of the forces of light he’ll blow air through his lips with a dismissive noise and say he’s just doing his job.

Time for me to crawl back into bed. What a life. Hope your weekend is full of mannerly people. Here in Vancouver, this will be my last Wreck Beach weekend of the summer, as it will be unseasonably warm.

Pic is of a recovery of a jumbo that left the end of the runway in Hong Kong (everybody got off okay); they had to fly heavy duty buoyancy bags in from the Isle of Wight to get the airplane to the point they could salvage and tow it, as it was keeping one runway closed and restricting operations in another.

Intervenor status
2005-09-23— Posted by: allegra

You will have heard that those f*ck*ng b*st*rds who run things in this FAIR province have CHANGED THEIR MINDS and do NOT WANT TO HAVE public hearings into the PURCHASE OF TERASEN GAS by KINDER MORGAN, a company with the WORST EVER US$ FINE ASSESSED FOR PIPELINE SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE INFRACTIONS (and this in the middle of the most riproaring destruction of the environmental safety regulations since the US told Britland to f*ck off). So a while back I raised hell with the person responsible for the public hearings, and as a result I have been forwarded a PDF document to request intervenor status or the right to make written submissions. Hell yeah, and if you want a copy of the request you let me know via email and I will email the PDF. Intervenor written submissions are due by October 14 – nice way to completely f*ck the process, hunh?.

This purchase is a TERRIBLE IDEA. It represents a destruction of Canadian Sovereignty (because any pipeline company in the US will be enabled to operate in Canada subsequent to the sale, under NAFTA rules), a direct health threat to our children, a safety threat to any of the poor b*st*ards working for the company (safety record, pshaw!) and I could go on at length.

If you aren’t going to make a submission, the least you can do is get a working woodstove, because, you poor ignorant gomerel, you’re going to need it.

Baby octopus
2005-09-23— Posted by: allegra

Thanks Brooke-meister.

Sad and angry
2005-09-23— Posted by: allegra

Terry G., our friend in Cornwall ON, was struck from his bicycle on Tuesday evening and now lies in a hospital in Ottawa. Although there is (from first report) no spinal cord damage, his neck is broken. Tish, his wife, is up there with him. My thoughts are with his remarkable and wonderful man, who hand made me the best canoe paddle ever (it burned up in the truck fire) and is one of the more talented and energetic individuals I know personally, and I know a LOT of talented and energetic people. Tish and Terry are among Paul’s oldest friends and they normally go on a canoe trip every year with him, including this summer just past (see many many pix from previous blog).

I light a candle for the residents of the Texas Gulf and for their rescue workers.

The Province of Quebec is attempting to extort money from Paul for a speeding infraction from over ten years ago. Not only do they want the $170 for the fine, they want him to a bunch more for not showing up in court. I’d say more but it wouldn’t be fitting for a family blog.

Living with a troupe of baboons
2005-09-22— Posted by: allegra

I don’t mean to complain, it just kinda happens anyway. I am living with a bunch of people who under most circumstances might be considered intelligent, but when it comes to loading down the D drive with megs of extraneous shit, when we have a 120 GIG drive for all the media, they default to “Let’s see how much shit we can put on D drive before the system doesn’t have enough swap space and CRASHES.”

So screw it, I’m removing all of the cables and taking them to work. And then, when I have everybody’s attention, they’ll maybe, just maybe, pay attention to me when I tell them NOT to do that any more.

Jobs jobs jobs
2005-09-21— Posted by: allegra

First, a note from Peak Oil (o sh*t are you on about that again….)

Keith’s job evaporated, heavy sigh, so he’s back to working temp but he’s now absolutely committed to going back to school in January so my evil plot has worked. John has formally been hired at his new job, working with Tom, so we celebrated with a fabulous meal at Grand Buffet last night (they had Lobster?! on Tuesday?!) and it was all five of us, so that was fabulous.

Katie is turning into an adult and I’m enjoying that. You can understand why.

My coworkers are all beautiful and the sun is shining, and we have to rip up our entire yard because of tree roots.

My new credit card came. This after TD Canada Trust told me I couldn’t have one, prompting one of my angriest customer service calls ever; but they fixed it with a keystroke…. ha…. and I now have a credit card again after CIBC Visa cancelled my friggin card out from under me.

Giant pink bunny
2005-09-20— Posted by: allegra

Gadzooks and Zounds! Tis been verily an age since I posted a decent bunny pic. Herewith, one giant pink bunny, lovingly knitted by public art loving grannies, and erected on a mountain in Italy for the benefit of hikers and aerobic aesthetes. If you look very closely in the lower left corner you will see people, for scale.

Nothing much…
2005-09-20— Posted by: allegra

Apart from the fact that I have commenced biscotti production about two months early, I have nothing to say. Actually, that isn’t true. I f/cking hate perimenopause. There. Biscotti recipe is back in the archives, I think December, for last year. Keith is off to his new job. I am very happy for him, he seems very content. Paul is doing yoga. Katie went to visit Daxus last night; he’s not living in New West anymore. I’m going to go hack up the biscotti loaves now. Mm. Biscotti.

yay Keith
2005-09-20— Posted by: allegra

Keith got himself a full time job at $3 an hour more than he was making with the temp agency. It’s less than 20 minutes away by bus. I am so happy I could burst.

just for fun
2005-09-19— Posted by: allegra

Quick visit
2005-09-19— Posted by: allegra

Glenda was doing great today, and although she had to be coaxed, she agreed to have her picture taken. The food at Peace Arch Hospital continues to suck.

Bread truck
2005-09-18— Posted by: allegra

Yannig Tanguy decided, screw it, gas prices ridiculous, no more bread van. So, here he is with Copper the pony, delivering bread the old fashioned way. Get over it… there’s a lot more of this coming.

Walking around
2005-09-18— Posted by: allegra

Went walking last night. We managed to herd all five of us out the door, and what an amazing skyscape we had before us. The moon was nigh on full, and the clouds and the wind speed contrived to present a unfolding tableau of elven wonder. There was no point taking a picture of it… without a tripod and a telescopic lens, nothing we took with our current batch of cameras would have worked out anyway. Pic isn’t anywhere close to what we saw although I thank the internet for disgorging it; the moon was plainly visible rather than obscured as in this pic; last night the clouds were just barely thick enough to provide cover.

We stopped for a long, long time on the football field at Cariboo, it being a place where we could look at the sky without any wires; the moon was being eaten by a dragon coiled around the southern end of the horizon; the moon was a crystal in the centre of a geode; the moon was a glowing pearl resting in a massive oyster; the moon was trampolining gently up and down on a pillow; the moon was donning Groucho and mariachi disguises and then dancing veiled. And more, more than this, the polarized light from the moon lit up the evershifting clouds, so the iridescences ran like melting butter and reformed into shapes and colours that were just bliss-inducing to look at.

Just tore the house apart looking for my National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Weather (highly, highly recommended), from which I extracted the (edited) following:

Iridescence: Description: Colorful bands or patches observed in clouds seen near the sun or moon. The colored bands are due to light being diffracted by water droplets of a fairly uniform size in altostratus and altocumulus clouds (note, these were altocumulus). Season: Any time of year, most frequent in winter over mountains. Range: Most common and frequent over the western cordillera and the Appalachian Mountains. The grading of droplets to smaller sizes near the edge of a cloud may produce a fringe of iridescence.

Okay, now imagine that ‘a fringe of iridescence’ extended over, at any given time, a 30 degree arc, and you can understand why all of us were gobsmacked. If you weren’t out walking last night, I feel sorry for you.

Then we came home and watched a George Carlin show video (You are All Diseased) and went to bed, sore from laughing.

What the hell is this?
2005-09-17— Posted by: allegra

Obviously it’s an egg mass. But of what?

enough sleep
2005-09-17— Posted by: allegra

Okay, let’s get something straight. I have a very strong lexical memory and an overwhelming amount of curiousity and would like to be the person who finally gets god and science on speaking terms, but I do not know everything. 1. I don’t know what the Voynich manuscript says, although I suspect it’s a fraud. 2. I don’t know what Bill Murray says to Scarlett Johanson at the end of Lost in Translation. 3. I don’t know what I’m going to die of or when, although I find it entertaining to speculate. 4. I don’t know when the next earthquake is coming through. 5. I don’t know anything about weapons, although I sure know who to ask. 6. I don’t know if I’ll ever fall in love again with the bucketfuls of cheesewitted abandon I have shown in times past, not that I’m complaining about my love life this morning, no, not at all. Happy sigh. That’s just off the top of my head. I could literally sit at this computer for hours and hours and hours, compiling a list of things I don’t know. I had been wondering about Judge Crater for literally thirty-five years, and when I found out he was killed in what was essentially a mob hit, I experienced a burst of satisfaction to find it out. Now if I can just get spontaneous human combustion and the Andrea Doria and ball lightning and Cadborosaurus squared away in the annals of science and nature, I’ll be a happy woman.

another heapin’ handful of WTF
2005-09-17— Posted by: allegra

LED bathtubs? Isn’t this a sign of somebody ELSE’s apocalypse? It’s $1800 Canadian. I mean, I love green, but anybody spotting my um ample um you know lovingly bathed in Zombie Green would probably have a really hard time doing anything but drinking heavily and weeping copiously for many long days afterwards. Stolen from Gizmodo.

2005-09-16— Posted by: allegra

Rob of Nine sent me this link
2005-09-16— Posted by: allegra


This one’s for Liz
2005-09-16— Posted by: allegra

My Papal fan base screams for this pic, stolen from

Google earth
2005-09-16— Posted by: allegra

Hey, Rob of Nine and Cousin Gerald, check this out, if you haven’t already.

Roman villa found with Google Earth

I’m writing filk, God help me
2005-09-16— Posted by: allegra

Joss's Blues

The man who tilts the mirror is a very mixed and subtle man
he posts a letter better than the very finest steadicam
he opens up a doorway and then he beckons you inside
the best part is the minute that he strikes and leaves you stupefied

the man who bends the beams of light 
and shines them in your eyes
you get all excited 
want to eat it all before it liquefies

The man who wanders where he wants to into vales of weighty thought
Then knees you quite by accident before you know you should have fought
he shows a chunk of skin and then he beckons you aside
the best part is the minute when you jump because you're terrified

the man who bends the beams of light 
and shines them in your eyes
you get all excited 
want to eat it all before it liquefies

My friends mean this to me and more, for art is never daily life
I don't mean to be keeping score, I like to know just what you like
I hear the noise, it all makes sense, you're coming in just fine
I've drawn the circle wide tonight, I'm offering the holy wine

the man who bends the beams
of light 
and shines them in your eyes
you get all excited 
want to eat it all 
before it liquefies

First half of September 2005

The last time they lost a city
2005-09-15— Posted by: allegra

San Francisco Earthquake Timeline

Homer is a Commie????
2005-09-15— Posted by: allegra

Homer is a Commie??

Hey pOp
2005-09-15— Posted by: allegra

Not funny
2005-09-15— Posted by: allegra

Ground Zero EMS Katrina
2005-09-15— Posted by: allegra

Why is it that I think the death toll in this makeshift hospital has not been included in the death toll so far?

What Moore’s Falls look like in August
2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

This is Shadow… another of Sandy’s cats. What gorgeous markings!

2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

This is Sandy’s cat Bashful. He went up against a fisher, thus the missing eye. I think he looks very raffish.

Flood in Vancouver
2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

If Vancouver were New Orleans

Interesting to see that I’d just be on the edge of the flooded area. If this link turns out to be ephemeral, somebody has used Yahoo maps to plot out how much of various North American cities would be covered in water if they had been flooded to the same extent. Kinda personalizes the catastrophe, which I imagine is the whole idea.

I simply must go to bed.

Still can’t sleep.
2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

Now there’s some niche marketing for you.

Can’t breathe
2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

I was WOKEN UP by the smoke from the Burns Bog fire. My throat and lungs hurt and the level of particulates is so high that I’m afraid the fire alarms in the house are going to start going off. So it’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m staring at the little screen again, again.

Altogether now…. EWWWW

I find the PRC Chinese attitude towards their executed/death row prisoners to be loathsome to start with; this story just makes me feel horrible. What’s worse is the attitude of the people who now know what’s in it and WILL BUY IT ANYWAY.

enough sleep
2005-09-14— Posted by: allegra

I would like to compliment Paul on his ability to deal appropriately with my chiropteran feces.

2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

God damn the bureaucrats, the petty minded thieves of lives, who steal with paper and delay what they would not dare to steal with guns. Goddamn! Read it and weep.

Justice, sort of
2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been following this case for a long time…. it’s been dragging on for the best part of three years. It isn’t exactly justice, what we see here, but I just thought I’d mention that it’s a hard universe to be transgendered in. RIP Gwen. If this link doesn’t work, google Gwen Araujo.

Beacon Unitarian church did a program called the Welcoming Congregation a while back, and we had a couple of transgender people come and talk to us, and I watched some videos, one of which talked about Gwen’s case. Since then Katie has had two transgender schoolmates; that’s one of the best things about Katie’s school. It’s a safe place to be ‘different’. How long, stern Goddess mine, how long? Before we can be seen as we are….

2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

Check it out!!! User interface clunky, basic idea sound!

Many thanks to Cousin Gerald the Cartographer!!

Also from Gerald….

I am Ol’ Mama of the Dead Donkeys MC. I like it!

Wikipedia on Katrina
2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

Interestingly there is another mention of 50 Canadians – but they are correctly identified.

Mounties? Wrong
2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

Murricans can’t tell the difference between rescue workers and Mounties. I think this is the source of that weird story you mentioned earlier, mOm. ….you will note it is a ‘politico’ and not a reputable official who said the Mounties got there before the Feds. Vancouver Rescue was in Chalmette very early on.

2005-09-13— Posted by: allegra

Ryan Finkbiner of Minot ND took this picture a couple of days ago.

Bridge across the Tarn
2005-09-12— Posted by: allegra

This is a pic of the bridge across the Tarn in France. It cost about half a billion US, is about 300 metres tall at the tallest point and spans almost two and a half kilometres. Damned French can’t do anything in a straight line, it looks like the ass end of a Citroen, doncha think?

After the Correction
2005-09-12— Posted by: allegra

We’re going to need new entertainment that doesn’t cost any money. With that in mind…. Stolen from Umop, reposted from Fark.

Keith and work
2005-09-12— Posted by: allegra

Keith says…. I think I am becoming on of the temp agency’s star performers. I asked, “Why is that?” and he said, “I show up on time, I don’t leave early, I don’t mouth off the supervisors and I keep my paperwork in order.” AH, the things he is learning. So his gig this morning is apparently 1 hour of work for 4 hours’ pay (truck unloading), and all his coworkers are envious, because that’s the softest gig there is. Back to work, I wonder what joys and sorrows await me.

Burns Bog is on Fire
2005-09-12— Posted by: allegra

Paul and Dan were diverted out of landing at Boundary Bay airport to circle the fire and report on its size. Paul said it was huge… this pic taken about 3 hours ago doesn’t really do it justice. The entire valley is filled with smoke and there’s a smoke plume that looks like the most terrifying funnel cloud ever on the southwest horizon. Katie said, it feels like the end of the world.

On a brighter note, just ate a stellar meal at Tom and Peggy’s.

take a hint
2005-09-12— Posted by: allegra

Horror show
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

You’ve probably seen this
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

I’m sorry, but one of the things about being me is that I find the juxtaposition of Cops and Tim Hortons innately hilarious. Also forwarded from Cousin Gerald, I just LOVE pix like these. Hopefully this won’t get too shrunk in the process of being posted… pic is from T.O.

More meese
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

It’s been bally ages since I posted a decent moose pic. Herewith, with kind regards from Cousin Gerald, provenance unknown.

From today
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

In four years, Roosevelt and allies defeated Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. In four years, Bush has not managed even to corner Bin Laden and a few hundred scruffy terrorists; or to extract himself from the deserts of Iraq; or to put the government finances in good order so that it can deal with crises like Katrina.

Jerome and Shannon’s back yard
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

Picnic Pix
2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

Picture is of a deity. Strangely enough, I am NOT a devotee of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; I am not a Pastafarian. However, I am deeply in sympathy with the Pastafarians, and hope that the imminent split between the Spaghettarians and the Linguinarians does not result in bloodshed.

Had a great day partying my brains out at the company picnic and also at Jerome and Shannon’s. In a later blog I will post a pic of their back yard, which is entirely too gorgeous for words.

Saw Cam and received word that the guy I want to take the Firearms Safety Course from is a standup guy, so that really calmed my nerves. Me and the boys are engaged in a charming debate about which gun I’ll buy first after I get my licence. Cam just got back from his second spell at The Project (didn’t know that the Burning Man had changed his name, didja). His response to questions like how was it were met with a single word “Dusty” (must have water, must have goggles, must have dust mask, and don’t even dream about wearing contact lenses). Only two deaths this year, one misadventure complicated by alcohol, the other likely a congenital heart defect. Met Cam’s girlfriend, whose name I won’t even try to spell, and she pulls cable for a living! Women in trades are so hot. She has also apparently memorized all the dialogue to Planes Trains and Automobiles, and proceeded to do the 2 minute version with sound and mime, to the guffaws of those assembled.

My mum says that an American cousin sent her an email saying that the Mounties showed up in New Orleans before the Feds did, and I said BS. There was nothing on and you can bet your ass that they’d be reporting on that, strike or no strike. Nothing. Mum had to tell the guy that it was a lovely story, but simply not true (she did her own research though, which gave me a secret thrill). These kinds of rumours abound in the wake of a catastrophe. Oh, by the way, if you want some interesting historical commentary, Go Read about the Johnstown Flood. There are interesting parallels with contemporary events.

2005-09-11— Posted by: allegra

The company picnic featured a four way tug o war, which Paul’s team won, and a raffle draw for the DVD of Sin City, which was won by ticket 666, and me winning the first prize handed out, which was a Starbucks card, which I promptly gave to Katie (just like the last one), and yummy salads, and Katie and I doing the balloon toss thing, and even though I dropped it twice it didn’t break until that last time I threw it to Katie. She rushed up to me and rubbed all the water off on my face and clothes. Ah, parenthood! Wish somebody had video of that I’m sure it looked extremely goofy. Pix later, didn’t have a chance to upload them yet.

enough sleep
2005-09-10— Posted by: allegra

Off to the company picnic and then off to Jeromy’s for his housewarming partay. Everybody have a nice day and try to stay out of trouble. I am severely aggravated and can’t say why. The only good thing about it is that it won’t last. Peak oil folks say that this is our August 1914. We’re wandering around in the sun, not knowing the world’s about to blow up.

Nasty nasty activist judge
2005-09-10— Posted by: allegra

Pic stolen from, and references this person as being Judge Janet Hall. Judge Janet Hall just ruled that it’s not democratic to put gag orders on the public identification of librarians involved in Patriot Act inquiries at libraries.

It’s like trying to do the fish-slapping dance with a Sherman tank as a partner, but it’s a good decision anyway.

Shaky fisty
2005-09-10— Posted by: allegra

That Brooke. She says her cat Toby was caught napping on “memorably, a pile of knives”. So she has one upped moi, yet again, again. Damn you Brooke the First Pharmacist in Space! Shaky fisty!!!

And She who can read Dr.’s Handwriting Quoth, that NAZI I saw Means NAnaimo Zone Inbound… so she’s got me coming and going, as usual. I get my revenge as best I can…..

Another funny
2005-09-09— Posted by: allegra

This is hilarious. Every once in a while a fly lands on the camera at Mt St Helens, and I managed to grab this image. Mothra is coming! Flee! Everybody keep moving their mouths after they stop talking!!!

Tee Hee
2005-09-09— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-09-09— Posted by: allegra

Day signs
2005-09-09— Posted by: allegra

I am not quite ashamed of my religious beliefs, but I don’t exactly trumpet them either. The biggest problem with the human brain is that some of the things it was designed to do very well came into conflict with each other after we learned to talk. In the process of naming our foodstuffs and methods of acquiring them, and our kinship relationships and methods of acquiring them, we learned how very useful it is to reduce the vastness of the universe to a single word… universe. Whoo hoo, I got the whole universe in my hand!! Or mouth, as the case may be. Somewhere along the way, coincidences and accidents and just plain ‘weird tangles of non-causally related crap’ acquired Deep Signifance and Spiritual Meaning. Ie, this rock is better than that rock because of the way the sun hits it on a fine morning. THAT kind of crap. The way we assign meaning to the meaningless, and then the assignment of meaning becomes the meaning we need. And then, because of the meaning assigned to a particular pretty rock, I acquired fitness (you know, merit, status, excellence, breeding plumage) as a member of a certain group, because of my relationship to a stupid although excellently pretty rock. Now sometimes the rock is visually stunning and imbued with skookumness, but it’s still a rock. The meaning I assign to it, however, makes me part of a group that will help me acquire foodstuffs and kinship relationships, and believe me, you can reduce all human behaviour as being related to the acquisition and maintenance of foodstuffs and kinship relationships. This blog is ALL ABOUT kinship relationships. No, duh.

So, let me tell you about my rock. It’s a very nice rock… I really like it. It “works for me”. Your rock might be the Bible, or Ohm’s law, the principles of Unitarianism, or a higher mathematics, or notion that you are the centre of the universe and you should have anything you want, which, with any luck, you grow out of. But my rock is a spooky blend of the laws of physics and visual imagery tied to poetry and myth. I’ll give you an example.

Yestreen I left my house and turned to my right on the way out of the door. Pokey was sleeping in the sun next to the house…. and using a rock for a pillow. Now, anybody who knows Pokey (and I can hear Brooke snickering) knows that this is exactly the kind of thing that you could expect him to do, because he is Not Usual. But I thought “A day sign! Hmp, wonder what it means,” and continued along my way. Katie came galumphing out of my house to join me, as she was meeting up with a girlfriend at 6th and 6th, and I was heading out to my writers group. So we got on the bus and chatted, which was pleasant. I got off at 22nd Street and you’ll never guess what happened next? I got the FRONT SEAT in the Skytrain. That happens like once in two hundred trips, so I sit down and notice that the window is even mostly clean, and I ride from 22nd Street to Broadway, eyes closed when the sun’s shining directly onto my face and eyes open the rest of the time. The mountains, the play of light, the shape of the clouds. The trip proceeded from sunshine to cloud. Then, around Joyce, a crow was on the right hand rail and got up and flew away. Another day sign, I think. Then, and this is the really really weird part, because unless I’d been sitting where I was I couldn’t possibly have seen it (and I’m still having trouble believing it, but my lexical memory is very good) somewhere between Joyce and Broadway there’s a little white sign with red letters sticking up next to the tracks, so close to the train you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it, that reads:



Z (the Z has a bar through it)


I sat bolt upright and said to myself, Mother of Babbling God! Did I just see that?

Then two more crows, sitting on the right side of the tracks, leaped into the air, one after the other, totalling three for the trip. Three crows means two things to me, based on experience and research; one is Maiden, Mother, Crone, the three faces of a woman/goddess, and the other is the three Norns, the Norse goddesses of fate (Urd, Verdandi and Skuld who are the past present and future, sort of the same thing but not quite).

There was only one more day sign before the rain of day signs stopped (I get about one day sign every two weeks, and I’m watching for them all the bloody time, so this was quite the storm) and it was the most interesting of all, aesthetically, because normally day signs are visual. Sabena left her front door open, and after sunset the wind picked up very hard, and blew the first of the sere and fallen leaves up and down the street; the rustle was so evocative that I stopped listening to the conversation in the room to really hear it.

Part of the fun of interpreting day signs is that there’s no right way of doing it; the worst part is you have to understand that you can’t really take it too seriously. So there’s a kitty with a rock for a pillow… Bob Marley reference, and just plain Do You Know What Comfort Is? Then the seat at the front of the car… Do You Know How to Enjoy Being at the Front of the Line (and do you understand you have to take your turn?). The first crow was The Past. And then the NAZI sign came up and it’s like Do You Acknowledge Evil in Yourself? It was like being struck. Then the other two crows flew up and all the hair is standing up on my arms, and I come staggering off at Broadway fully expecting ANYTHING, you know Santa in camouflage, or a man walking his iguana. But all I got was the rustle of leaves, and I’ll leave you with that, because I didn’t need to interpret it. It just was.

Bengal kittens
2005-09-08— Posted by: allegra

Stolen from, which has some interesting and evil links. I don’t think the proprietor is a Christian. But the flying red eyed kittens destroying a large building image is pretty much burned into my brain.

Quoted without comment
2005-09-08— Posted by: allegra

This would be funny if it wasn’t true.

I don’t hate all Republicans
2005-09-08— Posted by: allegra

Once upon a time, in Kansas, lived a newspaperman named William Allen White. He was a Republican. If you want to see how far the GOP has strayed, google william allen white quotes, and follow your nose. I think the classic is, “My advice to the women of America is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias” but there are other dandies in there as well. Bon appetit.

A day in the life
2005-09-08— Posted by: allegra

Pic is a formal portrait of JK Rowling.

Up at 6 to check my gmail,, accounts to see if my legion of fans has sent me anything interesting. No pix today. Responded to a couple of cousin Gerald’s emails re humor; he did me a favor by sending me something I was actually looking for so I could forward it to my daughter.

Then to the usual sites,, Astronomy Pic of the day, and it’s Thursday so it must be day (don’t go there unless you think George Bush is not doing his best work these days), and then by various ways and means to, where I find out that nanotechnology is being used to fight the “bad hair day” and parents don’t use car seats properly for their kids. Off to where 25K body bags have been shipped to Louisiana, and DMORT has been asked to prep for 40000 dead.

Over to to read a review of a book on porn. Gracious, what a LOT of comments there were. There was a lot of debate about whether technological innovations are driven by pornography, to which my response is, no DUH. My parents told me that 20 years ago, and I haven’t seen a damned thing since to change my mind. If a technology is related to visual imagery resolution & propagation, speed of dissemination and ability to relieve one of cash through the internet, you’re titty well right prOn is driving the truck. I find it fascinating that anybody would think that ‘gaming’ is the reason for the tremendous increase in bandwidth crunchiness. But you’re allowed to worship your God in your own way; I’m sticking with a Goddess who prefers her sensuality big, fecund and messy. And personal, thanks. And I remember thinking, as I read through Post after Post after Post of boys basically saying “Don’t take my pR(n away!” you know, you guys have missed the point. You respond strongly to visual imagery of sexuality because you’re deeply wired for it. You don’t have to defend it. But you do have to step back and ask at what point the wiring and the concept of a civil society come into conflict, and that line is not always where you think it is. A little honest introspection is called for. Every man I know who has what I believe is a healthy attitude towards his own sexuality likes porn, dislikes porn which appears to be non-consensual, believes he has the right to purchase, make and consume porn, and spends more time fondling real girls or boys than ogling pix of them, unless he’s currently involuntarily single, in which case all bets are off. To me, an addiction to porn – and let’s face it, there are folks of both genders who are like that – indicates that a person doesn’t have enough excitement in his or her life from other sources. That’s just sad. And as for child pornography, may its purveyors rest on a specially selected bed of coals in the farthest reaches of a hell constructed by a vengeful Goddess and history’s most tortured minds, I will say again what I’ve said many times. Child pornography is bad not because I can prove that the images themselves are bad – there is a line, and I don’t know where it is – but because I can prove that there was no informed consent. Two year old children do not provide informed consent. That makes it wrong, and no amount of whining and special pleading makes it right. (Fourteen year old children? If they have legal representation, receive payment which goes to them or into a trust account, appear to understand the nature of a contract and have had independent counsel explain the life consequences of being involved in pornography; if they are protected from disease, and pregnancy, and damage to their fertility…. I’m willing to at least consider that that might be a consensual act, although I’d hiss and scratch at anybody who tried it within earshot of me. However we all know that the big kick of kiddie porn is that YOU HAVE TOTAL CONTROL OVER ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE. You don’t enter into contracts with non persons. You use them. They are yours to toy with. If they have lawyers, that takes ALL the fun out of it. So my solution is no solution at all, because you can’t reason with the makers of kiddie porn. If they were reasonable people they wouldn’t torture children). If I was the benevolent dictatrix of the world, I’d either remove the organs of generation of any person caught making child pornography or summarily execute them, depending on my mood, victim testimony, and how many people showed up to defend them. Okay, I’d let them live. But I’d certainly be asking for volunteers at the knacker’s yard, and I’m sure I’d have no trouble filling the roster.

Gosh, one little book review and I work myself up into a full scale rant, and it’s not even 8 am! Aren’t I just the little vehement thing this mornin’.

Back onto the net to troll for… Hey…. I didn’t change my voicemail at work and I’m off for two days. Okay, phew, got that done.

Back to the news. Over at, there’s yet another evac from NOLA story, this time from a bunch of EMS folks in NOLA for a conference. The line that sticks out is “Throughout, the official effort was callous, inept and racist.” As above, so below.

Check for information on a breakthrough in nanomachinery.

Oh, and oddballs ARE more creative. There’s a study that says so.

I’m getting a callous, so I’d better get off the chair here and actually do what I said I’d do on my days off.

David Rovics sings about NOLA
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

Everybody knew that it could happen
The likelihood was clear
The future was coming
And now it�s here
They had to fix the levees
Because otherwise they�d break
On one side was the city
Above it was the lake
It was in the daily papers
In bold letters was the writ
What would happen
When the Big One hit
But every year they cut the funding
Just a little more
So they could give it to the Army
To fight their oil war

? No confirmation
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

I have no idea if the horrifying story of a doctor euthanizing a patient he couldn’t move is true, but it’s being reported as such. I haven’t seen this story elsewhere. Note to self…. lose some weight.

very little to report
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

Katie came home with two boys I’ve never seen before last night. They hung out in her room talking and then she walked them home (?). They seemed like decent enough kids. One of them was wearing a t-shirt from Chichen Itza and when I asked him if he’d actually got it from there, he nodded with an “It was SO BIG” smirk. And he’s going to China later this year… or so his buddy said. And then Poof, they were gone. The TV had migrated upstairs on the weekend (funny…) and then Keith came out of his bedroom long about ten pm and said, “And now it can go back downstairs, I’m trying to SLEEP”; slam. So John had to watch 4th season Buffy (I think the one where Giles gets turned into that thing with the dirty great horns) downstairs.

I am pleased to report, in Canadian cultural news, that Deepa Mehta’s next project is SUPPOSED to be a film on the Komagata Maru incident. If you don’t know anything about this landmark incident in Canadian immigration history, this is a kindly person urging you to edumacate yourself about it before it’s all over the popular press and there’s a lot of controversy about it in about 18 months’ time. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. And since part of what happened took place in Vancouver (British authorities elsewhere opened fire on a prayer meeting; we were just racist bastards and kept them drowning in lawyers and on the ship for two months), really I should be staying on top of developments.

Pic is Jack Kerouac’s official Navy portrait, filched from Does he look schizoid to you?

Albino squirrels?
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

Squirrels in Scotland are adapting life in modern buildings by becoming lighter in colour… or so the theory goes. Photo credit Sean Bell from the Scotsman.

Our boys in Chalmette Louisiana
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

That’s Joe Rohrbacher standing in front of his house.

It just keeps getting worse
2005-09-07— Posted by: allegra

A Canadian waste management magazine weighs in about New Orleans.

Good God A’mighty. That’s all I can say about it.

Short Trip
2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

It’s a short trip from Serenity to Spamalot. That’s Alan Tudyk in the centre of this cast photo. Doesn’t he look wonderful with…. long hair????

2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

Tasha was completely screwed up from her trip to the pound; but she appears to be in much better shape as of today, and here’s the complete mob: Tasha, Winkie, Spud and Mila in front of Mike’s folks’ place in the beautiful sunshine yesterday. I love a happy ending.

As for Steph, the only excuse that would make sense to me is that she had to commit herself to a mental hospital and couldn’t find foster care for the dogs in time. I am not going to speculate further on her abrupt abandonment of her responsibilities, and I am really going to be nice and not print what her soon to be ex-husband Mike wrote on the subject, although it was, uh, terse and emotionally charged. Mike, would you say that covered it? 😉

enough sleep
2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

Pic is more Finn Slough. Picturesque, eh wot? Looks sorta like a house on the bayou, and it should be on stilts, given that the Fraser river is about 30 metres in back of it.

Paul has recaulked the bathtub. Man, what a difference it makes to the appearance of the bathroom. I realized that immediate action was called for, so went outside and ripped out all the dead vegetation in the front yard flowerbeds and collected the coriander seed and trimmed back the rhodo a bit and hacked and slashed at the Rosemary Tree (it’s bloody huge) and removed about two garden buckets of dead stuff. Appearance of front yard much improved.

John saw something at the con that Screamed Katie’s Name. A t-shirt which says…. Knowledge is Power. Power Corrupts. Study Hard. Be Evil. She is contemplating wearing it today, it is after all the first day of school. Oh yeah, she liked it. John got me a cartoon magnet for the fridge which shows an attractive brunette saying, “Fleet’s in! May not be home for a week!” which I thought was pretty funny. John also got an amazing bloody bumper sticker which says Death is but a doorway… here, lemme hold this for you.

I dreamed that Rob of Nine and I attended a really boring and badly run meeting about ‘the remediation of a park area’. I dream about co-workers and my workplace all the time, male and female (no nudity was involved, of course) but what made this dream special was two things… 1, he had long hair. Rob normally keeps his hair even shorter than John does, so that was startling. (You will note a post of Mike showing Much Long Hair earlier, and you can gather from this that I like long hair on guys – please also note that a wisecracking goddess has given me a man who looks waaaay better with short hair. It is to chuckle). 2. I got to go back to my work area during the course of the meeting – hey, it’s a dream, it doesn’t have to make sense – and all that Herman Miller crap (I said crap, and I mean crap – you should at least be able to park your butt on furniture without going wobbly-ka-boom) had been replaced with a mahogany lawyer’s set, facing the window. Sigh, deep sigh. That was a lot like heaven. I didn’t realize I was such an elitist about office furniture.

Did you hear about the 3 college kids who rescued 7 people from downtown New Orleans by impersonating journalists? I hear things like this and I just wanna pop something. PS. That was a two wheel drive HYUNDAI they were driving, not a Hummer. Civic minded AND ecologically responsible.

Keith at Finn Slough or is it Finns Slough
2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

Mermaid III
2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

Finns Slough etc.
2005-09-06— Posted by: allegra

John is back from the south end of Cascadia (Cascadia is the Land of the Salmon) having been to CascadiaCon in Seattle, and if his description is accurate, Brooke, accompanying herself on banjo, sang her way through “Gentle Arms of Eden” which is a Dave Carter tune. Hm. Did you know that border guards are not legally required to know what a banjo is? I thought not.

Katie looks so cute in her Kaylee outfit that I want to buy her Fluevogs, or something.

We went to Finns Slough today, and grabbed a little bit of Vancouver history; this pic and the next few are from Dyke Road/Finns Slough.

2005-09-05— Posted by: allegra

After many long months of not posting much,, the Home of Mr. Damon, has come roaring back with a blistering series of links about Katrina. Thank you Mr. Damon.

Carly’s team won one and tied one yesterday… a great start to the season.

I still don’t have a functioning dishwasher (either in the human or mechanical sense, as the children are NOT responding to bribes), so I had to stop cooking this morning and leave the kitchen so Paul could do dishes, because the way the kitchen is set up you can’t cook and do dishes at the same time with two people.

I decided not to continue with this anecdote because it just plain wouldn’t be a good idea. But I really wish I was living someplace else right now.

Am continuing my plans to make Joss Whedon the master of the universe by exposing Jan to Firefly. We watched the pilot – aGAIN. My goodness, it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I watch it, I see stuff I hadn’t seen previously.

Glenda visit
2005-09-05— Posted by: allegra

Glenda is in hospital, as noted earlier; I went to see her and found out that the Peace Arch Food is LOUSY; her ER nurse used to be the bagboy at Safeway; the staff are wonderful and kind; the doctors have no idea what the hell is wrong with her; and her sugars are okay. This woman has had no fewer than 8 doctors look at her in the last three weeks and they still don’t know what’s up. Sigh.

Fluorescent shark
2005-09-05— Posted by: allegra

Details on I wanna dress that color!!

Operation Rescue Spud and Tasha
2005-09-05— Posted by: allegra

HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL. Mike and Tori grabbed the dogs from the pound just now. Hugs to Mike’s parents for offering to take them in; they already have one dog, a cutie named Mila.

The Palimpsest
2005-09-04— Posted by: allegra

On the one hand, here’s a bunch of pictures of extremely hot, mostly of-African-descent women. On the other hand, this is a really cool insight into how what you see in a magazine is .. um… manipulated. So what you get out of this really will depend on your age, gender and orientation. My honest reaction was, “Hey! He can make my cellulite disappear!!!!” I am hoping my legion of loyal, heterosexual, male fans will thank me for this. Notice how sneaky I am getting at trying to interject some feminism into my blog.

Heat wave autopsy
2005-09-04— Posted by: allegra

This address is liable to be ephemeral – ie it will be gone within weeks, but if you get the chance I urge you to read the article, which is a talk with the author of a book about the disastrous 1995 Chicago heatwave, in which some 750 more people than normal died, while the authorities stalled and denied what was happening. Disasters have a social context; there are echoes of New Orleans in there.

Connecting the dots
2005-09-04— Posted by: allegra

Articles about the connection between the Katrina response and Gulf II

Family news roundup
2005-09-04— Posted by: allegra

Glenda is in hospital (but able to talk on the phone) and so I hope to get out to see her sometime today. I had called the hospital earlier and they said she’d been discharged, so it was bizarre getting Peter T’s email indicating that she was still in. If you need to know where she is contact me for details.

Jan, Marilyn and Glenn over for dinner last night. Paul cooked an AMAZING array of barbecued meats, including what has to have been one of the best pork chops ever, and chicken and Marilyn and Glenn brought a salmon. I don’t think it was ten pm before I blasted through as many of the dishes as I could and hied myself off to bed. It wasn’t the company, whom I love… I could barely keep my eyes open after my exciting day running around downtown and using public transit.

Nita has been moved into her modern day equivalent of a monastic cell – the university dorm. The whole experience, according to Jan, was quite painless.

Carly’s soccer team won its season opener 4 zip. Oh yeah! She’s at the hotel with the team and her mother Jan was here last night.

Jim is fighting a virus – on his computer. Glenn sez: Keep those virus updates current! Words to live by. It’s just a pain to deal with the aftermath, heaven knows.

Stephanie took Spud and Tasha to the BCSPCA. I am curious as to her version of events. Mike is going to try to retrieve Spud on Tuesday but he can’t take Tasha. If anybody knows of someone looking for a middle aged spayed Rottie cross who is great with people and loathes other animals, the shelter has a dog for you.

National Geographic article from before the storm

And today Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, says that nobody could have foreseen it.

So, like, compare and contrast.

Paul is doing yoga and Keith wants the computer back, so later, y’all.

enough sleep
2005-09-03— Posted by: allegra

Something cute
2005-09-03— Posted by: allegra

Haven’t run any cute animal pix in ages. Can you spot the towel? Cousin Gerald sent me this.

enough sleep
2005-09-03— Posted by: allegra

Photo credit AP, the Shreveport paper. The MSM rarely sticks the names of the photographers on the credits, piss me off; I am retitling the picture “Louisiana Hospitality”. And yes, I’m being very grim, because that’s about how nice the hospitality would be around here after the big one came through.

Finished Patricia Cornwell’s bio of Jack the Ripper, whom she says was a right weird artist named Walter Sickert, who died in his bed in 1942. She had me convinced. Now I have to get the book outta my house, it has intensely bad vibes. Patricia at work loaned it to me… thanks, I think. It was interesting, and anything to do with forensics rivets me. Funny that I don’t have TV, I’d probably be watching all three versions of CSI regularly. I’ve only ever seen the original one with the Grissom dude once, and I couldn’t take my eyes from it.

Brooke and John (renamed “Dr. Filk”) are off Stateside at a Sci Fi con, and appear to be doing fine if her livejournal notes are indeed accurate.

Keith made a fine omelet and really great coffee this morning, it was nice to get up to that.

Paul is either going flying or canoeing with whomever he can dig up, perhaps Suzanne if she’s available, and then he wants to do a salmon barbecue this evening for various of our relatives that may or may not turn up (not having been invited it’s hard for them to say whether they are coming@).

I’m going to the demo with the kids; the sun’s coming out so the weather should cooperate.

What I want for Christmas., items 23305 and 6684112. Actually there’s a lot of stuff in there, but that will do for starters.

Out of the catalogue, item GL270, item 45K17.85, PA745, 29T32.05 and 29T32.06, 81D32.01, 99K69.51. I really want the 45K17.85 more than anything; I think it will be the single handiest thing I own after the big one comes through. Also, tarps. Anybody who wants to give me a tarp for Christmas will get a big hug. You simply can’t have a good disaster without tarps.

More from NO
2005-09-03— Posted by: allegra

Interesting description of why things aren’t happening faster.

2005-09-02— Posted by: allegra

This is what the drier parts of New Orleans look like.

There are – five days late – troops on the streets of the Big Uneasy.

I feel better
2005-09-02— Posted by: allegra

Man, it’s been so long since I hung out with Mike by himself I’d forgotten what it’s like; we killed a couple of Stellas apiece at Toby’s Grill and ate ribs and wings and shot the breeze. Winkie is as pretty as she ever was, and she was always a very pretty cat.

Did a tarot reading for work at lunch yesterday. More of the bloody same, as far as the eye can see! Confusion, miscommunication, selfishness, lack of openness to change. First card was death, last card 4 of cups. Go figure.

2005-09-01— Posted by: allegra

Tori took this picture of Mike on Hornby Island. Sigh. Had to put something up that was nicer to look at than the centipede.

enough sleep
2005-09-01— Posted by: allegra

If you feel like donating for the relief effort for New Orleans, the American Red Cross Toll free is 800 Help Now. I don’t know if it works in Canada. I am more inclined, seeing the devastation, to prepare for our own Big One, which is a geological eye blink away. I think I’m turning into a harsh assed old crone.

Holy crap
2005-09-01— Posted by: allegra

Tonstant weaders will recollect a previous post in which a gentleman in the UK was bitten by a South American Critter, a Brazilian Wandering Spider as I recollect, and damned near died. Well, picture if you will, yeah, GROSS isn’t it? I just finished reading Allen Steele’s Labyrinth of Night (full of motorized insectoid critters) so I was underwhelmed when I read the story of Aaron Balick of the UK, who was expecting to find a mouse in the papers behind the tv and whipped out this behemoth 9 inch Scolopendra gigantea, no kiddums. Being of the British Phlegm, and holy crap, as they say, that took some doing, he popped it in a jar and got it to the Museum of Natural History, where the head bug dude just about spasmed. Yes, folks, that IS the biggest centipede currently extant, and it hitched a ride to Britain on some fruit. Now, I found an earwig in my home grown grapes yesterday and that made me plenty nauseous… but if I saw this thing I’d pee my pants. Jeez, Dale, they have these things in Belize? No need to strip down the bed in the guest room on my account, I ain’t never going to South America now.