last half of October 2005

from the Yorkshire Evening Post
2005-10-31— Posted by: allegra

Jailing him, Judge Alistair McCallum told Hoyle “Never before in my time at the bar or on the bench have I ever had to deal with somebody who voluntarily allowed himself to be buggered by a dog on the public highway. Frankly it is beyond most of our comprehension. It is an absolutely disgusting thing for members of the public to have to witness.”

I don’t even know if this story is true, but the notion of hearing this opinion rendered in a plummy British accent is too delicious.

An accordion followed me home
2005-10-31— Posted by: allegra

It’s weird, but if you buy a musical instrument, all the other musical instruments who are homeless listen to the jungle drums and the next thing you know… well, I opened the door and it was making little anguished choo choo train noises, and it was a damned wet and drafty evening. It hopped up the stairs making the most bizarre hooting sounds. How could I resist? It’s the smallest accordion I’ve ever seen that wasn’t actually a toy. When I finally calmed it down with some Weird Al Yankovic music, it let me get close enough to see that it was especially handmade for the Canadian Accordion Institute. It’s a little beat up, no question, but it sounds great and now it’s begging me to buy it a proper harness so we can go for walks.

I’m definitely going to be the scariest thing at the Parade of Costumes at work today. Is there anything scarier than somebody practicing the accordion? Stop me before I play Lady of Spain one more time! I’ll post a pic of my new friend later …..

Burt Bacharach
2005-10-31— Posted by: allegra

I just got nine out of ten on the multiple choice quiz on Burt Bacharach on I rule! I only missed the first question. I TOLD you I was a fan!

Eventful day
2005-10-30— Posted by: allegra

Well, I could have been knocked down with a feather when I had been up for a couple of hours yesterday morning, and my daughter swanlike and exhaling sleep and good humour sailed into the living room. I have a Shoe Gauge by the back door. It read emp-ty, so I assumed no Katie. She actually came through the front door, so the Shoe Gauge had been downstairs. We then got up and went to Brrrrr, Value Village, which is a freaking zoo/carnival of retail hor-ror the weekend before Halloween, and got my Brooke-suggested costume, which was “Partly cloudy, chance of showers”. (Blue dress, gray towel cut up for clouds, squirt bottle.)

Katie and I then came home and grabbed a snack and then headed over to Jessica’s place and went to the Halloween Haunt at Bridge Studios (where SG1 is shot) and had a pic of ourselves taken of a guy in a bat costume. We also had a lovely time in the haunted house. There were stunt men and balls of fire and zombies and a morgue and … you know, like that.

Then we came back to see Carly and Jan who were relaxing before a stressful dash out the door to the ‘Wack for a soccer game. Keith kept them entertained with Cirque de Soleil Dralion and what else, more Firefly.

Mike’s party, at which I, in the moisty depths of my geeky social incompetence, turned up early (I was actually expecting to assist with preparations) and drove the dogs crazy trying to figure out whether somebody was really home and just ignoring me before I called Mike, which is what I should have done in the first place. They arrived at 7:59, and we entered and started chopping vegetables. A whole bunch of people showed up, but not too many for the facility, and the live music included an a capella rendition of Down to the River to Pray which was heart rendingly gorgeous, and Jim E. and Morgan noodling, and me attempting to da na na na myself through “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers, and we actually didn’t do too bad on that one. We also did some Simon and Garfunkel. May I just gently say that I drank responsibly? I brought a metered 3 beers (two DABs and a Lion Winter Ale, yum) and ceased to drink two hours before I started driving. Mike and Tori encouraged me to hang, but my bed exerted that mystical gravity which draws all miscreants home, and I departed. Jan expressed astonishment that I got up… but it wasn’t hard, as I didn’t do anything stupid to my sensorium last night. And I phoned Mike when I got home, as he does worry….

Today will be a day of laundry, leaf raking and lolling about, briefly interrupted to a run to Richmond to pick up that Casio keyboard from Craigslist, if it is still on offer. I haven’t had my tea, so I’m going to deal with that. And the folks are about to leave for the soccer game, so more later, folks.

2005-10-29— Posted by: allegra

Check out the Oct 28th news item entitled What Makes the Brain Tick Tick Tick.

Also from Eurekalert, and contributing to my bleakness of mood.

Possible predictors of relationship violence

Men behave in certain ways to retain their partner and to continue their relationship with her. Sometime it is sweet, like holding hands or giving flowers, and sometimes it is a harbinger of danger. A study published in the latest issue of Personal Relationships identifies several specific acts and tactics that lead to the possibility of violence. Vigilance over a partner’s whereabouts was the highest-ranking tactic predicting violence across the researchers three-study investigation. Emotional manipulation, such as a man saying he would quote die end quote if his partner ever left also was predictive of violence. Monopolization of time and the threat to punish for infidelity also were signals of violence. Showing love and care was among the tactics not associated with violence.

I’m almost annoyed.
2005-10-29— Posted by: allegra

Pic is of Henry the Elephant Seal, who took up residence… until somebody gave him a polite shove with a bulldozer… at an Australian beach. Photo credit Colin Stuckey.

Can I own to some honest annoyance? The Government of BC, liberally funded, ha ha, by the taxpayers of BC (that would be you and me) is maintaining a love nest for my daughter. Does this seem right to you? Anyway, later on today I’m going to take a picture of the house where Dax is living, photoshop out the address, and post it to my website with the title “Government Sponsored Love Nest”. The Ministry of Child and Family Services can kiss my ass. Dang! I just realized Paul took off with the camera. Oh well, I’ll save it for another day. I wonder if I can find a lawyer to help me sue the government for abetting the delinquency of a minor, or whether they would take that as proof that I’m an unfit parent and try to scoop her. Ya know, I’d better think through all the implications of this.

Comings and goings
2005-10-28— Posted by: allegra

Birthday dinner for Tom U on Monday; Jim and Jan visiting on the weekend with Carly in tow; Festive Gathering at Mike’s on Saturday evening; Firefly meetup at the Halloween Haunt at the film studio on Boundary Saturday afternoon; Paul leaves for a 12 day trip tonight to Calgary, Medicine Hat, Toronto, London, Barrie and Cornwall; Katie came home.

enough sleep
2005-10-27— Posted by: allegra

coming and going
2005-10-27— Posted by: allegra

Pic was forwarded from Cousin Gerald, no clue where he picked it up. Pimp my Smartcar, indeed.

Katie hasn’t come home for most of a week. I spent an evening with Suzanne last night. Strangely, Katie and Daxus turned up at Suzanne’s at the same time I did; I didn’t feel competent to be civil, so kept quiet; in my anxiety I didn’t pay attention to the buzzer notice and pressed the wrong buzzer to get in.

Anyway, we had a long talk and while I understand Katie’s motives, I don’t think she is being very wise.

A belated birthday to my pOp; as is typical with me I got him a birthday card a month ago and keep forgetting to mail it….

Hey Red Deer
2005-10-26— Posted by: allegra

This was too good not to steal. This a buck with a camera mounted on him. They got about 200 hours of footage, most of which (I bet) will cause intense amounts of vertigo and motion sickness. Bambi, the thicket! Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Channel and the University of Missouri, no human photo credit. Kinda like the Elizabethan style ruff, contrasting nicely with the Terminator stylings of the camera mount.

enough sleep
2005-10-26— Posted by: allegra

Epistemology and the Principles and Sources of UUism October 23, 2005 In this homily I will attempt to define epistemology and link that branch of philosophy to your own exploration of belief, knowledge and faith. As that is a tall order for 15 minutes, I�ll get going. When I first went to the dictionary for definitions of epistemology, I became apprehensive. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn�t make epistemology funny, and I was hard pressed to come up with a story to link it to our own lives. As Rev Katie has said, and I�m paraphrasing here, people don�t come to church for a lecture, they come for stories. So I became very discontented with the definitions. The best one I found was �Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge.� Or, what is knowledge, where does it come from, and how do we agree on where to set the boundaries for the discussion. I became so discontented with the definitions, that I fired them all and hired my own. �Epistemology is the process whereby human beings organize their thinking about knowledge.� This makes epistemology everybody�s business; and while epistemology has specialists called philosophers, it also has everyday day practitioners, who would be you and me. We humans have common beliefs about knowledge, a point which I will illustrate in a moment. This morning I will not be talking that much about the details of contemporary epistemology, rather I will be talking about the folkways of the knowledge gathering process especially as they relate to UUism. Of course, you can�t define epistemology without tackling knowledge. Knowledge, according to Plato, is justified true belief. This definition stood up well over for two millennia, until the nineteen sixties, and has since been adjusted to say, Knowledge is true beliefs which have some other quality which we are still arguing about. The specialists agree that true belief is necessary for knowledge to be knowledge, but they are still wrestling over justification. If there is anyone in the congregation who is a professionally trained philosopher, I am sure you are scandalized by my compressions and omissions, but this is the fifty cent tour. I said I was going to illustrate common beliefs about knowledge. I went to a skeptical website some years ago, and was much struck when the author said, �Almost everybody argues about God, and hardly anybody argues about gravity.� If I pushed my lecture notes from the pulpit and they flew up to the ceiling, there would not be a single witness who believed that gravity had been suspended. They would suspect a trick, or a rational explanation. The most mystical person in the room would assume this. In fact, most of the people in this room would say I know that was a trick. And they�d be right. What I just did was a rhetorical trick. If you are one of those people who would immediately assume a trick when my papers flew up, you are (drum roll please) a foundationalist! A foundationalist is somebody who believes that there is knowledge which is foundational, and that means it�s integral to other knowledge. Everyone is subject to gravity. It is a justified true belief, and it�s a foundational one. We can argue very well the finer points of gravity, but its influence on human affairs is not a matter of much debate. The great thing about being a foundationalist, and I recommend it as a strategy, is that you can say, I gather information through my senses and then use my reason to discern which information is true and which is false. If it�s true it goes onto the storehouse of knowledge. If you�re not a foundationalist, you have to prove that something is a piece of knowledge from scratch, establishing a chain of logic from the start to the finish. That�s definitely work you want to leave with the professionals. I will provide another example, this one deceptively simple. What is the first game that a baby learns to play? Why, it�s peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo is a very interesting game, and it becomes more interesting the longer you look at it. It may not be very clear what peek-a-boo has to do with the branch of philosophy concerning knowledge, but bear with me. Peek-a-boo can be played with a very young child, six months or less sometimes, and, prior to speech and prior to much socialization, the child can play cooperatively with any other human being whom the child is interested in looking at. Language and culture are unimportant. Peek-a-boo is a game which illustrates the expression �common knowledge�, and suggests that there is a lot more common knowledge than we are consciously aware of. Peek-a-boo is a game which illustrates that even at an extremely early age, human beings can handle the notion that something can be there and not there at the same time. This ability is foundational�. Without it, human beings couldn�t know anything about anything, because once the source of their knowledge disappeared from view they wouldn�t have the knowledge any more. As an aside, this ability is what distinguishes the smarter, more social animals which human beings hang out with, like dogs, horses, cats, pigs, dolphins and elephants, from other animals. Smart animals have a good idea that even if they can�t see something, it�s still there, and their idea can be shown not to have a basis in habit. So the next time you�re playing peek-a-boo, you can loftily announce that you are teaching the child about epistemology, and you won�t be wrong. It�s foundational to the human ability to acquire knowledge that we know that something can exist which is no longer in view. I believe that every time a person acquires knowledge, it is because that person has learned to keep more than one piece of knowledge in mental view, and the link between those two disparate pieces of knowledge is now obvious and repeatable, at least to the person who knows it. I said earlier this morning that the current working definition of knowledge is that it�s true belief with optional, arguable, extras. My definition of knowledge reflects my prejudices. Although the acquisition of knowledge as an internal mental and physical process taking place in individuals is not clearly understood, I believe that knowledge has a quality that implies sociability. If information wants to be free, then knowledge wants to be where the people are. I have a mystical streak a mile wide, and this is forcing me to make another aside. I believe that the knowledge that we trade words about it is amazing, and our ability to communicate nothing short of miraculous. But I also believe that every cell in my body is more knowledgeable than I am because it has knowledge that I do not. I have no clue how to transport oxygen or repair cell walls or grow hair. My body knows, though. The definitions I provided of knowledge at the beginning essentially shut this way of knowing out. Technically, the cell contains information and automated processes, not knowledge; knowledge is something that belongs to people alone. However, if I�m going to stick to the party line about knowledge, in this instance a human being can know what the chemistry or physics of a cellular process is well enough to describe it. This description can then be shown to be true or false. That makes it knowledge in the philosophical sense. I think most of us have had the experience that our bodies can distinguish true from false and act on the results, but without belief, it isn�t knowledge. The mystic in me objects to this, but I am also, most of the time, quite committed to rationality. It is this constant tension between the ways of knowing that are closed to human beings, and the ways that are open, that led me to Unitarianism in the first place. Epistemology distinguishes between knowing how to do something, and knowing that something can be proved true or false. Gilbert Ryle said that �Efficient practice precedes the theory of it�. Maybe Unitarians are so interested in doing church that they don�t want to get into theory. It�s like that little poem: A centipede was happy quite, Until a frog in fun, Said, “Pray, which leg comes after which?” This raised her mind to such a pitch, She lay distracted in the ditch Considering how to run. By this I mean to say that if you come to church, you may need to come to church for a while and practice before the theory behind what you�re doing becomes clear to you; I think this is a great idea, as it fits in perfectly with the UU attitude towards the individual. Also, you will have noticed from your own life that sometimes thinking about what you�re doing doesn�t help. Our common faith is a safe place to let the boundaries made of words dissolve, so that we may approach matters of knowledge, faith, truth and falsity, and our beliefs, with our quest and our humanity intact. Church allows you time to disentangle yourself from the struggle to put one foot in front of the other. On Sunday mornings, we know how to �do church�; we dress and move and speak in an orderly way. But the reason that we �do church� is so that we can �be church�; we know from hundreds of years of common experience that worship is a folkway � informal knowledge – that is as durable and fragile as humankind itself. We also know that the practice precedes the theory, so we may not always be able to articulate the theory. What happens in church cannot be defined as knowledge, although church exists in part to help us discern the true from the false. Epistemology uses words to address questions of knowledge. We have no other common mode of understanding these things, which is why epistemologists spend an excruciating amount of time defining things. Worship is an acknowledgement that words may not suffice; that definitions, rationality and logic may not be enough to get you through your everyday life. I invite you to re-read the principles and sources of Unitarian Universalism with the word knowledge in your mind, because the word knowledge is nowhere mentioned. This is because the worship experience, as conceived by most UU�s, is not something you can apply the word knowledge to. I am going to paraphrase our principles with the philosophical definition of knowledge in mind. Our lives mostly happen outside church; the puzzle then becomes how we behave when we�re not at church. We live, or try to live, in testimony to the inherent worth and dignity of every person, applying justice, equity and compassion to human relations, accepting each others spiritual growth and taking care as we search for our own truth and meaning, and the truth and meaning which we find in community. We try to be principled and loving in our exercise of power, however it may be bestowed upon us; and we try to stay aware of our obligations even when we�re having fun or creating beauty. We imagine a world where no one is subject to violence, and tears come to our eyes. We imagine a better world and a world where have we ceased our feeble attempt to tyrannize nature. None of this is knowledge; but how can the world be better without imagination and awareness? In the process of imagining that which we cannot know, we are wise to acknowledge our ancestors, both of our bodies and our minds. We point toward transcendent wonder, which is not knowledge, but is something precious nevertheless. We learn the words and deeds of the brave and the eloquent, and are we moved to be like them. Love is not knowledge; it is more like a motive source, and it finds its face reflected in many scriptures. Our spiritual forebears are Jewish and Christian but we have turned aside from much of the violence our forebears upheld; toward the bodies of women and children and slaves, and toward the followers of other religions. The humanists, God bless them, prevent us from becoming clogged with spooky rituals and idolatry, and the elders of the first peoples remind us that nature is not something we can pretend to be outside. We have principles and sources which are not, technically, knowledge. They are folkways. UU�s believe that we must heed science and rationality in our quest for spiritual truth. We are participants in a stubborn and ongoing effort to be the living link between faith and knowledge. For we are not so foolish as to think that everything we believe is true; but we are not so cynical as to think that everything we believe is false, even if we are not allowed to call it knowledge. The wisest among us can only stake a small claim upon knowledge. I return to the definition I made of epistemology, that it is the process whereby humans organize their thinking about knowledge. Maybe, when you are confronted with a new situation, this definition will be of use, because sometimes it is not knowledge, but awareness of the many ways of knowing, that is most useful as we confront the challenges of our lives.

Shop sign
2005-10-26— Posted by: allegra

David D has some fun with Me
2005-10-26— Posted by: allegra

My beloved, twinkly coworker David D took my normal sized meatball and transformed it into what looks like a sizable chunk of alien viscera.

Yes, I’ve been very posting of a lot of pics of me lately, but you have to admit this one is magnificent in its freakout factor. Table for five at the Restaurant at the End of The Universe.

Not enough sleep
2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

Two nightmares, both of which involved the torture of children, one by the father, one by persons unknown. One little snippet of dream that had Adam Baldwin dressed up in a suit that made him look like something out of James Bond while he leered at Morena Baccarat. One little snippet of dream where a musical instrument that looks like a washboard with strings is played by a child prodigy while the adults look on in astonishment. A house where somebody has taken the tin snips to the ceilings and applied the results haphazardly to the doors instead. And the entire house decorated in yellow and orange (bleah), including Tiffany style interior windows.

Note to self…. don’t bother trying to talk to somebody who’s asleep. Now, to come up with some method of ensuring this somebody is actually awake that doesn’t involved jamming a pin into his sorry ass. I must think on it.

News from Brooks AB
2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

Meat packing strikers in Brooks (Lakeside Packers, owned by Tyson Foods of Arkansas) are a hell of a group to try to organize. They are about 50 different immigrant nationalities deftly mixed with guys straight out of the jailhouse, so just imagine the union challenges, not counting simultaneous translation into several languages. My spies inform me that a couple of recent immigrants from the warmer climes of Afric, after much soul searching and fondling of empty pockets, crossed the picket lines, where they learned, after about an hour of stooging about, that there, er, ‘wasn’t any work’. So our intrepid labour activists said screw you Jack and went back on the line, where they at least draw strike pay. One assumes that the management has completely thought this through. On the other hand, maybe they didn’t. Union busters tend to think with the fists they hire.

Wish I could talk about work. It occurs to me that I’ve said enough about work in previous posts to get me fired, but frankly, if they fire me, I’ll be dining out on the stories I am now free to tell for the rest of me fourscore plus ten.

Best customer call this week so far…. “Jesus! Your hold music! Your hold music’d make a dog eat her puppies!” Well, whatever; I don’t have to listen to the grisly, tinny strains so I feel fine. PS, can you tell the caller was Canadian? I can’t picture an American customer saying that no matter how hard I try.

Katie as Kaylee
2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

Taken September 30, just as we were heading in to the Serenity opening.

Mat Hatter Allegra
2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

This is not a flattering pic of me, but I really like it anyway.

2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

Tamar is a truly stunning looking woman, and I especially like the nails (and the smile….) Pic from a wedding reception in Toronto recently. Let’s just say it would have been a commitment ceremony a couple of years ago. Thor bless Canada!

What, no picture?
2005-10-24— Posted by: allegra,975.html

I was really really disappointed. Click fast, the link won’t last.

enough sleep
2005-10-24— Posted by: allegra

My uncle Garry is in hospital in Courtenay. He’s in the ICU but to keep him safe from other bugs, not because he’s in imminent danger of dying. He wasn’t allowed to see his wife Diane for a while which must have been crazy making for both of them. I light a candle for them both.

I spoke to Granny yesterday and she’s fine, a little tired but otherwise okay. Still no word what’s wrong with her, and quite frankly I think the docs are never going to figure it out. Once every couple of years she gets the whirlies really bad, which state is accompanied by her blood pressure just pancaking. She spends a day or two laid up, in hospital or at home, and then she’s okay again. She did mention that she’d never had quite so many people ask her what her name was and what day it was, but she mentioned this with a little grin in her voice and no sign of annoyance, and was careful to say that ‘they took very good care of me’.

The homily went well; I will not recount the praise I received as it would not be appropriate, but I’m glad I got the praise, because I busted my brain cells trying to write something that a) was a homily and not a university lecture, b) was aimed at the congregation (ie, took their life experiences and interests into consideration) and c) tried to link epistemology with every day experience, which was a poser, lemme tell you. In the end I threw in the towel by saying that the dictionary definition of knowledge doesn’t apply to church; and guess what? None of Unitarian principles or sources even MENTION knowledge. I also got to deliver the line, “The humanists, God bless them…” which got the biggest laugh of the morning, and would probably get a big laugh in pretty much any UU church you delivered it in. All in all a wonderful weekend. Off to work now. Check if you want to see a portrait of San Francisco done in…. jello. Brooke said it brought a tear to her eye. I just stood here looking over Keith’s shoulder with my jaw hanging open.

Katie FINALLY CAME HOME, and she wouldn’t tell me where she was. Damn!!!!

My fans comment (paraphrased)… Sandy said… I think the shaggy mushroom and the shaggy sheep were separated at birth, and Brooke said of the shaggy manes that “the Hattifatteners are coming!” which is something you’d only get if you’re a Tove Janssen fan.

Flu link
2005-10-23— Posted by: allegra I tried to post the link to the first PDF shown on this page, and it didn’t work – I actually got a message I’ve never seen before – so my apologies. But the preparedness brochure has some stuff in it I haven’t seen before.

Pic is of a flu virus.

2005-10-23— Posted by: allegra

I finished up the homily and will deliver it today. In some respects it is the least successful one I ever wrote, but when you’re trying to jam epistemology into 15 minutes, it’s a bit of yer average challenge.

Gotta go clean up, the folks will be here shortly to pick me up.

Katie away again, but that’s okay.

enough sleep
2005-10-23— Posted by: allegra

The climate mash just in time for Halloween.

Link from Dailykos.

Husbands Day
2005-10-23— Posted by: allegra

On Karvachauth, Indian women do themselves up with henna and pray for their husbands. Seems like a great idea to me!

enough sleep
2005-10-22— Posted by: allegra

Pic is of Prussian Blue, the front girls for a racist hate band. Gotta love the t’s.

Katie finally came home.

Paul’s in Seattle for the day.

I am having quite the lazy day.

enough sleep
2005-10-22— Posted by: allegra

Pic is e e cummings, who was raised a Unitarian.

enough sleep
2005-10-21— Posted by: allegra, but don’t tell em I sent you.

standing sheep
2005-10-20— Posted by: allegra

Cut yer hair. From New Zealand, of course.

Leo and Linda’s Lawn
2005-10-20— Posted by: allegra

Gotta love it. Shaggy manes – and that’s just a small fraction of what their lawn in Kanata looks like.

Here’s to you….
2005-10-19— Posted by: allegra

Baby animals
2005-10-19— Posted by: allegra

Born in Florida. 200 and some odd pounds, cazart. Earlier post was my letter to

enough sleep
2005-10-19— Posted by: allegra

Dear Cheerful Incompetents: Hi, how are you? Howzit goin’? I sent you my credit card information and pressed enter and it all disappeared. There’s no obvious place to log in, even if you do get a magic, you know, password. Actually having a log in on the front page of your site would be a sign that you have actually entered the land of webbiness, and left your inkstained days behind. Oh… look….you have to mouse over Already A Subscriber? which isn’t on the front page of your site! And look, even though I sent my information to you, it won’t take my username and password. Under the circumstances, should I really trust you? I mean, you guys died off from the newstand before my last subscription ran out. F/ckers. I’m over that, honestly. It’s time to let bygones be bygones. You have twenty four hours to demonstrate that you want me to subscribe. The response email shall be entitled “Grovelling Apology” and contain the magic words “We didn’t bill your card, please try again”. Also, some verbiage indicating that the subscription is for One Month and I’ll have to do it again to get more, and what your cancellation policy is, would make me a lot more comfy with the notion of throwing money down your particular drain. If I get an auto generated response to this, I’ll give you such a pinch, you’ll look like the after picture from a BDSM party. Warm, somewhat moist and nitrogenous personal regards, Allegra Sloman Pic is a sunrise from my back deck.

sundry and various
2005-10-18— Posted by: allegra

Here’s my definition of epistemology.

Epistemology is the process whereby human beings organize their thinking concerning knowledge.

I’m not going to try to make smarter than Plato, so I’m defining knowledge as he did…. Knowledge is justified true belief.

There! Now you don’t have to come to church this Sunday.

2005-10-17— Posted by: allegra

Can’t we all just get along? Credit Mike M.

Duh, please provide credits
2005-10-17— Posted by: allegra

Brooke is responsible for that lovely sketch, which she gave to Dr. Filk as a birthday card. I am charmed beyond words by the whole thing.

Katie’s friends Kyle and Jessica are here.

Lovely tarot readings. Starters for me… Hanged Man crossed with the Wheel of Fortune. Huh.

Dr Filk and his cat, Kato
2005-10-17— Posted by: allegra

Found humour
2005-10-16— Posted by: allegra

From Dr. Filk.

Wetness defying water?
2005-10-16— Posted by: allegra

Wetness defying water?

Had to rub my eyes when I saw this. From the same source, Pop Rocks from the Depths

Oh…. wash your pillows, they’re disgusting. Or buy a new cotton one every year and keep it as dry as possible. Note to self, quit going to bed with your hair wet. Apparently pillows have an immense fungal ecosystem in them. Bleah.

Pic is of a Yak belonging to one of Paul’s flying colleagues during the annual inspection wringout.

Review of family and other news
2005-10-16— Posted by: allegra

Saw Corpse Bride and Curse of the Were Rabbit. Were Rabbit is much better but Corpse Bride is quite pretty in spots, and Sean C was right about the soundtrack. There were at least six places in Were Rabbit when I laughed so hard I had to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t laugh over the next piece of dialogue. This movie is genuinely hilarious.

When are people going to stop imitating Peter Lorre’s voice for cartoon characters? It irritates me, that the maggot in Corpse Bride has a Peter Lorre faceandvoice.

Jessica D is sleeping over.

Kira is putting a paw on my shoulder and mewing loudly. I ALMOST convinced her to get in my lap, but she’s just not that kind of cat. I am never getting another cat unless I can get a written guarantee that it will sit in my lap as I write.

Keith has been applying for other full time jobs, Kate has been staying up all night on the internet chatting (to real, as opposed to imaginary, teen boys), Paul is working nights and I’m up way too early.

John will be at church this am playing with the Good Times Band.

That’s a moose
2005-10-16— Posted by: allegra

There’s a blob about halfway down this pic, taken by Ken Kastner in Alaska. It’s a moose. He managed to get himself stuck on a cliff, and now he’s likely to die.

Spelling correction
2005-10-16— Posted by: allegra

That’s Cousin Darci with an I and Curtis (probly spelled THAT wrong… sigh) who recently produced my new first cousin once removed … Jasmine Emaleth! A good sized child for 3 hours of labour. Thanks to Lexi for the correction. Still waiting on pix, grr argh.

First half of October 2005

Mom, lookit the piggies!
2005-10-15— Posted by: allegra

2005-10-15— Posted by: allegra

I try to write satire, but reality is always three steps ahead of me. Paddy Chayefsky ran “Network” for a bunch of college students recently. When nobody laughed, he realized that they weren’t seeing it as satire. This is the kind of news that makes old farts like me… I’m 47 next month …. desperate for something cheerful on the horizon. Lucky for me there is. My cousin Darcy had a baby, which made my family bigger, and I have friends and relatives who really love me, despite the fact that I’m just plain crabby.

Hung out with Mike and Tori last night, watching movies and eating pizza. Very much like the Friday Night Veg-in of my youth.

When I was a child/teen, and my father bought the first videotape machine that any of us had ever seen, my mother and her two best buddies from work and me and Jeff and my dad and any house guests we had, like Leo or Ron, would sit around and watch a movie on Friday night, because we were all so beat from work or school that week that we weren’t up for anything more dramatic. I was weaned away from live TV in the process. I haven’t really watched much live tv since I left home.

Katie was up all night. Paul came out at 7 and told her to go to bed, which she did. She was resolutely uncommunicative when we got home from Mike’s last night.

You have to love Vancouver though… Mike’s closest fast food joint is the wonderful Uncle Fatih’s Pizza. (Pronounced Fatty’s, for extra ethnic points.)

Pic is railroad car graffitti collected by Katie this past summer.

2005-10-14— Posted by: allegra

Stolen from Eyepopping images.

Meditating and interviewing
2005-10-14— Posted by: allegra

Went to small group ministry last night at Tom and Peggy’s and the group meditation was awesome, as always. The meditation was about groundedness and my prodrome FINALLY lifted although that could be my new glasses, too.

Katie spent the night at Jessica’s but that’s okay because she doesn’t have school on Fridays anyway. Her school isn’t affected by the strike.

Keith has another day working temp at Lordco, but he has really bad allergies, and he’s not enjoying the dust. I am thinking it would be a kindness to get him a decent air filter.

Tam-Tam is coming to Vancouver in December, yipppppeeeee! I just about burst with happiness when she emailed me this morning.

Yet more interviews at work today and also into next week. I am helping hire a new person and I am finding it exhausting, although Patricia and I have formed the World’s Most Effective Good Cop Bad Cop Interviewing Tag Team. I’d share some clangers from a couple of interviews but that would not be fair to the poor applicants; they sure made us snort and chortle afterwards, though.

Gotta go help Paul with the trash, it’s that day again.

If anybody remembers the Johnny Cash tune “One Piece at a Time” about the car that an auto worker stole and assembled…. this is that car. Apparently it has bits from a very large number of American vehicles in it. I find it rather spooky looking, so here it is in time for Halloween.

Happy Ramadan
2005-10-13— Posted by: allegra

I shamelessly stole this image from Mr. Damon’s blog ( You have to admit that this pic from Doha, Qatar is something else. Does it…. remind you of anything? I mean, now that you can get Happy Ramadan lights and hanging decorations? PS I don’t think Ghazi Kanaan committed suicide the other day.

enough sleep
2005-10-13— Posted by: allegra

The internet which bringeth all things, washed up “Cats in Sinks” recently, and now, Gosh! this…. Yup, dogs in bee costumes, including their first scandal. Go to the link to find out what on earth would scandalize a person who specializes in pictures of dogs in Bee Costumes. Shoot, that reminds me, I gotta put together a costume for Halloween with Mike and Tori.

Cousin Gerald sent me a pic purporting to be of a mesocyclone in Alberta, but yesterday had a link to the Oklahoma Storm Chaser dude who ACTUALLY took the picture. Okay, so the stolen pic is from and guess what? He’s no longer hissy that people are stealing his stuff, he’s just shaking his head. There’s some funny stories in there, and some Extremely Fine Photographs of Major Weather Instability.

Got reading glasses yesterday. HOLY COW. I really wish I’d done it earlier. Between that and getting my bite adjusted I am throwing off this three week long prodrome and feeling a lot more human, chipper, etc. Okay, less like cutting my throat with a dull spoon, but you know what I mean.

It’s 6:15, time to get the hell off the computer and get dressed and find some customers to abuse.

space shot
2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

When I was a kid I read lots of books about Weird Phenomena like Heuvelman’s On the Track of Unknown Animals and spooky crap that passed itself off as journalizm but was really trash. One of the things that fascinated me in one of those books was the radiating oceanic light that sometimes surrounds ships in the Indian Ocean. Then somebody took a pic from space….. This is so cool, for me, that the hair stood up on my arms when I saw this. I’m still working on what happened to the Andrea Doria, though.

2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

At this point I’m convinced that all I’m doing on a day to day basis is trying to find a more comfy handbasket to ride to hell in. Currently my handbasket is quite comfy. Hope yours is too. But don’t go to copvcia ifn you want to stay cheerful. And now is the time to sell your airconditioner and buy a woodstove, haw haw haw.

enough sleep
2005-10-11— Posted by: allegra

It’s a foggy, creepy, axe murdering Burnaby morning.

Whenever I wake up smelling skunk, I think Pokey got sprayed, but he didn’t so that’s good. He’s killing things in the house again, this time a robin. What a mess!

Finally did all my laundry (including towels, yeesh), now I just have a wee bit of mending and ironing.

The things I want to do in space
2005-10-11— Posted by: allegra

I actually invented a microgravity bed for two, hint hint, but I never got around to patenting it. Second on my list is popping a water balloon. Herewith, pic, screen captured from a NASA film.

2005-10-10— Posted by: allegra

Leo took this picture out his back window in Kanata. Doesn’t look much like a cityscape, does it? Happy Thanksgiving everybody…. the sky is still free.

gone from the face of the earth
2005-10-10— Posted by: allegra

Pictured is the armature for the wererabbit from the Wallace and Gromit film. It was destroyed in a fire, which completely gutted Nick Park’s studio, with all the sets and props, for all the Wallace and Gromit films. As a cultural loss it is a great tragedy.

Worse, however, is the news that India and Pakistan will not be cooperating or coordinating relief efforts. The death toll for the Kashmir quake is now well over 20,000 and 40,000 people may well be dead. May a merciful Providence soften the hearts and suffuse the heads of the dolts who have decided to put a line on a map before the welfare of the people they are supposed to be governing.

An earthquake kit here in BC seems more necessary than ever… but I must say, I think we’ll probably be using it in dealing with a global pandemic rather than for an earthquake. Or maybe we’re just heading for a more geologically active part of earth’s history; we are certainly living in frightening times.

The endowment effect
2005-10-10— Posted by: allegra,,2-1816574,00.html

Science news I can use…. a rational explanation for clutter.

family news roundup
2005-10-09— Posted by: allegra

Glenn said something entirely remarkable yesterday. He said, “If I’ve told a story three times, I’m bored with it… why should I inflict it on other people if I’m bored with it myself?”

This is so contrary to my understanding and appreciation of the world that I could feel my cognition slowing to a crawl. Family stories – any kind of stories – if they are any good – are supposed to be repeated. Sometimes the circumstances under which they can be told are special.

I am put in mind of the story Wade Davis told. (I saw him live, don’t miss him if you get a chance.) He was a teenager, and a parks employee in the ass end of nowhere in BC. He had already gone on his own to south America when he was fifteen, so he was not unused to fending for himself and dealing with all different kinds of people. Wade had asked one of the local elders to tell him the creation myth of his people. The elder demurred. Wade was mystified, but not put out. Later on he was involved in a moose cull and was left a large portion of the carcase; he was perfectly happy to eat parts of it but it was a bit much for one, so he offered it to the elder. The elder received it with thanks, and then as they walked together, marked out their journey with the creation story. A small portion of it took many hours.

So I see that under some circumstances it is not appropriate to tell a story. Definitely, being bored with it is one. But one of the joys of family life – and I mean this most sincerely – is how, when you’re with a group of people who have never heard your spouse’s Amazing True Story of the two pilots with harelips you can look at your spouse and say, “Tell them the story,” and people settle in, and at the end of it shake their heads in sympathy or laugh uproariously. (The moral is, don’t assume that people are making fun of you…) The story may be old, but the reaction of the audience is not.

Jim and Carly are here; her team kicked ass in the tournament yesterday, and she got exposed to Firefly: another willing wictim.

Woke up with a spider on my shoulder this morning. Let out the standard high pitched scream and flicked into unconsciousness against the closet mirrors.

Katie still unconscious.

Paul is being dropped off at Harry’s by Jim, so I am not having to stir, which is lovely.

Keith and John off to Richmond for V-Con; there’s a Joss Whedon-verse thing happening and then a swordplay demo, so Keith is all wildeyed about going. Filking broke up at two last night according to John, which is scandalous by IFS (International Filking Standards).

Tom L. got t-boned yesterday. He’s sore but not otherwise damaged. Car is drivable but the passenger door no move.

I just made chocolate chip cookies.

Cooked early Thanksgiving dinner for Keith, Kate, Glenn, me, Jim and Carly – Paul came home in time because he was called into work early. Then we ate until we all became quite sessile (Bird, stuffing, corn, squash, smashed potatoes, homemade gravy, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, vats of foaming beer, and Jim brought wasabi cheese and smoked salmon for starters). Jim did the dishes, may he be praised and adored; all I had to do was clean up after the dead bird.

I hope that you all have a very wonderful Thanksgiving; I am in to work tomorrow as it is simply astonishing how much there is to do. Patricia is going in as well so I’m bringing entree and she’s bringing dessert and I’m thinking – okay, I’ll leave the beer at home, but Dang, it was a tempting notion to haul Al K Hall into work. Makes the afternoon so much more shiny.

John last night was given – GIVEN – a 12 string guitar to be his “Beach Guitar”. Coming to a Wreck near you.

Carly and Jim will be off to the next tournament game for 1 pm and I will be left with an empty house – but for Katie – and will likely be reduced to getting my ass kicked at cribbage again. That girl is deadly and inexorable!

Hat of hair
2005-10-08— Posted by: allegra

Darain Housen is sporting a hat made of hair. He is from St Thomas WI. Norman Grindley took the picture.

Once upon a time I had a black husband. He divorced me after I took up with Paul. I don’t normally talk about him, but I can’t look at this picture without thinking about the time that I tried combing out my ex’s hair. He wore his hair in a kind of Contents Under Pressure style afro. I tried to comb it out one time, starting with the edges. I combed all the way around and then he got a call and had to abruptly go to a union organizing meeting (the drivers for Purolator at that time were trying to organize, in Toronto). When he looked in the mirror he screamed, and I don’t blame him. There is NOTHING more transgressive than a black man wearing a hairstyle that is identical to a 1940’s German helmet. I mean EYEdentical. Like, I wish I had a picture, but Phil was not having any. “I can’t go out in public looking like this!” to which I heart-heavily concurred; he stuffed his hair under the world’s ugliest toque and went to the meeting, where he was teased unmercifully because Phil NEVER wore hats of any description.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I love nappy hair. I know it’s hard work keeping it looking good, but if I woke up tomorrow with nappy hair, I’d actually be happy about it. I’d prob’ly play with it endlessly, and it would certainly keep my daughter busy; she just loves fixing hair.

Isn’t it funny how nobody is happy with their hair (except Keith, and he’s not like the others, and you have to admit he has a really amazing head of luxurious brown curls.) And John… he just gets me to shave his head once in a while. And Paul… because I cut his hair. I love cutting his hair, it’s very satisfying, and I only ever really screwed up once – right before a Company Christmas Party. Keith said, “Hey forehead boy!” when he saw Paul afterwards.

Have a good hair day, y’all.

2005-10-08— Posted by: allegra

This guy was fishing in Wales when the weight came up and slammed through the corner of his eye. His mates noticed the weight sticking out and took him to hospital. The docs spent five hours removing it. Can you believe it? One micron further and he likely would have lost the eye. If you’re going to be clumsy, be lucky! (Part of my ongoing series of WTF skull xrays).

I heart heart Pam
2005-10-07— Posted by: allegra

We need more political commentary like this

Heading back to church
2005-10-06— Posted by: allegra

Apparently Pope Benedict is instituting some reforms that only LOOK radical if you aren’t German. After buying Dortmunder Bier last night, this appeared like an act of Providence in my mail box this morning. Thanks Sandy!!!

2005-10-06— Posted by: allegra

Did anybody notice that when you open my site now there’s a little icon which shows my widdy eyeballs staring at you at the top? There’s a really cool utility at HTMLkit that allows you to do this. Me happy.

I went to the optometrist today and emerged $517 dollars poorer. But at least I know I don’t need frikkin bifocals for another two years. Thank God. Paul cooked breaded pan fried sole, corn on the cob and brussels sprouts for dinner, and it was good.

Dave the Plumber, may he be blessed and adored throughout the Lower Mainland for his many gifts, received money and a heartfelt gift from Paul for installing a sewer cleanout (the gift, which Dave Really Liked, was a really skookum flashlight from Lee Valley Tools). At the end of the installation he said, “Don’t bother digging it out, just buy a snake and clean it out when it backs up and tell the women in your house not to flush elephants (read, feminine protection) down the toilet.” I suspect it wasn’t elephants but clothing lint and kitchen waste which precipitated our last disaster, as neither of the women living in this house are that gauche, AND we’re using renewable hygiene products. Downstairs will shortly be hip deep in silica gel and drying out thoroughly. I cannot express how relieved I am about this; we were looking at an expense of between 5 and 10 K to get everything dug up and if necessary reattached to the city drains, so being told by a professional Don’t Spend the Money put Paul into the best mood he’s had in a very long time.

Work’s gross, chunk-style and sideways, but a family meal and being a passenger in a car Keith was driving and dicking around with HTMLkit, and picking up Dortmunder beer (such a deal! 12.60 for 6 half liter cans of imported beer INCLUDING a glass mug so hefty you could deck a bouncer with it) as WELL as discovering that I’m not living in Bifocal Acres yet, mellowed ME out considerably. Paul read his former flying partner Per’s name in a COPA magazine article so he’s having a great evening. I gotta go to bed, I’m bagged.

Hot housing market in Vancouver
2005-10-05— Posted by: allegra

The housing market is slackening in the US – sales are off pretty much everywhere – but here in Vancouver, you can’t get a detached shack for less than a quarter mil. Paul says the market is going to be wild until the Olympics in 2010 but I have to wonder.

Christmas singalong at church?
2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

Here comes Yog Suggoth, indeed. There are CHORAL ARRANGEMENTS for these songs on the website.

2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

Glad there’s no picture. But it’s about moose, and I’ve been told, More Moose; My Public Demands more moose.

Moose hits car. No, wait, moose LANDS on car.

Paint the town white
2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

Pallet of white paint meets gravity. Interesting image, isn’t it? Happened in downtown Oslo.

wyrd tales
2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

Ady Feeney, still smarting from the time Colin Cousins and a bunch of his mates ‘redecorated’ Ady’s pub in Southampton UK, extracted a clever revenge. All I can say, it’s a good use for a Vauxhall Astra, whether the damned thing is running or not. Pic stolen cheerfully from the Sun Online, the UK’s premium source of extremely funny pictures of animals, people and things. Also gleaned from the Sun Online; the Canadian Folk Band the Wyrd Sisters is suing JK Rowling for copyright infringement, because a band frequently mentioned in the Harry Potter books is called, how strange, the Weird Sisters. How this can be anything except the world’s most venal publicity stunt is difficult for me to fathom… The spelling is different, and guess what!!! Weird Sisters is a Shakespeare reference and Shakespeare is NOT COPYWRITED. Give me a flocking break, dears. Why don’t they sue the filk band with the same name, could it be the filk band has no MONEY? Can such things BE?

OOO OOO pr0n for my mom
2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

Go nuts, ma, your Dream Boy is in there someplace…..

Breakfast of liberals
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

I prefer Cheerios, obviously

2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

Dr. Filk had this to say…

These percolated to the top of my cerebral swamp in response to your blog today (on immigration, see earlier)

1) Cheating Your Way In

Note that the official, legal, non-cheating way into Canada is seriously ferkokt. Every recent year Parliament AKA the Martin mob have set immigration “quotas”, and each year the number of actual, breathing immigrants entering the country has been well below quota, largely because people cannot get through the Kafkaesque process, which is miserably badly administerd and expensive, insecure, inconsistent and slow. It also dosn’t allow for anywhere near the number of relative-in-Canada sponsored entries that folks already here want.

So what’s a person who may be dying (no metaphor meant) to gain entry to asafe, liveable country to do? They may or may not have relatives here. If so they will be sheltered on arrival, and either way they know there’s not much enforcement once you get past the border. You don’t have to be a felon or potential bad neighbor to “cheat” your way in. Of course enforcement, like making it impossible for illegals to work legally, will make sure that a proportion of them will seek a living by other means. People being sucked down society’s plug-hole are likely to behave in unpleasant ways. Do you want us to have more enforcement, like immigration cops busting desperate illegals in the homes of their famillies, most of whom will likely be legal residents whose only crime is harboring a fugitive who is also a relative? That’s not the kind of country I want to live in.

2) The Bogeyman

The fellow who was a semi-official thug in another country is most likely here all legal and kosher. The government in his home country probably certified him as a sterling citizen, either because he’s an embarrassment or a liability at home and they’ll be glad to see his back, or because he’s STILL ON DUTY.

Don’t expect Canadian officials to investigate such. They don’t have the inclination or the resources.

I suggest making the whole process more public. During the period after you’re landed and before you’re a citizen any other resident should be able to challenge the immigrant’s status and present evidence. Who else but others from the same country would know, or care?

The converse of this case also happens: the immigrant who is in bad odor with the authorities in his home country. This can happen for a number of reasons, from legitimate to political to personal animus, and Canadian officialdom finds it the path of least effort to take it at face value.


The !sshole redneck beating up furriners actually has a point, a half-witted, half-#ssed point but a point. The guy from just in from Honduras may not be pumping gas, though the gas bar I used to patronize near Main & Great Northern Way was staffed by a rotating crew of new Canadians from West Africa.

The new immigrant will start out with the worst, most ill-paid jobs, but as soon as he learns his way around and a little English he”ll be clutching the next rung of the ladder, the same one Joe Redneck !sshole is precariously clinging to, And, the not-so-new immigrant likely has a functional, extended family that will support him, like (name redacted) with rent-free housing.

Result, Joe A’Hole R CAN’T COMPETE. And there’s no effective enforcement, and neither W nor PM the PM are going to do anything about it because the way it is their business buddies get work done on the cheap by illegals who don’t need no stinkin benefits or safety standards, and their business buddy’s wives get their kids raised by overqualified Filipinas working for sub-minimum wages. If it’s PM’s business buddies the Filipina in question is an indentured semi-slave in the country legally under a special programme – ain’t that sweet!

Joe AHR has more of a problem with W and PM2 than they have with greaser wetbacks, but the big boys are far away and well protected and the illegals are near and vulnerable.

Allegra’s comments on the foregoing…. I like the idea of presenting evidence during the landed period. If people feel strongly enough about it, they can publicly protest. I wonder if anything like this is on the books already and not being used?

Entertaining synchronicity
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

When I called Sandy last night, we both had gouda cheese in our mouths. What are the odds? She’s looking for a place to board her cats for the winter so she can consider what she’ll be when she grows up. Gosh, now that I’m not sure I’m supposed to be a comedian, I have no idea what I’m supposed to be. It’s a good thing I know the chorus to Nate Bucklin’s “Preposterous”. “When I grow up I’m going to be prePOSterous! PrePOSterous is what I’m gonna be, two three four, one two KICK.”

I’ve been reading Greek philosophers
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

Epictetus sez:

When a raven croaks with evil omen, let not the impression carry you away, but straightway distinguish in your own mind and say, “These portents mean nothing to me, but only to my bit of a body or my bit of property or name, or my children or my wife. But for me all omens are favourable if I will, for, whatever the issue may be, it is in my power to get benefit therefrom.”

Further along, he also says,

Do you wish to win at Olympia? So do I, by the gods, for it is a fine thing. But consider the first steps in it, and the consequences, and so lay your hand to the work. You must submit to discipline, eat to order, touch no sweets, train under compulsion, at a fixed hour, in heat and cold, drink no cold water, nor wine, except by order; you must hand yourself over completely to your trainer as you would to a physician, and then when the contest comes you must risk getting hacked, and sometimes dislocate your hand, twist your ankle, swallow plenty of sand, sometimes get a flogging, and with all this, suffer defeat.

Don’t ask her to scratch your back
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

A baby Aardvark from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha NE.

Katrina body count
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

It’s complicated. It’s also a tragedy for families needing closure.,0,5171979.story?coll=la-home-nation

For all you jugglers
2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

This picture, which was taken by Martin Waugh and stolen from his Liquid Sculpture site, was entitled “The Amazing Juggling Nipple” and is in the … yeah, “Pournography” section. It’s amazing how something can be beautiful and sensuous and just plain creepy, all at the same time. It’s water, possibly with some gelatin added.

Terasen Q&A
2005-10-02— Posted by: allegra

I feel much better now; everybody go back to sleep.

They don’t expect any jobs to be lost. The Head Office of the merged company will be in Houston. They don’t mention anything about the environment or safety, just that the bill you get will look the same and your rates won’t go up. And if you read the Kinder Morgan documents on the site, all they talk about is securing the energy requirements of the US. Mission Accomplished, Baybee.

I am still going to make a submission, but folks, this is a done deal. The sale will go through. Look at the verbs that all the principals are using to describe the sale…. it has already happened. Even though the Terasen shareholders have not approved it, and won’t until October 30th.

enough sleep
2005-10-02— Posted by: allegra

Connect the dots
2005-10-02— Posted by: allegra

Then consider the following:

Which is the cleaned up, PC version of

The Aryan Nations website is worth seeing, if only for one of the funniest typos I have seen lately. (Their ‘religious’ leader is referred to as a Chaplin… Adolf Heinkel anybody?) Also, could somebody who reads Arabic translate the line of Arabic at the top of the website? You kin always tell them cheap assed racists, they don’t spell check. If you can’t stand the idea of having a record on your computer that you visited a racist website, stay away from both of the websites after the CNN story on the migrant worker killings in Georgia.

Just so you know; there is a substantial and growing portion of the “white” (I prefer “pink” – it’s more accurate) voting population in the US that doesn’t hate George W. Bush for anything except his immigration stand. Why, will paint Hillary Clinton, Satan’s favorite lesbian! in a warm golden light if she gets up on her hind legs and says US immigation laws should be more vigorously enforced. And frankly, after talking to a LOT of people who migrated legally to Canada, they would really like it if we started enforcing the immigration laws in the Great White North, too. There’s nothing like walking through Metrotown and coming face to face with a Hizbollah thug who used to terrorize your neighborhood to make a legal immigrant want tighter restrictions on entry into Canada. As my Muslim buddy at work has frequently said, it’s NOT about race or creed. It’s whether you meet the criteria to get into Canada in the first place; and then, once you’re here, whether you will assimilate to the point you support the legal and cultural framework of the country; whether you will be a good neighbour, educate your children, and refrain from sending money overseas to support civil wars and drug smuggling and genocide. He fully supports the notion that people caught doing something illegal before they get their citizenship should be stuck on a plane within hours of being convicted, and given the right to appeal the conviction and the deportation from overseas. (But what about the people wrongfully convicted on tainted testimony? that’s a poser. Justice ain’t simple. I still want to stick them on a plane, though. If life is game, gotta have enforceable rules.)

And after citizenship is granted? Revoking citizenship is a serious thing. How about you have to leave your passport with the cops for five years until you’ve demonstrated you can stay out of trouble? The cops would hate it. I kinda like the idea. Mind you, with all the scams in the Canadian consulates going on, I mean, you can BUY a passport that was issued by the Canadian government for something like 10K US, maybe handing over your passport wouldn’t be much a deterrant for a world class scumbag anyway. Just a cost of doing business, folks.

To loop back to connecting the dots. Immigration laws in the US are not being enforced. Migrants, legal or illegal, especially Spanish speaking migrants, are subject to harassment to the point of injury and death by folks who were too stupid, diseased, mentally unstable or drug addled to get into the American military, which these days (holy cow, read the Vanity Fair article on military recruiting from a couple of months ago) is going some. And the people they are beating to death are doing work that these white guys wouldn’t do anyway!!!!! That’s the part that blows me away. If the illegal immigrants were pumping gas, that would be one thing. But they’re working suckering tobacco, the meanest job in farming, or up on rickety ladders picking peaches, or working 14 hours a day as domestics. None of these guys would dirty their hands with these jobs, so why the animosity??? The political and social climate in some parts of the US is allowing the perps to get away with it, for the time being; but for every good ol boy who gets caught because he was stupid enough to keep his forensically interesting baseball bat in the trunk of his plate expired vehicle, there will be bunches more. Like dragon’s teeth. The morons keep marching. And, if you scrape off what I’m saying to what I’m saying underneath, there’s a very big inconsistency that I am wrestling with. If countries shouldn’t exist, why should an economic or political migrant bother me? And the answer is very simple, and very selfish. I prefer good neighbors to bad ones. If they cheat their way in….

Note on spelling. After due consideration, I generally drop the u in ‘our’ words. This is in part an effort to standardize my outbound emails to American customers in my work environment and in part because I believe that written English is in drastic need of radical reform; I’m only chewing at one end of it. Although, I must admit, when I hear Katie said “supposably” for “supposedly” it’s hard to believe that Shakespeare is in my living room gaily improving English.

Rabid gun fans rejoice
2005-10-02— Posted by: allegra

Here’s another sign our government is run by wretched incompetents with the gumption of a gunnysack full of lupins.

Link forwarded by Sandy.

The whole hole
2005-10-01— Posted by: allegra

I would be remiss if I did not catalogue Paul’s labors over the last few days. Here’s the Hellacious Hole of Horror. (We had to expose the sewer pipe to put in a cleanout as otherwise you can’t get a snake out to the street.)

How many signs of the Apocalypse….
2005-10-01— Posted by: allegra

Can you fit in one blog…?

Pic was taken leaving Brooklyn, September 15, credit AP, and thanks to Cousin Gerald again for providing the actual pic as I looked everywhere on the net and couldn’t find it until he emailed it to me.

Burt Bacharach is dropping an album into the public consciousness on November 1st. Phat beats on three tracks are supplied by Dr. Dre. Now, normally, anybody who knows who Burt Bacharach is won’t know who the hell Dr. Dre is and vice versa. AND to complete the trifecta of weirdness, Elvis Costello also sings on the album; Rufus Wainwright is the lilac maraschino on top. It’s kinda indescribable how I feel about this; I am a very big fan of Burt Bacharach as he is a complete master of the ‘tunes people can hum’ school of songwriting. My dear old dad will never forgive him for “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, though, as one of his coworkers sang the first line over and over and over again until the notorious D.O.D. almost snapped a chain and throttled him, so his music has a dark side, I admit. But I think I’m going to buy the album, because Burt Bacharach doing a collaborative album that is entirely protest songs about George W. Bush is too good to miss out on.

Off to visit Glenda as soon as I press send on this.

Paul is finally asleep downstairs; the green tea at supper and Serenity on top of it made him too wired to sleep when he came home.

Walked around downtown New Westminster and the leaves falling off the trees lining Columbia were an amazing visual; also the fluffy cu’s mushrooming up (and occasionally spitting on us) were very pretty.

Looking forward to seeing Colin H tomorrow. Have to figure out where the best brunch is.

I am working on my presentation to the regulatory authorities about Kinder Morgan’s proposed acquisition of Terasen Gas. Read Kinder Morgan’s press release on the subject if you want to lose your lunch. Also, a great Google search dodge from Lifehacker yesterday… add “Database” to a search and you’ll be amazed how different your search results are.

Did you know Kinder Morgan nearly killed a couple of thousand people in a pipeline breach? These are the folks we’re inviting into the pipeline business in Canada. Did you know that both of the founders are cronies of and big donors to George W. Bush? Feeling better already, aren’t you? Deep and heavy sigh.

Give me a hand
2005-10-01— Posted by: allegra

Hand belongs to a nice little boy in India named Devender Harne. He has a galloping case of polydactyly, and it doesn’t bother him.

Colin H is in town. We think of him often, and I’m not allowed to say why. We will be brunching with him Sunday.

Glenda did go home from hospital for a while but she’s back in, and I’m going to go see her tomorrow.

Just got in from Serenity. It’s a wonderful movie, I am so happy. Go see it; it’s genre bending and loads of fun.