january 2006 last half

2006-01-31— Posted by: allegra

Keith got called back – apparently they told him he showed more talent (he made cinnamon buns) in the talent demonstration than any of the other candidates, so now my son is actually going to be working on getting a trade, woo hoo!!!! My son the baker. Okay, he hasn’t actually done his first day of work, and he hasn’t called me to tell me (I learned second hand from Katie) but still woooo hooo!!!!

enough sleep
2006-01-31— Posted by: allegra

There’s been a lot of unhappiness in the press about the ‘tipping point’ in global climate change, that there has been an abrupt jump in the C02 levels, and that we’re now in the doom and gloom scenario. Well, I’ve done doom and gloom. Now I just figure that the Correction is going to happen, and that sensible people will be ready to move to where they can grow food, wherever that turns out to be. People will continue having babies and getting in fights and starving and making music no matter how weird things get, and if we go extinct as a species, somewhere out there is a species that will actually get it right. So the odds, and science fiction, teach me. I’m gonna go extinct no matter what the fuck I do, and really, my job as an adult is to get used to that notion without letting it slow me down or depress me too much. And, since these days I’m getting enough sleep, that’s a lot easier. Paul is the absolute nicest nap partner in the universe with the possible exception of Keith when he was little (Katie was a little vigorous to be much fun – many’s the time she woke me up with a well placed fist to the face).

I figured out what’s wrong with me – at least I have an idea – and the cystoscopy at the end of February will prove or disprove my theory. It would explain everything and requires surgical repair, yuck and likewise gross, but what the hell, we and our works are a debt owed to nature, as a French philosophe once remarked. In the meantime, I’m managing, and I’m even managing not to be crabby, which is going some.

2006-01-31— Posted by: allegra

Carl Sagan invented a baloney kit. I am excerpting at length with comments….

The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

* Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts

This means, children, that you actually have to ask somebody else to do the fact checking, and then have the civility to thank them for it.

* Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

Again, it is astonishing how this is suPPosed to happen in science, and never happens in BUSiness, which is suPPosed to be scientific…. right.

* Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no “authorities”).

Now is the point where we’re all supposed to bust out laughin’, and never do.

* Spin more than one hypothesis – don’t simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty as charged. My besetting sin; my folly, my days of remorse. I don’t do this nearly enough.

* Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.

Big owie. Ow Ow Ow.

* Quantify, wherever possible.

…. and considerin’, gawdawmighty, I cain’t count to but three, and even then I get confounded of a time…..

* If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.

Aw, who can keep her mind on anything that steady? That’s just foolishness.

* “Occam’s razor” – if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

You may be dead, you manic sod of a self-publicist, but I’ll have to wrassle you over that one. Nothing in my whole fucking life would lead me to believe that’s true.

I’m just going to skip the next question, I don’t even want to deal with it. Additional issues are

* Conduct control experiments – especially “double blind” experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.

The drug companies don’t like that part.

* Check for confounding factors – separate the variables.

There’s that confounded word again. Wonder what it means?

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

Lot got snipped here.

* Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).

My mom is always beating me over the head and shoulders about that one. Oh, how she loathes sloppy thinking. Gets her right riled up and feisty, it does.

* Confusion of correlation and causation.

Allegra thinks “They go together, so one must be caused by.” Crap, pigeons could nest in my skull if the holes were any bigger.

enough sleep
2006-01-30— Posted by: allegra

Beautiful singing and playing at Tom and Peggy’s last night, after a stupendous pork roast meal. Happy sigh.

Moose dressage
2006-01-29— Posted by: allegra

It’s been ages since I posted a decent moose picture, so here one is.

We are having a quiet morning at home, Keith and Kate and I, and Paul has gone off to work. My day includes long tedious lists of life maintenance.

My health is much better; it’s not hurting anymore. I’m back to taking vitamins; I was on a long vitamin holiday but it seems like the only thing keeping the nastiness at bay is vitamins, including honking amounts of vitamin C. That plus exercises and ENOUGH SLEEP seems to be turning the tide. I read on Eurekalert.org that losing weight would help my ‘problem’. Okay, I’m convinced!

At some point early this afternoon Mike will turn up to grab Keith to help with the last of the hot tub move. Mike sent me an email a couple of days ago that made me laugh so hard I was stumped to think of when I last laughed harder; unfortunately, it is so cheerfully scatalogical and personal that I am not in a position to share it, or even turn it into stand up material.

Work on the comedy routine is proceeding very well. I am trying really hard to write all new material, and it’s working out so far. I just thought of a great tactic for Stephen Harper; tell the Yanks that they have to pay up for the softwood lumber up until Dec 31 2005 and THEN we’ll help them with their space wars. We’ll never collect, and we’ll never have to help them, and it will keep his constituency quiet, and make him look as tough as a frozen banana. How’s that for political astutitoodiness?

Keith is now level 21 in Warcrack. I mean, World of Warcraft. Or, just WoW.

Did I mention Katie dyed her hair black again?

Well, I guess it’s time to start shovelling out the bedroom and unpacking from my San Francisco trip. Sometimes things take a while. At least the living room is reasonably tidy – it’s great having people over once in a while.

I am really enjoying the new floors downstairs. It’s really wonderful to have things just be… clean. And fit to be kept that way.

Pleased and astonished
2006-01-29— Posted by: allegra

To my amazement, the phone cutover worked entirely slick. I could have been happier about my work load trebling (at least the number of phone calls sure as hell went up) but now if I have a particularly noxious or idiotic caller I can record the entire conversation.

Evil evil evil thoughts ensue.

Did a grocery shop. Didn’t get to the doctor. I’m actually feeling better and I’m pushing lots and lots of fluids, so it’s all good.

In brief
2006-01-27— Posted by: allegra

1. Keith’s interview went well; he’s back today for further tests.

2. New phone system at work today. I will provide a report later as to how many beers I have to drink to recover from same.

3. Chalice circle was held at my house last night; the topic was Ecological Spirituality, ably led by Rev Katie Stein Sather. New person was present! Nice guy named Dave who’s only been to church twice, which is more than me in the last six months, except to preach, of course.

4. Paul is home from Seattle. I can’t say how much I missed him. He is pleased by the flooring progress, as am I.

5. I am breaking down and seeing a doctor tonight, I’m simply in too much pain to function properly, but I’m not being crabby because it doesn’t help.

6. I purchased Carol’s pastel of the Ganymede Muskox, and stuck it in John’s bedroom just to mess with his head.

7. My cousin Vladimir sent me a pile of Russian music this week and it came all the way from Bratsk Siberia. It is MOLTO COOL! I am trying to recover from hearing a discopop version of Kalinka, but such is life.

8. Katie liked ALL the clothes I bought her in San Francisco and has worn them all to school.

9. I dreamed I necked with two of my male coworkers last night. One of them was a lot more fun than the other. (The first I’d file under “Creepy but fun”.) I walked up to coworker Number 2, who was lying on the grass in a park in San Francisco, and said, “I want to do 2 hours of bodywork on you and then **** your brains out” to which his response was a pleasant nod and “Sounds good to me”. Considering I NEVER dream about sex, or even necking, two coworkers in one night is just plain excessive, at best. The story gets better from here (no skin, just hilarity) but to preserve the dignity and privacy of my coworkers I’ll shut up now.

Keith has a job interview today
2006-01-26— Posted by: allegra

We are cautiously optimistic. It’s at a) a place he wants to work b) doing something that approaches right livelihood c) close by d) run by nice people e) doing something he’s actually done before, although on a much smaller scale. Hopefully both his charm and his work ethic will do the trick.

feeling somewhat better
2006-01-25— Posted by: allegra

The flooring guys are coming today, this time to do the laundry room and the spare downstairs bedroom. Paul is in Seattle. He was pleasantly surprised that there was one piece of house renovation that he didn’t have to be here to supervise. Considering how much effort he’s put in since the middle of November with coordinating and chasing down contractors, he has a right to get some time away from the gaping maw of the house.

Mike was over last night; I fed him and the kids sushi and then he helped me move all the crap out of the spare room into the front room. Goddess bless my amazing friends. I am still battling a variety of ailments but I have made the decision that I’m not going to be crabby. Chronic pain is a large chunk of getting older (and don’t give me this you can be old and healthy crap, no elderly person has tried to sell me on that line) and so you might as well haul out the ibuprofen and suck it up.

Crap, 8 am already – gotta run. Wonder when my package from Lehman’s will arrive.

Harper wins a minority government
2006-01-24— Posted by: allegra

Harper’s win had me on the kitchen floor in fetal position, clutching the last unopened beer and saying to myself, “Some good has to come of this, some good has to come of this.” And after I had cudgelled my alcohol raddled brains for a while, an evil thought percolated through the haze; for the next two years, or until this government falls, Quebeckers will be spitting out their coffee every morning to the rhythmic grunting of Harper’s sodomy of their language. The revenge of the West, indeed!

As for Harper, I must say I envy him. To get boobs that perky, I’d have to pay for them.

I think the picture I posted of Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper, back last summer, was somewhat prescient, don’t you?

Back from San Francisco
2006-01-23— Posted by: allegra

I really didn’t want to come home. I felt like, not just a tourist, but a hayseed with dung between my toes. And this orange ball yclept the sun was actually OUT and SHINING while I was there (not at night, of course). Not shown at any time:

The pot au chocolat with creme chantilly I had at Absinthe on Saturday night (ps, mOm, you would have DIED, although DAMN it was noisy in there);

ANY pictures of cable cars, that’s been done;

A picture of the hotel or the room, like who the hell cares;

A picture of City Lights Bookstore, founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953 and one of the last bastions of the independent book east of Rivendell and west of the sea – yes, I spent money there, and why not, it was blocks from the hotel;

The woman who blocked the tramcar with her BMW sport ute, while wearing something that I can only describe as the first prize costume in perpetuity for all Pimp’n’Ho Dances, wheresoever located;

Hunan Home’s (that’s what the sign says) where I ate a splendid Hunan style meal right in San Francisco’s amazing Chinatown;

the store where I bought gifts for Katie, except she didn’t come home, the little weiner, so I stuck all the gifts in the garage;

Fisherman’s Whart, typo deliberate – what a freaking zoo – but I went down there because my uncle Gar said I should, and I agree, but I blew my feet out and had to head back;

the Joe 8 in San Bruno where I ate a late breakfast on Saturday (portion size = twice what you’d get in a Canadian restaurant.)

Do we do anything better here than there? Why yes! Skytrain is MUCH QUIETER than BART. There were times when I wanted to lie on the floor convulsing with my hands to my ears.

So I’m probably going back in February with Keith. Stay tuned.

This one’s for Mike
2006-01-23— Posted by: allegra

The first picture I took
2006-01-23— Posted by: allegra

Cropped, of course. Note how, whatever the heck got tossed at it has turned, through the magic of oxidation, into a San Francisco palm tree. This was about three blocks from the hotel.

2006-01-23— Posted by: allegra


Scroll down until you get to the video, then download and play it. It’s so weird, and SO beautiful.

sitting at YVR
2006-01-21— Posted by: allegra

I’m in the departure lounge at gate 73 at Vancouver Airport. The weather in San Francisco bit bags earlier today, and now the consequences of having to shut two runways at this busy airport are rippling through the system. Once again I had meshuggas with Customs; my legal name and the name I use – the one on my blog, fer cry eye – which Paul registered me under for the flight – are 2 different surnames. Only the fact that my first name is so unusual and I had the presence of mind to bring my work photo ID with me got me past the check in. That plus Mr. Roberts (his real name) didn’t even validate my ticket against my ID. I have purchased myself a little taste of home, having gone to Timmy Ho’s across the way, and now I’m going to think peaceful thoughts, like hoping that all the flight delays aren’t going to cause a bunch of paying passengers to ripple onto this flight. Because, folks, if I don’t get on this one, I’m jumping on a bus and going home. God, this isn’t a toasted bagel; they showed it a picture of a campfire and called it square. I was so agitated last night as I was packing that as a displacement activity I did some more work on my routine for the 11th of February. I’m walking up and down in the bedroom, talking to myself. Good thing the kids were out, they think I’m crazy enough as it is, and Dr. Filk had Buffy up so loud he wouldn’t have heard an axe murder in the next room. Well my time here is about up. If I don’t get on the flight I’ll come back and blog my sorrows. Wish me luck.

It’s snowing
2006-01-20— Posted by: allegra

I don’t think it will be snowing in San Francisco. I’ve had to endure comments about leaving body parts there; suffice it to say I don’t plan to.

Finally finished the sheet music for one lousy song. It’s freaking hard when you don’t read music!! I stuck it in an envelope and mailed to my archivist, otherwise known as my Mom. PS, it’s a short one, only four lines long. But I said a song a week and I’m already two weeks behind!!!

Loki the Squirrel Monkey
2006-01-20— Posted by: allegra

His mom died. He’s being hand reared at Taronga Zoo in Australia. Credit AP. Apparently he matches his name to a T. I find his choice of stuffed animal (or transitional comfort object, as it is stuffily known) rather odd.

by way of apology
2006-01-20— Posted by: allegra

For those of you who are grossed out by BUGS, here’s the CUTEST BUNNY PICTURE EVARRRRR!!! Be doubly warned, you’ll spray your coffee and then go AWWWWW!


gorgeous photos
2006-01-20— Posted by: allegra

They are all copyrighted, so I’ll play nice and just post the link. http://www.kennanward.com/newstore/notecards/

Ed – not exactly as shown.
2006-01-19— Posted by: allegra

Edward Scissorhands
2006-01-19— Posted by: allegra

Edward Scissorhands was the name of a pseudoscorpion I had as a pet for about a month when I was living in Montreal. He came home on some groceries. Even though he was only half a centimetre long, he had lots of personality, and the first time I saw him I jumped back because he waved his forelegs at me and SCARED ME. How can something I could eat without noticing scare me? Look at the bloody picture! I loved him as much as I’ve ever loved a pet, because HE ATE BABY COCKROACHES. I had never met anything that ate cockroaches before. Then, one day, I made the mistake of putting a spider the same size as Ed in his habitat. There was an epic battle, which I’m happy I didn’t witness, and Ed was dead.

The morning
2006-01-19— Posted by: allegra

Keith is packing his lunch, Katie is memorizing Shakespeare, Paul is preparing to pick up the car from the Krankenhaus, and I’m about to go off to work by bus. Watched about one third each of Reservoir Dogs and Liar Liar last night; couldn’t hack the media and toddled off to bed. We’re all coughing and stuffed up – I am not looking forward to flying Saturday morning. Ach, look at the time, must fly. Oh, oh… forgot to mention that John now has a proper floor in his apartment downstairs. It looks great.

Cheesy goodness
2006-01-18— Posted by: allegra


Lying awake at 2:39
2006-01-18— Posted by: allegra

It’s now 5:40 – I got up around 4 after lying awake listening to Paul breathe for a while. I had a wonderful dream, that I had just washed a whole bunch of new used dresses (it’s been ages since I bought new clothes) and I was hanging them to dry in the alcove of a house set in the forest, and the light was coming through the clothes; one of them was an pale orange and brown batik dress of an Indian goddess; another was a cotton and lycra dress in blue and white with an interesting pattern on the sleeves. The alcove was separated from the rest of the house by a gauzy curtain, and I lifted it and found two pairs of green shoes that looked like Dorothy’s red shoes from Oz – but green. I noted that the sparkles were starting to fall off. It was a very beautiful dream; the mood was very calm. The night before I dreamed that I went to the States and bought Paul a very nice blue tie with silver aviation related patterns on it.

While I was lying in bed I remembered another song – I’ve logged it in my song list and wrote out the lyrics. I’m now up to 84 songs, and another ten fragments and instrumental songs. Wild. This is going to take bloody EVar to finish even though I am working on it every day.

Paul Martin showed up here today
2006-01-17— Posted by: allegra

Jumping Jimmy Christmas! Paul Martin is downstairs speechifying even as I type this (I’m not actually ‘at work’ yet for another 7 minutes). There’s a total media circus happening and I sourly said to the receptionist as I came in the front door “Who spontaneously combusted?” which got a chuckle out of her. She, of course, can’t do her job when 10,000 media yobs are all clicking and clacking.

Just so you know – he’s not my favorite guy.

This is now the third time this building has been used as a, um, backdrop for political purposes. Where is the love? Where is the lube? And what is this doing for the stock price?

The sermonator returns
2006-01-17— Posted by: allegra

So I did the sermon, and it went over very well, and then I did a LOT of driving in the rain, including the Malahat, which was soggy soggy soggy, and I thank my uncle Barry and auntie Jackie for a lovely visit.

It was nice to see uncle Garry as well.

Hey Lexi if you read this I need to talk to you about the gun course…………


January 2006 first half

Look what else I found
2006-01-15— Posted by: allegra

Man, there’s nothing I like better than checking out what people have on their hard drives. Look what else I found! Isn’t amazing how much Martin Landau really DOES look like Bela Lugosi? Anyway, this is a lobby card from one of my all time favourite movies when I was a kid. Hey, I don’t HAVE to have good taste, it just comes natural.

Cough, cough choke
2006-01-15— Posted by: allegra

I am still feeling grim, but not so grim that I won’t be able to stand up in the church and do the thang this afternoon. The picture is something poached off my mom’s hard drive; sort of fits in with my emotions.

Off to Victoria
2006-01-14— Posted by: allegra

Paul’s going to drop me off at the ferry this morning and then I’m going to hang with the folks for a day, and then drive up to Courtenay to give my talk on Epistemology, and then hang with the folks up there for a day, and then head home.

There is the strong possibility I will finally get to go to California next weekend but I haven’t booked my flights yet. More on that later!

Everybody here is just ducky, except me… I’m STILL coughing. Most unhappy making as I don’t want to share this horrible cough with anybody, but I have a commitment. I’m also hoping to see Pagan and Eric and their sprog while I’m in Courtenay; we’ll see how much time anybody has to do anything. And I’m taking Tom’s blackberry jelly to my dad! Nothing could make him happier…

The Sermonator
2006-01-14— Posted by: allegra

Randy at work says I am the Sermonator. “Hear me now, und undershtand me later!”

Mt. Augustine go boom
2006-01-13— Posted by: allegra

sQUEAL the love
2006-01-13— Posted by: allegra

Leftover Marzipan
2006-01-13— Posted by: allegra

What a sweet little baby! And good enough to eat…. being made of marzipan.

stretcher cases
2006-01-13— Posted by: allegra

So, Air Canada, in an ongoing effort to make the universe completely suck, is NO LONGER taking stretcher cases. If you are sick and want to go to point a to point b with an attendant, Air Canada will politely refer you to a private air ambulance. Ka ching.

Road trip! I’m off to Comox/Courtenay tomorrow. Relatives! Highways! Sermons! Can this poor ticker stand the excitement?

Now that I’m counting up all of my songs, the damnedest things are happening. Paul said, “Oh, I have the lyrics for a song you haven’t written down in my Palm Pilot.” I looked at it. I don’t recognize it. (It’s called “A Passage to Atlantis” or “The Best of All Possible Worlds”). It’s obviously mine, I have a number of stylistic tics that are quite jarring, but a) I have no recollection of writing it and b) Paul casually told me that there was a tune to go with it. This would be like, a year or two ago. Which horrifies me. I have no idea what it might be. It’s going in the orphan pile, I guess. The song I wrote the day Glenda died, which includes, eerily enough, the words “Well I wish that I knew when we would meet on earth again,” was NOT in the pile, so there you go, a song I wrote less than two months ago vanished until I started humming it to myself the other day, at which point I sat up and went, Hey, wait a minute! Also, my song “F*ck you Jack” hadn’t made it into the pile, and that one has two verses and a chorus, so it’s a real song. I even remember where I was when I composed that one; you know the stretch of the connector that leads up to New Westminster, and goes around an S curve through a little marshy bit where there is quite frequently a great blue heron? There. That’s where I started working on it. It’s a very lovely song, with sentiments that will be meaningful and heartwarming to any person over 40.

Maybe I should just write a song a day to make up for my stupidity. I’ll start with a rousing chorus of “Creature with the Atom Brain” and take it from there. Then I should probably write a song called, “Taking Down my Festive Lights in June” closely followed by “Illegal Fireworks” and “Santa’s going to bring me a dishwasher or you’ll be nookie free this year.” After all, there are a lot of comfortably off elderly songwriters who got that way writing a ‘New Christmas Classic’ (most of which, if you look at the copyrights, were written in the 50s). So all I need to do to have a gleeful life is write a song about some form of sporting endeavour (after all, nobody’s playing Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll any more in the arenas since he got himself pinched for mucosal merriment with minors, so there’s an opening!), or a Halloween or Christmas song, and I can retire and leave this life of crime. Because, Some Big Kick Ass Deity, I’m telling you, if it gets any worse at work I’m going to have to break my silence and start naming names; work is definitely sliding into my definition of criminal these days.

enough sleep
2006-01-12— Posted by: allegra

Bus stations are the same everywhere
2006-01-12— Posted by: allegra

U can’t sleep here. This is from Tori’s trip pictures…..somewhere in the UK.

Which way to the bookstore?
2006-01-12— Posted by: allegra

This sea lion swam out of Elliott Bay in Seattle, humped its way on top of a car (a hybrid car) and said, “Ork, ork, ork, rrrr-orrrk, ork!?” which means, “Which way to Elliott Bay Bookstore? I promised I’d meet somebody there in the cafe downstairs….”

Call in sick today! Your bed misses you.
2006-01-12— Posted by: allegra

So Keith has been coughing and looking and feeling horrible, and last night around bed time he said, I’ll see if I feel like going in to work tomorrow. Paul and I both said, why don’t you call in sick NOW and then you can sleep in!

He sez, “I can do that?”

So he calls in sick. What I heard, “Hi, it’s Keith; feel like ratshit, so I won’t be coming in on Thursday.”

What he REALLY said was, “Hi, it’s Keith, I feel wretched, so I won’t be coming in on Thursday.”

Then I hear Paul say, in his proud voice, “Very professional!” at which point the top of my head caved in. I think I’m slowly going deaf…. it does run in the family.

You have no idea how lucky you are!
2006-01-11— Posted by: allegra

Self esteem is a dangerous commodity.

Keith made a delicious supper last night.

Kira has learned how to head butt my nose while I’m sound asleep. My nose has been bleeding off and on all morning. You see, I tried to train her to kiss me, but she’s skated over to “Danish style kiss” land; either that or she’s taking her responsibilities as ninja kitty (after all, I DID see her climb a wall while chasing prey one time) a leedle too seriously. I just wanted a little romantic kitty kiss, and now my nose is ****ing broken.

You can all be very happy I didn’t cross post a picture of that kitten that was born with only one eye. Google Cyclops kitten if you want to see the picture. I thought it was the most Harryhausen thing I ever clapped my eye on, so to speak.

Happy happy
2006-01-10— Posted by: allegra

I am so so happy. Keith has been awarded his blue belt in Shitoryu Karate. A mother’s heart is filled with joy.

Up in the air, junior soccer moms
2006-01-10— Posted by: allegra

This is why you’re not supposed to back over a fire hydrant.

Up in the air, junior soccer moms
2006-01-10— Posted by: allegra

This is why you’re not supposed to back over a fire hydrant.

2006-01-09— Posted by: allegra

I continue to be the snerkiest girl in town, with added phlegm.

one more cute cat pic
2006-01-09— Posted by: allegra

Credit David Caird.

This is Pauly
2006-01-09— Posted by: allegra

This feline is very intelligent, and while being looked after by Brother James in Kanata, participated in a Trivial Pursuit game, as shown. James informs me she did well in all the cat-egories.

The CAT has plush fur
2006-01-08— Posted by: allegra

not Jackie. You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best.

sick sick sick and tired
2006-01-08— Posted by: allegra

I am still sick, but likely will be at work tomorrow; what a horrible thought……. for all the people listening to me coughing up Smurfs.

I have now transcribed most of “Not Afraid to Believe” and about half of “The Tapioca Song”. I am definitely getting faster at transcribing the songs but it’s bloody hard work figuring it out.

Lexi sent me the chords for “Family” which we are hoping to sing at the family reunion.

Mummy reports that my father is “Humming and whistling a lot”. Anybody who knows my dad will know how to interpret this news. All I can say is “Goddess bless the surgeons of BC!”

Hope you all have a much better weekend than me. I think I need to eat some vegetables or something.

Pic is of my aunt Jackie’s cat. She has very very plush fur.

2006-01-08— Posted by: allegra

Whiskers, what HAVE you been drinking? This is Leo and Linda’s cat, and I find the presence of a Glenfiddich bottle somewhat concerning….

enough sleep
2006-01-07— Posted by: allegra

I’m still sick but I feel reasonably cheerful. I just have to get rid of it before I go to the island as I don’t want to give this crud to all my relations. Puddled with Tom and Peggy last night; every time I tried to swim I’d cough, and every time I’d get in the hot tub or the kiddie pool, I’d stop, so I have to say I only did 4 lengths.

Keith got up, looked at my stranglehold on the computer and went straight to Buffy season 4.

Went to parent teacher night Thursday. Katie’s attendance was perfect up until Wednesday of last week and her marks are high B’s although the teachers said that she wasn’t stufying hard enough for the exam.

This is a truly disgusting website
2006-01-06— Posted by: allegra


Pinched from Tom Smith’s Live Journal.

Have fun.
2006-01-06— Posted by: allegra


Live, Archie McPhee’s is one of the most exhilarating and disorienting places on the planet. The clerks name their office supplies after minor celebrities – the stapler was “Abe Vigoda”.

Life with a cold
2006-01-05— Posted by: allegra

I’m making little snorking noises, which is not overfilling my ocean of charm, because I have a bit of a chest cold. However I forgot all about it last night whilst enjoying Mike and Tori’s hospitality. Tori had spent the day stuffing and unstuffing suitcases and quelling anxiety about her trip… she will be studying art in Glasgow for three months. Mike is really not looking forward to her departure, but if he can he’ll visit her, and if he doesn’t well there will be a rapturous reunion come April.

There is another hot tub move scheduled, or I should say, unscheduled, soon. If anybody reading this has a spot for an 8 person hot tub, they should call me… I know better than to ask Paul about it, nyuk nyuk.

The joys of work will soon be manifested in a performance review, followed by a salary adjustment, effective April 1. What the fff? I mean, it will be the same as every other performance review I’ve ever had, “You work okay, but you need to watch those volcanic emails and quit picking your nose.” And then there will be a raise that just barely hides inflation under its skirt, if I’m lucky. Fortunately, I believe that I am actually making a decent wage for the work I do. I haven’t even had a job description that clove to some version of reality in four years; it’s like asking Insane Clown Posse performing Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring on kazoos and a toy piano to get serious.

Eminem’s getting married again. This is probably going to make one of my coworkers very unhappy; she was referring to herself as Mrs. Mathers up until recently.

Jim E really liked his hopping lederhosen; my bracelets seem to be going over very well too – SLOTH and LUST in attractive colors.

Well, time to throw on some laundry and push a few items into files.

Pic is to remind you of summer, photo credit Katie.

Yet another apocalyptic sign
2006-01-05— Posted by: allegra

Indigo Girls Power of Two as background muzak for Canadian Tire French Language Customer Support?

A great pic
2006-01-04— Posted by: allegra

This is from Brooke’s blog. I had to cross post it. I am in Su Doku ville myself, so a cat, the Georgia Straight and …. Su Doku. It’s the Sunday morning trifecta in the middle of a Wednesday. Cat is called Suzie, and she has issues.

enough sleep
2006-01-04— Posted by: allegra

I had a very busy day at work and then a happy trek to the urologist; I’m scheduled to have a cystoscopy at the end of February. Man, the older you get, the more you have to look forward to.

I have also, like a frikking idiot, signed up for a stand up comedy contest for the 11th of February. Since it’s five bucks for non-contestants to get in I’m not expecting anybody to come out, but anybody who is interested can email me for details.

I’m off to see Mike and Tori tonight as she is heading to Glasgow for 3 months and I won’t be seeing her 🙁 for that long.

Now off to work. Heaving, shuddering sighs, bitter bitter tears.

Back to Work, Heavy Sigh
2006-01-03— Posted by: allegra

Bought Hopping Lederhosen for Jim E at work. If you see a gift that must be purchased, you must purchase it. I bought a wind up pig with special snout action for my mother (mother dear it may be a while before I pack it up and ship it…). Archie McPhee’s in Seattle is a bloody dangerous place. Also picked up two bracelets (Lust and Sloth), a bunch of books, mostly about writing (the 20 plots and how to do them and how to name characters, which was really useful). Our trip to Seattle was an unqualified success and now I want a waterbed. The pilot light blew out while we were gone and Katie nearly froze to death, but sanity and heat have been restored. Okay, heat. ATE a LOT of restaurant food and chazerei. But that’s enough about me… Happy New Year and All That.

happy new year
2006-01-01— Posted by: allegra

Celebrated the New Year by listening to fireworks, a brief storm of rain, and dreaming one quarter of a new Firefly episode in which Badger attempts to convince Mal to smuggle, well, illegal drugs. Don’t wanna go there.

Keith just found a care bear to play World o Warcraft with, so now I have to get off the computer. Oh, one last thing. My friends, my extremely superior friends, have bought me a massage for today. Heavy sigh. Then, bookstores, or the Sci Fi Museum. And the coffee is divine.

This here is Bob
2006-01-01— Posted by: allegra

Made it okay to Seattle after a little meshuggas at the border. We actually got Paul back into Canada with no papers, if you can believe it… then went back to the house to collect his wallet. You may infer something of his level of excitement about this trip from this extremely unusual (like in 25 years, never) lapse of memory.

Keith wheedled Alan into allowing World of Warcraft onto his computer – needless to say he is massively enjoying the immense amounts of graphics crunchiness involved.

Had a lovely lunch, met Lauryn and Loren and Hank (and promptly fell into the usual fannish game of My Anecdote has LARGER Explosions than Your Anecdote, and is Markedly Funnier TOOO). Lauryn, dear mama, is the gal who made the handbag from the material I posted a picture of some weeks ago. The Family Pancake House was really fun. I am staring in despair at surroundsound bookshelves, all of which are bursting with Books I have Heard Of, Books I have Heard of And Wish To Immediately Read, and Books that I have Never Heard of and are Kind Of Scary. Suffice it to say that if you are a mystery, horror or scifi fan this place is a lot like waking up in the vastly improved version of the next world; you know, like a heaven god forgot to visit. Paul improved the shining hour by applying his craftiness to the plumbing… I am working on my second beer, so my attention to plumbing is of a somewhat different, although equally utilitarian, order.

There’s going to be an Alien Place Setting contest at the LA Worldcon. Sort of a Keith Laumer / Judy Chicago mashup. Ah right. I hear DVDish noises from the sunken livingroom. (I am a child of the sixties; I still think sunken livingrooms are the ne plus ultra of architectural cool.

The car ran great for the trip down.

Janice gave me a CD of Gershwin music, squee.

Joss Whedon says that when the tv executives get hard up for ideas, they can go back to England and try a “Deadwood” on for size. “Like Jane Austen with Tourette’s” he remarks, and apologies for all the folks out there with Tourette’s. Always figured I had a subclinical case of Tourette’s – I simply CAN’T stop swearing, no matter How Hard I Try.

Alan owns this computer, and he’s vulching (to vulch, make like a vulture) so, I’m outta here….. More later, dearest mama.


a little bit of january 2007

Corrections, and a little blue dot
2007-01-07— Posted by: allegra

Katie DID SO tell me she was spending the night out, I just didn’t see the note until after I blogged. Also, psot is actually post.


The above noted URL will not come as a surprise to any thinking person, but it’s a good reminder, anyway, and ties in very nicely with church this morning.

At church this morning I cut up pineapples and lit a candle for sorrow that Paul and I are breaking up and wished they could run through new songs at least once before those of us who can’t read music had to sing them.

Lawyers say, “Don’t hire lawyers!”
2007-01-07— Posted by: allegra

Two boring paragraphs about marital breakdown removed, thanks be to the blessed Virgin.

Went swimming last night. If I had the courage, I’d take a picture of how my hair looks right now… I went to bed with my hair wet. It’s quite wild, really.

No children in the house. Katie didn’t come home and didn’t call, and Keith is off with the grands in Victoria, having sworn he’d make up the time he missed with the family over Christmas Eve.

Big shout out to the people who have listened to my whining over the last few days. I’ll try to shut up now, and remember I’m not the only person in the world with troubles.

There will be a chocolate fountain at church today. Attendance, while certainly not mandatory, seems advisable.

It’s been Bally Ages since I posted a moose pic
2007-01-07— Posted by: allegra

This is a moose in a blindfold. Her ass is in a sling. She is flying, flying, in a sling, blindfolded. She is being airlifted someplace. See the moose swing. See the moose bawl for Gravol. See moose lose lunch, then breakfast, then that big mistake of a midnight moosesnack.

Poor moose.

Sundry & various
2007-01-06— Posted by: allegra

I was talking to Paul and I said, “So if you and I had had a baby girl who was never going to mature mentally, do you suppose we would have had surgery done on her to keep her small?”

Paul looked disgusted and said no. Both of us figure we might be tempted, and we are trying to be sympathetic to the parents of that young girl in Seattle who’s been modded so extremely, but no. Me neither. Yeesh.

I note from the news that the right wing extremists have been handed a headline so wonderful, so apropos of their deepest fears, that it’s really quite remarkable. The first baby born in New York in 2007 was eligible for loadso dough and then, KACHING, not so much. Because, alas, her parents were ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Yoink! They breed like …. well, really fecund mammals, you know.

Sometimes duct tape doesn’t cut it.
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

Bob get some tape.

More on the BC Place collapse.

Just for fun
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra


The roof at BC Place just collapsed
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

This isn’t a great picture, but the weather here kinda sucks right now. You can sorta see that the roof is flat rather than domed.

2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

Marilyn Manson and Dita von Teese are getting a divorce. No word on who gets custody of the dogs and cats.

From Wired, from Fanpop
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

The Tree Climbing Goats of Morocco………

From Wired, from Fanpop
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

The Tree Climbing Goats of Morocco………

Meet Madagascar’s newest critter
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

This is a sucker footed bat Myzopoda schliemanni. Isn’t it adorable? I want one.

recursive blogging thoughts
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra


Gosh, I thought my blogging was self-indulgent claptrap, with a side of funny pictures, and then I read Bruce Sterling’s blog. He specifically references two links which made my breakfast sit funny.

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2007-01-02-lovink-en.html is the one that made me very very depressed.

From Bill Knott’s New Years Day Blog:

Once they get to a certain age, poets should be put to sleep; I don't mean all poets, not real poets, successful poets: but poets like me, second-raters, third-raters, run of the mill whether SOQ hack like me or superannuated avant, we should get it in the neck.

I know that poetry and depression go together; In my opinion Bill was either asking for an intervention or just expressing his feelings. And feelings come and go. Very few people stay in the same zone of feeling all the time; I suppose yogis and lamas and professional sportscasters have it, but I don’t meet people like that every day. When I run into writers and artists who express feelings like that (words fail, I feel like a failure, I’ve lost my edge), I think about Emily Dickinson. When she couldn’t write poems – for whatever reason – she baked biscuits. Creativity in its rawest form is the refinement of craft. Everything you need is already there, and it’s assembled in a new way, with a new message, pointing at a new star, revealing a new world; expounding new laws; craft just reassembles the old stuff the same old way, with the beauty of individual expression in the mix.

If you can’t write poems, write sermons; children’s doggerel; the autobiography of your cat; the story of the reincarnation of a snowflake into a raindrop, and vice versa, in the space of a single storm; find a musician who can’t write lyrics and collaborate on a song; teach poetry in a school; walk three miles and do ten minutes of blasting onto a page when you’re done; quit treading water and put your foot down. Above all, move. I believe another take on Pound’s dictum; poetry removed from music and dance too far is creaky, corrupt, suspect, inhuman.

I’d have an all singing, all dancing, all Rockettes-at-intermission blog, but I can’t afford it yet. Soon.

I think I will reread Blaise Cendrars. Now there was a poet. Flung into the hell of war, losing an arm, living broke, he rose up singing, and singing again, and he sang the world into being, again, every day that he was alive.

An inch of snow
2007-01-05— Posted by: allegra

Oooh. There’s an inch of fresh snow on the ground; I couldn’t understand why it was so light in my room at four am, but now, with all the reflection, it makes perfect sense.

Lindsay Lohan is having her appendix out, which is scandalous…is there nothing that woman won’t do to maintain her weight?

I brought a bunch of boxes home from work yesterday; hopefully the dejunking will continue this weekend.

Rude? Sexist? Canadian content?
2007-01-04— Posted by: allegra

Rude? Sexist? Canadian content? Big check on that.


As soon as I heard the music I was back in my childhood, but I got over that really fast.

Homeless in Vancouver? Now there’s a game!
2007-01-03— Posted by: allegra


Illegal, immoral or —- you guessed it!
2007-01-03— Posted by: allegra


Jaron Lanier, opinionated dude
2007-01-03— Posted by: allegra


Oooh! The internet fairies came during the night
2007-01-03— Posted by: allegra

I have FINALLY, FINALLY, listened to one of my reader’s entreaties and I’m rolling from newest to oldest psots. Also, another reader has been begging me to remember that some people in this universe have dialup, and would I kindly not load every page and every picture, every day and every month. I can already hear Jim in Kanata squealing about the yellow, I will deal with that at some point soon………

Big big shout out to Glenn who hath much magic and is owed much by many.

cure for cancer
2007-01-03— Posted by: allegra

I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and discovered that somebody invented a cure for cancer. It’s amazing what happens on the Interwebs when you’re asleep! Oh, darn. There’s the fine print, it hasn’t been tested in humans. Okay, I can go back to sleep now. The reference is on Bruce Sterling’s weblog, in case you have any interest.

Today will be more like a full and proper day at work, with a full complement of staff, which means I should have my lunch bunch back in one fine ensemble of photography afiocionados.

Irina in the caf is quitting wah! To get more education and higher pay, yay! (2019 says I worked with her again at Aramark at Royal Columbian) Honest to God, everytime I hear her say, “Biscotti” in that heavy heavy Russian accent, I shiver in pleasure. I’ve given her the recipe twice now – she was frantic when she misplaced it during her move – and I was commiserating with her about how the results are even better in a gas stove but you have to watch it like a hawk because it burns so much more readily. I know that a girl’s supposed to have a signature recipe that she possessively clings to, but I’ve always given the recipe to anybody who asked for it, and dang, I’ve posted it to my blog twice…

I finished mailing out the co-op applications; now let’s see who wants somebody with a fair amount of non-profit experience… who won’t need a subsidy.

My to do list magically got bigger during the night. Has this ever happened to you???

I actually memorized this song
2007-01-02— Posted by: allegra

It’s one of my “I will sing this in public if given any encouragement at all” songs.


Scorpio horoscope
2007-01-02— Posted by: allegra

Excuuuuse me while I roll around larfing. Herewith my horrorscope <*?>Scorpio: Overall, the forecast for today is fairly good. Planetary aspects favor figuring out the meaning of all that has transpired over the past several weeks. It is an opportunity for you to take a leisurely look at the distance you have covered as you move forward toward your goals. Since it is an auspicious day for social activities, why not get together with friends and discuss the latest events with them?

My god, I’ve had a phone glued to my ear for hours every day for the last two weeks. Nice to know my astrologer finally caught up with me….

Back to work
2007-01-02— Posted by: allegra

It is very wet and windy here. Quite disgusting, eckshully.

Happy sigh
2007-01-02— Posted by: allegra

In the face of overwhelming odds, I maintained my sanity; I performed laundering and cleaning of dishes and emptying of cat litter (whoo-wee), I mailed off about twenty application requests to co-ops, I walked around downtown in the rain with Keith a lot, visited Doug and L.E., heard cuts off Odditorium, watered some plants (after trying to open the wrong fricking door, thank God the tenants weren’t home), I called a bunch of people to wish them a happy new year (and only people I really felt like talking to, and mostly got voicemail) and talked to Maggie and cleared up a misunderstanding. Gosh I’m dense sometimes. I’m okay with that.

Picture is of a headline from a local newspaper. I would like to be subtle about this, but there are a couple of other laughs on this front page, so I implore you to examine the entire image for chuckles.

an island is born
2007-01-01— Posted by: allegra

Check out the pix of a yacht cruising through a sea of stones – pumice stones – as an island is born in the Pacific. http://yacht-maiken.blogspot.com/2006/08/stone-sea-and-volcano.html

Dr. Filk’s 2007
2007-01-01— Posted by: allegra

Here’s a pic of Dr. Filk’s 2007, brought to you by Finnish stannomancy.

enough sleep
2007-01-01— Posted by: allegra

Here’s my lump of lead from the New Years’ divining we did last night. This divinatory tradition is apparently thousands of years old. Keith’s was very long and thin, with a knob at one end and a ninety degree bend at the other, by which he interpreted that he was going to have some heavy sledding before he finishes up his schoolwork. Paul’s was very complex; I’d show a pic but I don’t know what he did with it.

The next pic will show Dr. Filk’s; Dr. Filk is normally quite dismissive of all this irrational stuff, but he admits that he enjoys the ‘Finnishing touches’ and the last one he participated in showed money coming in two thirds of the way through the year, which actually turned out to be true.

I find echoes of Stabat Mater, a parrot on a perch and an abalone. You can say it’s all baloney if you like!

Second last blast of links for 2006
2006-12-31— Posted by: allegra

http://map-o-net.com/ A Map of the internet.

A hobbit hole in Wales? http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm

Combat hand signals…useful in modern urban combat. http://www.lefande.com/hands.html

About time! an on line mando tuner….http://www.mandozine.com/resources/mandotuner.php