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…………


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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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