Feb 2006 last half

Hate it when that happens
2006-02-28— Posted by: allegra

As much as I like to believe that I am remarkable, my bladder is apparently not. Which is good news, really, when you think about it. Apart from a gentle stinging amidships, I am entirely fine. So, all these tests (CT skull scan, heart scan, CT abdo scan) over the last three years, and every one shows that there’s nothing wrong with me. Question… isn’t there a pill for that?

Whatever you do, DON’T imageGoogle cystoscopy. Yumpin Yiminy. I wanted to post something, but I am not thinking this is a good idea any more.

No pigs in ages
2006-02-28— Posted by: allegra

I haven’t posted a pig picture in ages. This comes from the Cleveland Police Department, and brought a smile to my nervous lips.

Wish me luck for the cystoscopy.

Flying Lions
2006-02-28— Posted by: allegra

Cousin Gerald sent me this. I think you actually have to know something about flying to understand how freaking hard this is to do for one guy, let alone four; suffice it to say that if somebody screws up, he’ll turn turtle and possibly wipe out somebody else. Trust is a lovely thing. Website is http://www.flyinglions.co.za/.

Gravity shifted?
2006-02-27— Posted by: allegra

Gwyneth Jones’ book Life is wonderful, read it.

Octavia Butler died at home over the Potlatch weekend. RIP.

Here’s another pic from the ice storm in Ottawa.

as promised
2006-02-26— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2006-02-26— Posted by: allegra

Attended a scotch tasting in Jack B’s room last night; the place was like an English bus by the time we were done, and we worked our way through the Highlands, the Lowlands, the Islays and at least one from the Shetlands.

I dropped out after two because I was driving. Talisker is my fave currently; the comments about the Laphroaig are still ringing in my ears. “So what DOES it taste like? Petroleum waste run through a bog? It really is quite remarkable!” but of course Alan said the 15 year old is much better.

Bob the cat, shown previously, was set upon by two huskies on Friday, but a trip to the vet emerg proved that he has a stretched or torn ligament and not too much else wrong. He’s now standing at the cat door wondering why the hell Alan won’t let him out. Short memory, bud! Big Dogs, Bite Your Shoulder? Does that ring a bell?

Shortly we will join Hank (he of the Best Explosion Story EVAH mentioned previously) and other good fen and true for a Dim Sum blowout downtown.

Then we will make one last cruise through the dealer room.

I got three whole questions in the trivia open house last night. INCLUDING being the first person to recognize the opening line of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea; am I not a good pretty bird!? Squawk.

Mum and pOp you would have enjoyed the auction; signed Leguins, a copy of a letter Heinlein wrote to Niven about the Mote in God’s Eye ms which resulted in a much better book; an typewritten outtake from Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand; and CTHULHU SLIPPERS. I go finding pic and posting, my Old One, they were cute. Bill H. bid so much for them I couldn’t get them for you pOp.

Oh and somebody tell Keith that a famous science fiction writer yelled, when the complete works of Patrick O’Brien were at auction, “Don’t forget they contain the words, “JACK you have debauched my sloth!”” Stu S sighed and said, “I want that on a T-shirt.”

Evil Grin. He may get his wish.

Here in Seattle
2006-02-26— Posted by: allegra

It is still actually February 25th here, whatever it says on the site.


Wonderful Greek meal, wonderful local beers, fabulous company here at Potlatch, which is a literary sf convention. There’s a guy here, Art, who was at the first SF Worldcon! Published authors I have read are knitting in the audience! Why aren’t my parents here?

Sign outside Seattle Center….THE DAY OF THE ACCORDION….Free.

Well, it would have to be now wouldn’t it?

Keith had to work in a costume today. He enjoyed it.

I bought another Freddie Baer shirt and two B5 tees for the kids. My free wireless from the consuite is about to vanish, so by for now.

went home early
2006-02-24— Posted by: allegra

Left work at 2:45 yesterday feeling like re-animated scrap. Crashed. Got up and ate dinner. Re-crashed. I think Paul gets to drive to Seattle tonight….

My eyes hurt.

enough sleep
2006-02-23— Posted by: allegra

Went to bed early again in the hopes that I will reduce my current symptoms, which include homicidal rage, thrumps, and hollow heels. Got up and made my lunch, prepped veggies for writer’s group tonight (Sigh, I’ll be missing Darcy Michael at the Sylvia, pang, oh pang), policed up the laundry room and tidied the kitchen after Katie’s excellent dish washing last night. I love Keith, but he washes dishes as if he’s secretly hoping we’ll never ask him again. Greasy rinse water, pah. Katie washes dishes like she’s actually planning on consuming food served on them. More my style, thanks.

If I talk about work, the homicidal rage will be more than adequately explained, but since I work for a public company, my blog must needs reflect the positive side of my work life. After all, the share prices are doing reasonably well. I will say this. They have decided not to take live questions at the town hall meetings. So I think my digestion will not permit me to attend the next one. There, I feel better already!

Wups! Almost but not quite burned the oatmeal… it will be just eating temp when Paul finishes his yoga. I got about halfway through “All the Con Men I Have Known”, last night; I’m thinking that somewhere in there I am missing the beat somewhat, but at least I’ve got the notes correct; what a bitch of a song to transcribe! I have no idea what the hell key it’s in so I’m putting it perforce in C, but there are SO many sharps, flats and naturals it looks like somebody emptied a jar full of jazz chords onto the page. It is among the more interesting of my tunes melodically (and it’s the one for which foolks always glaze over and say “Oh, that sounds like Joni Mitchell” as if that would somehow make me feel any better about either their intelligence or their taste – not that I consider myself worthy to kiss the sole of Ms Mitchell’s dazzlingly accoutred boot).

Well, I’d better get my sorry PMSing ass out of this chair and get back to my chores; now it’s time to write something for writers. I have a cunning plan. Mom, the package arrived. Happy sigh. I now have a bag made of that stunning space girls material I showed in an earlier post.

All Quiet in East Burnaby
2006-02-23— Posted by: allegra

wtf? It’s the dreaded space potato!!!!
2006-02-22— Posted by: allegra

AKA Telesto, a moon of Saturn’s.

No dreams
2006-02-22— Posted by: allegra

I suppose you are all very relieved that my dreams were not quite as exciting as those of last night.

I went to bed at 8:40 last night; I think I’m fighting something again.

I’m reading Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book and quite enjoying it.

So what MAKES it deathless prose?
2006-02-22— Posted by: allegra

Uh, my opinion, and not much else.

This is culled from the middle of a newspaper article about a shooting – kind of interesting, a witness shot the suspect…. at least five bullets and five entrance wounds…. four times in the head, which, even thought it’s completely disgusting, ya kinda hafta admire. Here’s the context, for as long as it lasts.


Something else occurs; the way, even though it’s in the middle of the story, you know exactly who the cop and who the ””perp”” is. The way you can picture, as if it was a slice of tv news, the expensive car cutting in, the irritation of the off duty cop, the confrontation in the parking lot which is in itself a shrine to the automobile (AutoZone), the advent of the “I actually do have a permit for this thing” concealed firearms badass. It all makes such mythic SENSE that you are weak-kneed before it.

It’s also as disgusting as a git’s spit-oot. Bleaugh. I won’t bring it up again. Gotta do something about this major case of schadenfreude. Oh, hoff an umlaut, it’s on me.

What I call deathless prose
2006-02-22— Posted by: allegra

How the fight between Harrison and Temple began is still unclear to investigators. What they do know is that Harrison was off-duty and working as a motorcycle escort for a funeral procession going west on Greenwell Springs Road when a black S550 Mercedes driven by Temple cut into the procession, Phares said. Harrison pulled Temple into the AutoZone parking lot and wrote him a ticket for a traffic violation. That�s when an argument began. What the two argued about is still unknown because Harrison has yet to be interviewed, Phares said.

Last night I had a really weird dream
2006-02-21— Posted by: allegra

I was an extra in a movie based on a previously undiscovered manuscript by William Faulkner and it started in a 1930’s drivethrough hardware store staffed by a cast-of-a-thousand darkies in Depressionwear and ended up with Johnny Depp – complete with pencil thin mustache and elegant suit – taking refuge there as some kind of confidence man on the lam; this all being perfectly acceptable until Johnny and his leading lady, a very short and portly girl with a pretty voice, who alas was not me, burst into song while travelling down a dusty road. Collect your jaws, it gets one bit weirder. They got on a train that appeared to be full of odd looking people but the closer you got to them the more you realized they weren’t ugly people with skin conditions, they were alien musical aficionados – several species; the cap of the musical numbers was an all singing, all dancing, mostly alien recreation of the major Southern Gothic themes, while Johnny sang sort of Greek Chorus style in a glorious, badly dubbed tenor. It was very enjoyable and I was irritated to be woken by my alarm. How was YOUR night in the coils of Morpheus?? It can’t POSsibly have been more entertaining. Oh, I have to mention one really amazing part of it – totally CGI but nicely done. You’re standing next to the railway track and all of a sudden you’re picked up and moving backwards and you’re still moving backwards at a good clip and you start closing in with the conductor and the closer you get the more you realize he’s an enormous insectoid thing with big ol’ googly eyes and antennae flowing out from under his tidy cap, flapping in the breeze, but you aren’t scared because he’s…. singing. A happy song in a beautiful baritone voice about how much he loves being a musical performer on a train. Happy Sigh.

RIP Hunter S Thompson
2006-02-21— Posted by: allegra

Anita Thompson released this picture recently. He still had some sparkle.

It pays to advertise
2006-02-21— Posted by: allegra


If you shoot a lawyer, that makes you more popular
2006-02-21— Posted by: allegra

I love the results of this poll. You know how they’re always saying Plus Or Minus 4 percent, Nineteen times out of Twenty? Here’s the fucking proof that you can’t take too much too seriously.

Edmonton airport – February 5, 2006
2006-02-21— Posted by: allegra

Notice anything slightly unusual about this picture???

Nice ice
2006-02-20— Posted by: allegra

Leo said it was like walking on cornflakes, and his youngest son told him that the windshield on his vehicle cracked as he was removing ice from it.

I light a candle for the dead in that pileup on the 417 near Embrun, and I light a row of candles for the dead in the landslide in the Philippines.

May the persons responsible for the illegal logging above that little village find themselves in a nice ‘n’ toasty corner of hell.

Pic is of Leo and Linda’s backyard. Brother James, I am sure this is much what you have been looking at.

Happy news about bird flu!
2006-02-20— Posted by: allegra


Now we can all worry about something else, like this:


enough sleep
2006-02-20— Posted by: allegra

After the insanity of the wait on the trip down, the border crossing on the way back was pretty funny. “Where do you live?” “Burnaby.” “What did you buy?” “Nuttin’.” (I literally said this.) “Off you go.” I’m driving away saying under my breath Holy Virgin! we coulda had a gallon o smack in the car….

Took a walk in the Arboretum yesterday as Alan predicted Green Lake would be nutsoid – it’s a urban park with inadequate parking spaces. Then I had a massage. Then we ate at Alan and Janice’s favourite diner, and I drove home. I called their place to let them know we had arrived in one piece and Alan owned as how I had made impressive time. Yeah, and you can too if you completely ignore those pesky speed limit signs.

God got me good, though – my dreams were full of cops pulling me over for DUI and not wearing a seatbelt. I didn’t have a drop of alcohol all weekend! (Unusual for me in the extreme).

As for the Mucinex Janice provided, it took 22 hours for the effects to wear off, so I’m glad I didn’t take two….

Seattle Siege!
2006-02-19— Posted by: allegra

Went to Dan and Carol’s place in Seattle for the Spit; they have a little jewel of a house, which is full of hardwood flooring and maintains the 1920’s charm of the original, including the wibbly windows. The food was UNBELIEVABLY good, even for a Spit; it’s criminal what happens when you get a bunch of middle aged women into the same room for a Spit, and the hostess is a gourmet cook. It was among the best lasagne I’ve ever eaten. I was driving, so I avoided the lavish irrigation supplied by host Dan, but Paul did not stint.

Mum, I met a gal named Sherrie, who provided me with her Christmas newsletter. Within three pages I had laughed so hard so many times I was hurting, it is wonderful; I must share it with you.

Then we went back to Alan and Janice’s to ditch our bags and drove out to SeaTac to collect them from the plane, which was, of course, an hour late. We had a number of adventures on the way which included almost running out of gas (Paul insisted on driving Janice’s car and the gas gauge hiccupped downwards a quarter tank after we’d been in it for about 5 minutes….) and having to divert from the I5 due to an accident – and having to stop on the 509 because the drawbridge was up. We still got there in plenty of time….

I know I’m starting to sound obsessed about this, but Americans are A LOT MORE THOUGHTFUL about restroom facilities than Canadians are. In the Cell Phone lot at SeaTac – a place where you can sit for free, excuse me, until your pickup calls you, having arrived – there’s a Portapotty.

This morning we had a leisurely breakfast of oranges, coffee, biscotti (MY biscotti, which had been forlornly sitting on the patio where the US Postal guy had left them! and they’re still yummy) oatmeal and bagels. Now we get into our walking clothes and go to the Arboretum, and then I’m having a massage, tra la la, and then we’re going to try to head back and avoid the GODAWFUL wait at the border, which was insane making yesterday; we were at the truck crossing for an hour and a half. It’s never as bad coming back north, but I’m still not expecting a picnic. Weather is glorious here.

Janice has introduced me to the glories of Mucinex. This weird blue and white tablet blows out your sinuses for a good eight hours – sleep would have been impossible without it. Apparently it’s bloody expensive but I may hit a Walgreen’s on the way out of town anyway.

Dan works at Boeing – being the only two men at the Spit, you can imagine their guilty pleasure at having to hang around another middle aged guy in the airplane business. According to Paul, they swapped stories of “what happens when you try to integrate two businesses” – In Dan’s case Boeing and Douglas, and in Paul’s Air Canada and Canadian. That kept them out of the very loud living room for most of the duration, and probably maintained their sanity. LOVED the house, and the fact they had art from Nova Scotia all over the walls was, for me, a very nice touch. (I was born in Nova Scotia, but don’t hold that against me.)

Off to the arboretum for walkies!!!

2006-02-18— Posted by: allegra

Keith is re-watching some of the dance sequences from Band Wagon; Katie is swithering around the living room and grousing at Keith not to mess up all the DVD’s she laboriously cleaned up yesterday; Paul is putting the finishing touches on his toilette; and I’m blogging as fast as I can type because I have to jump in the car and drive to Seattle in about three seconds. I’ll report in detail on the Spit tomorrow morning. Be good while I’m gone, ever’body!

2006-02-17— Posted by: allegra

My site was scunnered there for a while but it appears to be all good now. Of course by the time my infamous webmeister looked at it, it had healed itself, leading to a round of questions like, Are you Crazy or do you just act like you are so that everybody will Think You Are?

Off to Seattle tomorrow for a Spit, tra la la, followed by lazing about at Alan and Janice’s. Much much happiness.

More Moose!!!
2006-02-17— Posted by: allegra

36 hours pain free!!!!
2006-02-16— Posted by: allegra

Yup, micturation is now accomplished with a minimum of fuss. I trained hard (Do Those Kegels, Grrls!) and now I can definitely state that I am feeling much better. Now, all I have to do is lose about 40 pounds and get some exercise and quit eating sugar and butter, and I’ll be the healthiest woman alive.

The picture shown below illustrates the comical consequences of being a male person with a new digital camera. Kane Quinnell, who is not responsible for having a name like a Harlequin Romance Hero, decided to take pictures of a lightning storm in the unlikely location of Old Toongabbie. (New Toongabbie not available for comment). He swears the storm wasn’t very close…. he left the shutter open for 4 seconds and snapped away a number of times, suddenly capturing this beaut as it struck the neighbours’ house some 20 meters away. He ran inside and emailed his amazing picture to all of his friends, who oddly enough forwarded it to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Kane is lucky he’s not a burnt out grease spot, and now we can all look at this picture, so I guess we’re lucky all round.

Reuters is reporting on how to bury bodies in the back yard subsequent to the pandemic. Me, I’m stocking up on really really tough garbage bags – body bags are expensive, dude.

I hope everybody reading this is sensible enough to stock up on rubber gloves and masks. You can also make your own masks… out of cotton or linen.

Given how many countries the flu is in now, you have to wonder how many more months we have before it jumps to people. I read one very unsettling report from Vietnam indicating that young children have probably been dying of flu for some months but the symptom list shifted somewhat and the doctors aren’t catching it until autopsy. In this case the kids weren’t coughing that much; they spiked massive fevers, convulsed a couple of times, went coma and died, usually within two days of initial onset of symptoms.

Love each other while you can.

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

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