back half May 2006

What a drag it is growing old
2006-05-31— Posted by: allegra

I tink I be on painkillers the rest of my life. The pain in my back is interfering with my ability to reason and it took me 10 minutes to get dressed this morning. Obviously I am going to seek medical attention but in the meantime I am just flabbergasted how much it hurts.

Baby pic
2006-05-30— Posted by: allegra

It’s Brayden again. Sigh, happy sigh. I can see a baby without wanting to eat it, but Brayden is a cutie patootie. Happy sigh.

enough sleep
2006-05-30— Posted by: allegra

Mike and John and I went to Canada Games Pool last night for a nice long soak. It was amazing not to experience any pain for an hour, although I’m sore as blazes this morning.

I was thinking of swimming, but as soon as the warm jets hit, I was immobilized.

I am LOVING Barnes’ Armies of Memory…. what a page turner. I love Giraut, I think he’s my 4th fave hero, after Lymond, Niccolo and Miles, of course.

today’s APOD
2006-05-29— Posted by: allegra

As always, I went to Astronomy Picture of the Day, and got dumped into a NASA feed (rebroadcast, obliviously) of the Titan landing. It was so beautiful I cried. I’m still sniffing. The stars our destination……..

enough sleep
2006-05-29— Posted by: allegra

Katie, the little weiner, has gone and gotten her tongue pierced. And me having custody of her dental bills for another 18 months.

Sang and played at Tom and Peggy’s last night, having sucked back a truly magnificent meal concocted by their tallest scion. SOME people have decent respectful children, all full up with filial piety.

Worked on the new tune when I got home (how to make a mandolin sound big and tough, and it needs lots of slide guitar, and it sounds like I’m trying to channel the blues and Malian music through a tubby middleaged white woman’s body…. Dr. Filk just shrugged when I commented on the inappropriateness of it, and also, when I asked him if I was boring him, just laughed). Stayed up for Katie to get back from (???) bowling, at midnight. (Camper Van Beethoven… “Take – the skinheads bowling,” went through my mind when she came home.)

I am also reading John Barnes’ new novel Armies of Memory, which contains the deathless line (I paraphrase) “I’d have more luck organizing a ferret marching band” and also the deathless line, “It’s a strange job, so it’s good it’s being done by someone strange.”

Paul, bless him, just called to let me know he’ll be home in time to hand over the car, so I have plenty of time to make a lunch, etc. before I go into work, and it’s Memorial Day in the States so it should be just funereal on the phones today.

I have received (now four) postcards from Brother James, the last one of those postcards of all of the major sights of London. It sounds like he’s having a whale of a time. Happy sigh.

Keith is still enjoying his job, especially the money and how much time free he has to try and get killed some more in the WoW universe at his new fave internet cafe. He said the other day that he thinks he’s too snippy, and after thinking to myself that *I* am currently the reigning champeen in that department (note to self, screw perimenopause) I told him that I thought he was a lot LESS snippy now that he was working in a reputable job and making decent money in an environment where he is less likely to lose the nail off his toe (I went into his room looking for something and found his toenail on his dresser. Bleagh, and damned straight, it serves me right.)

Coming up next on World of Allegra: Lunch for me, breakfast for kitties, and a cuppa.

Cat furniture
2006-05-27— Posted by: allegra

That’s me passed out (almost) on the sofa. Kira crawled onto me (walking solemnly up and down on her exceedingly pointy feet, trying to find my solar plexus) and then Zeek! came up and touched noses with her and sat on my arm. I was stuck like that for an hour! They were both purring.

2006-05-27— Posted by: allegra

Keith volunteered to take us to breakfast this am, and so we walked down to the IHOP at 6th and 8th in New Westminster… (Paul ended up picking up the tab, thank you Paul!) expecting it to be like every other Saturday morning at IHOP and jammed out the doors. The walk through New Westminster was lovely, everything blooming and fresh. When we got there, the parking lot was empty and we were seated immediately. Why? Because of the Hyack Festival!

When we emerged from the IHOP we watched a number of extremely kickass NW Washington marching bands, and the usual assortment of floats and marching groups including schools, businesses, War Amps, Old Cool Cars, Scary Evil F*cking Clowns that make small children burst into tears, Apple Blossom Festival Princesses, Pipe Bands, Football teams, More extremely good marching bands, Military outfits, a wooden-sided car that even Paul couldn’t identify, Dogs, cool, non traditional bicycles, an inflatable lobster, etc etc. Then it started to rain, so we came back here.

Katie’s boyfriend L. hasn’t fed his tarantula in four freaking months, doesn’t he know the meaning of humanity? We may have to make a cricket run. And he says he wants a turtle! Nyet! Not until he can keep the arthropod in good shape, mutter mutter.

I didn’t eat any pork products at breakfast and as a result I feel pretty good. I think I’m going to have to stop eating bacon and sausages entirely, as much as I love them; every time I eat them I feel rather stunned afterwards.

At the risk of sounding like I never eat at home, we ate last night at Simba’s on Edmonds. DAMN the food was so excellent! We were lucky to get a table.

I talked to Jeff this morning, it was great to hear his voice.

On a very sad note, and one that I have dreaded posting, the magnificent Pokey has not returned since early this past week. Dr. Filk is feeling pretty wretched, so be nice to him.

enough sleep
2006-05-26— Posted by: allegra

Thank God this interminable week is almost over.

Spotting traffic
2006-05-25— Posted by: allegra

Here’s Paul, flying around last summer with Dan P.

2006-05-25— Posted by: allegra

I’m the customer service person of the week. This is impossible. I demand a recount. Oh. You mean I get swag? Like, a Starbucks card, a free movie pass and a company golf shirt? Okay. Snif….

I’d like to thank my mother, and my father, and the harbor police…..

Forwarded from mOm
2006-05-25— Posted by: allegra

Arthur Guiterman...

On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness 

The tusks which clashed in mighty brawls
Of mastodons, are billiard balls.

The sword of Charlemagne the Just
Is Ferric Oxide, known as rust.

The grizzly bear, whose potent hug,
Was feared by all, is now a rug.

Great Caesar's bust is on the shelf,
And I don't feel so well myself.

2006-05-25— Posted by: allegra

At fifty one practices virtues that at twenty one couldn’t pronounce.

It’s Towel Day!!!!!!!!!!
2006-05-24— Posted by: allegra

I am a frood who really knows where her towel is.

Happy sigh
2006-05-24— Posted by: allegra

Like many employed persons, I kvetch about my job. But every once in a while you get a call from a customer saying, Your product SAVED MY ASS! (During Hurricane Katrina).

And you know, it feels pretty good. You hear so much crap that it’s good to remember that the reason you don’t hear from most of your customers is that they are happy. So today I am happy. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m doing purty good.

Shiny robot news
2006-05-23— Posted by: allegra

More summaries
2006-05-23— Posted by: allegra

Well, I would have had a simply charming time at Jeff’s if I hadn’t had a migraine, but really the only bad thing is that I now have to watch TWO zombie movies the next time I’m there; it’s probably going to be 28 Days and Army of Darkness, so pray for me.

Off to walk with Peggy, and so to work.

From the walk to Marymere Falls
2006-05-23— Posted by: allegra

A Flat Red Wood Borer.

Dr Filk and Brooke get wet
2006-05-22— Posted by: allegra

To summarize the last two days:
2006-05-22— Posted by: allegra


Oh yeah, forgot to blog
2006-05-20— Posted by: allegra

I am currently enjoying the sunny environs of Victoria. Tori bird is on her way to Montreal. Jeff’s gonna pick me up in a few minutes and then I’ll go to his place to grunt, scratch, drink beer and watch movies (really, a superlative way to spend a weekend……)

Katie has introduced her new beau to the grands – all this is going fine. Very very peaceful. More later.

Hm, must check what’s in the computer for pix these days. Here’s my cousin Derry, who has left us for the undiscovered country, feeding a giraffe in 1974.

I know it’s a joke, but…..
2006-05-19— Posted by: allegra

Baby liposuction

Crunchy goodness
2006-05-19— Posted by: allegra

Sorry, no Trollhaven today.
2006-05-19— Posted by: allegra

Wrote another song last night. It’s official. The little bastards are popping out faster than I can write them down.

The garden at Trollhaven
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

A stroll through Trollhaven
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

People live in that house. We saw them.

I think I’ve heard of Trollhaven
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

I simply must see more Trollhaven.
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

Really, more Trollhaven?
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

Born to be a bouncer, dig that knowing face.

Sorry, more Trollhaven
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

What can I say.

David Michael, Whidbey Island Ferry
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

We bought two of his CDs.

That was a nice sounding harp.

I didn’t want to visit Baltimore BEFORE I read this.
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

Certain politicians explained
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

Certain politicians explained! Chimps mount fecally overwhelming protest. Rain gear strongly recommended.

Fox mollusc trampoline church
2006-05-18— Posted by: allegra

This juvenile fox spends a happy couple of minutes playing on a trampoline. Very close to the end, you will say to yourself “WTF???” as a large plastic object heaves into view (I have no idea what it is) but it doesn’t detract from the charm of this lovely piece of home video. Thank you thank you Janice for forwarding it. I’m going to leave the link up so Paul can see it when he gets back from running.

Paul’s talking about selling the house again. Heavy sigh. Ruth 1:16-17.

Brother James has forwarded three, count ’em three lovely postcards from his travels in England and Ireland; a castle, Stonehenge, and the Georgian Doors of Dublin, which was actually a poster in a friend’s house that I admired many times and has now turned up in miniature format to adorn my desk. Your taste in postcards continues to rock, Bro James!

L’il Cthu has expressed an interest in coming to work (I checked my calendar, and, by gar, it IS Take Your Squid Overlord Spawn to Work Day – who knew?) so I coaxed it into the Spaced Out Ladies bag (see previous blogs) and it’s now making separation anxiety noises about the chandelier. It somewhat shamefacedly admits that the reason it jumped into the chandelier in the first place was because it was the object that looked most like a squid; this gave me pause, because if he goes for the Squid-resembling objects, I think some of the sales people are in for a more interesting day than their Daytimers would predict. A full report on the Morbid Mollusc later.

Photo copyright 2006 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved. Forwarded from Sandy.

Kokopelli garden at Trollhaven
2006-05-17— Posted by: allegra

Crest at Trollhaven
2006-05-17— Posted by: allegra

The Dragon’s Gate at Trollhaven, outside Sequim
2006-05-17— Posted by: allegra

The patio at Bread and Roses in Port Townsend
2006-05-17— Posted by: allegra

It’s the damned bug’s fault, Chapitre le deux
2006-05-16— Posted by: allegra

So, blurwise, we drove to the Hoh Valley and took a lot of picatures in the Hall of Mosses (gee mOm, wish you could have been there) and hiked about 2.5 miles up the trail along the river. Took a lot of pictures there too! Which I will post later. It was entirely gorgeous and the weather couldn’t possibly have been improved on.

Then we ate in a diner at Forks, then went back to the Lodge and crashed, had dessert, and crashed. Marionberry Cobbler rules!

Then we got up and went to Sequim, where we visited a flea market, where I got my mOm a belated Beloved Female Progenitor day prezzie, and went to ah, so wonderful to relate, the Oak Table, where I ate YUMMMMMY peach blintzes to the asploding point. Then we had to deke off highway 101 where I had the experience of watching a passerby throw a blanket over a motorcyclist who appeared to be, ah, integumentarily challenged and quite dead; we later found the highway was closed both ways for about two hours.

Then we visited Trollhaven. I am not going to say anything about it – I’ll just post pics.

Then we got on the Whidbey Island ferry and nearly ran out of gas at Deception Pass, and then we drove past the I5 and up Highway 9 instead, which was so thoroughly infested with a combination of RV’s and motorcycles that I felt like I was driving the only car on the road.

The Sumas crossing was ridiculously easy, and so home.

It’s the damned bug’s fault, chapter one
2006-05-16— Posted by: allegra

It’s all the Tomentose Burying Beetle’s fault. After all, had I not seen the beetle crawling cheerfully in front of the door of Cabin 4 at Red Deer Lodge and Campground, I would not have been moved to go to the library back in Toronto to try to get a picture of whatever that bizarre creature was, to try and identify it. The book my search led me to was the Audubon Guide to North American Insects and Spiders, which is where I found it. I promptly bought it. It’s pretty beat up. Then I found a very interesting moth in the meadows of Humber Park, which was not in the insect book. I was in the bookstore at Golden BC attending a family reunion in the early 90’s when I found the Audubon Guide to North American Butterflies and Moths and identified the Ctenuchid Moth, at which point my mania for collecting nature books commenced. Shortly thereafter, I acquired the Reptiles and Amphibians, the simply succulent Geoffrey Kibby’s Mushrooms and Other Fungi; North American Weather, and Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America. I learned that the best Canadian spider book was a government publication long out of print. I got a dinged up hardcover Audubon Field Guide to Birdies. The photo version was the Audubon Western Birds; then the brisk and kick ass Plants of Coastal BC. So that is why I know that the first bug we saw, on the walk to Marymere Falls, is a Flat Red Wood Borer. I didn’t know at the time but I came back home and looked it up. We walked from Lake Crescent Lodge to Marymere Falls. The trail is no more than a mile and leads to a falls of about an 80 foot drop. We saw a lot of trilliums and forget me nots. The walk – I wouldn’t dignify it as a hike – is pretty easy going. Just prior to arriving at the lodge, we saw 3 deer apparently munching on forget me nots. They were completely unconcerned by our presence. After Marymere Falls, the four of us had dinner in the Lodge, which was a lot of fun, in a subdued and calorific sort of way. No loud laughing for me. Next morning we breakfasted at the Lodge, ate like swine and went to Sol Duc Falls. The boys took the longer trail back to the Springs; Janice and I took the car back (and she let me drive, the angel) the last three miles. That put us at Sol Duc Hot Springs in time for me to collect a Sunburn, in Washington State, in May, for the love of Jim Criminy. Sol Duc Hot Springs is delightful and the pool side Deli, fun, friendly and a provider of nourishment as well as junk. Damn, but those fries were good! Thick cut, entirely yummola. —- The trip down started when I saw two bald eagles over the Alex Fraser Bridge – a good omen for a visit to see two Americans. We had the single most charming and untroubled Border interaction possible, let alone likely to spring into existence in my imagination; this comment deleted in response to comments from my lawyer. We got to the ferry with no incident, a bit earlier than planned, but also a bit late for the 12:07…. which still boarded us. I met a man with a Koss inverter. I had no idea Koss made inverters. I was so intrigued I almost asked him to show it to me but our ride was over before I could. We came into the Port of Port Townsend and ate lunch at Bread and Roses. Paul had a carrot ginger soup that rendered him nearly ecstatic when he first ate it. I was in ecstasy myself. I have never eaten in a restaurant with the New York Times Arts Section spread out in front of me on a table that seats 8. Paul was actually lucky to get me out of there. Then we debated going up Hurricane Ridge; both time and weather were against us, so we stuck with the plan. On the way out of town I noticed the Food Co-op and we pulled in for some nourishing deli munchies. Got to the Lodge without incident around four on Thursday. The lichen previously shown is one of about fourteen thousand square meters of the stuff we saw all over the freaking park. There were sheets of it, some as big as 20 cm across, all green on one side and all white on the other. Looked like the cast offs of a molting dragon, by gum. The stuff is called Lobaria oregana. Okay, maybe it doesn’t look like dragon molts, but more like large chunks of disreputable peeled off paint lying in profusion on the forest floor as far as the eyes can see. And stuck up in trees. Much more attractive at the Sol Duc trailhead was a stand of Ptilium Crista-Castrensis. Doesn’t it sound like the name of the mother of all castrating mothers in law? I quote from the Mosses book, for I am all at once unable to best this description, “The rich golden green patches growing in low areas of mesic and montane forests are a pleasure to come across.” This is a sentiment with which I heartily concur. It’s also called Knight’s Plume, and it’s the most beautiful moss I’ve ever seen. Oh, and we had lots more wonderful adventures. Stay tuned for the thrilling Chapter II of It’s the Damned Bug’s Fault.

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

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