Front half April 2006

Public service
2006-04-15— Posted by: allegra

I’m sorry, but you can’t say anything bad to me about Mormons ANY MORE. LDS ladies knit these sweaters for fairy penguins, who have survived an oil spill. Aren’t the sweaters adorable? And the penguins too, of course.

Without caffeine….
2006-04-15— Posted by: allegra

Would life still be worth living? Pic is a caffeine molecule, scanged from

Happy feeding noises
2006-04-15— Posted by: allegra

Had Maggie and Glenn, Jim, Jan and Nita over for dinner last night. Ah, so yummy! Paul barbecued chicken and pork to absolute succulent perfection, and prepped the brussel sprouts. (First barbecue of the season is always so wonderful, and Paul had an intensely campfire aroma for snuggles last night, which is not offputting in the slightest.) I put together the spaghetti squash, the salad and the taters; I love trotting out to the back yard to harvest chives, it’s a wonderful feeling, thank you neighbour Cleo.

I am now sitting amidst the pointy knives of perplexity; in a hissy fit, I mislocated something belonging to Paul, and now I have absolutely no clue what I did with the chain he ordered for Dick’s (down the alley neighbour) chainsaw. I foresee a $40 charge to my credit card shortly, because Katie and Paul and I have torn the house apart looking for it and it’s, like, gone. What the hell could I have done with it? I mean, I hid it GOOD and proper.

Paul and Keith departed for Seattle and Norwescon less than an hour ago – the weather is drippy but not disgusting so they should have an okay trip.

Jan and Jim are here and we’re waiting for the Camembert to warm up. Aren’t we just sitting in the lap of luxury.

Maggie brought grandchild pix – Jonathan is three weeks old. And gorgeous, really. (I commented THANK GOD a real boy’s name instead of the assortment of showbizzy monikers helpless children get slandered with these days (and Gerald, I like the name Brayden, so relax!!)) Seems like mom and babe and pop are all doing well, so I’m happy.

Glenn is amused and pleased to see that I am now a Dead Like Me fan.

Had an interesting customer service epiphany yesterday. I got the midi /USB cable and got it running virtually instantly. Then my playback… disappeared. Nothing in the headphones. Played a .wav file to ensure that it wasn’t just the headphones…. and it played back fine. Uh-oh….. software issue! Allegra mucks with it and mucks with it for what seemed an eternity and was possibly half an hour, getting increasingly panicky, and then SPROING, I recollect that there is a website, and a Knowledge Base, so I go to the website, and in two clicks and four characters I’m looking at the solution to my problem, which was that I had the playback on MIDI and not the synthesizer built into the computer. No, duh!!! ‘course it makes perfect sense once somebody tells you what’s happening.

Then I thought about the website at work….. and realized we are doing things horribly horribly wrong with respect to the FAQ section. I need to be the change I want to see in my company’s website. See how my ambitions have fallen from changing the world to just making little bits of information easier to get at.

Oh, the dessert! Maggie brought a WONDERFUL hazelnut mousse cake and we were all explosively full afterwards.

Found out that Dax walked across Burnaby in the pouring rain to get here the night we got the rude awakening; he had good reasons to leave where he was so I have muchly calmed down. I wish I could get Buddha injections and then maybe I wouldn’t always assume the worst.

Well, off to find the chain. It’s gotta be here someplace. Sigh.

Pic is of a Tango T600 electric commuter vehicle. Frankly my dear, I’d rather have a motorcycle; a fully enclosed skateboard has remarkably little appeal.

Urban Combat Skateboard?
2006-04-14— Posted by: allegra

Orderly systems need chaos to survive
2006-04-14— Posted by: allegra

Is it too much to ask an uncaring universe that distraught boyfriends NOT come over at 4 in the f*cking morning? Katie got up at 8, did the dishes as a Parental Countermeasure, and then went back to bed. Daxus is still here and asleep.

Paul’s doing his yoga. I couldn’t even sit in easy position without pain – same for kneeling – and gave up and made, what else, coffee. I react very badly to Paul sounding all calm and unruffled and quiet as he’s addressing me about the yoga – it’s like he’s talking to a wild animal or a retarded child. Which of course is not what he’s doing, it’s how I’m reacting.

Had an amazing family flying dream last night. We were in a six place flying boat that travelled between an Olympian castle and a very interesting everything looking like something from a Tarot deck and made out of stone style town on a shore – I was in the city with Katie and Paul and Keith came and landed on the water and picked us up – hauled us out of a shop that sold interesting objects – picture the Magic Box done up Mediaeval Babes style. Apparently it’s much harder to fly back up to the castle; we picked up a very tall, very broad and very dark pilot for the return trip, which involved flying through a holographically projected cliff. While everybody around me was stifling giggles (the pilot didn’t even acknowledge me) I kept saying, “ExCUSE me, we’re flying into a CLIFF”. Then we flew through the projection and landed at the castle. Very nice dream. And ever so apropos.

seriously ugly dogs
2006-04-13— Posted by: allegra

Jumping Jimmy Criminy!

These are UGLY DOGS.

Great moments in headlines
2006-04-13— Posted by: allegra

Eco friendly auto
2006-04-13— Posted by: allegra

In Finland, they have the Eco Friendly Auto Club, and here, for your edification and amazement, is a WOOD BURNING BUICK.

The Dalai Jarmo (pron Yarmo) forwarded the pic.

Scanged from

It’s Here
2006-04-13— Posted by: allegra

After all my whizzing and moaning about the midi / USB cable, it’s here and it works. Phew.

Keith and Paul have decided to go to Norwescon; I’m gonna hang around here and attempt to get enough sleep.

Hot tub moving party Monday night! Be there, or don’t get a chance to soak.

I light a candle for Janice, who has an eye bobo.

I light a candle for Dr. Filk and Brooke and their gig at Norwescon.

Must fly, Paul wants the car today so he’s driving me in a bit early.

Close your eyes and think of Aruba…..
2006-04-12— Posted by: allegra

Now open your eyes and look at this.

Photo credit Tammy.

happy girl
2006-04-12— Posted by: allegra

Keith’s at work (temp), Paul’s asleep, Katie’s at Suzanne’s and all is right with the world.

There is nothing like a long talk with an old friend to make the world a better place. Hugs to all, I’m off to work.

Dead Like Meville
2006-04-11— Posted by: allegra

We’re still in Dead Like Meville but it would probably be a good thing if I got back to my song recording. I just don’t feel like it. I ordered a Midi cable from Musician’s Friend in the US and found out AFTER they got my money that despite the fact it was a stock item, it would be eight weeks before I saw it; they wait to consolidate an entire pallet for Canada before they ship from their third party warehouse. Now, anybody from work reading this will be struck with both the horror and irony of this reason for shabby service; but of course I can’t actually start complaining about work because that might affect the share prices. Speaking of which, the stock peeked up over a certain dollar value recently, so one wag at work opined that the reason we were doing plumbing repairs at Head Office was that we were now “flush”. Ayuh. I really have nothing to complain about, when you factor in the co-workers.

Fake news
2006-04-10— Posted by: allegra

This is not news to the more paranoid of my readers.

Who owns what in the media
2006-04-10— Posted by: allegra

lOOk no further for Xmas prezzies
2006-04-10— Posted by: allegra

A Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch of MY VERY OWN!!! LIFE is GOOD.

Mother dear Mother
2006-04-10— Posted by: allegra

Please knit me a nautilus

No need to cuss

Just knit me a nautilus

I want one, I want two

I want three or four

And when these demands are met

I’ll make some more.

Hail, citizen
2006-04-10— Posted by: allegra

I am now legally entitled to apply for the license to own both restricted and non-restricted firearms.

Although we didn’t have a graduation ceremony, the family elder remarked, “There are two classes of people. There are those who are willing to bear arms and there are serfs.”

I actually said J as in Jesus to a customer, but I was just repeating back what he said to me.

I have a big headache.

I am really looking forward to my long weekend upcoming.

enough sleep
2006-04-09— Posted by: allegra

Paul went running this am.

We’re off to finish the gun safety course shortly, and I’ll probably post more on the subject later.

Dave D from back in Ontario sent me a wonderful literary blog link and I had to drag myself away from it thinking oooops, haven’t posted yet.

Mike and Tori were here last night, it was good to see them.

2006-04-08— Posted by: allegra

Loading and unloading a pump action shotgun is the best thing that’s happened to me lately. I am enjoying myself, obviously. Lots of other stuff is happening; I just can’t describe any of it.

From Danny Schechter’s blog
2006-04-07— Posted by: allegra

I will close with a comment by the late TV News executive Reven Frank who said, The business of giving people what they want is the dope pusher’s argument. News is something people don�t know they are interested in until they hear about it. The job of a journalist is to take what’s important and make it interesting.

A, uh, prank from Brooks AB
2006-04-07— Posted by: allegra

Somebody did this to a friend….. can you imagine coming home and finding this sign on your lawn? The buggers put it in with concrete….

TV trance
2006-04-07— Posted by: allegra

Well, I wish I could claim that I tore off a couple of new songs last night, helped my daughter with her homework, my son with his career planning and found a cure for cancer growing in my front yard, but I didn’t.

I watched 6, yes, ow, 6 episodes of Dead Like Me. I laughed my ass off, what a great show. SO transGRESSive… And then I cried, too. I am such a suck. The scene in the airport just about killed me, I laughed so hard, and when George’s mom kicks her off the front steps of her old house I cried.

Somebody is attempting to reinstitute the old company camping trip. As I have said repeatedly and publicly, I’m going to go unless I’m in traction.

Gun safety course this weekend.

Crap, it’s time to go get on the bus. I am so used to getting a lift into work it’s like I’ve forgotten how to read a bus schedule. Keith’s gone already…. he’s getting off early so he can go to the open house at BCIT.

I light a candle for Paul, who is wonderful, and for Tori, who’s coming over this evening. Also for Rob W to remember to bring back Disc 1 of Firefly, the natives are getting restless.

All heck is busting loose
2006-04-06— Posted by: allegra

I feel like the eye of a hurricane right now. I am perfectly happy and healthy, and enjoying the spring flowers, and it’s thunderbolts, volcanoes and hard cheese for everybody else. So I am being very loving and remembering the words of the sage:

Life is like a cloud of mist

emerging from a mountain cave

and death

a floating moon

in its celestial course

If you think too much

about the meaning they may have

You’ll be bound forever

Like an ass to a stake

disorder in the court
2006-04-05— Posted by: allegra

Bird flu in cats, redux
2006-04-05— Posted by: allegra

The first cases of H5N1 among cats were reported in Thailand in 2004, when 14 out of 15 cats in a household near Bangkok became ill and died after eating an infected chicken carcass. Infections were then identified among leopards and tigers fed on poultry at Thai zoos. In Europe, cases have recently been confirmed among domestic cats in Germany and Austria.

Dr Osterhaus said it was also clear that infection is prevalent among domestic cats in countries where bird flu is endemic such as in Thailand, Iraq and Indonesia.

In the last of these, the feline version of the disease has its own name: “It is sufficiently well known to have been given an onomatopoeic name in the local Javanese dialect � �aargh-plop�,” he said.

Mother dear Mother
2006-04-05— Posted by: allegra

Please knit me a squid

I am your kid

So knit me a squid

Don’t worry about what I do

Or curse what I did

Because if you love me

You’ll knit me a squid.

The music of the spheres
2006-04-05— Posted by: allegra

I always thought it would be nice. But if you take one Johannes Kepler theory, one contemporary nerd with time on his hands, and a music program, you get this:

It definitely sounds spacey, but nice it is not. Hey, I wonder if I can get this in a ring tone?

Just for you
2006-04-05— Posted by: allegra

Sometimes I run pictures or mention things that have meaning to a vanishingly small number of people. However, this picture goes off in a lot of directions.

I grew up with Mad Magazine. That means that from the time I could talk, comic artists as great as Sergio Aragones were part of my visual thesaurus. I also grew up with musical comedy. I’ve always been fascinated by transsexuality; I bought Jan Morris’ Conundrum as soon as it came out in paperback, and I still think it’s one of the best written bios EVAH; and, of course, I know Sandy.

I never met Arn Saba, the limner of this comic. However, Sandy knew him, and even gave me a Neil the Horse button once, which had the deathless tag, “Making the world safe for musical comedy.” Now Arn is a woman named Katherine living in the US. And this pic is for Sandy, because the roots go everywhere.

I light a candle for Janice. I light a candle for Tori. I light a candle for Brooke, who won a filkwriting songtest. That is so weird…. I just typed that without really thinking about it, and I think I’ll just hit the old stet button. I light a candle for Keith, who’s working temp again, but has taken the liberty of going over to a different agency for better work and more money (learning how to wear capitalistic drag is hard for my little revolutionary in training….)

One loofah, and one jalapeno, sprouted. Everything else is growing at a tremendous rate.

I light a candle for Katie, who is having a heck of a time memorizing her lines for Drama. Sigh. They keep adding stuff and there’s less than a week to go. I told her not to get angry… this is what real freaking life is like!

This is going to sound insane, but my boss is out of town, and I miss him. I will try hard not to set anything on fire, or put any beans up my nose, while he’s gone.

I light a special unscented candle to grow fast and strong for little Brayden!

Heavy sigh
2006-04-04— Posted by: allegra

I have nothing to say, but if I don’t post SOMETHING my mother worries. Oh. I guess I have one small small piece of news. I finished another song. An Evening of Serious Drinking now exists in sheet music form.

Lazy day
2006-04-03— Posted by: allegra

Saw A Very Long Engagement with the kids yesterday and LOVED IT. I will definitely be putting that one back in the pile to see again. Also watched O Brother Where Art Thou for the uncountableth time when Casey was here for dinner on Saturday. So yesterday was a lazy day. Seeing as how the phone system crashed on Friday, it is interesting to speculate what horrors await at work.

Newest family member
2006-04-02— Posted by: allegra

Here’s Cousin Gerald holding Brayden, his first and most beloved grandchild. Happy sigh.

Giddily happy
2006-04-01— Posted by: allegra

I am happy to report, with a giddy and empyrean glee, that Keith and Kate and Cousin Lexi and Rob went to the opening night of Slither…. only to find that NATHAN FILLION, Captain Tightpants himself, was in the audience watching it with his girlfriend. (She is tiny, and very very cute.) Nathan was wearing a hoodie and jeans.

Katie phoned me to boast that she had seen them but the phone cut out in a burst of static.

THEN Lexi took them to a French Restaurant (Katie, “Mom, the menu was ENTIRELY in French…. and they CHANGE it EVERY DAY.”) as part of her ongoing effort to expose the kids to somet’ing besides sushi and cheeseburgers. Kate had minced steak with garlic and herbs and Keith had chicken with peppercorns… I know, because they got doggie bags. The horrors of a Scottish ancestry!!

Paul is continuing to behave like a newlywed husband (indulgent and goo goo eyed). I canNOT say I am displeased. There hasn’t been a harsh word between us in a week, it’s utterly bizarre.

The last movie Lexi worked on was Slither, so I raise a coffee to toast her most excellent career coda.

last half of March 2006

Grr argh
2006-03-31— Posted by: allegra

Keith blew off Karate last night and came home after Katie went to bed (?!) having blown his brains out on Warcraft. He’s paying for the Karate so if he wants to blow it off that’s his headache but of course much parental tsk tsking this morning.

My boss announced a long overdue project, deadline today at 10 am, and as I drew breath to complain about the timeline, he explained, in the brisk tones of a man trying to cram as much as possible in before his own execution, what HE was up against. Seldom have I been so effectively and efficiently reduced to docility…. as I sourly remarked to hubby this morning. I deserved it, and now am clean, shiny, and ready to work on something I should have already done…. more later. I’m actually in a pretty good mood.

Katie and I played cribbage last night. I beat her by 2 POINTS. I never beat her – she’s evil with the discards, that girl. It was astonishing to win at all.

Beer and whining
2006-03-30— Posted by: allegra

Big shout out to Steve and Mike, two of my fave cow-irkers, for our mutual therapy session at the hotel bar last night. I started out the discussion with What Are the 3 Biggest Irritants about Work right now, and a couple of hours and two jugs of beer later we had mapped out a strategy for bringing our legitimate concerns to a higher level. No, really. It WAS a work meeting; but there are some things that just go better with beer.

A very huggy, special shout out to Paul, who is a simply magnificent human being, and has demonstrated thoughtfulness, generosity of spirit and good humour in such a wonderful way to me and to others in our family/extended family over the last weeks. I am blessed to have him as such an important person in my life. Happy sigh.

Keith’s out looking for work (despite having an interview Monday), Katie is freaking out about her drama presentation, John is visiting rellies back east, Pokey is being very affectionate, and life is perrrrrty darned good right now.

Resisting temptation
2006-03-29— Posted by: allegra

Those of you who are shacking/married know that sometimes you will share with your spouse a joke which is not, uh, shareable with the great mass of people. Such was the case last night. Suffice it to say Paul and I got a good laugh out of it, and that I am in a calm and friendly state of mind today as Paul donated about half hour of desperately required massage. (I worked on his scalp and face). I am really really happy he’s off nights; I miss my teddy bear when he’s not there.

Katie took her boyfriend for coffee the other day (having learned she still had money in her account!). I covered off the dishes for her last night so she could do homework.

Last night I dreamed that I lived in a city made of books. I also dreamed that I found a musical instrument (weird looking critter, like a 16 string cittern made of black composite), and once I found out that it was something I could play on I started singing “Lifeline” – and everybody else started singing something else even louder and I attacked them. Like, physically; like, ripping their shirts up and pounding on them. How…. childish. I was displeased with my dream-self.

Got a postcard (Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street) from my ex-husband yesterday. I should write him back.

My loofahs haven’t germinated. I wonder how long it takes; nothing but a couple of Jalapenos and the sugar beets and flax have come up. The tobacco is stubbornly sitting this one out as well, and after I bought nice big decorative pots for them, the ingrates.

Keith is still coughing but a little better every day.

enough sleep
2006-03-28— Posted by: allegra

Couldn’t sleep until 1:30 last night. Richard Fleischer died the day before yesterday. As a memorial, we watched Red Sonja, one of THE WORST movies I ever saw in the theatre, and really, we should have watched 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, as that *was* his magnum opus. Kirk Douglas, who had the world’s sweetest ass at the time, dancing around in front of a bunch of appreciate sailors!? happy squee.

labour unrest
2006-03-27— Posted by: allegra

From the Blenz on Robson……

More things you don’t want to know
2006-03-27— Posted by: allegra

Whatever you do, don’t google image adipocere, like I did, like a butthead, yesterday. I know there are a lot of CSI fans out there, but there are some things you just don’t want to know. I also watched a time lapse film of a pig decomposing. I know mOm is a pig fan, but there are limits, so I am not providing the link. Sic transit gloria internet.

Paul and I bailed on Carly’s game about halfway through the second half – it was raining pretty steady, although not particularly hard, and I was soaked through on the back of my neck. I wasn’t particularly cold, which I owe to the fact that I hauled wood and brush for about an hour and a half before we left – my core temperature was a-boiling, for sure – and now there’s only minor cleanup left in the yard (which of course consists of pick up sticks – it’s time to get out the rake). Standing next to the walnut tree and watching it weep – it’s crying (unlike the cherry or the pear) with a steady rain of green tears – almost made me burst into tears as well.

Does anybody want holly seedlings? I have three holly seedlings, planted by birds pooping off the top of the side yard fence, and they can’t stay there for more than another two weeks as that’s when the beds are going in. Pic is of Jan, me (in a highly characteristic, front end loader kinda pose) and Jim. It hasn’t started to rain real hard quite yet. I’m also posting this pic to demonstrate to my mother that I actually wear my Jayne hat in public.

One thing after another
2006-03-26— Posted by: allegra

Katie’s doing dishes (!), mOmandpOp watched the Buffy Musical episode last night and liked it (!!), Paul says he’s doing okay on three hours sleep (Nice try, don’t believe him) and Carly has a soccer game this afternoon that we are going to try to get to. Keith is still working on a strep throat; I don’t care as long as he doesn’t give it to me. John is off in Ontario filking up a storm and I am trying to recover from reading the entire Xenogenesis trilogy in what was essentially four extended reads over two days.

Other than policing up the lawn today and seeing Carly’s game I have no plans.

Has anybody noticed that global climate change has hit the big time!? Front of Time, all over the place….

I’ve posted the link before, but if you want the sober, science climate change news explained for peeps, go to I recently tripped over which is a very interesting blog indeed, and a nice antidote for Apocalyptic attitudes. He’s dead wrong about a lot of things, but his recent post about energy conservation as an Olympic sport was pretty entertaining & informative. Having problems with allergies? Check out (I especially like the disclaimers). I’ll see if I can get some pics from the game and post them later……

Baby Hippo, Henry Doorly Zoo
2006-03-25— Posted by: allegra

Spa day
2006-03-24— Posted by: allegra

Avocado scrub…. I’d show the pic of Katie but I don’t have her permission.

Lazy day
2006-03-24— Posted by: allegra

After my extremely wearing week I decided to take the day off.

Keith is playing Prince of Persia, Kate’s asleep, Paul’s off running and I’m trying to think about what order we’re going to do our Spa Day stuff in. I actually got one of those facial steam/manicure set combos at London Thugs, I mean Drugs, yesterday. So we’re going to do the manicure, pedicure, salt scrub, facial blah blah blah thing, and then head over to the salon to get our hairs trimmed.

Paul’s off to Delta to help Mike M with his plane. All in all it should be a lovely lazy day, exactly what I need after this week.

Monday I was the only person in the call center. Everybody else called in sick – four other people. I find it entertaining and odd that after learning that I’ll be off the phones in six months or so I get blindsided with being the Thin Blue Line of customer service for an entire day. Funnier still was how I ended up at work half an hour early. These things are sent to try us. Anyway, I’m going to take my eyes off this computer screen and give myself a rest from the phosphor dot glare for a while.

apparently there’s a couple unaccounted for
2006-03-23— Posted by: allegra

It’s not clear yet, but there may be a couple missing from the ferry sinking.

My sugar beets
2006-03-23— Posted by: allegra

The sugar beets are coming up! They are very cute.

2006-03-22— Posted by: allegra

This snake was found in the women’s can in Sydney Airport. I know a lot of people who are scared shitless of snakes, so I’d say a washroom is a good place to see one.

William Shatner, one of the world’s greatest ecktors, was born on this day many many many years ago.

Organlegging is alive and well in New Jersey… NOW I know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, he got carved up for skin grafts…. The snake, please!!!

scroll down to the header Best lovers?
2006-03-22— Posted by: allegra

Then read the comment on the difference between Democrats and Republicans as lovers. That gave me the best laugh I’ve had in ages.

Ferry sinking part II
2006-03-22— Posted by: allegra

Another Classic Canadian Accident (TM)
2006-03-22— Posted by: allegra

Picture copyright John Harvey. The Queen of the North sank off the coast of BC last night. Nobody died. In the next post, I’ll show the map with the red star showing the location of most of the survivors. It was blowing about 75k and choppy; no word on why she went aground. As for it being another Classic Canadian Accident (TM), that’s where there’s millions of dollars of property damage and no injuries, something that seems to happen A LOT in Canada.

2006-03-21— Posted by: allegra

From Cousin Gerald, by way of a friend.

sundry and various
2006-03-21— Posted by: allegra

Paul’s off to Seattle; Katie has a chest cold (again); I’m still recovering from yesterday’s work surprise (all 4 agents in the Call Center called in sick, you’re it, alone, SURPRISE!); Keith is starting the job hunt again.

I’m off to see Tori tonight; she’s back from Glasgow and I’m sure she has a million stories.

The things you see at Save-On
2006-03-20— Posted by: allegra

Photo credit Dave D.

Be nice to Keith
2006-03-20— Posted by: allegra

He was let go from his job today. (Not customer service oriented enough (ie manic smiling), although they had no complaints about the speed of his work.) He figured that was what was happening so he took in his uniform and handed it back. Right now he’s sitting in the Burnaby Library across from Highgate and reading Neil Gaiman and thinking bleak bleak thoughts.

He called up looking for some “buck up” and I supplied same.

Heavy sigh.

The weird thing is, I just remembered that I got fired from Grandma Lee’s Bakery in London, when I was his age. Cazart! I’m so old, I’ve forgotten the jobs I was fired from! There’s hope, Keith, really there is.

Spiderlamb, spiderlamb
2006-03-20— Posted by: allegra

Gonna have, his own web cam….. credit Agence France Presse.

Candle for losses
2006-03-20— Posted by: allegra

I light a candle for a theft suffered by dear dear friends, and I administer a psychic kick in the ass to the mean people who did the thieving. Guess I missed the point of forgiveness.

Back to work this morning. NO more VOICEmail. Yeeeeeeeehawwwwwwwwwwww! (I used to have 26 voicemails waiting for me when I came in Monday morning, but somebody turned it off.

Cousin Gerald sent a picture puzzle put together by Virgin Digital which is rebuses of band names, past and present. Keith and Kate and I had a great time messing with it, and got about thirty five names (out of seventy four, and two of them that I got were slightly wrong) in about 20 minutes. A very nice piece of intergenerational fun.

You know, the only way you can rebel against parents who raised you as an atheist is to get religion. Becoming an axe murderer just wasn’t an option.

Leo and Linda/Laurel and Etta
2006-03-19— Posted by: allegra

Had a brief and lovely visit from Cousin Laurel and her youngest, Etta (who kept her nose FIRMLY in a book while she was here and politely asked if she could leave at a certain time so she could go to the Vancouver Public Library), and a less brief but equally lovely visit from Leo and Linda. Linda, despite having walking pneumonia, is a complete force of nature, and having Leo around just makes me feel quietly happy.

Mother, you will be pleased to know that we did a Standard Family Thing. We went for ice cream, except in this case, for 218 kinds of gelato at the big Gelato Palace on Venables.

Katie promptly said she wants to take Dax there, and I can’t blame her.

I have a lot of wonderful leftovers in the fridge from our meal at Chong Lum Hin (kids were in attendance, and Keith tried a new food, minced beef and spinach).

I ditched Mothers Day and am now blasting through “She” my ONE AND ONLY attempt at arena rock. It was meant to be sung by a Guy With Big Hair. I only started yesterday and I’m almost done, which tells you how formulaic and metrically unchallenging it is.

Katie is playing PS2 and Keith is kibitzing while waiting for me to get off the computer.

Strange email award goes to….
2006-03-18— Posted by: allegra

Sandy, whom I’ve previously mentioned, owns and operates the Red Deer Lodge and Campground close by Algonquin Park, in Ontario. In her on line listing with Holiday Junction, she mentions that she has a clean beach.

Alas, the perils of Google.

Sandy recently received this email. I have stripped off the attributions out of mercy for the woman who typed it…..

I am looking for any information you can give regarding cleaning a beach. I am asking on behalf of a town in Newfoundland and Labrador which has a beach in desperate need of cleaning.


Lazy Saturday morning
2006-03-18— Posted by: allegra

Katie is playing PS2, Keith’s asleep, and I’m contemplating the house cleaning I have to do and saying Bleagh. I did manage to find the ac adapter for the Casio so I unpronged myself from the spear of irony, and have gone back to working away on my songs.

Leo and Linda (I have previously posted pics at Christmas and at other times) will be here overnight, and I may see cousin Laurel and her daughter today as well. A family type day….

Have a good one everybody! The weather in Vancouver is promising sunny good cheer.

On a less cheerful note, I saw three dead rats and a dead seagull on the way back from dropping Paul at the airport. That’s the highest roadkill count in quite a while; and the last one was about a block from here. On the other hand, it’s all critters God made enough of, so it’s all, if not good, then suggestably okay.

60 bars
2006-03-18— Posted by: allegra

You would think, it being St Patrick’s Day and all, that the 60 bars I am referring to are the 60 bars I’ve visited over my life. They would include the Elbow Room and the Spoke’n Rim and the Bavarian Tavern and Mingles and Nag’s Head North and the El Mocambo and the Silver Dollar and the Ox Box and Eagle’s Nest and the Elephant and Castle and Larry’s Hideaway and Toby’s and Barbie’s.

Yes, when I lived in Montreal, I had a Barbie’s at the end of my street. And a damned good depanneur, too; they always had St. Ambroise Blonde in the cooler.

Life was good, and I was 30 pounds lighter, although definitely meaner and dumber than I am now. Good trade, if trade it was, now that I come to think of it, fat for brains and manners. Or maybe the fat just slows ya down; you just LOOK smarter because you’re not launching yourself lustfully at every bit of trouble that comes your way.

Howsoever that may be, the 60 bars I was referring to are actually the 60 bars in “Mother’s Day” I have completed; I’m nowhere close to done and the whole project is starting to take on the leaden weight of “Gone with the Wind”.

I am so far pleased with the results.

I have sent away for a midi cable to connect the Casio keyboard I bought my daughter with my bonus money last year to my computer, and of course having spent the f*cking money I cannot find the ac adapter for the Casio. As I literally sell ac adapters for a living (none of which would work, thanks for asking)……. the irony of this is so intense that I feel like I’m being repeatedly jabbed by a spear while I lie on the ground and squirm, while yelling Holy Virgin! Lay off! Okay I’m sensitive, it’s not that big a deal, I’m just…


Anyway, I’m going to make one more horrified and gingerly inspection of my daughter’s room, in case the ac adapter decides to leap up and recite “Invictus” while emitting a pale green miasma. Because, folks, it would take that much to draw attention in the thong bestrewn (

Ed., that’s enough of that) so anyways I hope I’ll find it.

Work continues to be much improved. Tomorrow is my ninth anniversary there.

Gianna, Peter T, Rob of Nine, Dave M, Patricia and Dave D were my companions at lunch today (Mario, being the sane adult in the crowd, stayed back at the office and performed a strange ritual called “work”). I stood Patricia and Rob a beer. From this you may safely assume that as much of a worker’s paradise as BC is, we weren’t in the company cafeteria.

I was very happy when I got back to the office. Blithe, even.

Jumping Jimmy Christmas
2006-03-17— Posted by: allegra

So a couple of weeks after the picture of the new Abominable snow lobster comes out…. the STUFFED TOY!????

DNA in the sky
2006-03-17— Posted by: allegra

Isn’t this a pretty picture? Its called the DNA nebula, pic credit NASA.

I have put my flax, loofah, tobacco, jalapeno and sugar beet seeds in their little starter homes. They look very cute.

When I came home last night, Keith and Kate were playing a racing game head to head on the PS2 Katie borrowed from Dax. It was extremely cute.

Cuter still was overhearing Katie explain to a buddy she hadn’t spoken to for two years on the phone,

No, actually, I don’t drink anymore.

No, actually, I don’t go to parties anymore.

No, actually, I don’t talk to her anymore; she thought I stole her thongs (ed note, I KNOW this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true) and I don’t really like her very much.

Are you kidding? She’s fatter than I was at my chubbiest.

Well, I hang out with my boyfriend, go to school, do my homework, do the dishes, play on the PS2 and hang out with my family.

Yes, I’m sure it sounds very boring to you.

ED note… just when I’m thinking how proud of her I am, she comes out with this gem, “Do you know where he lives, I have to beat the crap out of that kid!”

“He just really deserves it, take my word for it.”

Okay, that wasn’t cute, but I really don’t think she’s serious.

No kangaroos in Austria
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

So, of course, here’s an Austrian kangaroo… note the snow.

enough sleep
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

I made the mistake of going to the band name generator site.

Allegra Meltdown

Allegra Century

Allegra of the Algae

Shrewd Allegra

Allegra Piracy

Selfish Allegra

Allegra People

Allegra Arcade

Binary Allegra and the Thirty Lieutenant

Allegra Minute

Intelligent design
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

So as we continue to truck down life’s highway, isn’t it interesting how design is becoming more – naturalistic?

This device is called a Powersquid.

all hail rishathra
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

He died on the 15th
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

I hate having my site hosted in a different time zone.

H P Lovecraft deathday
2006-03-16— Posted by: allegra

He died on this day in 1937. RIP, you squiddly guy you.

front half of March 2006

Note from my brO
2006-03-15— Posted by: allegra

Allegra, this just occurred to me the other day as I walked the halls of UVic with my ears covered to avoid serious damage to my hearing from people screaming on their cell phones. [1] Regular phones provide audible feedback consisting of the talker’s voice, amplified and emitted from the earpiece. [2] The louder their own voice seems to the talker, the more quietly they tend to speak. You can test this easily enough on a regular phone that allows you to adjust the earpiece volume. Office phones usually have a feature like this. [3] Cell phones apparently don’t have this feedback feature. My own cell phone has an earpiece volume setting but this has no apparent effect on sounds coming from the microphone. In fact I can detect no evidence whatsoever that sound from the microphone is being directed to the earpiece. [4] So I think this explains why everyone seems so loud when talking on cell phones. The whole notion of feedback as way to regulate your voice volume is pretty well understood. If you cover your ears you tend to talk louder. Same thing if you’re temporarily deaf after a loud concert. [5] Now the real question: assuming I’m right about cells having no talker feedback, WHY is that the case? My suspicion is that it’s to save power. To get the sound from the microphone to the earpiece and provide sufficient feedback strength, you have to amplify it. Cell phones are all about minimizing power use for extended charge life. It makes sense, but this is yet another case of unintended consequences, IMHO. Jeff

Working away
2006-03-15— Posted by: allegra

Paul went up to Kamloops with Mike J yesterday – the weather was apparently foul – and got back in time for some daylight, so they hung the engine.

It hailed with unbelievable fury around 10 to 6 last evening. I was just dropping Rob of Nine off at his place after a trek to the liquor store in Lougheed Mall *no Lion Winter Ale OF COURSE*, and the skies opened and 1.5 cm chunks of ice fell for about ten minutes. I was figuring it was pretty local and it was – my place is only about 4 km away by car and nothing fell in East Burnaby. The temperature on the ground was about plus 4 so obviously nothing lasted, but Yumpin Yiminy it was slippery underfoot. I remember driving by a jogger who was blinking somewhat more often than usual but appeared otherwise unperturbed, and one seriously distressed looking motorcyclist, who had pulled over and put his kerchief up.

Futurama-dama continues unabated with a side of a 3rd season of Babylon 5…

Last night I resisted and stuck to my song writing, and am now very well into Mothers Day, including the dirgelike bass line. Hm. Well, I have another half hour to work on it before the work cycle starts again so I’ll get back to it.

Since it’s been ages since I posted a decent moose picture, I will leave you with this gem, culled from a site in New Zealand of all places. Provenance is entirely unknown.

Feelin’ Squiddy Part Deux
2006-03-15— Posted by: allegra

So my mother writes me…..

With just a little encouragement, I might knit a squid…


My ever so UNfilial response:

Really? So typing Knitting pattern squid in Google is too much for you? What a drag it is getting old.

Okay, now you can throw a pillow at me and scowl.


And my mother’s response, a warm and measured….:

Right. So I found the squid knitting pattern, and it wouldn’t print out. I HAD thought I could try it without a pattern but now that I know there IS one, I want it!

Knitting a squid is as a phrase in English on par with another one unlikely to be heard: Hand me that piano. That appeals to me.


Karl Marx RIP
2006-03-14— Posted by: allegra

Karl died 123 years ago today.

We’re coming up on 20 years after the Chernobyl disaster. I remember being pregnant with Keith and feeling very helpless and sad. So expect the usual media feculence as we ramp up to the actual anniversary.

2006-03-14— Posted by: allegra

Apart from my yard looking like Saruman’s minions have been at it, I’m doing okay. Paul, in a masterful demonstration of his command of space, removed the branches on the walnut without bringing down any hydro lines, and if you’d seen the conundrum you would have pronounced it a poser and likely said, plaintively, why not hire a professional. But with a borrowed Sears electric chainsaw (a damn good one too!) and the determination for which he is justly famous, he got the last of the branches down at sunset… One wire did get munched a bit…. but it was the cable – which Paul took side cutters to about 6 years ago, anyway, where it came into the house – when we found out the cable wasn’t actually disconnected and the kids were using it. Snip. Paul is a man not to dick around with.

I have the car today, yippee. Paul and Mike J are driving to Kamloops to pick up the engine for Mike’s aircraft, John’s just gone off to work, Katie’s in the embrace of Morpheus and Keith has to work later today. Blew off karate, the little weiner. Futurama proved TOO much for him, and frankly for me too.

What a sitcom it is! What mastery of the form! At least twice an episode I find myself laughing so hard the kids tell me to shut the fuck up, they can’t hear the dialogue.

I am sad about the trees, and Paul’s really not happy about it either, but it wasn’t our idea to plant those trees on a sewer line, and we will be planting more trees on the property – on the other side, little fruit trees.

As per Brooke’s request, I am working on the song Mothers Day.

Work has finally lightened up. Oatmeal is calling, must run.

Feelin’ squiddy
2006-03-14— Posted by: allegra

I feel squiddy.

enough sleep
2006-03-13— Posted by: allegra

We sang and played at Peggy and Tom’s last night. Tom cooked a stellar meal, and I made a DESSERT! Yes, yesterday was a day I got off my ass and did stuff, including mending, laundry, trimming figs (I am SO sore) and baking a spice cake for Peggy (and a small army of food colouring enthusiasts, truth be told). Paul and I slept like kitty cats. I had yet another dream about a coworker – this one involved me looking puzzled while he tried to explain something to me. This is so close to what happens in real life that I woke up grinning. I can’t tell the difference between reality and dreams. Here comes Paul up the back stairs, having gone running with Peggy (enterprising folks that they are); Katie is asleep in bed and Keith is long gone off to the early shift at Cobs.

I awoke to the sound of a woodpecker drumming in a tree.

Super sad sad note. All the trees in the side yard are coming down. The sewer line is right under them and we’ve already had one near disaster. Only the walnut was productive, and only for the freaking squirrels, anyway. Instantly I have a sunny south facing side yard to plant in.

Karl got cuttings from our fig trees. Apparently they are dead easy to propagate.

“My vegetable love should grow ….
2006-03-13— Posted by: allegra

Vaster than empires, and more slow.”

Perverted pepper and quote (Andrew Marvell) supplied by WHO ELSE, Dr. Filk.

Confluence of coinkidinks
2006-03-13— Posted by: allegra

Cousin Gerald found this on a BBC website. It purports to be a recent picture of Glasgow. Now, Glasgow is the place where Toribird is shortly to return from (she finished all of her assignments and got them graded and she’s coming home like two weeks early (Tigger bounce)). So it looks like the Glaswegians get snow. Or, as I read in a Scots Dialect on line dictionary, “Aw naw, SNAW!” Of course, the logo on the van makes it standalone funny, but I wanted you to enjoy the coincidence.

Weekend news roundup
2006-03-12— Posted by: allegra

Absolutely nothing is happening. Everybody go back to sleep.

Bye Vijay
2006-03-11— Posted by: allegra

My colleague Vijay is fleeing the scene. It is tempting to place a bug on the wall of the room where he will be having his exit interview, but it did give us an excuse to drag the teetotal dude to the golf course. Tom U (ach, how I miss him) and Jim A (ditto), Mike, Robbie B, Rob of Nine and Liz, Jessica, Brian C, Venu, Kevin C, Sau, myself and Alex S saw him off.

Jessica was having conniptions at the prospect of her stagette. I am so frikkin glad that is something I will NEVER experience that words cannot describe it. Considering that 3 beers make me garrulous (what, more than normal? ed.) and 7 make me puke, a stag would probably result in my presentation to RCH with alcohol poisoning.

Katie just called from Suzanne’s to indicate all is well; bring underwear. Bring underwear? Okay, I won’t ask any questions. (Actually she needs two days’ worth of clothes but the underwear question sort of got my attention.)

Keith is playing Prince of Persia on PS2 and making a certain amount of interesting banging noises.

Slobodan Milosevic is dead. Happens to the best of us, eventually. Of course there is the little issue of the autopsy… at least he wasn’t alive and dead at the same time, like poor Schrodinger-style Arafat.

enough sleep
2006-03-11— Posted by: allegra

Moose in Bondage
2006-03-11— Posted by: allegra

God, looks like a dull day in rural New Hampshire. “Mert, the moose tied himself up in the swing set again.”

Did you know there is a Distinguished Moose Biologist Award? Bernt Earik Saether of Trondheim Norway won it in 2002. He was inspired to study moose after one bit his sister. I’m making all this up, but you can check it on the inertnet if you like. I know what you’re thinking, Brooke. You can’t fool me. It’s time I posted a picture of a moose playing BANJO! Now THAT would be entertaining. But as moose do not actually have hands, I’ll be a while getting that picture to you.

2006-03-10— Posted by: allegra

I appear to be recovered from my migraine. A lot of snow fell last night, and I’m glad I wasn’t driving in it because the 106 bus driver was doing chewies in the snow trying to get out of bus stops; he refused to go down the hill into New West and was cycling between the mall and Edmonds Station.

That was because I was on the way back from Mike’s place, where I went to commingle with his harem (

Prior to Mike’s I was with Paul at Katie’s parent teacher night. It’s frikkin weird to think she’s in grade 12. In fact, I felt my innards contract a little when I typed that, no lie.

Then I jumped on the Skytrain (which, when the doors open on the new cars is kyTrain, did you know that?) and disembarked at Nanaimo (I think it would be bad form to say I ‘got off’ at Nanaimo) and walked over to his place. Yes, this news item is full of temporal distortions.

When I got home, Savage Love was neatly folded face up on the living room couch. I didn’t even wait that long for the bus at Edmonds, which is a frikkin miracle, considering how underdressed for the weather I was.

Side note to Rob of Nine. My new record is 7.

Getting to work today will be interesting. It’s 8:15 and Paul isn’t home yet – I’m supposed to have the car.

Pic is of the snow last night.

Here piggy piggy piggy
2006-03-10— Posted by: allegra

For Mom

2006-03-09— Posted by: allegra

The Five Love Languages

My primary love language is probably
Acts of Service
with a secondary love language being
Words of Affirmation.

Complete set of results

Acts of Service: 9
Words of Affirmation: 7
Physical Touch: 6
Quality Time: 5
Receiving Gifts: 3


Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

My head the weather balloon
2006-03-09— Posted by: allegra

Between midnight and noon today (March 8) the barometer dropped from 101.9 kP to 99.9 kP. My head responded by giving me one of the most bizarre migraines I’ve ever lived through. I went home around noon feeling completely screwed up (Thank God Paul could pick me up) and only just woke up – it’s about five thirty on March 8 whatever the date header says….

I got:

Visual disturbances (like, vertical bars in front of my eyes;

balance disturbances;

coordination disturbances;

unbelievably stiff painful neck, but just on my right side, which persists;

differences in colour vision between left and right eyes;

worst dizziness I’ve ever had when I hadn’t been drinking and didn’t have flu;

transient nausea at the commencement of the ‘ride’.

Get this… appetite and tolerance for noise and light were undisturbed, except for video screens. Even now I’m thinking I should just shut ‘er down and run a bath… the screen is too harsh to look at. As always the fix was to take codeine and lie down. I’m going to go run a bath. More later. That was just plain weird. My brain never ceases to amaze me.

2006-03-08— Posted by: allegra

Hey Alan, I dreamed about you last night! You had grown much taller (?!) and when I went walking with you I had to wrap my arm around your leg. Odd dream, but pleasant withal. The rest of my dreams were full of greasy salesmen trying to sell me “snake chow” when I KNOW that snakes eat live food only. Hm. Wonder if I should read something into that.

Puddled briefly last night.

Shown is a new hairy lobster. Actually, it isn’t. It’s a whole new genus of crustacean called kawa hirsuta. The hairs are eye substitutes because this critter is blind. It was discovered in very deep water off of Easter Island. I find it quite beautiful although there likely will be other opinions. Credit AP.

expire of the cuteness
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

For more pix like:

Ali Farka Toure
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

Is dead after a long illness; RIP.

Perseus taking a shower
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

Perseus in marble
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

Perseus in marble
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

A pictorial meditation on Perseus
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

Cellini’s masterpiece, seen from the side.

Pig snouts
2006-03-07— Posted by: allegra

Strange, strange, are the ways of fortune. I actually had a good reason to be searching for images of pigs looking up. What I looked at instead, about half the time, were repulsive veterinary style closeups of mucosal diseases of swine. Hrrr! bah…. brrrrrr bleaughhh! It was beyond words ghastly, and yet strangely compelling.

So after looking at a LOT of diseased pigs, I found one pig that was *almost* anatomically correct in the correct posture for me to thieve in the name of kitsch, and decided to quit while I was ahead. I am planning a piece of fabric art for my mother, which involves an enchanting young pig looking adoringly at a hummingbird. Thus the warning about kitsch.

Work was actually entertaining in a dry, pinned to a neat label in a neat box, kind of way.

I light candles for Peggy, Brooke, Rev Katie, Dr Filk, my folks, Jeff, Jerome, Tammy, Alan, Janice, Mike, Tori, Keith, Kate, Patricia, Rob of Nine, Peter T, Gianna, Lindsay. I send virtual hugs to Paul. (As soon as I typed that, Paul magically appeared behind me and started massaging my shoulders, which struck me as being pretty funny as coincidences go.) He’s gone off to look after himself and he deposited a kiss on me on his way out the door.

My life has changed abruptly for the better and the worse. My mother’s mother said repeatedly in my hearing that her family could never be TOO big, but she didn’t give me the heart-stopping corollary, which is that you have one fuck of a lot more people to worry about then or be forced to cough up for, which is not always a good trade for the number of relatives you can sponge from, if you follow my venal train of thought.

I’m signing off, Buffyverse is taking over again and I’ll have to take refuge in my bedroom or be suck’d into its aweful power especially as it’s my fave 2nd season ‘sode. Must fleeeee, and take Mandolin with to drown out noise. Yes. A Plan. I have my grip on a Plan.

Word cloud
2006-03-06— Posted by: allegra

Here’s a word cloud of my blog.

Many remarkable things.
2006-03-06— Posted by: allegra

mOm, please do not feel obliged to watch this. But if you do, please be advised that the most remarkable thing about this extremely, uh, sophisticated and adult oriented video, is the guy playing the banjo… at least in my opinion. And as a warning for everyone else, if the sight of dildoes and pasties bothers you, please don’t go there.

I am not going to say who sent this to me, but I will admit “Geez, that’s kind of a personal question!” occurred to me as I was viewing it. By copy to Dr. Filk… I believe you saw a band perform this live at an Ivan Coyote book launch, or maybe you didn’t.

Bambi Blanco II
2006-03-06— Posted by: allegra

I just HAD to post the other picture. Cute as the dickens, ain’t it.

Bambi Blanco
2006-03-06— Posted by: allegra

This picture came to me via cousin Gerald, who got it from a coworker, who got it from a friend who lives in Texas. This little creature, nicknamed Powder by the family who got him briefly before the game warden came and got him, was hours old when they nearly hit him with their car. They figured he was a baby goat, but he’s a whitetail deer fawn. Look how small he is compared to the shoe!!! He took to the bottle right away and will probably end up at a game farm or petting zoo.

Travelling about
2006-03-05— Posted by: allegra

Paul, Katie, Keith and I got on the ferry to Victoria this morning. I spent the whole ferry trip sorting through my pile of songs and writing out lyrics for songs from memory, and adding cards for new songs; all boring administrivia stuff, nothing as fun as actually getting the songs into sheet music form.

My dad’s about to go pick up his mom and Jeff is coming over later too, so it will be a small festive gathering.

Fed Suzanne and John last night; I would have fed Zach more but I pulled out the Nutella. What a mess I made of the roast – I didn’t cook it nearly long enough and then of course overcooked it.

When we got off the ferry we were greeted by what appeared to be a huge pollen cloud; I am now itching and blinking constantly while my brain slowly swells. Everything is flowering here; there are daffs at the side of the road and cherries in bloom – blooming well everywhere.

To keep with the family theme, the picture is of my cousin Shauna (on the left) and my cousin Derry (on the right, and now sadly and too soon departed many years ago of cancer) in about 1973.

Keith is happily telling the grandparents what it’s like to work at Cobs Bakery. Paul pulled out the Jericho Beach flying boat book John bought for him for Dad to look at. All in all, a peaceful Sunday.

Nuff said
2006-03-03— Posted by: allegra

It is the weekend. It is payday. I am feeding Suzanne on Saturday and we’re visiting my folks on Sunday. Oh, sorry, mOm, I neglected to mention that in my phone call this ayem. Work fellates the galactic moose. Katie slept at Suzanne’s. John puddled last night. In reviewing the last sentence I must hasten to add that he neither ‘puddled’ like a Rudy Rucker character, nor ‘puddled’ in the sense of lost control of his sphincters, but went to the Pool to swim. Brooke puddled too, in the same sense of the word. Keith appears to have been taken on full time by the Cobs on Commercial Drive and is working a full shift today. He is on the counter, not in the bakery. They adjusted his shifts around his karate. Paul is singing J Geils “My Angel is a Centerfold” which should give you some idea of his mood. His class was cancelled and I got called into pick him up from work. Katie got 35 out of 45 on her Psych presentation. Keith enjoyed Karate last night but I think he enjoyed the three hours playing Whorecraft much more. Keith is admonishing me. He actually caught some live music at Myles of Beans last night. Quite the man about town, he’s becoming.

Course was cancelled
2006-03-03— Posted by: allegra

So Paul just worked an ordinary day today. I’ll go pick him up later this evening. I feel like steak tonight, and by Gar I think I’ll go get some. Steak and epsom salts, on my shopping list. Not to eat all at once of course.

Some cats like to watch
2006-03-02— Posted by: allegra

and some like the parallel bars. Some do pawstands. This is a cruelty free cat show – the cats are doing it as a result of his observation of their special talents and then developing it.

2006-03-02— Posted by: allegra

Paul’s on the plane to Toronto to learn about a new inflight entertainment. I miss him already.

But what about small aircraft?
2006-03-02— Posted by: allegra

Gosh. I guess if I don’t want to feel guilty about travelling any more I’d better not go anywhere in the future.

enough sleep
2006-03-01— Posted by: allegra

Bird flu in cats? Now I’m worried.

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

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.

First half of February 2006

Waiting a long time for a bus in Moscow
2006-02-15— Posted by: allegra

Credit Nicholas Danilov, Mosnews.

Valentines day pile up
2006-02-15— Posted by: allegra

Okay, lessee. Because I am a nimnul, missed Peggy’s birthday celebration yesterday, but since I actually was able to herd all of my peeps into one room for a Valentine’s Evening Dinner – Keith and Kate were there! – it wasn’t so bad. I asked Paul if it would be okay to just buy what I felt like eating, so I made garlic bread, bought brie, made cocktail prawns (steamed, not boiled), made salad and microwaved some spinach, and grilled two extremely large steaks. Katie’s in wonderful shape, we laughed ourselves silly.

My seeds from Richters came, and wouldn’t you freaking well know it…. no sweetgrass – no linen flax, and no somethingerotherelse, can’t remember what.

Valentines Day cards for the coworkers went over well, again. This year I bought Fantastic 4, Cookie Monster and Pooh valentines cards; some people are really Tigger fanatics so I ensured they got those cards.

I saw the news about Cheney’s hunting accident and really wanted to post, but something told me to hang back. I’m glad I did. The most interesting consequence of the debacle was watching the leftosphere toss a highly appropriate muzzle on when the victim went back into ICU. The rightosphere will no doubt bemoan the bad taste of the leftosphere in making fun of a serious situation, as a result, but ainsi soit-il. I really wish Cheney would strap his conscience on and publicly apologize. You know it’s not likely to happen. Sigh.

My sundry symptoms are backing off, slowly, as in I’m in a lot less pain almost all of the time – but they’re being replaced by the Saddam’s mother of all colds. Paul’s been a snot factory for the last week – share and share alike, I guess.

I read an interesting item in the blogosphere recently about what to do if you blog and are being stalked. Same as if you’re not blogging and are being stalked. Get some likely lads together with ‘pool cues and table legs’ and administer percussive scalp therapy. That was easy, warn’t it?

Hope you all had a lovely day, and that you didn’t get hosed too bad on the roses.

Really weird dream
2006-02-14— Posted by: allegra

Last night I dreamed that one of my coworkers said, “If you don’t stop sexually harassing people at work I’m reporting you to HR.” This was after fondling him in a fashion that can only be described as non violent sexual assault.

Sigh, and just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Came up with three new bits; the Hyack Festival, Men’s underwear, and That Guy in Marketing, as well as a transitional bit about my probation officer and the perils of walking through your neighbourhood.

I didn’t drink enough water yesterday and I’m really really feeling it today, if you know what I mean.

Time to distribute Valentine’s cards.

2006-02-13— Posted by: allegra

Jumping Jimmy Christmas….??!!! Is there anything Browncoats won’t do???

Stolen from Darcy Michael’s website
2006-02-13— Posted by: allegra

And why the hell not. Mike asked me “Who was that guy” in response to the Laff Riot Girls show closer… and his website is at He’s playing the Urban well on February 21st and I’m going, he made me laugh my ass off. He made a room full of drunks yell “Jihad!”

productive day
2006-02-13— Posted by: allegra

Cleo from across the way gave me chives and irises. I planted the irises but I’m still trying to think where to put the chives. They may end up where I stuck them.

Got ALL my laundry done, helped get the furniture back into the dungeon, did all the laundry that came out of the dungeon (sheets were covered in sawdust and construction gunge), did the dishes when Katie skated off to hang with Dax (grr), made a variant of Chicken Chow-le which got devoured happily by all attendees, weeded the front bed, dumped down some more dirt in same bed, worked some more on songs (this time, the Cairn), noodled around on the internet, worked some more on my comedy routine, found out where all the open mics are in the lower mainland, answered Laurel’s letter and otherwise had a very productive and yet restful day.

My medical condition is responding very well to a beer and water diet. Which reminds me, I should go drink something.

Pic is of Katie, what seems like a hundred years ago, at (I believe) Calgary airport. Paul took the picture.

All funds Canadian dollars
2006-02-13— Posted by: allegra

From the 1979 Radio Shack Catalog.

Jarmo skiing
2006-02-13— Posted by: allegra

Found this on a little used section of the drive. Trent (I believe) took the picture. Jarmo looks naked – but he isn’t. Then Jarmo photoshopped in the earth, and you have a lovely image.

Comedy night
2006-02-12— Posted by: allegra

I came either fifth or sixth, depending on how you calculate these things. Considering that I never consulted my crib sheet and got consistent laughs, I am having trouble identifying what it was that pushed me out of the running, but I will no doubt learn it from the notes provided by the judges (a nice touch). Let us say that I preferred the plaudits of the crowd to the deliberations of the tribunal….

Went to a gelato place on the Drive afterwards to salve my chapped ass (okay, I was applying the salve to the wrong location, or was applying it on the American Plan) and had the strawberry pineapple gelato. It was so good it brought tears to my eyes, and I wish I was exaggerating.

I’m looking forward to my next trek to Seattle. There will be a Open HouseSpit (meeting of the Dunnett fan club) on Saturday, and then Paul and I will pick Janice and Alan up from the airport (they will be arriving back that evening) and then, o then, a lovely day of knocking around Seattle and hanging with the folks, who should be all tanned and rested after a week in Ft Lauderdale or environs.

Off to Zesty
2006-02-12— Posted by: allegra

So I’ll be gigging – it’s part of a standup comedy contest – at Zesty Restaurant tonight. I have no clue when I’ll be going on. I am so nervous I feel jelly-like, but I imagine some of Vancouver’s finest beer will put me in a less frantic mood. Pic is of the venue.

With respect to David Emerson
2006-02-11— Posted by: allegra

May I quote Allen Steele….. “Promises are like turds. You have to make them. You don’t have to keep them.”

Cousin Gerald sent me this
2006-02-11— Posted by: allegra

With the comment ” I believe ‘cool’ would be appropriate to describe this endeavour.”


Squids having sex
2006-02-10— Posted by: allegra

A miracle
2006-02-10— Posted by: allegra

For a small raise in her allowance, Katie has agreed to do all the dishes going forward. This is bloody amazing. I prepaid her two weeks of allowance I was so happy.

Writers Group last night rocked, as always. We write such a large variation of stuff, it’s inspirational. I read My Muse was a Zombie. And brought veggies, in fine UU tradition. We’re getting our own website!

Keith is working later today.

Paul took 100 wheelbarrows of dirt from the construction site yesterday – and yes, he did ask the site supervisor. Okay, I exaggerate.

I have not touched any of my songs! When will I ever get near the computer again?

enough sleep
2006-02-09— Posted by: allegra

Allegra very tired but reasonably okay.

Keith is going to apply to some other Cobb’s locations; Katie is at school and taking Drama and Psychology (talk about yer slack term, I said, to which her response was – uh, no, Psychology is really hard).

Katie cut her own hair. You win some, you lose some.

enough sleep
2006-02-08— Posted by: allegra

Yah! Watched Band Wagon (Astaire, Charisse, Levant, Fabray, Buchanan, and all directed by Vincente Minelli…) last night with John and the kids. It’s a bizarre movie in a lot of ways – we found ourselves laughing a lot when the script is not trying to be funny…. as, f’rinstance, when there’s a big strip of neon proclaiming The GAYEST MAGIC BOX – which should resonate on a number of levels with SOME of my readers. Astaire looks weirder every time I look at him. Worked some more on the Tapioca Song. MAN it’s HARD. The rests are driving me batty.

enough sleep
2006-02-07— Posted by: allegra

Everybody is sleeping peacefully, including Paul. I wish I didn’t have to go to work today. I’d rather be screamed at by a chain of rabid customers than review process documentation all bloody day. Yes, I know it’s for the good of the party.

enough sleep
2006-02-06— Posted by: allegra

This cartoon was so offensive that the Joint Chiefs of Staff fired off a disgusted letter to the Washington Post.

Considering that the US is fighting a ‘technically’ illegal war… (like legality would make it right anyhow) I thought the Joint Chiefs got off quite light, don’t you?

Touched by his noodly appendage part II
2006-02-06— Posted by: allegra

It isn’t safe for work, if that is what you were wondering, unless you work at the BCMP. This is sort of the the CUTE, SQUIGGLY version of a lovecraftian being.

one thing and another
2006-02-06— Posted by: allegra

1. One of my packages came, but due to the incompetence of the Canadian Postal System, I was unable to pick it up the next day, as stated in the tag they left. The fact there was somebody home all day Friday added to my biliousness. Why the farce didn’t they deliver it? Morans.

2. The trek to wellness included a walk along the Fraser foreshore yesterday; Paul thoughtfully picked a walk that included an open, clean and convenient washroom, without which the walk would have been impossible. Katie would have enjoyed seeing more dogs but it was otherwise a very nice walk. There was debris from the storm surge all over the park. I am actually feeling better today.

3. I am continuing to come up with new material for the gig with no apparent effort, which is pleasant. I am in the throes stages of arranging the order for all the bits.

4. Katie continues to be one of the ongoing joys of my life. She has said a couple of things lately that are so poignant, or so funny, that I’ve been dumbstruck – always a good thing, you will no doubt point out. Recently she said, on the subject of God, “The only thing that makes any sense to me is that God created us, got scared and ran away.” This was on Friday night… I don’t know if it’s original to her but it sure made me laugh.

Back to the grind now, thank heaven I have the car.

another fake trailer
2006-02-05— Posted by: allegra

If the link doesn’t work search for Brokeback to the Future and be prepared to snicker.

Friday night Mike showed me a fake trailer for the Shining, which remakes it as a feelgood family movie. That was funny and creepy. OOOOh. Which reminds me. He left weenie goodness here, which I must photograph and post. You will understand when you see it.

notes to the foregoing
2006-02-03— Posted by: allegra

The opening reference is to a Night Stalker episode. I wrote this poem between 10 and 15 years ago; I find it entertaining how some of the images and choices of words now resonate with commercial media like, well, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The “edge in my voice” is definitely an Ellison reference – the book with that as part of the title was published in 1985 and I think I had just finished reading it when I wrote the poem. I was angry with a friend for trying to get on the gravy train of arts council grants (it would have meant that she had to complete reorganize her creative life to lay hands on some government money and now, of course, there’s no money for that kinda stuff); I was in love with someone who didn’t love me back; there were a lot of street people that I had to navigate through as I did the company banking every day and I had to pass a lot of boarded up businesses.

Since I was doing this zombie like trek up and down Queen Street every day and always getting strange looks from people, this poem resulted. And I just had to write a poem with the word sistrum in it, I have no idea why.

Sundry and various
2006-02-03— Posted by: allegra

Paul’s doing his yoga, his bowl of cereal is gently cooking away in the nuker, and I am taking advantage of the glories of socialized medicine with yet another prescription for antibiotics. This one is specifically for UTI’s (lay explanation: It hurts to pee). So yes, I did see the doctor, and his explanation for my problem doesn’t require surgery but is hard to treat. Yummy yummy mucosa!!! Gee whiz, I can hardly wait for the cystoscopy NOW!

I came up with another great line for my comedy routine. Instead of being all panicky and freaked out I just have a vast feeling of calm about it; Zesty’s at 8 on Saturday the 11th, if anybody is interested. Either Paul is better or it was genuinely funny when I shared the new material with him this morning; he laughed and said the folks will love it.

I think it’s time we had another computer in the house, every time I try to get on Paul is on the computer. It’s ridiculous; two months ago he got on the computer about as often as I do dishes. Speaking of which, Katie has another week to do dishes in payment of her debt to me for buying her another month of tanning. It’s working though – her rash is greatly diminished, and it’s done wonderful things to her mood. I’m thinking of doing it myself. (Not really, but I just wanted to picture my mother’s jaw going CLARN into her lap.)

Katie apparently had only the one cigarette so I can go back to Condition Yellow rather than Condition Full Bore Freak Out with Optional Hysterics and Arm Waving.

That’s about all I can think of for now; signing off from beautiful East Burnaby, this is your Mid Stream correspondent signing off for now…..

Go with the Floe!
2006-02-03— Posted by: allegra

Enuff said. This pic is actually from 1997 and was um, borrowed most cruelly from a US army website. (Okay, WHAT was this moose doing on a US Army website? Ha! No one can resist the call of the moose.) But in my diligent search for the best of moosiness, I will take my chances with the eagle eyed military lawyers….

No job yet
2006-02-02— Posted by: allegra

Keith worked a full day yesterday but that was apparently “more testing” and he will know about the job FOR SURE Saturday. Apparently I was also dreaming in Cinemascoop about the floor in the kitchen….. do not pass go, do not find linoleum. Much nicer subflooring and a different configuration in the kitchen, but no lino.

Dax dropped by last night with his friend Justin. I have no idea why. Katie smoked a cigarette and I cried into my biscotti dough. (No, not really. That would be unsanitary.)

Watched most of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes last night, and I am not alone in vastly preferring Jane Russell. Oh, the clothes, the clothes!!! We were so grossed out by the ad for Bus(t) Stop that we didn’t watch it.

My boss’s band is playing the same weekend as Potlatch. Suckage! Major diameter suckkkkage!

Finished **** You Jack and mailed it to my mother, including emailing her the midi file so she knows what tune to hum as she’s playing the somewhat devil may care lyrics. Two songs down, 98 to go. Sigh.

I should finish the Tapioca song so Yam and Dr. Filk can go promulgate it. There is a prophet, and there are acolytes.

Try to guess what I did to this copyrighted picture of Richard Seamans’. It is a B2, and it was taken at an airshow, and then I ditzed with it.

My floor! My floor
2006-02-01— Posted by: allegra

The boys from Edenvale Restoration (and, folks, major props to them all) are in my house doing the last of the flood restoration. It only took 11 weeks from flood to fabulous, and we only got nailed for a $500 deductible. Happy sigh.

Now we have to rip that godawful upstairs carpet up. I really really want to do that, it’s just gross.

democracy under a veil
2006-02-01— Posted by: allegra

Those reading this fore-noted non highlighted link who maintain the impression that the US is still a democracy have my sympathy, but I won’t have much trust in their judgment.

No moose picture?
2006-02-01— Posted by: allegra

I heard about a moose surfing on an ice floe, but there was NO PICTURE. WWAAAAHH.

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 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.

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. 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.

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 A Map of the internet.

A hobbit hole in Wales?

Combat hand signals…useful in modern urban combat.

About time! an on line mando tuner….

last half of December 2005

Here’s an interesting picture
2005-12-30— Posted by: allegra

March of the Penguins
2005-12-29— Posted by: allegra

We’re currently watching March of the Penguins, which is definitely family viewing. Paul is off to work. I have finished all of my laundry and put it away. (It’s the putting away part that is so remarkable.) Brooke picked up a copy of the mandolin music for O Brother Where Art Thou for Keith (which he will be paying for today, I piously hope). I will be returning the accordion and some other stuff to Peggy’s place today (sorry Peggy, can’t keep the accordion).

Jewel Staite’s blog is full of her sister’s babies, it’s extremely cute and funny. Anybody who wants to can access it off Serenity is #25 in rentals and #3 in sales. No frikkin surprise there.

Keith is juggling three balls without looking. Wow.

Gave Phyllis the Globe and Mail Christmas crossword… her eyes sort of glazed over, and why not, the puzzle and clues are two pages across. I am massively in Sudoku land, but I’ve never progressed beyond an easy one.

Stuck 222 dollars worth of fluids in the vehicle yesterday. The tranny fluid was… uh… rather dark in color; the oil was crispified and the rad needed flushing in the worst way. Now the vehicle is much happier, although the joy would be complete if the spark plugs were changed.

Penguin colonies are NOISY.

Today I make file folders for 2006 and clear out the plant room, which will be easier than it sounds cause most of the stuff in there is just plain garbage.

Make mine wild
2005-12-27— Posted by: allegra

A risk benefit analysis of wild vs farmed salmon.

Had a simply wonderful Boxing Day meal yesterday; fed Phyllis, Glenn and Maggie, Jessica D, Keith Kate Paul and myself. Spaghetti squash, mashed taters, bowling balls (brussel sprouts) and a big big hunk of roast pork with sauerkraut. Man, it was tasty. For some reason I completely forgot ALL the fresh vegetables I prepped (Radishes? Carrots? Celery with extra crunch?), so, guess what, I had salad for breakfast this morning. Actually salad and coffee isn’t a bad way to start the day.

Today Paul’s at work and I have the car so I will be trying to think of something that doesn’t involve a hellacious amount of walking but is reasonably touristy for Phyllis; I’m thinking the Sun Yat Sen garden, or is that the imperialist running dog garden, I can never keep it straight. Also, laundry. Why does laundry keep happening? And why are there so few clothes I want to wear even when they are clean? I am puzzled.

Ironing for peace?

Bizzzzarre. Much in this universe puzzles me. Sigh.

There is way too much attractive sugar in this house right now.

Relatives visiting
2005-12-26— Posted by: allegra

Today we pick up Phyllis, Paul’s mum, from the airport (actually we have to be there in about 40 minutes….) and Katie is off on her shopping trip with her gal pal Jessica D.

Yesterday’s Christmas gathering included *yeah yeah yeah* BROOKE, who magically reappeared from her family gathering up the Valley with her mighty might banjo. And it included Keith singing Angel Band with us (the lyrics are in the mighty mighty Rise Up Singing) as well as Down in the River to Pray and Big Rock Candy Mountain. Down in the River to Pray is one of those songs that generates intense heat amongst the people all trying to play it all at the same time (the time signature is bizarre, frankly) so I cut the comedy and said, “We’ll all have a LOT more fun if we sing it a capella,” to which Brooke said, “Works for me” and that is what we did. So we could concentrate on enjoying it rather than futzing with adding and deleting beats.

Anyway, the singing stuff from O Brother Where Art Thou was as much of a Christmas present as Keith could have asked for, so along with the wonderful turkey dinner (I made salad… and brought pineapple. Did you know that fresh ripe pineapple goes really well with turkey? I didn’t until last night.) Oh, and I brought smoked salmon pate and Peggy thankfully had bikkies to put it on, and I garnished them with italian parsley and avocado, so there, extremely festive. Later on today, or is it tomorrow? I am feeding Phyllis and Glenn and Marilyn. Pork Roast I think. Haven’t seen them for ages, me happy. There is WAY too much chocolate in my life right now, although Cleo’s shortbread cookies, as far as I’m concerned, could be piled hip deep and it wouldn’t be enough. Jessica D’s mom made rum balls. My tongue wants a vacation from sugar. Dax bought Katie a piano chord chart for Christmas and it is now hanging over the keyboard in the livingroom. Is there anything else I can jam in here???? More later, of course.

Keith at his blue belt grading
2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

Let’s try this again…..

enough sleep
2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

Now we clean. Grisly, eh? Helluva way to spend Christmas.

Shown are all my Granny’s descendents and spouses. A respectable sized mob. Aren’t the boys adorable???? They were so well behaved at Earl’s I kept rubbing my eyes and wondering how we were related…

2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

It’s a rather festive time of year…. my grandmother turns 90+, my parents have their (gasp! choke… Wheeeehueeeeze!) 49th wedding anniversary, and some guy in a sweaty costume scares children while shaking bells and making noises that sound like rude references to working women.

We took the ferry to join my parents, my uncle and his wife and child and daughter in law and grandchildren, my brother and my grandmother at a meal at Earl’s on Blanshard in Victoria. (Talk about easy directions. Uh, get off the ferry and drive until you see a building on the left with two large scabrous fibreglass parrots). We ate ourselves into a pleasant state of repletion (which science fiction novel did I steal that from?) took family pictures, and just plain had a mellow, mellow time. Now we are home again, and we’ve fed the cats including the Pokester, are grabbing a quick bite, and we’re going to settle in and watch Serenity with Joss Whedon’s commentary.

Tomorrow morning we will have the present opening – TamTam’s prezzies – and we will also have the opening of the cash envelopes, a fine family tradition – and then we will attempt to clean the house to the point that a woman who was raised with proper standards of cleanliness (ie, my mother in common law) will feel welcome here. I figure we should get up around nine, have a leisurely breakfast, bash at it all four of us for a couple of hours, and then knock off for dim sum, or maybe a pizza. Paul is making hot rum toddies.

I bought gifts for three people this year. I’m not allowed to say who I bought one of them for, but I bought presents for Katie’s mom in common law Suzanne (she really really liked her gift which I have been jonesing to buy her since Mike first showed it to me) and for Keith, who is foregoing money for a digital voice recorder. All things considered, I did a pretty good job of keeping my hands in my pockets this Christmas. Paul bought me warm socks and brightly coloured cotton tights for Christmas. Warm fuzzies, darlin’.

Karl and Cleo brought us Christmas cookies. Yum. I will return fire, ahem, provide an exchange, when I get around to cooking biscotti early next week.

I am really in a remarkably happy and relaxed mood, and hearing Alan’s voice on the phone (all I need is Hanukkah gelt! give me Hanukkah gelt?!) was the flourish at the end of the day.

A happy, warm and filled with soul-friends Christmas to you all! I’ll have pix of the family celebration when I’ve uploaded them.

2005-12-23— Posted by: allegra

Saw Bryan P for the first time in about a year at the Golf Course last night. I said, speak to me of your first born son (first grandson, both sides of the family) and he whipped out his laptop and gave me a slide show. His 3 month old son is among the cutest babies ever ever ever. Ever. Ever. He looks like a cross between a cherub and a leprechaun, Then I said, so, uh, speak to me of your wife’s labor and delivery, and of course, you ask a new dad this and whoo hoo, an hour goes by like nothing. I know, I’m sick, but I just love the grisly detail, and you never get to talk about it often enough when it’s that new, and I know from past experience that he’s a hell of a raconteur.

In attendance otherwise were a small horde of past and present fellow workers, including Mike the Perfect Master, Rob B, Dave, Brian C and Chari, Ian and Sarah, Susan N, my Paul, Tony Z, John B, Otto-man (it was great to see him) and Jerome and Shannon. Ah. Wonferdle. It was just the kind of gathering we all desperately needed.

Then Paul and I went home and went to bed. Paul slept like I’ve never seen him sleep, which after four days of nights was a plus.

How very provoking
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Grrr, aargh. My brother just sent me a link to his “I Hate Victoria Drivers” blog, and it’s alternately hilarious and wonderfully written. Visualize using your turn signal. Indeed. In space, nobody can hear you scream “Use your ****ing turn signal, you ignoramus!”

If anybody wants to see the link, lemme know.

Wounded Keith
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Keith had a belt test today. He got clipped during sparring practice, but he has a good feeling about his grading, and will know in about three weeks. Doesn’t he look entirely cute, and sort of James Marstersish? Sigh.

I’m not even going to say what the video is called
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Found this. Perfect. Alan, I’m assuming you have already seen this. Christmas carols for the new age. Or not.

????? uh uh !!!!
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

I have no idea how to describe this video. It’s by turns deeply disturbing, very artistic, almost erotic in a majorly creepy kinda way and you should definitely watch with the sound on. Bendy bendy bendy girl. For sure. Yeah. Ow.

This is Giles
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

He introduced me to Don Ross, Sherlock (a computer logic puzzle which I still play) and I got some free computer help too, long about ten years ago in Montreal. He’s always been a wonderful photographer, and this self portrait of his, taken in 1991, is one of my all time faves. He’s screaming, just in case you’re wondering about the symbolism. He’s living in Georgia. He has mentioned that being a normal Canadian in the heart of the gun-toting south has been interesting and challenging. I got permission to cross post this from his blog.

Swinging is legal in Canada
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

Jumping Jimmy Christmas!!!!! We may be the retard at the family reunion, as per Tucker Carlson, but by Goddess we know how to have a good time.

Happy happy news

Annals of crusty old buggerdom
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

My father, who had surgery on Monday, and is getting out of hospital today, will be WORKING tonight. I’m telling the kids it’s so he can pay for their Christmas presents, in an effort to get them off their asses and email him. He’s walking pretty much pain free, which was the whole idea behind seeing the sawbones in the first place.

Saw the trailer for Pirates II Dead Mans Chest last night, looks amusing. Well, hopefully Paul is on his way home so’s I can have the car. I’m spoiled, spoiled I tell you.

I neglected to mention that Paul bought king crab legs on the weekend. The fridge was so full that we left them on the back deck. We ate em. Yum.

enough sleep
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

The top figure is a regular helicoid. The bottom is a Genus One Helicoid…. you’re welcome. Photo credit Indiana University.

a study in contrasts
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

I worked in the morning, and I went to Glenda’s funeral in the afternoon, and I went to Chronicles of Narnia in the evening, and now it’s almost midnight, and I’m bagged. Night all.

enough sleep
2005-12-20— Posted by: allegra

pOp sailed through the operation, as anticipated. So I have one fewer thing to worry about. And the laundry is working again, and that’s good. I feel like I’m time looping through season 6 of Buffy. Really, I need a new hobby.

I’m going to Syriana tomorrow.

I finally got around to it
2005-12-19— Posted by: allegra

A couple of weeks ago Tom U tried to tee up dinner with me and Paul, and while we were nailing down dates and what to bring, Paul ‘offered my services’ so to squeak, in producing a TORTE. Five years ago, Paul bought me a spring form pan to make tortes with, but it did not have the desired effect. I remained torte free. Now, I can say that my torteaphobia is over, and I have now produced a light, fluffy and wonderful torte, which was a fitting end to the stellar meal Tom fed us, which consisted of his take on a Waldorf salad and home made Pad Thai (note to Patricia, eat your heart out, baby) the construction of which I viewed with the avidity I usually reserve for porn. has a new animation of President Bush reviewing the past year. It’s pretty funny.

If a President stands up in public and admits to shredding the constitution, can’t somebody start impeachment proceedings? Really, it’s appalling.

It didn’t actually freezing rain today so far so I am going to grab the car whenever Paul gets home.

Must jump in shower. This time I’ll turn on the water, just as a concession to my coworkers.

Winter in Ottawa
2005-12-19— Posted by: allegra

It’s enough to make you want to skate to work on the canals. 1/7th of the fleet went out of service during a snowstorm. If you inspect the picture closely you will see four, count ’em, four, jack-knifed articulated buses. Leo sent me this, of course! With the title “Why you live in BC.”

For those of you who may not be aware, I grew up in Ottawa, so the word “Schadenfreude” DEFinitely applies here. Umlauts not included.

Not enough sleep.
2005-12-18— Posted by: allegra

I may have posted this pic before, apologies if I have. The title is “Impending Doom”.

The breadth, depth and scale of my ignorance never ceases to fill me with awe. I do NOT have kidney problems, although it seems I have some ‘equivocal’ test results which will need to be followed up by the pokings and proddings with which those of us over 40 are so intimately familiar. What I DO have is referred back pain, which is feeding into my abdomen in a fashion which mimics colic. The rest of this medical disquisition I’ll keep off line. Suffice it to say that the number of moments during which I am pain free is very small, and I’m being very sparing with the T3s. I have learned that pain makes me boring.

In other news…..

A brief history of Santarchy. Just so you know, I don’t approve, strangely enough. The way you fight the commercialization of Xmas is NOT TO F*CKING BUY ANYTHING. Like me.

This has not stopped Paul from buying stuff, including stuff for me. Sigh. Honestly. Okay, okay, Keith, I am getting off the computer. Today I cook a torte for Tom U. Wish me luck, I haven’t done it in 15 years.

Dear Mom
2005-12-17— Posted by: allegra

Since nobody but my mother appears to be reading my blog these days, I will return to its raison d’etre; here’s a place where she can find out what’s going on with me.

Well, it’s been an interesting week, mOm. You told me not to talk to you about work even before I started Dis Here Blog Here, because you found it alternately perplexing and boring, and by damn, you’re right (yes, I’m paraphrasing, and for any others reading this, you already know my mother wouldn’t say it in those exact words. Actually, she’s just outgrown the whole notion, being cheerfully retired).

Work IS alternately perplexing and boring. That isn’t going to stop me from talking about the surface stuff, though.

The workload isn’t going down, but I’m managing my time better. We had a departmental company Christmas Potluck yesterday (it’s okay, we can say that, as most of us are either atheists or much quiet about the religious feelings). I brought shrimp, GG brought lasagne, Patricia brought HOME MADE TIRAMISU CHEESECAKE, which prompted multiple orgasms (well, so you’d figure, from the noise) in the Finance group, G brought traditional Christmas potato salad (I had seconds…), GD brought buns, & Lindsay brought something healthy (couscous salad, which I didn’t have seconds of because I ladled out enough to begin with). We laughed our asses off telling funny stories, announced an instant tradition and went back to work well pleased.

The all staff meeting was Thursday. The MP3 that was posted of the proceedings has been extremely popular because the Capo di Tutti Capi swore at timecheck 6:55. Everybody with a soundcard and headphones has heard it. What’s really funny is that the big boss did nothing to erode his popularity by this fluff – if anything, we are all quite happy to have something real happen at one of these meetings, even though the rest of the content was very bad news. No bonus this year. As for next year, although I believe we’ll do better, the posted requirements for meeting our bonus would entail that we stop ordering office supplies, start selling prepaid to space aliens, and send hefty guys with semi automatic weapons to kidnap all the people who have signing authority at our customers and keep them in a room with a big pile of blank cheques, while simultaneously killing all the people who would call accounts receivable when we go out past 90 days. When everybody I know at the company who can do math (and there are a lot of engineers) say that what’s being asked for is either ludicrous or impossible, I relax and say, whatever. Twas ever thus. Our company is like an elephants’ graveyard for CEOs; it will irk me that the one who appears to be the most personable, capable of understanding the business and results driven will hole his boat on our many pointy coral reefs, but it sure won’t surprise me. I guess the Board ENJOYS doing executive searches. This wouldn’t surprise me either. The depths of human masochism and depravity are abyssal.

On to other, more cheerful topics. The music was marginally better at the company holiday cheer party (what, you thought I’d stop talking about work? Pish tosh) this year than last, and the food was just as good. I actually danced with a number of individuals and then pulled the pin around 10 pm. Knowing that you’ll likely be awake at 4 am with tremendous pain makes you want to go to bed early. And sure enough, long about five I woke up with the Pain Signal coming in from the same Bat Station. I will be seeing the doc this morning when the clinic opens. I need to get this bug identified and killed, and get a referral to a kidney specialist.

Katie went out drinking last night and Keith went to the internet cafe, but they both appear to be back in the house. Keith departed last night for CAC, as he said – Computer Assisted Catatonia. Katie spent a very pleasant afternoon Christmas shopping with her Dad. I have declared a moratorium on Christmas, but that doesn’t stop Paul, who has even put a rather Charlie Brownish light decoration in the hawthorne tree out front. You’d think after all these years he would have lost the capacity to surprise me, but he never does; and as I cheerfully admit my addiction to novelty, this is a Better Thing among all the Good Things.

Glenda’s death continues to have ripples through our lives. Her funeral arrangements were, apparently, fairly clearly laid out in advance. The funeral is Tuesday afternoon; I’m not going to the viewing on Monday because I’d prefer to do the show of strength thing with the other friends and employees at the funeral.

I heard from Tori last night… she is well and conferred with me about Mike’s Christmas present. That I’m not buying anybody anything doesn’t prevent me from acting in an advisory capacity.

Lessee. What’s going on in the world.

Stretchable silicon

Humans in England for 700000 years.

Why narwhals have horns.

How bottle gourds got to the Americas.

Better image search than Google?

Personalized Web Search Engine.

Video search engine.

Lots of pain
2005-12-16— Posted by: allegra

Well at least I had one day with no pain. Up at 4 in agony, resolved around 6, back in bed and just barely able to post before I leave for work. Jolly.

First half of December 2005

Ms. Tylenol and Mr. Cipro are on the job
2005-12-15— Posted by: allegra

I went to see a doctor Wednesday morning because I was in so much pain I didn’t feel safe to drive. After a two minute wait at the clinic I got a doctor who believed me when I said OW, inspected my pee and said YUK and wrote a scrip for three days of Cipro (until the culture comes back), which meant that from the time I decided to see a doctor to the time I got antibiotics into me was about an hour. Then I drove back to work, sat in the cafeteria, slugged down some Tylenol, and then floated up to my desk and attempted to work for the rest of the day.

During the course of the day I found out we have a work wiki (!!??!!) and I will be pursuing this information next week. But I’ll have to download Firefox. Interesting.

After work I ran into the Energizer VP and we had a full, free and frank discussion about serial numbers. This is going to prevent me from looking like an ass at the All Staff meeting this morning, so I’m really glad I talked to him, and I gave him a heads up about an issue which may potentially bite him, forewarned is forearmed etc.

So I’ll go back to my first question for the Capo di Tutti Capi, which is how’s the product rationalization going? Zow.

Check this out, forwarded by a colleague.

Woke up this morning pain free. I may be, like, frisky for Christmas.

Helped Katie deliver papers last night. One more delivery to go, thanks be to the Blessed Virgin.

I have no functioning laundry at home. I’m starting to cross dress out of sheer desperation.

My dad’s surgery has been put over until the 19th December. Keep your fingers crossed.

And some good news
2005-12-14— Posted by: allegra

Janice sailed through the surgery. I got almost as much in the ‘gorey’ detail department as I wanted from Alan, whose voice on the phone was a welcome event last evening; Janice was having a restorative snooze. I imagine I will get more when we visit them over New Years’; but in the meantime, I am facing forward and thinking about my dad.

I worked from 7:10 until 8:10 yesterday, that’s am to pm, Snively. And it’s still piled to the ceiling. Anyway, it’s late and I have to get out of here and go back to work. I am planning on working more reasonable hours today. Like maybe only until 6.

Give someone you love a hug today.

A eulogy of sorts
2005-12-14— Posted by: allegra

Glenda Haist died today. That’s a little picture of her up in the top corner. She was one of the most honest, decent, hardworking and loving individuals I ever met; her fortitude during her hospitalization and under her many personal trials, which I will not enumerate, was an inspiration to those of us who were lucky enough to know her.

Her generosity spilled over onto all of us. You could count on her to help plan a wedding or a wedding reception; she bought wonderful gifts, and brightened the office with her charming, often made-by-her-mother outfits, which sported pussy cats and Santas. She had a sharp word only for people she thought should know better, and held herself to a higher standard than just about anybody else.

I called Mike and Tom U to tell them; Mike was flabbergasted and Tom taken aback. Paul was shocked and upset when I told him (he had a big hug for her the last time he visited her), as was Katie, who had gone with me to visit her in hospital as well.

I’ll say only three things. Diabetes is a scourge. We must love each other while we can. She will be missed.

Updating the basement and the DSM
2005-12-13— Posted by: allegra

The basement, where the flood was, is shaping up nicely. The subfloor is now in and Paul is insisting on putting in laminate flooring. I so do not want to put in laminate flooring, but I suppose as long as we have cats it makes sense. Paul also wants to put laminate in the kitchen, and on the stairs, etc. Whatever makes him happy – I just get to help pay for it, I don’t actually get a say in what happens, or what it looks like (I personally think the laminate in the dining room is hijjus). After all, if Paul REALLY cared what I think, we would have had a functioning dishwasher in the upstairs portion of the house some years ago, hm? Now he is going to take me to task for whacking him in public, and I say, bring it on. The dishwasher that is. Yes, laminate is easier to clean. It’s also much noisier and a lot colder. I suppose I should look on the bright side – Paul has given me an opportunity to present him with an undeviating stream of complaints (Dunnett reference, points if you know which book) for as long as we’re in the house. There, that’s better.

A small but vocal minority of American psychiatrists think that racism and bigotry which cause employment and emotional difficulties to the person so afflicted should be classified as mental illness. I don’t know what about this notion is more appalling – that we’d trust a bunch of Jew doctors to diagnose it properly, that racists could use it to spring themselves from legal difficulties, or that racists could use it to force employers to keep them on because “it’s illegal to discriminate against people with mental disabilities”! I already have an abiding distaste for psychiatry but this bids fair to push distaste past the door of loathing. I guess that makes me mental, big whoop. Oh, and by the way, the reference to the Jew doctors was in response to a story about a woman who was deathly afraid of Jews, and knew she needed help, but wouldn’t go to see a psychiatrist because… well, what are the odds? We all know what the problem with racial stereotypes is. If I meet one more self satisfied, suffering-insensitive white person, I’m going to really really have to whine.

One of the techs sent me this
2005-12-12— Posted by: allegra

If you look at this, you will understand the life of tech support.

enough sleep
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Head part III
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Now in a bug veil. But you should see her in a flying helmet. Tres chic.

head part II
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Dressing up
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

So, here’s the styrofoam head I acquired with thanks from Tori, dressed up with a special hat. I was thinking of taking it in to work, and then realized that the message I would convey having this perched over my desk might not be all that welcoming. Accurate, perhaps, but not welcoming. I wanted also to leave it with a “frankentine” card on the desk of one of my beloved coworkers, but I’m not sure he’d either get, or once having got, appreciate the joke. Actually, there is precisely one person I could leave it with, but that’s because he gave me a zombie card last Valentines day, which I will treasure forever. The next two lines I had to delete, which is too bad, because they were rather amusing. ‘s tragic, having ta mind my mouth.

enough sleep
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

wonderful pix

Katie and Paul are off doing what is hopefully her last delivery of local papers. We got the computer back from the Krankenhaus – it was riddled with viruses, but appears to be all good now, and we’re not using Norton Antivirus anymore.

I’m in the middle of a major Buffyfest.

John is off filking at Cindy’s place. I didn’t really feel up to it – my cold has got me all sniffy and hoarse.

2005-12-09— Posted by: allegra

I am posting from an Internet Cafe in Brentwood Mall, which I don’t recollect ever having done before. I have the day off work, so I can collect a baby shower gift for a woman who hates me, and hang with Keith while he job hunts, and and hang with Katie while she is unhappy about various things that need not bleed onto this blog, as ’twere.

Work continues to occupy way too much of my brain.

Dined at House of Dosas last night. The four of us ate ourselves into a very happy state for $50 (but Paul and I stayed vegetarian and drank no beer, which helped). The food was beyond superlative – truly, some of the best food of any ethnicity I ever ate. Mike and Tori were in fine form, and then we headed back to Mike’s place, watched Oz/Dark Side (again, but this time it seemed like there were fewer coincidences for some reason) and then I bought a head off Tori (she handpainted a styrofoam wig stand with half muscles and half skull Way F*cking Cool and I will post a picture when my computer is up again. It is currently on top of the tv upstairs. Wonder when the tv is going back downstairs.)

Did I mention the computer is in the Krankenhaus? Did I mention that kitchen floor is being pulled up while the floor is being laid downstairs? Did I mention I bailed on Paul to run away and commit consumer mayhem? I am very bad, but fortunately Paul has just the punishment in mind for me (gd&r).

We also acquired a pencil sketch of Amelia Earhart and a piece of cardboard painted with the contents of a typical grrrl’s purse. WHICH as I suspected Katie dived onto and instantly loved.

Got the keyboard back from Daxus, with thanks. Anyway, I am overdue back home so I will grab kinder and head out, as our evil consumerism has been accomplish’d. I think we may stop at Cobb’s and get bread and maybe pick up some milk while we’re at it.

enough sleep
2005-12-08— Posted by: allegra

Man, it was axmurderworthy fog in Burnaby this morning. Other than that, nothing printable to report.

2005-12-07— Posted by: allegra

Yeesh. The Victoria trek seems to be in jeopardy because Paul is getting a cold – there’s certainly a standard lemon of a cold going around, and Paul is balking at the prospect of giving my pOp a cold just prior to surgery. Frankly, I’m in a damn the torpedoes kind of mood, but Paul is currently on the phone to Cherished Female Progenitor to find out whether it’s on or not.

I had a lovely soak and swim last night at the pool; joined by John, Peggy, Tom and Brooke. Brooke swam a mile. I only did 14 lengths, but the weigh scale purred at me so I am feeling somewhat more cheerful.

Keith is not looking for alternate employment as hard as I’d like him to, but o well. He proposed marriage to a clerk in Lougheed Mall yesterday. Cute, works in a reproduction sword shop and likes anime? He couldn’t help himself… he is alleged to have said, “Marry me… just kidding!” and for some reason this amused her. One of these days some gal is going to think, “Half in jest, whole in earnest” and then Keith is DOOMED.

I am pain free for the first time since I went to the hospital a couple of weeks back.

I’ve got Daniel Lanois in my brain this morning, “Are you wearing your colours?” Answer came there… YES I am wearing tie dye this morning. Basic black and tie dye, c’est moi.

2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

Not Safe For Work
2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

In the spirit of caring, and sharing, for Christmas…

Should have phoned my mother earlier
2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

20 minutes on the phone with my mother and my resemblance to a sane human being is markedly more accurately rendered. I am going to see her for her (blessed feculae!) 70th birthday. God almighty, how DID you get that old? And there’s me old dad, springing for a meal, not knowing that at least three more, and possibly four more, people are coming for a festive lunch in my mother’s honour.

Was irrationally and greatly cheered by Jim P’s comment:

Sorry to hear your job sucks. It seems so cool from the outside. Would it comfort you to know I detest most everything about my job, especially my moronic and abusive supervisors? And Machiavelli could learn a lot from some of my manipulative coworkers.

I must re-iterate, it is not my immediate supervisor (whom I revere) whose blood I wish to use to fertilize our profit margins. No, indeed. And as it would be indiscrete and possibly actionable to describe what I would like to do and how I would like to do it, to those many, those deserving vermin, earwigs, headlice and bedbugs infesting our corporate body in these parlous times, I won’t. I greeted a new coworker today at a meet and greet session with

I’m Allegra and I’m here under duress

, and then enjoyed the meeting. Bizarre. It turned out I came away with no fewer than 8 action items, which I took care of in a single email (I am quite effective when I don’t have an ERP like a fucking boat anchor tied to my already Gargantuan ass).

SPOILER ALERT. Don’t read this if you are not a Firefly fan, it will be really boring.

Keith and I are working on a script for the Second Season Opener of Firefly. It is MAJOR fun, especially since we are introducing a “morally ambiguous” character who can go toe to toe with River and killing off the blue handed guys in the first 15 minutes. We’ve decided to be canon and leave Wash and Book out of it as living characters (except, OF COURSE) that both of them will make virtual reappearances at crucial moments. I know, it’s cheap, but when I realize that Harry Potter gets to see his parents when he’s duelling Voldemort, it comforts me. (Ie, go ahead, it’s FICTION, have fun.) Also, we’re figuring on making Inara a series regular but not a core cast member (which sucks a mop, frankly) but she did found a Companion House on a border planet, so we’re going to leave that as is and mess with it as a possible plot device.

So along with morally ambiguous dude we are thinking of a pilot to replace Wash, or have a running gag about how they keep hiring a pilot, who then screws up royally and has to be fired, and going back to River, and then hiring another pilot, etc etc. until they figure out that River IS Serenity, somehow. Like how to belabor the obvious…. Oh, and Jubal Early IS NOT DEAD (Joss hinted at this in an interview, and I danced and sang when I read that – heroes are cheap like borscht, but a great villain is a FIND). His ship has an override which Early doesn’t think about until after River is back on board Serenity (he’s so startled by the turn of events) so she doesn’t ‘read it’ on him. So the ship comes back and dutifully collects him, and then he has some interesting backstory adventures, and then returns to the scene of the crime with a really really deep thirst for revenge, a thirst so deep that he would – well, later on that one. Too bad there’s only one guy in the ‘Verse evil enough to stop him…. and he’s on Serenity’s side. Fan Fic is Fun! OOh. And Zoe will get a new love interest but she’s so stoic nobody notices except her. Did I mention the Professional Stowaway? Only one moon to go and he’ll have been everywhere in the ‘Verse at least once. And Simon will get somebody to talk to about River who actually understands what’s going on. Oh, and FINALLY, an explanation of why the Reavers kill humans and not each other, and some of their ‘instant culture’ and how they manage technology when they don’t appear to have much in the way of conversation.

2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

Pic credit Robert Hogg, who went fishing, and had a four metre long great white shark chew on his boat. Not shown, his wife whacking the shark with a paddle, shrieking hysterically, It’s not PAID FOR you BASTARD! Okay, I made that up.

Still experiencing transports of misery in virtually all aspects of my life. Anybody who wants me to feel better should offer body work, and plenty of it, by damn.

2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

Too adorable not to post…. the dog is in the employ of the Police, of course.

Went to the Oracle
2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

I finished the Eyre Affair. I was about halfway into the book before it really grabbed me, but after that I was sunk, I had to finish it.

My back still hurts, but I soaked it last night. I also swam 20 lengths and have taken off a pound and half since the last time I was down there, which was startling. Dax, Kyle and Jasmine joined me and Katie at the pool. I bought them Mickey D’s afterwards because teenagers don’t believe you love them unless you feed them.

It is MUCH easier to deliver papers in daylight.

I consulted the Oracle about my job, and it delivered a very terse worded bitch slap. Basically, things suck immensely now, but anything I do will make it worse. Oh, Oh, suck it up, Buttercup.

books n things
2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been crying off and on for 24 hours, and screaming at everybody in the house, except for John, who has a freaking black belt. But now it all makes sense. I want to quit my job!!!! I am hating every minute of it these days, and when you’re answering customer calls, that’s not good. And when you’re taking calls because the senior managers are (sigh, deleted)…. As soon as I realized that, I no longer wanted to kill everyone in the known universe and suck the brains out of their skulls. It’s not me, it’s THEM!!!!! So it’s time to polish up the resume and get going.

Yes, I won’t be able to make as much money. But, frankly, I don’t care. It would take a miracle to make my place of employment “a place of honor” and “the habitation of heroes” again. So I am going to compose two resignation letters, one for private consumption by the select few, and the terse and polite one for the HR staffers. I can’t believe the relief I feel. I’ve been telling people for years I’ll go out of that job feet first. Fortunately, things change, your perspective shifts, and life shows signs of getting better.

Ha ha, just kidding. I’m supposed to hang in there because we’ll be getting a new phone system. If it works, all my current agony will dissolve like epsom salts in warm water. But if it doesn’t, I will quit. I can’t take much more of this. I’m not joking about the screaming and crying; I’m not joking about the lying in bed worrying and worrying and worrying about work. It sucks.

Finished the Jared Diamond book, it was wonderful. Still working on the Eyre Affair. Working my way through the Serenity movie companion (which has the original script – hey Joss, you WANTED it to be 2.5 hours long? Wouldn’t have hurt my feelings.)

Paul can’t sleep. Katie quit the paper route, but we still have four deliveries to make. Off we go. Then I’m going to buy some incredibly expensive nice food and bring it home and cook it. I’m in the mood to spoil myself.

I send hugs and nudges to Alan and Janice, currently disporting themselves in San Diego, Tom and Peggy whose last meal was a sanity saver, and to Mike and Tori – who will live together ever so briefly before she’s off to further her education in Glasgow for three months. Sigh, Scotland in January. Seeing as how she grew up in Newfoundland, she’s probably better able to cope with it than I.

Now it’s time to consult the oracle…. I will consult the oracle about my job, and a few other things. Not the Tarot… I’m leaning towards the I Ching.

enough sleep
2005-12-02— Posted by: allegra

Tom and Peggy fed me and Paul and John last night, and as usual it was yummy. Then we soaked. I did Four Whole Laps in the Pool, before my back said screw you. Didn’t go to writers group because I can’t stand the commute… I’m thinking really I want to start my own.

I am reading Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, on loan from Scott the Zombie from work. (He’s not a zombie, he’s an engineer, but he did the Zombie Walk this past year and you know how these mental images stick. Must remember the corn syrup and red food coloring this year, I swore a mighty oath I will do it next year.) As a result of reading the Diamond book I can feel my consciousness expand. It’s better than admitting that I am also trying to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by PK Dick and that I’m dipping into Dunnett’s The Game of Kings (for the uncountableth time) or that I’m reading the Writer’s Book of Days (again, but mostly for Jack Kerouac’s advice on writing, which is the most hopped up poetry evah) all in the same time period. This plus the work reading, which is enough to make my brain explode from the lack of adjectives. Mike the Time Lord (not Mike M) once referred to me as the “adjective goddess” which gave me a happy glow in my node of nodes. Adjectives are very important.

Starting new paragraphs is important too.

The world continues to suck in new and unforeseen ways, although my little corner of it seems to be ok so far. I really think I’m in the right place for the apocalypse, however it wishes to express itself.

I will be waking up Katie now, because I’m taking her into work to pay her to do a bunch of stuff I simply can’t find time to do – which involves the usual counting sorting and stacking. Pretty soon we will be moving to a different location in the building where I work, and I have unFORTunately acquired a huge mound of crap which I will have zero room for after the move (because, like everybody else, I expand to fill the space available, except with respect to my clothes, which stay the same size while my integument ever expands). So I will be calling in my dejunking assistant, the charming and hardworking Katie.

Dave D at work sent a bunch of us links to the party platforms of the major parties and urged us to vote with our consciences on Jan 23rd. I said, But What About the Rhinos!? and his response was to post the Wikipedia Rhino link, which I recommend. Gone, but not forgotten. Don’t forget the Christian Heritage party too; they are fielding no fewer than 36 candidates in this Federal Election. Wonder if they’ll get their deposit back.

World AIDS Day triggered many handwringing articles, and I just think to myself, yeah. Well, in the 22nd century, anybody who’s left alive will likely be living in a society where women’s fertility is so tightly controlled that it will make purdah look like Wreck Beach. Just think, no more birth control. No rubber, no condoms; that means birth, fertility and disease control will be dependent on men standing over their womenfolk with pointy objects. Why no rubber? Ah, well, we’re really close to a nasty lot of climate change and a really nasty lot of rubber blight – in fact we’ve already dodged a number of bullets on this. Wrap that rascal while you can, boys. Or as a friend of Jim E’s once remarked, No Party Hat, No Puddy Tat, which you have to admit smacks of genius. Yes indeed, I’m living in the Golden Age of Godless Feminism, and I’d be a freaking idiot if I didn’t at least acknowledge it.

Tonight, beer at the Golf Course. Tom U and Jim A are supposed to be in attendance. Sigh. As I remarked to Brian C… dip me in honey and roll me in geeks.

Cry me a river
2005-12-01— Posted by: allegra

Tubby Black’s Blues.,6903,1651713,00.html

sundry and various
2005-12-01— Posted by: allegra

pOp’s surgery is finally scheduled for mid-December, yippee.

I light a candle for all my family experiencing health problems at the moment, this means you too Janice….

Katie, Paul and I delivered papers last night. May God strike dead the peeple who don’t clear their freakin’ walkways. Tried to shove the paper through one slot and heard….

MUFFLED MIDDLE AGED MAN’S VOICE: don’ want no ****in’ paper!)

Allegra: You’ll miss the Canadian Tire Flyer!

(MUFFLED VOICE: I don’ give a sh*t!)

My back still hurts.

Work is insane.

Got a very funny email of apology from Sandy for forgetting my birthday (I am at that comfortable stage of life where my birthday isn’t that important anymore so whatevah) but by way of apology she sent me a useful link about kidneys. Which reminds me, time to go drink a big glug of water.

Did I tell you that the bundle buggy exploded the first time we tried to use it? We had to deliver 106 papers from the car last night. Then we were just paralyzed, so we went down to soak at Canada Games Pool. Katie’s day was a nightmare, all in all.

Writers group tonight but I just can’t deal with the commute.

Somebody told me yesterday that they could smell my perfume. You know that cold, sick feeling you get when you have committed a gross solecism? Yeah. Perfume, as they say, is supposed to be applied with subtlety, not a spraybomb.

Last half of November 2005

Grumble grumble SMILE
2005-11-30— Posted by: allegra

So, Katie is an Honour Roll Student with a local paper route. When the farce did this happen? Did I fall asleep and wake up in the Harry Potter ‘Verse? Tonight we fight the snow and sleet to deliver her first papers, and Good Goddess, you should SEE how THICK the papers are this time of year. (Grinning to note my company’s product in the Canadian Tire flyer…) Each of these papers, with the inserts (we finished stuffing late last night) weigh about a pound and a half. Good thing Paul bought me a bundle buggy for my birthday. Katie asked for a paper route 2 years ago and they finally got around to calling her. The paper route comes with instructions that look like the rough draft of the frikkin’ Normandy invasion.

Saw Mike last night and introduced Keith to Pho. Pho is soup. Soup is good.

My back is trashed. Enough complaining, life is purty darned good right now.

More snow
2005-11-29— Posted by: allegra

I like the tiny snow monster peeping over the top of the roof. You can tell there was ZERO snow last night, it’s stuck to the clothesline.

Woke to two inches of snow on everything
2005-11-29— Posted by: allegra

Black and white pic of the figs.

What isn’t being said
2005-11-28— Posted by: allegra

And why were they suicidal in the first place?

Picture is of a model of the Nonsuch, which, 37 feet long and with 12 crew, crossed the ocean in 1668 to trade for furs; its successful voyage prompted the granting of the Charter for the Hudson’s Bay Company. What isn’t being said…. The trade wasn’t really a very good deal for the people then living here.

Paul is doing yoga, I just booted Katie out of bed, and I’m ready to go back to work after three blissful days of S&S. That’s one step beyond R&R.

A very pleasant evening
2005-11-27— Posted by: allegra

We ate a nice family meal at Chong Lum Hin (although you should have heard Katie cursing this morning when she realized her father had absconded to work with all of the leftovers, so it isn’t all rosy) and then spent a very pleasant evening watching Buffy and talking. I forced the Tapioca Song on Janice and Alan, which was very mean of me, but I am kinda compulsive that way. It troubles me that I have not yet recorded it to share with an unsuspecting and completely unprepared world; my plan of world domination through infectious tapioca is still in the larval stage.

Then I had a really pleasant sleep, undisturbed and dreamless, and woke up when I felt like it, which was also very good.

The first thing Paul said to me this morning is “I dreamed of snow.” And we got up and son of a gun, it was SNOWING. Unbelievable. It was like, in the words of Lucy Maud Montgomery, a slap in the face when you’re expecting a kiss.

Now I must leap into the car with the kids and do a power shop and get back here in time to let the folks in for an afternoon visit prior to their return to Seattle.

I wish everyone a kind and comfortable Sunday afternoon.

Wish I’d taken the picture
2005-11-27— Posted by: allegra

Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to wrest the camera out of Paul’s hand, but I narrowly missed witnessing this train derailment at Granville Island. No injuries were reported. When we went to the Model Train etc museum Alan went to a very happy place and started thinking of all of his friends and acquaintances who would go gonzo over this display. There are 6,000 handmade trees in the display. Anyway, I had the great joy of running downstairs and yelling “There’s been a derailment!” at the attendant.

Paul and Janice are off flying. They should be back in time for the family dinner at six at Chong Lum Hin, yum. Katie may or may not join us.

Dax has borrowed the keyboard for the weekend.

Banjos for Brooke
2005-11-27— Posted by: allegra

Check it out. This is a 100 year old banjo. Pic snapped at Granville Island earlier today.

Grrls in Space
2005-11-26— Posted by: allegra

I have no idea where Janice’s buddy Lauryn got this fabric, Mummy, but isn’t it a hoot? Please ensure pOp sees it. If I find out where I can get some I will send you same….This is a bag she made. Covetousness doth explode.

Forgot to mention
2005-11-25— Posted by: allegra

The Burnaby sunrise pic recently posted is also credit Rob of Nine.

enough sleep
2005-11-25— Posted by: allegra

Didn’t get home til ten past three this morning…. just as well I slept in and don’t have to go to work today. Janice and Alan are in town and so we got jawing. Janice, may her name be revered, got me the next three Precious Ramotswe books and a couple of other books which apparently are ‘genre busters’. Ah, having enough to read always makes me feel better.

Went to the Keg for dinner. Yes, I know I shouldn’t be eating meat, but believe me, I drank enough last night, bless the foaming vat of beer.

Off to drink cranberry and fizz and then go pack a lunch for the folks as we are going to walk in Lynn Canyon. So much for the weather being good, it’s quite dreary and drippy.

The whole house seems to have holes cut in it and the laundry is down again as they had to disconnect everything to lay a new floor in the laundry room.

Another Burnaby Sunrise
2005-11-25— Posted by: allegra

sundry and various
2005-11-24— Posted by: allegra

Saw Harry Potter IV and loved it. Best of the four so far in my opinion.

Did I mention that the washing machine also quit? Paul dealt with it. Did I mention that we could have had TWO floods? The pipe going into the old washing machine was ready to let go. And there’s a new tap in the upstairs sink. Paul has been busy, busy, busy.

Did I mention he took me to Horizons for dinner on Tuesday, for, like, no reason? (Horizons is one of the best restaurants in Burnaby). We ate an enjoyable meal. (I had the polenta). Then, when we came out, we had an amazing sight in front of us. You will recollect the fog, of which Rob of Nine has snapped such an evocative picture. Well, picture the same fog, at night, with all the lights of the city shining up through it. It was magical. It acted like healing balm applied to the various smarting bits of my psyche.

Katie came home last night RIGHT after school, and as promised, slept. Then she woke. Ate dinner. Went back to sleep. I’m almost scared to tell her she has a meningitis shot today. But you know, after John nearly died of it as a teenager, I think we have our own object lesson in the family about grabbing the vaccine while one may.

Keith is starting to develop an intense bitterness about being a member of the working poor. Hopefully this bitterness will serve him well when he goes back to school.

Bird of a different feather
2005-11-24— Posted by: allegra

This is what happens when you set the parking brake on an aircraft PRIOR to landing. I think Dumbass about covers this. Aircraft is an EMB-170; date and provenance unknown.

Lulu spots a Pterodactyl
2005-11-24— Posted by: allegra

Of course we know this is not a Pterodactyl, it’s a Damned Large Woodpecker. Lulu of the Birds sent me this; pic is of her back deck. PS. Her parrotlets are BREEDING AGAIN. Coquitlam is going to be up to its oxters in little funny birds.

When the twisted get crafty
2005-11-23— Posted by: allegra

This, friends and neighbors, is a Flying Spaghetti Monster Sex Toy Cozy. Does it say anything about me that I can immediately think of three people I know who NEED one? Stolen from a link provided by Brooke. You are all completely spankable and need to contemplate your issues while bringing me more beer for my kidneys.

up on the rooftop
2005-11-23— Posted by: allegra

Photo credit Rob of Nine.

Cheney comment
2005-11-22— Posted by: allegra

In response to my Cheney pic, Big Al sez: “Arrrrr! As a matter of fact, I AM a pirate…. but don’t tell anyone.”

enough sleep
2005-11-22— Posted by: allegra

I hate drinking fluids during the day that aren’t coffee; after 4 o’clock I prefer tea. If it’s coffee I can drink it, if it’s anything else, I have to force myself. However, coffee isn’t all that great for me right now, so I am trying to drink other things instead and my body is being grumpy about it.

Paul tried to get me to accompany him on his yoga today and I can’t even sit right now. Jiminy Christmas, aren’t I whiny.

Katie asked to be woken up early this morning; I think she’s not even awake enough yet to be monosyllabic, although she had her shower.

Three straight days of fog – I find it amusing that where I work is literally above all the fog. Paul insisted (politely) on taking me to the Horizons parking lot after work yesterday so we could watch the sunset – ah, peachblow and gold and dark, dark blue – and the entire lower mainland was covered in fog, even Capital Hill which normally sticks out a bit. Nothing in Vancouver was visible, not any of the buildings downtown. Not a breath of wind, either. The only other time I’ve seen it like this was about five years ago, when we went up Cypress on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, and apart from Burnaby Mountain and Capital Hill you couldn’t see squat. Just a rippling, shiny blanket of white. Above the fog it’s icy clear with brilliant sunshine.

Trainees started yesterday. I have been extremely subdued, since things are still ouchy. Not my usual self at all.

Hope you all have a simply lovely day. I, of course, have other plans.

Great Moments in “ooops!”
2005-11-22— Posted by: allegra

Got caught singing “It’s No more Mr. Nice Guy, Let’s Go out and Get Revenge” from Ramboing by Leslie Fish – by the VP HR, in the stairwell. Yikes.

Not enough sleep
2005-11-21— Posted by: allegra

I had a reprise of the pain I had last weekend, which means that the fix was not a fix. I am suspecting a kidney stone and maybe some kidney grit. Anyway, I took two T-3’s, slept fitfully and am now in full bore stunned mode. The pain is gone – more or less.

Experimental Gyroscope
2005-11-20— Posted by: allegra

I boosted this picture from the following story… it is a very special gyroscope that will be used to prove or possibly pick holes in relativity.

Remembered Dog’s Name
2005-11-20— Posted by: allegra

Dog shown above is Lazarus. I assume there’s a story behind that.

Speaking of stories, my invite to the 2006 family reunion has arrived.

enough sleep
2005-11-20— Posted by: allegra

I hate this f*cking mouse, and I am not going to mince words as I say so. I just did the morning post and the mouse was possessed of Satan and made everything disappear – all I did was touch the f*cking thing, I didn’t even click on anything. I’m gonna get me a new one. Don’t tell me about optical mice, the last one I got was junk too.

Here’s the Pandacam link

My mom planted bamboo for to make the Pandas come and in the meantime she can look at this Panda Cub. He’s kipped out now, but he was rolling around like a methed up monkey a minute ago.

Write today in the calendar!!! Keith came home later than Kate. Frankly I never thought I’d live to see the day, but Keith was off gaming at SkyPC. Katie announced that the local teens are doing WWF style wrestling “But they rehearse, so when one of the stunts goes wrong it isn’t usually too bad, not much blood.”

Cue Maurice Chevalier singing “I’m glad I’m not young anymore” because frankly, I don’t think I’d survive a Burnaby minute on the mean streets of this burg as a teenager.

Unbelievable fog, but it’s not just in Burnaby, it’s the entire city. I’m supposed to go to Tori’s place today, which is over yonder on the other side of the city. If I do drive out there I’m going to be vewwy vewwy caweful.

Missed Perpetual Dream Theory’s CD release party, because – this is embarrassing – I slept through it. I’ll leave to your imagination what made me so sleepy so early in the day.

Pic is of Lois’ dog, whose name escapes. Did you ever see such protective coloration? If it wasn’t for the leash and his tongue hanging out, dog’d be invisible.

American History X
2005-11-19— Posted by: allegra

Just finished watching this movie, which was thought provoking and well written.

Katie loaned me a complete outfit; I am now DefinItely Mutton dressed as Lamb. And as such I will be accoutred as I go to my next SPIT! Yee haw. I hope people brought pictures of the Malta trip. A Spit, as I have frequently explained, is a meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett fan club, and it would take a lot of tedious explanation about why it’s called a Spit.

Now a bunch of mostly middle aged women will sit in a very comfortable and nicely decorated condo and clack and chat and eat in a restrained way and talk about all the things we like, which usually includes Paul Bettany, which of the current crop of film stars could play Lymond (I lean Ewen McGregor, puhsonally), Buffy/Firefly, what mystery novels we’ve been reading and getting up to date on various family news. Then we’ll ask pointy questions about the behaviour of some of our favourite Dunnett characters and then eat some more. My all time favourite is still Dr Tobias/Tobie – he’s so REAL. And a complete pain in the ass.

Well, time to go try not to wake up Paul in the attempt to bail out my purse from the bedroom, and head off to the Spit. Poor Paul is working midnights, but we put up blackout curtains the first night and it’s like a cave in there now, so he is actually sleeping marginally better.

Dr. Filk is off to the Island – Ma you can expect to hear from him at some point although he won’t be looking for crash space.

The Many Hats of Brooke
2005-11-18— Posted by: allegra

The cat-lovin’, banjo plucking, nerdy pharmagirl is at it again. Too late boys & girls, she’s married, to a tall, brave, fireball-enhanced nerdfella.

enough sleep
2005-11-18— Posted by: allegra

I went to Riverbend’s blog on my birthday and followed a link and watched a documentary about how the Americans… excuse me, the coalition…. dropped white phosphorus on Iraqi civilians in Fallujah. Oh my brothers and sisters, the things we do to each other. I light a candle for the dead of all the wars. Keith watched it with me.

Katie is encouraging me to watch American History X with her, but I dunno.

Finished the first three Precious Ramotswe (No 1 Ladies Detective Agency) books. I love ’em.

Very much looking forward to not taking Cipro anymore. Virtually no side effects except a slight rise in the background level of itchiness.

Monday 2 new people start and I have to train them, with Patricia. Ack.

This is also Harry Potter opening weekend. Tomorrow I Spit (fan club meeting) and Vote in the Municipal Erections and hopefully get to go do something cultural. I have assembled the names of the people I am going to be voting for.

I am terrified of going into the basement now and I can’t really explain why. I’m afraid of stepping on a nail, mostly.

I have been asked to preach at the Comox Valley Unitarian Fellowship again, sometime early next year. I have to coordinate car stuff with Paul unless somebody’s prepared to drive down to Sweet and Gooey Bar (Nanaimo) to pick me up. Jim P, hint, hint. Actually I have hordes of relatives and former coworkers in Courtenay Comox these days, shouldn’t be a problem getting a ride with somebody if Paul is working during my ‘preachin’ weekend’. Or mOm? Maybe you can provide car if I provide driving.

There is no beer in the house. Can’t you feel the deprivation and want?

Paul went flying with Dan T. yesterday and fed him dinner. They fed John too so John did the dishes! I hid in the bedroom as I was feeling about as sociable as an animal in a leghold trap.

A bright spot! Spoke to TamTam yesterday!

Nope, clouded over again. More later.

I’m still working on my list of funeral music, but in the meantime… herewith Funeral Music in Britland

enough sleep
2005-11-18— Posted by: allegra

Not much to report. Pic is of Darla; I know _I_ couldn’t sleep that close to Carly’s soccer shoes. Yowza.

There are cinnamon buns in the oven.

The naked gingerbread Wreck Beach Party was fantastic – quite the tableau, with the breaking waves and people sunning themselves on hollow gingerbread rocks (how DID Brooke and Peggy DO that?), but unfortunately, what’s left of it is still too uh … well… I guess “graphic” is the word I’m looking for … to post to my site. Yes, I, even I, have limits.

To the tune of the Volga Boatmen
2005-11-16— Posted by: allegra

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

Your hair falls out

your teeth will too

the yawning grave

it waits for you

but happy birthday

happy birthday!

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

May your deeds

with sword and axe

match your deeds

with sheep and yaks

but happy birthday

happy birthday.

Tonight a feed at Tom and Peggy’s and I get my gingerbread personages. Hopefully. I am really tempted to go back on the T3’s; my back is making me really really crabby and I don’t need the additional help.

Oh joy, oh rapture, I get to help train two new people starting the 21st.

I send virtual birthday oinkouts to Mom, Dad and Jeff; Granny R and Lexi; Alan and Janice, Mike and Tori, Tom and Peggy, Brooke and Joe, Breeonne, sp?; Lois Bob Kaitlyn Jesse; Ruth John Kaileagh Lindsay and Jessica; John (Dr Filk, I presume); Patricia, Lindsay and the lunch bunch including Mario (chocolate!), Peter T (there’s nothing like good old fashioned butter for a good old fashioned heart attack), Rob of 9 (the formation flyer), and Dave DeR (whose inner happiness would be an ongoing trial if it wasn’t deserved); Cousin Gerald; Brother James; Brother Jerome; the triple goddess Red Deer/Morchella/Sandy; the CanaDDian crew (we spit this week!); PD Wohl; Gomi (who has a new album coming out!), Irina in the caf (who is still not back at work because HER back is out), TamTam the magnificent; the crew from Edenvale working on our house right now; Daxus, Suzanne and L’il Z (and Limpet the mighty bat catcher (catch and release….)); also our neighbours Cleo and Karl, and Mo and his family; the Baumfire and little Arden; Kira, Zeek! and Pokey, and Callie the Loud and Repellently Smelly Cat.

Yet another Pokey anecdote. Neighbour down the alley sez to Paul, That your big orange cat? Paul, evasive…. Maybe…. “Well I’d like to thank you, because he killed a squirrel that’s been making a mess of my yard and getting into my attic.” And we found another dead’un in front of the garage. One of these days I’m going to get a picture of him popping his claws into the utility pole in front of our house. The difference in scale is quite hilarious.

Paul bought me a new feather pillow, a new feather duvet and a bundle buggy for my birthday.

Janice, the books & CD got here, thank you!

Katie doesn’t know how she did on the exam and she’s back to school today full time, including taking a course on Canadian Law.

A special final oinkout to Tish and Terry and their fambly. Pic is of Terry, who doesn’t look bad for a guy who went through a windshield recently.

From the Shropshire Star
2005-11-16— Posted by: allegra

Crikey, even the dogs and owls in England are eccentric. Hazel is a dog, and Boobah is a burrowing owl. Hazel recently had puppies… yes, this is another cross species love story, the kind that humans find so entrancing. Anyway, Boobah loves riding on Hazel’s head. Motherhood has its trials.

My South Park Avatar
2005-11-16— Posted by: allegra

First half of November 2005

enough sleep
2005-11-15— Posted by: allegra

Back is still trashed. Made the mistake of checking my work email last last night – rack and ruin are the words that spring to mind. I definitely have my work laid out for me upon my arrival this am.

My fingers are really sore – I practiced mando for about 2 hours last night including not one, not two, but THREE half hearted attempts to write something. No dice. I also have all of the chords worked out for “I can’t get over you, so why don’t you get under me” which is a Nate Bucklin tune. It’s sorta c&w anyway so mando sounds great with it.

The Symphony of Gas continues unabated. I wish I had a personal recorder. When I hit the high notes, it would bring tears to your eyes, and the low notes make the blinds shiver.

Workers are here ripping things up; all the trash from yesterday is out front of the house; I’m assuming somebody will be along to collect it at some point. Much less mold in the basement than I thought, actually.

Katie writes her science provincial today, wish her luck at 1 pm.

Damage assessment
2005-11-14— Posted by: allegra

It appears that most of the flood damage is going to be covered by the insurance company; the carpeting and flooring that got wet downstairs will be replaced as will the interior walls. The mold problems will be looked after. Right now we have about ten air moving and water removing machines in the house, all making a hell of a racket.

On the subject of air moving, I know there is not a single person reading this who cares about my digestive tract, but I have passed the same amount of wind this morning as a high school gym class would in a year. Since 4:30 this morning, I have been going off with metronomic regularity. I didn’t think it was humanly possible to contain this much gas under pressure without exploding, and I have to assume this is the cipro talking. Apart from feeling a little itchier than normal and a having a taste in my mouth that Dow Chemicals would be proud of, I’m not reacting to the antibiotic at all. Considering that some of the side effects are burst tendons, personality changes, photosensitivity, hollow heels and thrumps, I figure I’m doing okay. And I’m not taking Tylenol 3’s any more. As for personality changes, maybe I’ll turn into somebody cheerful and hardworking. God knows Paul could stand the change.

My back is still completely trashed though; I’m going to try to go for a walk later today. Then back to work tomorrow, screech.

One damned thing after another
2005-11-14— Posted by: allegra

AP photo shown is from a guy who flew his aircraft into some wires in Minneapolis. He apparently didn’t speak to his rescue workers, which irritates me; THANKS would have sufficed. He is being tested for drugs and alcohol, but on the other hand, the weather was bad. We don’t have to assume he was a bad guy; witnesses on the ground say he was doing his best to avoid hitting houses.

It’s been a helluva 24 hours, folks. Normally I post earlier, but it’s been jampacked.

First, the upstairs cold water line into the kitchen sink sprang a leak at 5:30 pm yestreen, while I was attempting to deal with my incredible abdominal pain with a hot bath. So I didn’t notice, dickhead that I am, for about an hour, that water was pissing all over everything downstairs. As far as we know no science fiction novels were hurt, but everything directly sitting on the floor in the basement is subject to wicking action and damage. Root cause was some badly done plumbing, which as it turns out could have let go at any time. As we survey the damage, we must keep in mind that it might have been far worse.

In the middle of all this I called Paul home from work (and the supervisor wanted to keep him, for non-airworthiness issues?!) and told him, Hi, Here’s a flood; got the water turned off (with his assistance on the phone) and now you can drive me to the hospital because the pain is now so bad that I can’t think.

So I went to hospital and got my abdominal pain dealt with, and WHICH I should have figured out myself what it was instead of troubling all those good people, but such is life.

The worst part of it was the frikkin IV’s; I was dehydrated because strangely enough I haven’t felt much like eating or drinking anything due to -heavens!- abdominal pain (and you can tell it was really hurting, because I have to be on the point of death before I lose my appetite), and the gal blew the first shot and then called in her back up. The back up got started, cussing my red-headed forebears with their puny recalcitrant veins, and then got called away to poke holes in a couple of car accident victims who’d been airlifted in.

I improved the shining fifteen minutes by running my left hand under hot water, and then let my hand hang down until she got back, to pool the blood and puff up at least one of the veins in my hand. This allowed her to hit paydirt, or payblood, I should say, with ease (and it’s a good thing too because I HATE having IV’s put in although I’m a good patient and don’t whine at the time) to the point I fountained blood, which she cleaned up while I VERY diligently did not watch. Then along came sister morphine, and I said WHOA about half way through the drip as it was pretty clear to me that I was getting plenty, although I didn’t feel that way about three hours later when it had worn off. ER Doc (and he was good looking, too!) found the problem with speed and dealt with it, and I’m now on cipro and T3’s to deal with any residual infection and pain. Paul turned up about 11:30 pm looking tired and worried, and every time I told him to go home as I would cab it home told me to get real. We got home about 1:30 am.

As always, everybody at Royal Columbian was a total pro and extremely civil, and especially kindly to pregnant women and children, as I observed; at no point in the proceedings did I feel dehumanized or badly treated. I must say though, that the contrast media for the CT abdo scan tasted like insecticide flavoured water, and the stuff they give you IV during the scan – holy crap. That was a very interesting sensation in an evening full of interesting sensations. Tech said, “You will feel a total body flush of warmth and the distinct urge to urinate, which is transient and not to be believed.” I thought ?? But he was absolutely right.

The only comfort I can take out of all this mess is that I did actually have a situation which could have been pretty dismal although likely not life threatening had I left it, say a week longer, and that I wasn’t being a hypochondriac; the pain would have driven me to seek help faster than that anyway.

Kids will be coming home from the grandparents’ tonight, and between Paul having to hang around waiting for the estimate dude (we’re looking at about 20K MINIMUM in water damage – the carpets are trash) and supper at Tom and Peggy’s, I’ve more or less told the kids they can get home on their own.

I sang that Tom Paxton song in church this morning ably assisted by the Good Times Band, who did their best to drown out my unearthly caterwaul and were not entirely successful. There was something appropriate in my Jesoid bandages on the backs of both hands from the IV.

Paul is napping on the couch. If you had any clue how hard he’s been working you’d be smiling fondly at him too.

The abdo pain may be almost entirely gone, but I was guarding my abdomen so hard that I put my back out and I am now walking around with little slow steps.

The only thing (apart from making it to church) that I have actually accomplished today is put Pesto Scallopped Potatoes into the oven. Hope they turn out, I kind of invented them on the fly. I suspect Peggy will eat them no matter how they turn out, and they sure smell good. I even pureed the onions, in Brooke’s honour.

And I can’t really pick up the kids – I have to go to Peggy’s – Brooke is making naturist gingerbread people, or so I have been led to believe. Can such things be? Must find out and report back to y’all. Hm. Camera. Must remember camera. It’s amazing how chipper you feel, despite all life’s trials, with a regular supply of Tylenol 3’s to smooth out the bumps. I will leave to your imagination the duel between the Cipro and the Codeine now taking place in my digestive tract.

Mt St Helens
2005-11-12— Posted by: allegra

Mmmm. Looks a little frosty up there this morning.

Not enough sleep.
2005-11-12— Posted by: allegra

Pain. Lots of it. If this keeps up I’m going to seek medical attention. Since I’m not a doctor I won’t speculate on what’s wrong with me, but for sure it will follow the Number 1 rule of “when things screw up”. Three things can happen. You’ll get better by yourself, you’ll do something to fix it, or you’ll just die a little earlier. Cheerful, eh wot?

Not enough fuzzy animal piz
2005-11-11— Posted by: allegra

This is Bob. He lives in Seattle with Janice & Alan. I really like the composition of this photo, dunno zackly why.

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

I am reading Titus Lucretius…. No Single Thing Abides. Very Epicurean.

Tin Foil Hats on Parade
2005-11-10— Posted by: allegra

Science gives Pseudoscience a boot to the head.

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

Deep Sigh. Thinking about the good old days. Pic is Syd (Roger) Barrett.

Get a poppy that works
2005-11-09— Posted by: allegra

What’s all this fooferaw about Stephen Harper and his poppy? Why, I have a friend who’s been using the same poppy for about thirty years, so it’s not like it’s impossible to get the damned things to stick. Didn’t he have a decent public school education? One of the high points, if I can be sharp about it, of the public school teachers’ year here in Kentucky-Fried Canuckistan, is Remembrance Day assemblies, and the harrowing prospect of sticking boxes of poppies onto hordes of recalcitrant little chests (of course, without losing any or stabbing any of their sweet little charges). Most public school teachers have a dodge for this, and I’m amazed that Steve the Reaver couldn’t figure this out. I guess he’s fired so many people out of his office that what’s left of the hired help is scared to say anything to him. Except maybe, Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

And Blessed Saints! Lookee Here! Another election in I’mLovin’It Canuckistan! Those of us currently hiding in the shadow of Jack Layton’s ‘stache are rolling our eyes at his histrionics. If there’s an election, he’ll lose deck chairs off his bridge, that’s for sure. And he says he’ll play patticake with the Conservatives if need be? I’m snapping mental daisy chains while I think of it.

I’m certain Jack ‘n’ Steve can agree on the quaintness of the decor at the Governor General’s residence and that her daughter is a sweet little pookins, and that her husband is going to make John Ralston Saul look like an agreeable mensch, but that line of conversation will soon turn into mutual accusations of sodomy, greed and baby-strangling.

Stephen Harper breaks into pustules (points if you know which Dunnett book I stole this expression from) at the very thought of adopting any policies from the NDP, and Jack Layton makes a remarkably unconvincing bottom for such sado-masochistic shenanigans. And I really think both of them play for the Breeders Cup side of the course anyway, manboobs and homostache aside.

Such speculations are futile in the face of the creeping horror of casting yet another vote in the slush. Whatever is possessing that asinine crew, to give us a winter election? Damn them all, and Gilles Duceppe too. I wonder if Paul Martin’s seat is safe? That would be hilarious. Okay, maybe a winter election would be fun! I’ll cheer up now.

Efrank is worth the money. Subscribe today! It’s only 9.95 a month.

Edible underwear?
2005-11-09— Posted by: allegra

late breaking correction to previous post
2005-11-08— Posted by: allegra

That should read “SHE”, because the reporter is Dawn Westlake. Have to wonder if she’s related to Donald Westlake.

bad taste
2005-11-08— Posted by: allegra

I’ve posted things in questionable taste before, but, Sodom and Begorrah, this takes the wafer. A reporter who covered the Michael Jackson trial has trademarked “Jesus Juice”. He and his partner are looking for a winery with a sense of humour…. Normally I don’t drink red wine, but I suspect I’d pony up as much as $15 CDN to grab me one of these puppies. On the other hand, hint, hint, I have friends with label makers and wine bottles. Doncha all crowd ’round at once, now….

enough sleep
2005-11-07— Posted by: allegra

Well, it wasn’t a completely bad weekend. I raked leaves and Katie got them into the back composter; we did a grocery shop; I watched Pink Floyd’s The Wall; I made lasagna and cinnamon buns; and of course I finished the Doorstop.

If I had any energy, I would go into grisly detail about everything that was wrong with The Wall, but Katie loves it, so I’ll try to leave it at that. She asked me if I liked it and I said it was ‘interesting’. I also think that Bob Geldof was awfully cute ten years ago, It was very amusing (to me, and of course not explainable to the kids) how at the commencement of the movie, when Our Hero first comes on screen, that I thought, “Who would have thought they’d hire Jerry Seinfeld for that job… Hey, that’s not Jerry Seinfeld, that’s Bob Geldof!” And I correctly identified Bob Hoskins as the Manager. Keith’s comment was they spent a LOT of money on the movie, and I would have to agree. It’s a very well meaning movie in some ways, but I like my oppressive imagery dished out in smaller doses with more dialogue in between. And if I decided to uncork that asskicking genie called Argella the Feminist Movie Reviewer… but I won’t. There’s a time and a place for everything.

Fun news for newspapers.

Or cn u rd dis msg? I emoticon!

Well I’m off downstairs to fire up the laundry, and then off to work.

Pic is what I can see on a sunny day from my bus stop at work. That would be Mt. Baker tucked into the bottom of the picture. I’m very lucky – my work is surrounded by forest and it’s very peaceful coming in sometimes, with all the bears and coyotes and squirrels and slugs and frogs and snakes and university students and the drip drip drip of the leaves after a rain.

Paul’s home Tuesday, and I can hardly frikkin wait.

Save it for the mirror
2005-11-06— Posted by: allegra

Holy Virgin! Get a load of this Cheney pic. Okay, a contest. What caption should this picture have? I suggest, “I AM smiling”.

Didn’t anybody ever tell this guy to keep a straight face while the flashbulbs are a-poppin’? He looks like, for two pins, he’d rip your head off your neck & jam it in the stump. Credit AFP Joe Raedle.

Patricia, I know your parents were married, but even so… I finally finished A Suitable Boy and it’s good to see the girl waking up and marrying the right guy in the end, even if his shoes are appalling. Fifteen hundred pages! You could paper my yard with the damned thing.

Big eyes
2005-11-06— Posted by: allegra

There is something really weird about this picture. It’s an alpaca. Credit AP, no human name though. Katie took one look at this and said, “Isn’t that a camel relative that spits?” Alas yes, but who could believe it of such a soft eyed critter.

enough sleep
2005-11-06— Posted by: allegra

Still have a headache, but I have to post this picture. This is Finnegan, who was adopted by a preggers Papillon bitch and now has puppies for stepsiblings – yes, mom allowed him to nurse. It is my opinion that, as weird as testosterone is, estrogen is weirder yet. If you want the whole sequence of photos, which is truly remarkable and quite aesthetic, go to

enough sleep
2005-11-06— Posted by: allegra

I have been abominably slow to post today, and it’s all that damned Patricia’s fault. She loaned me A DOORSTOP of a book – Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy; I am now half way through, entirely in love with 2/3rds of the characters and queasily fascinated by the other 1/3rd.

I am also working on a migraine – shopping at Stuporstore this afternoon came perilously close to being an out of body experience – but I am pouring tea and painkillers into myself and hope to shake it soon. Unfortunately I can’t really look at a screen for long so I’m shutting down now. Normally I can’t read and have a headache at the same time but all of my migraines now are atypical. This one is entirely on the left side – not usual at all – and apart from a little queasiness and light sensitivity, along with the pain, it would be hard to tell it from a regular headache. I’m signing off, the screen is undulating.

Great trampolining goats!
2005-11-04— Posted by: allegra

Sandy sent me this, credit Glen Hartong AP.

Katie came home
2005-11-04— Posted by: allegra

I don’t have any other news.

Except… Air Canada’s cost cutting measure is going to kill 350 Canadian jobs at Cara. Consequences, there are always consequences.

Panexa – for everything that ails you
2005-11-03— Posted by: allegra

I ‘specially like the side effects.

enough sleep
2005-11-03— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been much concerned with my own internal affairs of late, and thought I would turn my attention back into the larger world.

Air Canada is doing very well. I am thinking to myself, odd, isn’t it, that a company that pays its employees a decent wage can be profitable? Most of the profits can be attributed to the reduction in the fleet – not in terms so much of the number of aircraft but the seats per aircraft, meaning that the load factors are pushing 80% across the system, but especially on the regional flights. They have started charging for meals, but that doesn’t particularly bother me; given the cost of jet fuel they are having to pry money from someplace. Yes, I’m biased. But I will ask the flying public a simple question. Would you rather see an airline take money from you up front or from the maintenance department, which you don’t necessarily see as you board? Hm?

I find it sickly just that WestJet, having stolen Air Canada’s proprietary information, including maintenance schedules and reservation information, and paying their people a lot less, is not as profitable. Investors beware; the planes they fly are frigging gas hogs – not much to dispute there – and WestJet is pushing maintenance to the wall – or so I hear. They have a fleet of cheerfully middleaged Boeing 737 aircraft, all of which, properly maintained, are good for another decade at least.

I note that 3 million people are still homeless in Kashmir and environs and that the appearance of aid sparks riots. The rescue and aid workers need helicopters; nothing else can get in to the 40 or so villages that still have not been reached.

In Florida, FPL (the utility) is promising lights back on to the hardest hit customers by November 22nd at the latest, but Miami and Broward will be back in their entirety by the 13th of November. The last of the public schools in those districts will be up prior to that as the schools apparently were number one. Cable is about 60% up but a lot of people with their cable back are bitching about the quality. I’m still feeling really sorry for the folks who are going a whole month without power and I haven’t lived through a big earthquake yet, so I can’t really advise anybody to move, although I’m sure tempted to tell people, get outta Florida. There are still thousands of people homeless, who are, as always, disproportionately the poor and elderly.

Did you know that France has a Minister of Social Cohesion? What the hell does he do… hand out condoms and brie at social functions? During the ‘riotous’ last days in France, where poor young men, who happen to not be very socially cohesive with the police, have been enlivening the nightly news, I’m sure Jean-Louis Borloo’s been very busy giving speeches about how much air he can push past his gums in any given news cycle. Twenty percent unemployment and non stop media coverage. Hm. They should take everybody they detain and give them a six month contract to advise the French government on immigrant issues. If you can’t tear gas ’em, co-opt ’em, I always say.

Off to the bagel joint on Hastings for my first and last brekky with Tom U and the bagel gang. Tom’s last day is November 9. I’ve worked with him (not the same department, I hasten to add) for 8 tumultuous years, and I can’t say how much I’ll miss him. He has virtually every quality that I admire in a man, and his vices are entertaining rather than appalling, at least to me.

Keith is up. Katie came home – I drove her home about 11:30 last night.

I nearly killed a pedestrian at a cross walk yesterday. I dug out my reflectors and resolved to wear them. If you are much given to pedestrian goodness during this ‘dark as the inside of a cow’ time of year, please wear something reflective! Pic was forwarded by Cousin Gerald, provenance unknown.

10 pounds of adorable
2005-11-02— Posted by: allegra

From the Smithsonian Zoo site. No picture credit, darn them. Link supplied by Brooke-n-Banjo.

His truth goes marching on
2005-11-02— Posted by: allegra

Some inertnesting news today.

First, the non-resized animated gif in the top corner is Mike becoming the Transformational Ninja in the Sacred Meat Loaf Tshirt. Don’t try this at home, you must sit at the feet of the Master for a long time to even attempt it.

Second, Katie slept in her own bed last night!

Third, a referendum to decriminalize marijuana as in possession under an oz (which has no legal force, sigh) has succeeded in Denver CO. Brief double barrelled aside… I know that Hunter S Thompson is smiling down from heaven… did I mention that Chris S at work DRESSED AS HUNTER S THOMPSON FOR HALLOWEEN? I was, like, the only person who recognized him. I could have hugged him, I was so happy.

Fourth, the Good Times Band is going to sing (among other words) ‘nigger’ in church! You have no idea what this represents. This will be a mountainously huge cultural watershed for the church. By the way, in context, it’s COMPLETELY appropriate; the sermon is about evil, one of those things that Unitarians don’t usually grasp with a nuke-station waldo.

Fifth, and this is going to make my mother sport a bewildered expression, it’s my PARENTS’ FAULT that the Good Times Band is going to sing ‘nigger’ in church. Because THEY made me listen to the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Bob Dylan, and the Limelighters, and the Weavers, and the Brothers Four, and Joni Mitchell and stuff like that when I was wee and helpless. Packed away on one of those albums – I think it was Singing our Minds, CMT – there’s a little gem of a Tom Paxton tune called “We Didn’t Know”.

So the minister’s husband, who’s codelivering the sermon, was casting about for a good genocide song, and when I heard about this I said to Peggy, Ya know, I only know off the top of my head about one genocide song and it’s an Indigo Girls tune which is wretchedly complicated as I recollect (also, I couldn’t sing it without crying, I don’t know how the righteous hell THEY manage it). And then I said, Hey, wait a minute! I know ANOTHER song with genocide in it! Jiminy Christmas, who knew I knew two genocide songs? I mean, I could always go to (not exactly as shown) and download a Prussian Blue song (see previous post), but I would rather sing (or hear sung) Tom Paxton, who’s a brilliant song writer. And I SHOULD know two genocide songs at least – it being the subtext of all humanity. My ancestors were at the receiving end of attempts to commit genocide, and so were yours.

Fourth item, continued….I could go on at great length about the n word, but frankly, it’s been covered better by cross posts in so if you go back about two months and look at the story of the black guy who cycled across Africa and came upon an ‘urban clothing’ store at the corner of No and Where in rural Africa called, “Niggers”, you’ll do better reading about his epiphany than reading any nonsense I could spout. And God knows I can, for hours, without apparent effort.

Anyway, thanks Mom and Dad. You rock.

that girl
2005-11-02— Posted by: allegra

So Katie has been sweet talking in an effort to get me to pay to sling her in a tanning bed, and I’ve been saying to her that melanin deficiency is just a question mark we have to bear as, you know, members of the Pink People. But Katie is not having any; she wishes to have a better colour on her cheeks, and I am expected to fork it over for her. At the same time this is going on, she has been increasingly concerned about the spots on her body. With the appalling lack of concern that I show for her every waking minute, I have repeatedly told her a) it’s not a problem and b) it will go away by itself. She wasn’t having any tonight and we went on the internet and bopped around differential diagnoses for Leprosy, Lymphogranuloma and Pugnacia, but alas, all she has is Pityriasis Rosea. Pityriasis Rosea is the Perfect Disease; your patients won’t die but they’ll come to visit, and visit often, while they actually get better all by their widdy selves. So I told Katie that there’s nothing much wrong with her, and then we read the treatment suggestions. Ten guesses, my good fen! Yup, off to the tanning bed. That kid’s gonna kill me. Pictured is her current state of mind; she was rolling around giggling when she realized she might chisel some skin cancer time out me anyway. heavy sigh.

2005-11-01— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-11-01— Posted by: allegra

Last night we celebrated the life of Tom U, and actually didn’t wait until he was dead to do it. After a stunning meal at Arroy-D on Cambie, enlivened by plinking Thai music and pleasant company, which included the original Lunch Bunch (me, Tom, Mike M and Jerome) and which included Ian as a drop in. Fortuitously, the server had just brought me my second 1516, so I slid it in front of Ian once I viewed his squash pinkened and thirsty looking phiz. Ian and Jerome had other engagements, so Tom and Mike and I repaired to Mike’s place to settle in with a couple of simply wonderful scotches, finishing up with a Martell cognac. Now it sounds like I did a fair bit of drinking, but the scotches were tastes, and spread out over about two hours; besides, Tom U has a very precisely machined tolerance for drunkenness in the folks driving him home; he would simply have refused the lift had I been impaired. Our entertainment for the evening consisted of petting Spud and shushing Tasha when the fireworks freaked her out too badly. We also conversed on a variety of subjects. At one point during the evening Mike fixed his eye on the ceiling and said, in response to the absence of some object in his life, “I don’t know what happened to that.” My response was, “The aliens took it.” Tom and Mike both nodded gently; their thoughtful expressions didn’t change. This will, hopefully, give a hint of the quality of our interactions.

This morning Mike sent me an animated gif of him transforming his Meat Loaf t-shirt into a ninja head covering. Keith and I giggled when we saw it; I want to stick it on my blog but I don’t think Mike will let me.

I cannot believe how much happier Tasha (pic in previous posts) is now she’s living with Mike. She’s even given up on being the alpha dog – Mila can do that guard dog crap now and Tasha’s just as happy about it. Tori was busy with school work so she didn’t join us.

Katie spent the night at Dax’s again. Why are my tax dollars subsidizing the delinquency of a minor? I wonder if she’ll go to school today, I asked the office to call me if she didn’t show up.

Oh well, Patricia alone knows my sufferings. And shares them….

I’d kill to have copies of the pictures Trent took at Kevin C’s stag; there was one picture in particular that was so remarkable and bizarre that it looked like it had ALREADY been photoshopped. Tom and I stood in front of Mike’s lap top and viewed the picture with jaws agape. Brian C is one of the more remarkable looking men I know; in this picture, he transgressed physics and went to a locale where jaws come unhinged and eyes come out on stalks. Mike? Please? Mit sucaryl? Hm…maybe there’s a market for a blog that’s nothing but stag and stagette pix. Maybe, also, I don’t want to go there.

Pic is of Leo. Can’t you just feel the crisp fall air in that picture?

I miss Paul. I woke up around three (I did manage to go back to sleep) overwhelmed by the urge to roll over and hug him. But there was nothing there but laundry (which I piled on the bed to keep my feet warm).

Yes, I skipped Halloween. Can you imagine trying to keep Pokey out of the house while the little tykes were coming and going. Good grief…. I liked skipping Halloween so much, I think I’ll do it again next year. My youngest child is seventeen this month. I won’t be upset to put away these childish things.

Golly, sarge, look at the time. Gotta put on my roller skates and go….

last half of October 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-29— Posted by: allegra

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

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

Possible predictors of relationship violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-25— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pic is of a flu virus.

2005-10-23— Posted by: allegra

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

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

Katie away again, but that’s okay.

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

The climate mash just in time for Halloween.

Link from Dailykos.

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

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

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

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

Katie finally came home.

Paul’s in Seattle for the day.

I am having quite the lazy day.

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

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

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

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

Cut yer hair. From New Zealand, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s my definition of epistemology.

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

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

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

2005-10-17— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

Katie’s friends Kyle and Jessica are here.

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

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

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

From Dr. Filk.

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

Wetness defying water?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessica D is sleeping over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First half of October 2005

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

2005-10-15— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-14— Posted by: allegra

Stolen from Eyepopping images.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

2005-10-12— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-10— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Katie still unconscious.

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

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

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

I just made chocolate chip cookies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a good hair day, y’all.

2005-10-08— Posted by: allegra

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

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

We need more political commentary like this

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

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

2005-10-06— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2005-10-04— Posted by: allegra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I prefer Cheerios, obviously

2005-10-03— Posted by: allegra

Dr. Filk had this to say…

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

1) Cheating Your Way In

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

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

2) The Bogeyman

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epictetus sez:

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

Further along, he also says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then consider the following:

Which is the cleaned up, PC version of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link forwarded by Sandy.

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

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

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

Can you fit in one blog…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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