Last half July 2005

2005-07-31— Posted by: allegra

I finished the homily. Now all I have to do is deliver it without turning into a big puddle of tears.

guppa guppa guppa guppa
2005-07-31— Posted by: allegra

Okay, so I me making babbling noises. I experienced joy and also a family reunion story telling contest, in which my cousin Wyona was the undisputed champeen. She started off the family reminiscences with a story so Rabelaisian that my mandibles collapsed under the strain. Then there was a roomful of weird, low-key THWOKing as everybody else’s jaw hit the floor. I’d repeat it if I thought I had a snaeball’s chance of doing it justice.

Lessee, for my musical friends (and you KNOW who you are) Lexi pulled out that sweet black Nakamine she’s been abusing these odd few years, and she and I and cousin Laurel all sang together for the first time in front of a small crowd of adoring relatives. And WHAT did we sing? Uh, I’ll Fly Away. And then Peace Like a River. In three part harmony, at least some of the time, unrehearsed. It was like ballooning on acid with God.

Earlier in the day, Lexi told me she’d been in a corporate box for a Motley Crue concert (please insert umlaut, although it is up to you where yu insert it).

Now I really have to write that sermon. ‘Scuse me.

2005-07-30— Posted by: allegra

So yesterday morning got up, ate dry cereal for brekkie, and went to the Agricultural Hall of the Saanich Fair Grounds. I took pix but no USB cable, I forgot to pack the spare from work, so I have no way to upload them until I get home.

Unhappy mutterings from behind me (I’m in my brother’s game room, having spent the night here) as my brother does the shaky fisty at the Firefox development team. He reported a major bug and it’s apparently not going to get fixed before the beta 4 version. I said, all alarmed – as you will notice I tend to get rather easily – should I stop using it and he said, no, but I don’t use it because it’s buggier n hell and they tend to break thing a in the process of patching thing b. I’ve never had so much as a hiccup, belch or blast of flatus from Firefox, and IE crashed, popped up garbage and passed through scum all the gorram time, so now I dunno what to do.

Saw Shaun of the Dead last night – as promised, at least one zombie movie per visit – and laughed myself silly. A brilliant, brilliant script brought to magical life by the charm of the principals, even as they beat zombies back to death with cricket bats. Enough scary bits to be a real zombie movie, and more laughs per minute than supposedly hit US comedies. Must see The Aristocrats soon. I know I shouldn’t be rewatching movies while I’m here, but Katie had never seen Van Helsing. Or Bubba Hotep. And I just love the lead vampire in Van Helsing, he’s so over the top I want to put him in my pocket and love him to death.

I suppose I should drag the POV back over to the family reunion. The point of contention is that most of the people attending are Bible believing Christians, and alert readers will note that we just had our first gay wedding in the family, yay Rawd and Graham, and Yes, despite the fact that I am an anarchist (non violent variety) and I Personally have No Love for the Institution of Marriage blah de hopping blah, I cherish the rights of my fellow creatures, and if they want matching corsages and the right to write their own vows that is cool by me. Okay, that was catty, but overall, an accurate take on my feelings on the subject. And I did like the wedding pix I got and I put them in a photo album right away, which I, like, never do, so you can tell even as I’m poking fun I’m taking it pretty seriously. Where was I. So OF COURSE the gay marriage is not flying particularly well with those who know about it and will make large groups of elderly mostly female relatives scorching mad, and it’s my job to find the middle ground on the subject, of which there is vanishingly little, unless you reframe the whole thing rather dramatically. Now other people would quail at such a prospect but I don’t, because I am NOT a dualistic thinker. The theological, interpersonal/family dynamic, sociological, legal, moral and logistical implications, not to mention the sheer gorram humour value of all this, impress themselves on me just about equally, so really, I’m prob’ly the only person in the family who COULD do this. I will be holed up in a corner working on the homily likely today at the reunion, and actualllly, I should go work on it now. Remember, a sermon / homily is easy. Tell em what you’re gonna tell em. Tell em. Tell em what you told em. Do it in less than 20 minutes, and break into a really good hymn immediately afterward. Or a Beatles song, if you can’t remember any hymns. If you’ve got a really rough crowd, a beer commercial will do; but the homily shouldn’t be over 10 minutes and you should keep packages of peanuts handy to ping the hecklers with.

I slept on the floor last night, and believe it or not, I slept FINE. Maybe I will be able to go camping after all.

I forgot to pack black tights. I have 24 hours to locate same.

No, duh
2005-07-29— Posted by: allegra

First thing my mother does this morning is look for my blog. Hm, I’m in Victoria and haven’t had a chance to get to a computer, so unless I’ve magically transported to the 29th century and uploaded it with the sheer energy of my widdy brain, don’t see How That’s Possible.

Much sturming und dranging over an aspect of the family reunion which is Potentially Dire. Fortunately, although I haven’t been mentioning it in my blog, I had been thinking about precisely the problem my mother presented me this morning with for the last two weeks with what spare brain cells I have. I will be covering the issue in my homily on Sunday – and reposting the homily if anybody is interested. Now I have to write it; hopefully the words will flow, because I’ve made no fewer than three attempts to start it and I’m having a heck of a time. I was even thinking of doing it ex tempore but my mother’s aura started pulsing “Warning Will Robinson”.

Love each other while you can and keep singing.

Thanks Randy
2005-07-29— Posted by: allegra

For your pleasure, the all new, totally free Red Neck Grill.

Allegedly true
2005-07-28— Posted by: allegra

Okay, this is probably a hoax, but it’s a damned good one. This is SUPPOSED to be a real sign from the London Tube System.

Happy Birthday Mike
2005-07-28— Posted by: allegra

Mike is some undetermined age now. He’s still younger than me though. Tori gave him a very nice birthday present, unspecified.

I have to pack and git out of here tonight, Paul is driving me to the ferry.

I don’t know why, but even though I got plenty of sleep, I feel really tired.

Pokey, despite the fact we are letting him out, is still hanging around the house a lot. I suspect he actually misses John and doesn’t want to be gone when he reappears.

Revenue flight
2005-07-28— Posted by: allegra

Okay, Paul sent me this and I MUST repost it. Note the ‘repair’ on aircraft engine, which got grounded in Frankfurt after an ‘unscheduled fuel stop’ and a damned good thing too.

Best. Customer. Contact. This. Week
2005-07-27— Posted by: allegra

Picked up the phone and got “Hi! this is Bill “I have read the manual thoroughly” So-and-So.” Thought I’d die laughing. (This is a repeat caller). Told him that was a great way to start the day. He also told me that I was on speed dial, and after I quit laughing – again – I said “Words customer service people dread to hear.” What a guy. Have a great vacation, dude!

I must make my writing more terse. Laconic, even.
2005-07-27— Posted by: allegra

My brother sent me this link. I think my favourite is the condensed works of Stephen King.

enough sleep
2005-07-27— Posted by: allegra

Keith is off to work – at an ungodly hour, but such is life.

Paul’s doing yoga, and Katie’s unconscious.

Katie and I went to work out at Canada Games Pool yesterday; tried to invite Tom and Peggy forgetting that they had to be up Very Early this morning for their trip out east. Bon Voyajee as Bugs Bunny would say. My mother has pretty much finished my Jayne Cobb hat, and you can just Eat Your Liver!

Scrappy little fairies
2005-07-27— Posted by: allegra

I don’t know about YOUR neck of the woods, but in Vancouver, the fairies are very very scrappy. When they aren’t granting wishes, some of which are easy to manage, and some of which are downright difficult, they are writing letters to the editor and playing the banjo and scratching skunks behind the ears. Some of us are very envious of the fairies, and supportive of their mysterious activities whether in Trout Lake Park or the bottom of the garden or mopping up the dark matter between the stars: I know I am! but others have laid in a supply of Brownie B Gone. We know who THEY are, and we hates them. Okay, we dislikes them intensely. Okay, after a few beers we feels sorry for them. In the meantime, here is a specially truncated picture of a real live wish granting fairy, I do believe in fairies, I do, I do.

Reminiscing – from Lexi
2005-07-27— Posted by: allegra

Long John Baldry – it’s due to him that my name evolved from Alexis to Lexi.

I first met him when he played at a bar in about 1991 or maybe 1992 in Watson Lake, Yukon (The Belvedere – a fine establishment of sustenance and good cheer, if anyone is heading that way. Tell Pat Irvin I say hi…) I was assistant manager there and he and all these fantastic musicians descended on us and rocked our world for a weekend. He put on a brilliant show.

When I first moved here to Vancouver in early 1993, I was trying to be a songwriter. All my friends were musicians – several of them, including Kathi MacD, were members of the various bands he had over the years, and I looked them up when I arrived. I was sofa-surfing with one of them in a house on Kits Point right across the alley from his penthouse apartment. We would occasionally all hang out at Baldry’s place (or Uncle Bobby’s, as Kathi used to call him) for drinks etc. He was as much a performer in a Kitsilano apartment as he was on the stage — a raconteur of great skill – and a little eccentric. (He kept rabbits in a hutch on his rooftop deck!) He never could remember my name as Alexis – it was Lexi right from the get-go. Eventually everyone in that circle started calling me Lexi as well, and the name stuck. Although I had vehemently objected to Lexi ever since I’d decided as a little girl that I was a big girl now and insisted on being called by my full name, I just had to let it go. When someone with his kind of charisma and presence decides something, you kind of just have to go with it…

I’ve not seen or talked to him in over ten years, but being on the fringes of that group of people at that time in my life is something I will treasure always.

Thanks, Lexi.

That’s no moon – that’s a sponge!
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

All right, all right. I know that they’re trying to save money, but taking a blurry picture of a sponge on a black background and claiming it that it’s the moon Hyperion is RAhhhlLY stretching it.

enough sleep
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

Pokey alert
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

Dang! The cat with More Personality Than Brains is at it again. This time it’s a phone call – “You own a cat?” “Oh yes,” I say. “A big furry dumb orange one? Blue tag? Green collar?”

Of course, when I get there, Pokey is not interested at ALL in even looking at me, being well absorbed in suckin’ back a big bowl of milk. I tried carrying him home, but he turned on me – politely, gave me PLENTY of warning of his intentions – so I put him down and he jog trotted back into the house after me, and I fed him. Many thanks to the neighbours at 14th Ave who now know where he lives and kept him occupied for a while. PS to John… the tag is a little worn. You’ll be wanting to be investigating a new one, perhaps something a little sturdier. And he’s in for the night.

enough sleep
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

My blog now gets 10,000 hits a month now… Hint. It isn’t all my mother. I just listed, in an extremely stupid and self congratulatory manner, all the reasons why I’m getting hits, and I accidentally deleted it. Sometimes, the Goddess smiles at me, usually while she’s treading on my toes and elbowing my ribs.

Note to the wish fairy; have you considered what naked pix of you will do to your mother’s political prospects? I mean, one could be pro, and one could be con. But the internet is forever, and Mal doesn’t hand ammo to his enemies, last I checked.

I know, I know; I haven’t come clean about all the things I’M interested in, but that’s because I still have minor children at home; although I can imagine them giving a spirited and cogent defense of my various ‘life-style’ choices were anyone brave enough to ask for their opinions. Three things have to happen before this blog will get REALLY eyepopping (ie, I will no longer be constrained by the last shreds of common sense, good taste and puerile self-interest) and they are all, thank goodness, a long way from crossing my life event horizon. Although, looking back on my life, and the history of changes therein, it seems clear to me that all my prerequisites for a truly, monumentally tasteless blog will likely happen in the same week. I am the Heron Woman; many long hours of standing around breathing, followed by lightning like movement and little frogs wriggling.

I light a candle to honour the departure from this life of Long John Baldry. I saw him live at Fryfogle’s in London ONT many many many years ago, and he was a great stage presence and a solid entertainer. They don’t seem to make ’em like they used to. Lexi, if you have anything elegaic to say, I will gladly cross post.

Love each other and sing while you can.

Radio Free Saturn
2005-07-26— Posted by: allegra

The Cassini mission grabbed some radio transmissions from Saturn. I urge you to check it out, it’s bloody amazing. I’m listening to this right now, and it’s so eerie, and so wonderful… think of the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet and the hair on your arms will stand up. They are actually ‘aurora noises’.

enough sleep
2005-07-25— Posted by: allegra

Feel like animatronic scrap this morning thanks to a canoe outing yesterday at Widgeon Creek. We only have one canoe; I rented another one at Ayla canoes and then the four of us canoed across the Pitt River and went, by stages, over about an hour and a half, to the Widgeon Creek campsite. There must have been fifty canoes dragged up on the bank when we got there, it was quite entertaining to see, but past that point nothing but a very shallow draft kayak could get through as the creek dries up any farther up. There were so many people on the Creek that there was no wildlife to be seen, but it was still a wonderful trip and you can’t beat the scenery.

Katie and I were in one canoe as neither of us could stand the notion of having Paul bag at us non stop for our technique, or lack of it. Apart from me cutting off a kayak three times running (did I feel like a maroon) I didn’t actually do too badly in the steering department.

My mother, who is a domestic goddess masquerading as a retired nurse, has already commenced my Jayne Cobb hat. The rest of you can just croak of envy, thanks!

Back to yesterday’s events… ah, yes, after a brief stop for veg etc at a roadside stand, we headed off to Tom and Peggy’s where we ate a fantastic dinner cooked by Brooke and sang very very very appropriately, Vive l’amour (Vive la compagnie) among many other songs. Got to watch Ben have a very public religious experience as he communed with the bass Peggy’s stellar hubby bought for her a couple of weeks back. We’re not talking electric, it’s a dirty great standup bass. And if that’s what that sucker sounds like with old strings, I’m gonna be scared to sit next to it when it’s got new ones. Amayzing bass, how sweet the sound, etc. Mike J, Agnes and #1 son Sean were there as well; I had a lovely time.

Frankly did not expect Katie to want to come home, as she’d gone of to the bf’s… but she DID want to come home, and do you know why? Harry Potter!

Pic is Paul Paez snap of a polar b’ar being treated with Gentian Violet. This matches the Green polar bear I posted earlier. Since there are now two, do you suppose they’ve started a support group for Differently Coloured Polar Bears?

Kicking and screaming
2005-07-24— Posted by: allegra

I’m off to Widgeon Creek.

Knitting instructions for Jayne Cobb’s hat.

2005-07-24— Posted by: allegra

Went to the Lantern Festival at Trout Lake last night. I wish I could say I had a good time… let me rephrase that. I had a good time up until about 10 o’clock. After that, things kind of fell apart, and I have a really bad blister.

Briefly saw Tom, Peggy, and Brooke. Should have stuck with them but I always was a f*cking idiot when it comes to keeping promises to people.

Did the usual, put on a garment covered in Christmas lights and walked around Trout Lake with a Powerpack in my knapsack – lit up like a festive tree. Having three year old girls run up to you saying, awestruck, “You’re pretty, you’re pretty!” is balm for wounded nerves.

Mike, what did you do, turn your phone off? I had my phone with me and turned on.

Went to Stef’s to say hello to her, Patty and the dogs (Nathan’s in Toronto for the summer, and I can only pray he’s got air conditioning where he is) and hung out with her salsa buddy Diana for a while.

Missed the fireworks. Being told “They weren’t all that great this year” was not an adequate recompense, thanks.

Paul crushed his hand yesterday. He can flex it, so it’s not, as far as I can tell, livelihood threatening, but it looks like it hurts like hell.

I think I’ll go back to bed. In my current state of mind, only large amounts of unconsciousness will do.

Keith took pictures on his new used cell phone of the festival but we don’t have the right USB cable to upload them.

2005-07-23— Posted by: allegra

Course, the Chinese revalued the yuan, so everything’s good. Anybody want to take Mandarin lessons with me?

enough sleep
2005-07-23— Posted by: allegra

Farewell beers at the Golf Course last night for Elizabeth; quite an appropriate turnout for someone who always impressed me as both very smart and very hardworking. A couple of old timers, long since out of there, showed up as well. One of them, who shall remain nameless, was advised by a current employee to buy a round and expense it as ‘recruiting’ as his company has already poached a couple of really good hires. Just as well that nobody from HR showed up.

All five of us went for a walk just at sunset last night and we walked over to the Cariboo pedestrian bridge and back.

2005-07-22— Posted by: allegra

With so many Red Deer references in my blogging world at the moment – hsifyppah among them – I am appending the following:

Stolen from the Red Deer Site:

Discover the Official Cookie of Red Deer:

Caramel Surprise

625 ml (2 � cups) flour

175 ml (3/4 cup) cocoa

5 ml (1 tsp.) baking soda

250 ml (1 cup) white sugar

250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar

250 ml (1 cup) margarine

10 ml (2 tsp.) vanilla

2 eggs

125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans

40 Rolo Caramels


125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans

15 ml (1 tbsp.) sugar

In a large bowl cream margarine. Beat in both the white and brown sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, beat well. Add flour, cocoa and baking soda and blend well. Stir in pecans. Shape 15 ml (1 tbsp.) of dough around 1 Rolo Caramel, making sure it is completely covered.

In a bowl combine the two topping ingredients together. Press one side of each ball in the topping mixture and place nut-side up on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 180�C (350�F) for 10 minutes. Makes 40 cookies.

Note: If the cookie should spread too much while baking, add a little flour to the dough.


Red Deer Sunset
2005-07-22— Posted by: allegra

Katie finally came home last night. Went to L.A. Sushi to celebrate.

Then, oh joy of joys, we sat down and watched a whole bunch of Firefly again. Then I went to bed relatively early but between Paul and Keith they were making so much noise that I wasn’t actually able to go to sleep until 11:30 so I’m very crabby this morning.

Previously deleted portions of this blog include such gems as “Dish dirt like a front end loader.” Thank You.

Pictured is a reason to go to Madawaska, ON.

Mocking the afflicted
2005-07-22— Posted by: allegra

NORMally I don’t bother with stuff like this, but this picture is, um, well, let’s just say I’m glad my mother raised me not to become addicted to inhalants.

I can’t hold it in any longer
2005-07-21— Posted by: allegra

Brief holiday
2005-07-21— Posted by: allegra

Okay, so this is a brief holiday. This is what Red Deer Lodge and Campground looks like. Shade, rustic cabins (not shown in this pic), sandy beaches, clean water. Sigh. I’m a long way from there right now but I thought I’d give myself a visual vacation.

2005-07-21— Posted by: allegra

China has unpegged its yuan from the US dollar, which the US has been requesting for ages now. I find the timing interesting. The Chinese tried to buy two large US companies, Unocal was one and I can’t remember the other, and was soundly rebuffed for its troubles.

As best I understand the potential negative consequences of this move, they run like this: American manufactured goods will get more expensive, quite abruptly, because most of the American brand names are now manufactured in China anyway. Also, unpegging means that currency speculators now have something to bet on; they won’t just bet that the yuan/renminbi will rise, they’ll bet on all the Asian currencies to hedge their risks, and why the hell not? The American dollar looks like an ant carrying an anvil, in terms of the amount of debt tied to it. As some economists think, this will pummel growth in Asia. Central banking reforms in the Asia Pacific region will assist in helping these economies weather the storm, but if the currencies go up too much and the exchange advantage for export goods vanishes in a wave of currency speculation, a lot of these countries may have problems. There are contrarians who say this won’t happen and that China will be careful to manage the process, but I have my doubts. The Chinese are perfectly capable of planning and executing a currency shift that smacks the hell out of some of their biggest competitors, lets them unload a pile of US dollars (which they can’t use right now because the Yanks won’t let them buy anything), dampens growth back home just enough to kill inflation without too much damage to the rest of the economy, and allows them to buy energy with less cash. Oh, and kick a lot of American manufacturers in the noogies. Yup, and when everybody is really upset and the housing bubble in the US breaks, they’ll repeg to the American dollar, but at a different rate. It is possible that the revaluation will result in hugs and puppies all ’round, but I don’t believe it for a minute, and anybody who does offshore manufacturing should be prepared for at least two quarters of hell while things adjust. I started saying six months ago that anybody who can move production back on shore should be doing it; between gas prices, earthquakes shutting down western ports (yes, I know, that’s an if AND a when), and saber rattling on the part of both the US and China I am not at all convinced that offshoring is either safe or profitable in the long term. (Then somebody said, but Allegra, all the parts are made in China too… intimating that I am a dumbass. But I stick with what I’ve predicted.) The Chinese want our timber and our energy and our cement, and they’d much rather drive us into bankruptcy for it than fight; they have the advantage of being able to shoot their own people with impunity if they complain about the homeside consequences of any economic restructuring. So I have been waiting for this move for a long time, but I don’t think it’s going to play out to my personal advantage. I await with interest what will have to say on the subject.

thank goodness
2005-07-21— Posted by: allegra is back on line.

Just cruise through the links sometime, they’re mindblowing.

In other news, Keith drove back from the canoe outing yesterday and Paul said his driving was ‘perfect’ end quotes, and he also learned how to operate the canoe from the stern. All in all, Keith is turning into a wonderful well rounded human being, and I’m extremely happy I’m his mom. Also, we took him to the Golf Course for a beer on Friday – but he didn’t drink it and wanted to run away a lot faster than we did. He sure was happy to get out of there. It was good seeing Matt last Friday though, and better hearing that his S/O got into speech pathology at Purdue…. Good to see Jerome, too, I really miss the old bunch of us.

This entire, extremely funny, scathing paragraph, deleted on the fierce insistence of my lawyer, who is currently pouring drinks and making Be Reasonable noises. It was about work, could you guess? I have saved the best line for use later…. eet waz a good wan.

That’s a moray
2005-07-21— Posted by: allegra

In keeping with today’s watery theme, Amore meets A moray.

This link won’t last
2005-07-20— Posted by: allegra

As frequent visitors doubtless know, I am a repeat offender when it comes to Octopots. This particular Octopot, a denizen of the Copenhagen Zoo, is particularly expert at opening jar lids. Sic Semper Cheez Wiz, baby! Anyway, if you come upon this when the link has expired, Google octopus Copenhagen Zoo jar lids. Which, you have to admit, is a wonderful grouping of words.

Mr. Damon
2005-07-20— Posted by: allegra

One of my top ten fave blogs,, run by Mr. Damon, has gone off the air; I find it weird and fitting that his registration expired on Lunar Lander day. Sic transit gloria mundi, baby.

Mike, in an excess of Sanity, closed the shop on Monday and stayed at the beach instead. What a great idea, wish I could have joined him and Tori. I’m not a fool, so I won’t talk about *my* work right now.

Keith and Paul had a lovely canoe ride out to Widgeon Creek yesterday afternoon. They saw quite a variety of wildlife including beavers.

So Bush has nominated somebody with the same belief system for the Supreme Court. Yeah, so? The Supreme Court has meant nothing since the passage of the Patriot Act, except perhaps as a marker for the capacity of all the arms of the American government to make life incrementally worse for anybody who doesn’t worship money.

2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

A fitting end to the day
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

As I was about to destroy it, I realized, ah, it’s not so bad, speshfully if I take the more extraneous bits out. I look so happy, innocently spanking an inanimate Superman. He can’t feel it, and I damned near broke my finger! I am innocent no more, lemme tell you. Hard stuff is ouchy and hurty, did you ever notice that? I look at him, manfully holding up my weight on, uh, an inconveniently small amount of surface area, and wonder how many little children he viciously dumped on the terrazzo of large malls over the years of his career thus far. For his life, his death-in-life, is not over; he will continue to have slushies rammed down his skivvies, be barfed on, and be the recipient of other rude fluids besides; he will be repainted, each time looking somewhat worse, especially as nobody bothers to repaint his face anything but a garish and not very healthy looking pink. He will terrorize storefronts in very small towns. From the very front, he looks to me like a man who’s (ed note; knock it off). From the back, well, if paradise is hard and painted blue and red, his butt is a dead ringer for it. Deny that if you can!

What have we here?
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

And there was, o my god, a picture of me attempting to spank Superman. It too, has joined the Great Dead Pixellator in the sky, and a damned good thing, too…. However, Pokey made his opinion of events quite clear, as shown hereunder:

But wait, there’s more
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

In deference to commonly adhered-to standards of decency and taste, I have had to pull this next picture. It adds nothing to the fund and sum of human knowledge, and would detract from the digestions of those miserable few who viewed it. I was not born to lie curled up on an epoxy Superman. You DON’T want to see a picture of it, and I’m frying them from both the camera and hard drive in a brave and uplifting last stand against the oncoming, flux-ridden horde of nightmarish images. (Sorry, I heard “No Quarter” sung on Saturday night and some of its martial imagery stuck).

Where do I plug him in?
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

So here I am, contemplating how Superman has finally been made real to me. A coin-operated Superman, with his own airsick bag. Okay, off the top I see three, but there must be at least ten, really odd / scary features of this photograph. Share them with friends, collect the entire set.

Superman has handles?
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

Cool! Johnsquared’s truck is parked in front. John says, in that quiet conspiratorial tone he uses for odd and wonderful things, I brought Superman home!

Now, how could anybody who knows John even raise an eyebrow at this. Jaded as I am with his Many Years of Durance Vile with one employer, I immediately assumed it was a bar top game, and that he had just been playing on words. But, and it’s all blissfully true, he brought home a SUPERMAN, a corporeal superman, and my elderly neighbour who walks his dog past my place just about seized up laughing when he saw me sprawled on top of him. He croons to his dog, a golden lab pup and a gorgeous one, “You wanna fly with Superman?” and then starts laughing again, shaking his head as he moves the dog along.

So enniwess, I run out there and let John take some rifrikkindiculous pictures of Superman and me. Okay, in this one, I thinking, “Wot de hell is dis?” because the untoppable man has handles, and that has a girl’s mind turning to pink skin, not that it will show through his painted shorts. I did spank him and the digitus impudicus on my right hand is squawking at me as a result, mental note, dumbass. Hey, I made it up the stairs at Wreck Beach without croaking! Not … ready … for a wheelchair.

Brief detour, Paul mentioned the other day that the only thing wrong with Wreck Beach was that it wasn’t wheelchair accessible, and all us just looked at him and said right on, and then talked about how you’d do it without destroying the ambience. Very nice moment.

Superman has handles. Happysigh.

Architectural detail
2005-07-19— Posted by: allegra

I am a big fan of rococo decorations in theatres, and Sandy sent me a very nice example of it. If you notice anything else about this picture, then you are obviously very vulgar minded.

Peak Oil
2005-07-18— Posted by: allegra

Oh, Allegra, why won’t you grow up and realize that Peak Oil is just imaginary?

Because of articles like this.

Busy day then
2005-07-18— Posted by: allegra

Saturday night went to a house filk at Cindy’s which was fun, and there were a LOT of instruments there. And voices. Next day we went to the Buffy Singalong for Kelly’s birthday, we being Keith and John and I, and then Paul, who had been flying with Dan P, met us at Wreck Beach, where we got free parking in the beach side lot and met up with Mike and Tori, narrowly missing Trent, who had arrived and departed on his Zodiac, which was amusing because Keith was rereading Neal Stephenson’s Zodiac while we were at the beach. Mike liberally applied balm to my wounded nerves in the form of about half an hour of desperately needed bodywork, and despite my not so happy return trip up the stairs (I insisted we leave before sunset) I still have that languorous, boneless feeling you get after a really good massage. And of course I got completely covered in that Wreck Beach composite material, sand and sunblock, which means I have now completely exfoliated. Finished Harry Potter VI; when they said ‘it’s dark’ they are not just whistling Dixie. However, it has plenty of Rowling’s trademark combo of finely observed social commentary, ouch-that-smarts plot points and laugh out loud dialogue and descriptions of persons and behaviour. Okay, it’s 4:30, back to bed.

Monty and Tyler
2005-07-18— Posted by: allegra

From the Sun Online, via Fark, Monty the horse and Tyler the dog. Tyler learned to ride when he was quite small and now the two animals ride together pretty much every day.

Dawn Patrol
2005-07-17— Posted by: allegra

I’m about half way through the new Harry Potter. I’m off to a Buffy singalong and then Wreck afterwards. I hope to be in a better mood some time before the end of the year, but as long as Paul is doing an imitation of Eeyore as an attack therapist, I find it hard to picture.

sigh, happy sigh
2005-07-17— Posted by: allegra

Keith and Paul are singing and playing “Lousy Copilot” together on guitar and mandolin.

Pottie Harrie
2005-07-16— Posted by: allegra

Went to the world famous Coquitlam Superstore – the one that ‘uh, sorry’ released the Harry Potter VI early. Picked up a legal copy and am now attempting to negotiate a reading schedule. I want to read it aloud, but if I can’t get some freaking cooperation I’ll just hide in my bedroom with it for the rest of the day.

Sun came out for thirty seconds – thought, that’s funny, the Sun is mooning us – and now it’s hiding again.

House filk tonight and Buffy Singalong at Pacific Cinematheque tomorrow afternoon.

Neighbour showed up to borrow a phone today; Sprint sucked her in and now she’s spitting Sprint out and going back to Telus. I’m sticking with Telus because they are the phone company that actually puts people up poles when the disaster comes.

Now I’m off to Rowlingville, see ya later.

Law Society
2005-07-15— Posted by: allegra

My spies inform me that there’s a new CEO at the Law Society of British Columbia. If his actions during his first six weeks on the job are anything to go by, I have to assume that there is going to be what they delicately refer to as a ‘housecleaning’. Considering that they don’t even currently do monthly financial reporting and there hasn’t been much in the way of corporate governance since the last CEO was s-canned for conflict of interest (in BC? never happens), it’s maybe a good thing that this gent has come on board. Oh, and a non lawyer is in charge of regulatory. Give me a break.

Came up with a good one yesterday. Patricia said, There is no I in Team, to which my immediate response was, and there’s no F in Way.

enough sleep ?
2005-07-15— Posted by: allegra

Came home last night and crashed out, I was feeling tired and having waves of weirdness and dizziness. Woke up with Paul off to work, Katie off to Youth Night, John not in evidence and Keith at Karate.

Stooged about for a while feeling sorry for myself – a weird feeling of disconnection – and then got about a third of the way through Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, a POWerfully weird book, and then Keith came home. He wanted to watch Firefly and I refused.

Then Katie came home and said, Why the hell is it that every time I walk out of the house I end up having to talk to cops? Keith and I sagged a little, but it turns out that she watched a guy assault one of her friends. Get this. This man assaulted Billy for swearing. Seems a little harsh, don’t you think? He outweighed Billy by a factor of two to one. Katie was really angry with herself for being so stunned at how uncalled for it was that she didn’t take her camera out and snap this big guy holding Billy on the ground. And of course it’s Billy that gets tossed in the patrol car, which made Katie furious.

At that point I said, soothingly, let’s all go downstairs and watch Firefly, which we did. Three freaking episodes, didn’t get to bed until one. Inara just told Mal she’s leaving the crew (just when she’d participated in a caper, too!). Katie has definitely decided she likes the show. I just love Nathan Fillion. Now I have about thirty seconds to have a shower, or my coworkers will look askance, and no car today because we have to replace the windshield.

first half July 2005

more media, dead bodies, and strong emotions
2005-07-14— Posted by: allegra

A corpse fell into traffic in Texas the other day. I dunno, if I saw something like that I would take it as a sign to slow down. Some employee of a funeral home didn’t secure the back door of the truck, and down will come corpsey, gurney and all.

Saw Paul Bettany in The Reckoning last night. I thought a lot of it was a wilful misrepresentation of medieval English life, but there was almost enough dirt for a Python flick, so I guess that was okay.

Then watched the War Stories episode of Firefly. Ah, playful banter during torture. TV is so much better than real life, don’t you think? I think it is possible we may have converted Katie into a fan, though. Ha! Feel the sinister clutches!

Got a call from Alan last night. He will be in town for a wedding the end of August (whee!) so I get to see him and his lady wife Janice. I told him we speak of him often (uh oh was his response) mostly in connection with various cultural high points that he introduced me to, like, lessee… Art Spiegelman’s Maus… Dead Can Dance… Neal Stephenson (he loaned me a first edition of Zodiac back when nobody knew who the hell Neal was) and I’d give anything to put a Wonkette style reference in here but everybody I know, including my mother, would be crimped at me.

Note from 2019. Alan dumped me, a few years later, (I mean you knew I was poly, right?) over the phone, while I was at work, and sitting across from my boss’s cubicle.  He had an office. It never occurred to him to even think about that. What a ….He’s an utter polished turd, and I wish his third wife well of him. Sure he introduced me to a lot of great stuff but Paul’s worth five of him in terms of character, humility and usefulness.

Note to Dax… I witnessed Katie’s reaction to a good chunk of the extended IM session you guys had yesterday, and while I still like you, I think you need to a) get out more and b) shake your head a couple of times. If you don’t give people an opportunity to revise their story, they won’t, especially when the slightest shift causes hysteria in the audience. Maybe you think that you have the right not to be lied to by anyone, but most of us old tired adults are used to being lied to so much that we hardly take offence at it anymore. We emotionally shelter with people who don’t lie to gain respite from a world of lies. I don’t know if you think yesterday’s exchange was useful; it didn’t look that way to me. So may I humbly suggest that you SHIF-W your communication style a bit.

see you doing this.

hear you doing this.

imagine this means … whatever fevered imaginings are troubling your brain.

feel and then sum up how the action/speech makes you feel.

Then, the grand finale – I want this outcome, this behaviour change, this speech change.

This communication technique does two things. I allows you to think through what you’re feeling so that you can express it without sounding like you’re coming unglued, and it prevents you from having the message you want to convey get derailed as you respond to what the other person says.

PS, it doesn’t work in an employment sitch. Tried it in a product meeting once, sucked to be me.

PPS, wish I used the technique more consistently, but sometimes it feels way better to uncork the whupass, and it definitely makes better theatre.

Writers group tonight, must print something off.

The water heater is now tied to the frame of the house, yay Paul.

2005-07-14— Posted by: allegra

The toll free number at work was broken for about 2 1/2 days this week. Considering all the other crap that has been going on I’ve been getting a little torqued and got bitchslapped by a customer on the phone today. I deserved it, but I’m finding this really tiresome.

enough sleep
2005-07-13— Posted by: allegra

Woke up this morning feeling like somebody had been lovingly dropping grains of silica gel into my mouth all night.

Saw Fantastic Four last night – three of us got in for $12 cause it was cheap night at the New West Cinema. The movie is unpretentious and completely ridiculous, and only worth seeing because of the Thing. If it doesn’t win best makeup I’ll be annoyed.

2005-07-12— Posted by: allegra

This is Suzanne’s cat Limpet, who is missing a hind foot. (Missing foot not shown). She’s an extraordinarily pretty cat; quite tiny, and this pic does not convey the beauty of her plushtoy fur, although I must say it conveys her personality nicely.

2019:  this ‘crippled’ animal once CAUGHT A BAT AND BROUGHT IT INSIDE. pandemonium ensyued.

Must reads and rumors
2005-07-12— Posted by: allegra

He must have posted about two minutes ago (it’s 3:30 am here) but it’s a full grown fire breathing dragon of a post. Hint. He don’t like Karl Rove.

Rumors… Keith Richards to do a cameo as Jack Sparrow’s Pop in Pirates II? Magic Excellent Air Guitar Riff Inserted Here. 2019 says I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED SON

From Boing Boing…Those Crazy Koreans: Associated Press reports that Korea’s Doosan Bears pitcher Park Myung-hwan was caught keeping frozen cabbage under his cap. He explains that he was trying to keep cool, but the Korea Baseball Organization issued a ruling in a statement that said quote wearing cabbage leaves inside a baseball cap constitutes an inner quote alien material end inner quote that may disrupt a game end quote. I must start following the Doosan Bears; they sound like they really know how to have good fun.

In news that will surprise no one who wishes Bill Gates would either convert to open source or die abruptly after changing his will, MS is buying a spyware company and has changed its new Anti Spyware to ignore the festering code of this new limb of Satan. Question… how many arms does one Prince of Lies need, anyway?

Also from Boing Boing, a picture of a chair which has a juicer on it so a lapdancer can, um, extract the juice from a 🙂 piece of fruit using nothing but the gift the Goddess gave her and, that’s right, pelvic force. Sales in Surrey are expected to be brisk, and Kevin Federline has already bought two, I assume for two different rooms in his house.

Jim E is back from the opening bars of the new song of his life; his little girl is here and apart from sleeping issues, she’s the new queen of his heart. No word from Carol but I await their reports on parenting with abiding love and interest.

2019 says she’s gorgeous, she’s smart, Jim and Carol still love her with everything they have.

Charbaum made my life a beautiful thing by sending me an invite to Arden’s 1st birthday party (his pic posted in a previous blog); set for a weekend Paul can’t attend, aw.

Since quite a few people want to know, I am back to sleeping in my own bed, and Paul’s hearing appears to have been restored. This means that I can make my requests in future at a more reasonable volume. I can’t say all is well but much is better. Also, it’s just wild how many one bedroom apartments are for rent in New Westminster right now… there are forty, and I already got approved for two, and I only started looking Sunday, and here it is Tuesday am at 3:48…. Alert readers will connect the dots and think “Uh oh, hot tub!” but if you throw in (all right, that’s enough, the laundry list of grievances real and imagined here redacted), you get the idea. If you burn your arse, as Dunnett so poetically wrote, you sit on the blister. Hey, that loops back to the juicer seat! Very nice. On that note, I’m back to bed. Paul’s at work. Jumping Jimmy Christmas, what buttheads I have living in my ‘hood! Who would honk their horns at 3:54 am? Bastards. Oh, yeah, that’s right, I’m already awake. Katie home, shoes here. Must let her know that really nice apartment on St Andrew isn’t a happening thing. Dang, it was a gorgeous place, and heh heh…. cable was included. Now it would be an Elastigirl style stretch to think I could ever get Paul to consider cable, but to quote Hemingway, isn’t it pretty to think so? A mosquito just flew up my nose, I’m outta here.

very funny
2005-07-12— Posted by: allegra

me laughing…..

Got Wood?
2005-07-11— Posted by: allegra

This is TamTam dressed for Pride Day standing in front of a statue of Alexander Wood. He was gay, a long long time ago, before it was fashionable. LIKE the coat and that fancy hat. This statue was unveiled in the heart of the gay barrio in Toronto, and TamTam’s choir sang at the dedication. He was an honoured public servant even though he had to leave town due to a sex scandal in the early part of the 19th century.

Google Alexander Wood gay 1844 for more details.

So I lied.
2005-07-10— Posted by: allegra

Nuthin but hugs and puppies from now on
2005-07-10— Posted by: allegra

This is a Stump Tailed Macaque. He is 7 days old. Isn’t he cute?

too bad, so sad
2005-07-10— Posted by: allegra

At 7:30 this morning Paul told me he doesn’t want the hot tub. So I’m emailing people and phoning people to make the whole process stop. I am very sad about his decision.

This now colors my entire experience of this weekend. Half an hour ago I wanted to talk about how much fun I had yesterday, but now it seems pointless.

I did have a lot of fun with Mike McG and his wife Liz yesterday, as we sucked back Sleemans and traded screechingly rude aviation/childrearing stories on his back porch. One of his stories I will cherish forever, and the picture of the sloth was cute.

Katie is back from Dax’s in fine form. Upon her return to the family fold, she presented me with a malapropism that combines anatomy, geography and political incorrectness in such a fashion that I justabout whizzed myself. Unfortunately I can’t repeat it in a family publication, but adult readers of this blog are invited (no, urged!) to make discreet personal enquiries of your excitable correspondent.

Capitalism at work
2005-07-10— Posted by: allegra

Capitalism at work
2005-07-10— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-07-09— Posted by: allegra

Short sharp blog this morning as I am about to jump in a car and go to the airshow in Arlington. At some point I’m hoping to meet up with coworker Mike and drink beer and coworker Rob of Nine and ditto ditto. If the winds are favorable and the fates propitious I may even get to combine the two. Then back to town to level the playing field, literally, for the hot tub to sit on. Keith had a nice birthday with his dad and has already phoned Paul’s mum to thank her for the birthday gift. Yet another dream about dark old houses with non standard corridors and strange but seemingly normal events. There was a lot of writing in this last one, which is okay. I love the road trip to Arlington, it’s a long standing fave. I’ve been down that road in a brand new Mustang with the top down; I’ve been down that road in brand new rental cars; I’ve been down that road alone, and in a Miata with the top down (thanks Lexi!) and with coworkers who, as soon as the doors closed, started gossiping so hard my eyes nearly bugged out (extremely entertaining and very informative). I’ve been down that road at the speed limit and at a constant 30k over the speed limit, while the driver kvetched about how really, the company was being backward about not paying for the speeding fines as we really were being more efficient. I note that at no point, thanks to Paul’s constantly inculcating me with an insouciant attitude to the prospect of an abrumpt (quoting a departed VP) cessation of vehicular movement, was I worried. And the tunes were crankin’. I’m driving, so I’m happy. Mind you the Echo makes whiny noises if you try to push it past 100k, but o well. Katie at Dax’s, like you didn’t already know. Did you know that elephants can make a surprisingly large range of vocalizations? There’s an elephant in Kenya that imitates trucks, but only at night. Now there’s a solitary vice for you. There’s another elephant that was raised with another species of elephants, and has stopped making the vocalizations of her own species and now chirps like the ‘phants she grew up with. Ah yes. The Eminem of elephants. Did I say that? Time to go.

My spies talk to me
2005-07-09— Posted by: allegra

Personal commentary from one of my spies about Nathan Fillion.

I have redacted the first portion as it was an undignified neener neener about how my spy has shared air with Nathan Fillion, and I haven’t. Quote commences, “….funnier than all get out, and a REALLY nice guy. I’ve worked with him twice now, (show names redacted).

He is most definitely crush-worthy, on every level. Sigh.”

end of quote.

You bet your gorram ass, sigh.

In other news, my doctor’s daughter-in-law’s mother is running for Mayor of Vancouver. (Can you tell my mother does the genealogy thing???) She’d better win. That’s Deb Abbey we’re talking about, and now I’m happy Larry Campbell retired. I wasn’t before, but it’s looking good.

I light a candle for the dead of London. Life is short. Love each other while you can.

‘s no joke
2005-07-09— Posted by: allegra

Snow leopards, c/o Denver Zoo.

2005-07-08— Posted by: allegra

Keith worked very hard yesterday but I guess it didn’t work out – so he’s not working again. Today is his 19th birthday. Paul’s supposed to do something fun with him today.

Katie is ailing with something.

I need help moving a hot tub this Sunday afternoon at one, if you want to volunteer, call me.

Keith is working
2005-07-08— Posted by: allegra

Today was Keith’s first day of paid employment, a day before his nineteenth birthday.

Sigh. I’m so happy, and so proud.

from screenhead
2005-07-08— Posted by: allegra

stolen from someplace else. This is Xander’s coffee. This is Joyce’s decaf. This is Spike’s …. mmmm… blood.

I’m not too good at this
2005-07-07— Posted by: allegra

but I was in a hurry.

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

Damn you Brooke! (fisty shaky gesture). I am now SO madly in lust with Nathan Fillion. I am about a third of the way through Firefly and am having a rahhhlly hard time controlling my urge to… oh hell, I think I’ll just indulge myself. Amazing pink and grey sunrise. Must do dishes, kitchen is a sty. Katie must be home, her door is closed and her shoes are here. Excuse me while I titter behind my hand, because I know something that Katie doesn’t know, and when she finds out she’s going to be PPPPPP… choked. Titter. Giggle. I told my mother, the rest of you are going to have to wait, but more news soon. My coworker Patricia told an anecdote yesterday that made me laugh so hard that people in the cafeteria turned around and stared at me, and I laugh really hard every day, so this was a little over the top even for me. Oil is $61 but it isn’t going to affect my traditional way of life. I will say gun ownership is looking more attractive. Still no idea why a coconut ended up in my yard. If somebody tells you to visit a site about Mr. Gisby’s Totally Gay Pet Store, don’t bother, it isn’t that funny. I will say that the collection of 1900 – 1960 mug shots on is perversely satisfying. I got more Sleeman because they are giving away free glasses. Keith bought me sushi yesterday, and I know why, and Katie doesn’t. I have seen the future, and there will briefly be a much higher TV to Work ratio, which will work well for some people. There were bombings in London. I light a candle for the eight, so far, dead, and the wounded. Sometimes it’s better to be dead than wounded but it’s not considered polite to say that.

2019 says it isn’t polite to say that, because it’s ableist. 

I don’t have the car today, and I’m trying not to be all resenty about it. Sigh. But the best thing about today is that the sun come out just about two seconds ago, and that means, I can’t tell you, because Kate doesn’t know yet. Giggle.

what the ffff
2005-07-07— Posted by: allegra

When I went to the car this morning, there was a coconut in my driveway. I remember hearing something really bizarre in the front yard this morning long about 4 ayem but I had no idea that the suspicious muffled clattering was a coconut. Where did it come from? Can such things be?

I’m sitting at home right now sucking back beer and contemplating the other strange thing that happened this morning. I got to work, logged in, blah blah blah, and then looked down and realized I had somehow conveyed a Whole Slug into the office. It was entirely undamaged and serenely making its gooey way across the floor. I picked it up and conveyed it back into the great outdoors. I know I somehow Got It On Me as I was walking past the little waterfall to work, but how did it Get On Me? And how did it Get Off Me without being injured? These are the things that perplex my tiny, acorn like neural tangle.

You’re an Eight.
2005-07-07— Posted by: allegra

Katie is sleeping at Dax’s, according to her mominlaw.

This is a urinal in the shape of a hibiscus.

Can such things be?

shameless plug
2005-07-06— Posted by: allegra

I don’t feel any better, but there’s no reason not to post a funny picture. Stolen from, which I heartily recommend if you have a cat lover on your gift list, and who doesn’t?

2005-07-06— Posted by: allegra

I feel entirely sick at the moment. Katie left the house about 8 pm last night and hasn’t been seen since. I have no idea where she is. She wouldn’t – or couldn’t – pick up the phone last night and did not respond to text messages. Normally she calls. She’s not at Dax’s that I know, having left for a friend of Wendy’s. I at least know where Wendy is and plan on banging on her door later.

I got two pieces of wonderful news last night and now I can’t enjoy either of them, and my eyes aren’t completely unstuck yet – I scarcely slept.

not enough sleep
2005-07-05— Posted by: allegra

Woke up I don’t know when, hitting Paul, in an effort to get him to stop screaming. I’m obviously the cause of all of his troubles; he’s hardly back two days and he’s having nightmares.

Woke up AGAIN to the unmistakable and highly unpleasant sensation of having a bug crawling across me, only I decided to inspect it before I killed it and it turned out to be a ladybug, so I took it to the bathroom window and encouraged its exit from my house.

My mother is back from her eastern perambulations, thank the Goddess in all of her forms; not being able to pick up the phone and call her has been very anxiety inducing, especially with Paul & Keith out of town the entire time as well. My mother doesn’t enjoy travelling, but the seeing relatives including ones she hadn’t seen for half a century was nice.

Current fave news quote
2005-07-05— Posted by: allegra

I kept telling him, ‘The alligator’s coming. Get out! Get out!’

Medicine Heart
2005-07-05— Posted by: allegra

White Buffalo are very special. David Stephenson took the pic.

22 year old cat
2005-07-04— Posted by: allegra

Forgot to mention I shaved a cat yesterday – Callie. I mean, it’s not like that happens everyday. So I had a squirmy squally 22 year old tortoiseshell kitty on my lap while I was going zuzz, zuzz, with the clippers, because her mats are godawful, with Tom L. holding the biting end with his welding gloves on, and then Tom vacuumed me (I really wish somebody had been videotaping that, it must have looked hilarious). I have to say that 22 year old cats who haven’t been grooming themselves well do NOT smell great, and I wasn’t happy until I doffed my duds later in the evening because I couldn’t get rid of the smell until then. After about 7 or 8 minutes she was biting and screeching so hard we figured we’d injure her if we kept it up.

But the best part was finding out she is tortoiseshell all the way down… her skin is the same colour as her fur.

The glorious 4th
2005-07-04— Posted by: allegra

I’m looking forward to seeing more pix of the comet impact.

The Mighty catcher and releaser
2005-07-04— Posted by: allegra

I think John is getting the picture about leaving the goldarned window open so Pokey can come and go. Yesterday around 10 of the clock Pokey caught a juvenile squirrel and pranced up and down the downstairs apartment with it.

Katie got a look of consternation and said, “Pokey’s caught another bird, John’s yelling and I can hear cheeping”. We went downstairs to render what aid we may, and it turned out to be a squillill. (Durrell reference). I thought Tom L. was going to blow a head valve when I told him I had let the squirrel go; he has despatched many of them this year, but I’ve given up – I have karma to repair.

My cats have NEVER caught a squirrel, although I suppose they may have tried; Pokey is both so dumb and so athletic that it never occurs to him not to. I have a picture of him pretending to be a chock for the Echo… I will post it later.

Pokey has been way too busy to take a round out of anybody lately. I saw him sleeping in a corner of the yard… on the concrete… yesterday.

Brooke dreamed a song a couple of days ago. I was favourably impressed.

Tom L. cooked a stupendous pork roast yesterday. Meshuggas with timing meant we were late, and it was still damned good.

Saw the Dalai Jarmo and Susanna yesterday, with the boys – all well, the boys squabbling non stop as per usual – and their boat has a new fuel injected four stroke which doesn’t suck up nearly as much gas. No Hot Springs trips planned. We were there to inspect the camper van for suitability for the road trip to the air show, but I think maybe it will be later in the year.

Anyway, about that window…. if Pokey is going to do what he does, maybe he should be encouraged to do it outside. Otherwise John is going to come home to a serious cleaning problem, and then there’s the issue of other cats figuring out how to get in, with the attendance pandemonium….

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

This boat is not blue – the awning is. Gives a most beautiful and painterly effect. Paul took this pic, also on the camping trip.

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Turtle. Don’t know which species.

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Camping pix
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Paul got some great pictures.

Tennesseeing is believing
2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

This cow stuck her head in a tree and was still patiently standing there when the vet (John Brunner, amusingly enough), a tractor and a wholelottalube showed up. This took place near Milton, Tennessee and was reported in the Murfreesboro Tennessee Daily News Journal. Apart from a scrape to the back of one ear the cow was none the worse for her remarkable demonstration of curiosity. The hole has since been closed.

2005-07-03— Posted by: allegra

Sh…. don’t tell anyone, but Marilyn just phoned and asked me if I really wanted to come for dinner seeing as how Paul was arriving tonight, and I owned that I would really rather see Paul, even if she is a stupendous cook (and I wanted to pick Glenn’s brains too about the site). I will, therefore, be waiting here when Paul gets home (if he doesn’t call me to let me know he’s landed, in which case I’ll go get him.)

Line dried sheets and freshly cut grass will be waiting for him, therefore…

2005-07-02— Posted by: allegra

So I learned something about the dream world last night. I learned that if somebody hands me a cup of coffee, I wake up.

So I’m minding my own business, the way I do in dreamworld, because it’s just not a good idea to start opening doors, and I end up on this boat that was built a long time ago. It’s very large and the corridors don’t meet on the square and it’s remarkably spiffy as far as fittings are concerned. We go cruising through something that looks like a cross between the Gulf and the Thousand Islands, and there’s this frikking naked giant huddled in a ball on an island (which he dwarfs) really trying hard to look inconspicuous. He can’t though, I mean he’s about twice the size of my house. I ask my companion, a slender woman in nondescript clothing who appears to be in her late twenties – whom I have never seen before – what gives, and she says: He was a really bad piano player and this is his punishment (subtext – beats shooting him, I s’pose). How bad is bad? I say, thinking this is a bit much, and she shows me a piece of promo he put together which indicates that he has a piece of promo, but not that he can play piano, and he got this cruise line gig, but he’s useless; he can’t even play “Feelings”. Now to my way of thinking this is not negative, but whatever. Then she handed me a cup of coffee… dang, I could smell it…. and I woke up.

You know, of course that you’re not supposed to take food from the hands of the dead, in dreams, because it’s how they claim you. But she was alive; I wonder who she is and if I’ll meet her soon. I have dreamed the faces of people I haven’t met before. One turned out to be my grade 10 math teacher, but you can’t have everything.

Enniwess, I assume that all this boat crap has something to do with watching the ferry crash on Thursday. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It really seemed like the classic Canadian accident; millions of dollars of damage; no fatalities.

Bucketing rain when I got up this morning. Katie still at Dax’s.

John says we nearly beat the record for a gloomy June… more overcast than is normal and in fact five more hours of sunshine this month that it would have taken to beat the record. Me, I’m happy every time it rains. It fills the reservoirs and prevents fires. Although Criminy, my grass is growing like it’s training for some form of horticultural Olympics.

Keith told Katie on the phone the other day that he has a most excellent tan. Katie is now saying she’ll go next time, but I know perfectly well that she won’t go because (this part deleted, cause I’ll get my butt kicked).

Here come a twister
2005-07-02— Posted by: allegra

From Coaldale Alberta last week. Happy Canada Day!

enough sleep
2005-07-01— Posted by: allegra

Shown are Terry, Clare, Tish and a small black bear. This is someplace around Grundy Lake close to Sudbury, but I don’t have anything more specific than that… like a GPS reference. Paul emailed me another picture, purportedly of a mink playing in some water, but it didn’t matter how hard I squinted, I couldn’t see anything. Like a frikkin Margaret Atwood poem, mutter mutter.

enough sleep
2005-07-01— Posted by: allegra

Received the sad news that Cody, Sandy’s oldest dog, died yesterday. I emailed her saying I was sorry and that he was a good dog, and her response says it all: “I beg to differ. He was a great dog.”

Keith and Paul have delayed their return by one day; the flights today just suck, so tomorrow is looking like a better bet and Tish and Terry wanted them to stay another day anyway.

Watched both of the Bill and Ted movies last night and ate dinner over at Suzanne’s. Katie of course spent the night. Woe = parenthood! Katie was describing a dream the day before yesterday and said that she went home in the dream. It was clear from context that Home meant Dax/Suzanne’s place. She looked apologetic for about 30 nanoseconds, then looked impatient. “Home is where Dax is,” she said.

Pic is from our beach walk last fall.

This is really cute, but not for dialup. No, I’m not going to do a link. Checking links is such a pain in the ass. And I’m about to get emails about how to automate checking links, I can just tell.

Ato the Praying Panther
2005-07-01— Posted by: allegra

She’s at a zoo in Japan, and she’s apparently praying for rain. Credit Mainichi Shinbun, again. I was going to post pix of Albino Cobras, but you’d be looking at it all month long, and I prefer pussercats.

yucca filamentosa

enough sleep
2005-06-30— Posted by: allegra

Katie’s off job hunting today with Wendybird; Keith and Paul are due back on Canada Day but since they are flying standby they may not make it back; off to Glenn and Marilyn’s for dins on Saturday; the yucca filamentosa exploded into bloom yesterday; Pokey caught and brought home a live bird of some description, which he let loose into the house with the attendant disarray – John’s portion of the house, I am thankful to say, not mine. I had wondered if he was going to be a hunter after watching him with that crow, and he hasn’t disappointed me. Mine have brought live mice in, but they had the decency to despatch same on the kitchen floor. Gizmo and Eddie, Jeff’s cats, have caught everything under the sun and killed it on the living room carpet… to the point that my brother is expert on dealing with the most atrocious stains and has this ‘amazing stuff’ that reduces the damage to a vague, unclassifiable blotch; although if you hit the place with fluorescene you’d think different. (Isn’t that the stuff they use on CSI? I don’t watch network TV but that doesn’t stop me from paying attention to what people talk about.) Cousin Gerald sent me last night’s link. He also sent me a link to the best television ad I’ve seen in many many years.

Nita is moved into her sublet until school starts up in the fall.

This is a note to those just joining us that my host is in England, so everything is 8 hours ahead. My posting window for getting it into ‘today’ starts at 4 in the morning. Yes, eventually I will get a local host.

Pic is of Paul and Rob of Nine (sorry ’bout the red eye) at last year’s Holiday Celebration, which was in the same hotel as the liability seminar. You can tell what kind of person I am by the fact that a) I had fun at both and b) figure this was likely because of the food.

Have a kickin’ Canada Day; if you’re on the other side of the line, have a safe and terror free Day of Independence, and remember that your founding fathers wanted you to be free of tyranny. I still think that the Declaration of Independence is one of the finest products of collective human inspiration, and I salute all those who honor it.

Catacombs of Paris
2005-06-30— Posted by: allegra

Revive your rusting French and play follow the leader through the catacombs of Paris. They were down for ten hours, and if you can read, say, grade eight french you should pee yourself laughing, I know I did. The human who wrote it is a complete card. Even if you can’t read French the ambience is cool (and did I mention damp) and the Medusa is def trif. I now know the French for “The water is sparkling clean, but I wouldn’t advise you to drink it.”

I found the pic on Isn’t it amazing which websites come up when your search criteria are ‘rats’ ‘catacombs’ and ‘leptospirosis’? I had no idea there WAS a website called And then I found this guy.

Oh my god. I was looking at motorcyle mags tonight. I think I want a scooter. It’s a very retro looking thing.

Writer’s group was great.

Went to see Mike for dins and got so thorough-lee stuck in traffic (Ironworkers Memorial comPLETEly crapped, apparently people were stuck on the bridge so long that they were peeing off the bridge deck. (Hope they checked the “look out below” first.))that it took me 90 minutes to get from SFU to Broadway and Commercial, calice tabernac. So I bailed on that and ended up eating at Quizno’s before getting to Sabena’s place on West 10th. I have a wonderful anecdote which I can’t post, but can share that I groomed a cat I never saw before today with my own comb for about 10 minutes. What a suck!

Okay, this pic is just plain tacky, so wait for it.

I was so stressed out today that I was indiscriminately handing out neckrubs. One of my coworkers pretends to faint when I do that, which when he is standing up presents a very amusing tableau.

I am terrified of dying. No matter how many times I tell myself that it’s like childbirth, I’m going along for the ride whether I want to or not, it still scares the hell out of me. I’m really happy to be alive, and take no pleasure A-tall in the notion that I’m going to join my ancestors. Then I see pictures like this and temporarily feel better.

family pic and aurora

Family Pic
2005-06-29— Posted by: allegra

Jim P sent me this a long time ago. I have wanted to post it for a long time with my comments, but first attend to the way the pic looks. The children are all looking at the camera. The adults, for whatever reason, appear to think that a piece of something has stuck to the back of Jim’s head. We don’t want to know what… because his uncle looks amused, his grandmother repelled and his mother stunned. Jim himself looks like he has accomplished something Le Petomane would have been proud of.

I have wanted to post a picture of my urbane and camera shy webmaster for a long time, and this is perfect. You can’t see all of him, but what there is is really hot. In 1959, I was pretty cute too, in a bald headed, diaper wearing, spherical-headed sort of way. You will note that absolutely nothing has happened to Jim’s smile in the intervening years, apart from the fur (which he still has). Hopefully the notes will be clear, unlike the last time I tried to do this.

Great aurora pic
2005-06-29— Posted by: allegra

Sorry, no attribution or date, but it’s from Voisey Bay, NFLD.

this is not a cute animal picture

This is not a cute animal picture
2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

This is Spider’s Genitalia

Maria M. Ramos GS

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Princeton University

This is the image of a dissected and cleared �epigynum��the genitalia of a female spider of the species Nephila edulis. The large spheres are the spermathecae, or sperm reservoirs.

Oh come on, if I didn’t post stuff that’s revolting once in a while, there’d be no attraction. And the next time you say “uglier than the ass end of a spider” you’ll really mean it. Because, even programmed as I am to see the beauty in all of nature, this is a powerfully creepy pic.

musical update
2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

Ted Leo got mentioned in the 27th June, so now I have to go see them when next they are in town. Beware the power of a personal recommendation promptly backed up by a website. They are an “indie” band. Also, Ike Turner plays piano on the Demon Days album, he doesn’t sing.

Must go shower, the health and safety of my coworkers is at stake.

2005-06-28— Posted by: allegra

Pic has no relevence to current events, but there’s a recent convert to my blog who will just nod while viewing it.

Went to Stef’s b-day party last night, where I met a whole bunch of people who like salsa dancing and pay a lot more attention to a proper skin care regimen than I do. They were also a lot of fun and really lively, and know how to give gifts. (Tickets to the Lipizzaners? Now that’s a boyfriend.) I picked her up a beautiful, detailed little Buddha for her desk at work; also picked up a Ganesh for Suzanne, who c’llects elephants. Also earrings for Katie, who hopefully will like them. The gazpacho was so salty and bodiless that I could barely eat it, and the salad was also inedible. I am sure other people got good food, but I had to take consolation with Granville Island products and the Portuguese style buns, as there was none to be had with the table d’hote. The restaurant was the Latin Quarter on Commercial. The waitress took an hour to take our orders. As I paid my bill, I considered that I was essentially paying for the right to trash the joint on my blog, and that cheered me up somewhat.

Rounded out the restaurant meal by singing The Housewife’s Lament in the park facing Havana Restaurant. Stef was pleased.

Got home around eleven feeling quite cheerful, having avoided death on the highways and byways of Vancouver (I am terrified of crashing the car while Paul is gone), where I found John, who gave me a stern lecture about locking the Kira cat in my bedroom. I reconstructed the crime and realized that she had only been locked in since Katie left the house around 7:30 to spend the night at Dax’ (again). I was frankly relieved, not about Katie, I am more or less resigned to the understanding that the manifold delights of her incommonlaws’ house are greater than any under my roof, but that Kira didn’t break training or get too chuffed. Mind you, it was past dinner. Much is forgiven with the administration of food.

I’m going to hunt up Ted Leo… he’s apparently a really cool musician who gigs in Vancouver occasionally.

a grazing mace

2005-06-27— Posted by: allegra

Slept til quarter after seven…. of COURSE! It’s a work mornin’. Dinner last night was quite successful and now we have pasta sauce leftovers, which was the idea. I made a sign that said Danger, Zach’s Room, which he liked, and everybody else ate and talked and looked reasonably comfortable. Dax didn’t come but I am no longer upset about that as he is really sick, we don’t know with what; hopefully he will be off to the doc shortly. Suzanne, his mum, is a pet, I really like her. More later, I have to unstick my eyes and clean up.

Burning Teen Action
2005-06-27— Posted by: allegra

So I called Katie about 10:30 am, asking her whereabouts, and she said, Mom? in that tone of voice that means she has something important to communicate. What?

I got bear maced again.

How many times IS this now?

Four, she said. I’m going to be a hermit.

Apparently some kid named Shawn took the safety off his bear mace to impress somebody and he accidentally fired it and Katie got the backwash. As did Jessica D.

It’s ludicrous, isn’t it?

squirrelly girl

Squirrelly girl
2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been accused of being squirrelly on a number of occasions, and I thought I’d document it. The feet belong to Keith; the squirrel, a junior who died about two days after this photo was taken because I didn’t give him Complan or something similar, is Burt; and the fashion sense is entirely my own. However, the blue nylons are completely necessary for the story, as they gave the squirrel the purchase to reach such heights. Please congratulate me on not dropping the baby. This is another scan, so sorry ’bout the dirt and blur.

2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

Kira started dancing up and down across my chest, and after I rolled over, my back, at 4:38 this morning. That’s okay, I had nothing better to do than play kitty gym furniture at that time anyway. Sleep is for wimps, right? My own damn fault for thinking that the cats had developed manners and would not start campaigning for food so early. So I groggily crawled out of bed and punted Zeek! out the back door – he had already popped his claws into my face (gently, but it’s a hell of a way to wake up) and commenced the takeoff cycle.

I don’t think there’s any way in hell I’m going to be able to get the pictures over to Toribird today; I have an awful lot of cooking, cleaning and life maintenance to do. For those of you just joining, Toribird, a wonderful person, singer, artist, cook, etc etc, possessor of the world’s most infectious giggle, is going to do my family portrait Edward Gorey style… but not before I give her the darned pix to work from! This was commissioned by my parents like MONTHS ago, so I publicly apologize for not getting off my duff sooner.

(2019 says mOm still looks at it from time to time)

Katie slept over at Jessica Ds. Or so I was led to believe; the little weiner turned her phone off, but seeing as how it had been ringing non stop with people she didn’t partickly want to speak with I’m not too choked. I am at last month’s telecom bill, though… what the hell was she doing making a long distance call or was that when she ‘loaned’ the phone to one of her morally ambiguous chums? The way of the parent is hard and thankless.

I think it absolutely hilarious and quite typical that after not speaking to each other for 4 years, or so, maybe three, the first thing that passed between Sandy and me is the gloomy agreement that the economy is about to tank because of the level of indebtedness of the US, and the amount of personal debt in Canada. She’s having a good year, as these things go, in the tourist business; but please don’t ask her what she thinks of the policies of the current Ontario Legislature, or the weather, which is broiling. She was very happy to report that the blackflies departed the earliest ever, June 9.

It’s hard to say which of my boys I miss most – Paul or Keith. So now I have to root through about six places on the hard drive, because of COURSE I haven’t put all the pictures in one place OR developed a standard nomenclature and find my favourite pic of Paul. This is a scan, so forgive the blurriness. I just think he looks so hot. Anybody know where he is? it’s the lower mainland (that’s BC). He’s standing on a railway trestle (yes, we shouldn’t have been up there and I bailed after I took the picture (or did Keith, I can’t remember) because bridges and heights etc. make me queasy). Hint. The bridge he is standing on goes over one arm of the Fraser. That should narrow it down!!! ha ha.

Alone again. Good Gosh.
2005-06-26— Posted by: allegra

Well, I’m off to a great start. I was going all confessional (bleaggh!) and I guess I’d better nip that in the bud so I just reefed on that backspace key.

The funniest part of my Mom being away (she’s currently taking a six deep bath in family in Saskatchewan, which is where both of my parents were born) is that it is very likely, and to my way of thinking, almost certain, that my father will not go near my blog until my mother gets back to read it to him.

I really like the new Gorillaz album. I keep wanting to slap Katie’s hand as she bounces over the tunes she doesn’t like; I like pretty much all of it. Their music is a colloidal suspension of homage, pastiche and collage. I’m a hopeless loser about musical tempo – no sophistication at all – so I can’t tell whether the beats are really as phat as all that. I just like it. I try to be honest in my genuine appreciation, artists like praise.

What I like about the human voice on the album is that it intertwines decent, intricate, fun loving rap with Damon Albarn whose voice (okay, whiny Brit moaning) is a colloidal suspension of Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Jason Pierce (Spiritualized). I just read that Ike Turner (Ha! typed Tuner) guested on one track. Can such things be? Ibrahim Ferrer did an amazing turn on the last one. I am prepared to believe Ike sang, but – well I’ll be darned, there he is on the tracklist. The inertnet is strange and dangerous.

Anyway, it’s time to do dishes and start putting myself away for the night.

Katie’s off to a party at Jessica D’s. She sounded happy to be going, apparently the guest list is tiny, like five people in total, all girls.

When I came back from dropping the screen and projector at Mike’s – and it was good to see him however briefly –

oh, and I forgot to mention there were THREE west facing accidents on the way home, I literally detoured away from one accident and drove into the debris of another. Took a frikkin hour to get home with the construction and everything, always too far north or south and then smack, dead end

Where was I. Oh yeah, there are no fewer than three neighbourhood kids of various sexes, ages, and ethnic origins, mauling the living snot out of Pokey, who merely accepted it as his due. Katie chuckled, but I was laughing my ass off as I pulled up. “Hey, wanna get out of my driveway?” I asked them, choking.

Pokey of course chose this moment to leap up and pretend to run directly under my wheels as I’m pulling into the driveway, triggering thoughts of Oh My God, I mushed John’s cat. But no such luck (John’s thought balloon “Just a minute!) and I’ve now been through this drill a couple of times. All you have to do is keep your speed constant, and Pokey will have no trouble staying out of your way.

So the reason I’m laughing is because the REASON we tossed Pokey outside into an uncaring universe (you should SEE him suck up to passersby, it’s shameless) is because he clawed Paul, Keith, a niece, Brooke, John once or repeatedly; his banishment was behaviour mod. I’m thinking – that cat’s DYnamite, kids; you may get much more than you bargained for. But now that he gets to go outside, he doesn’t have the energy to be contrary. This morning he found the greenest part of the lawn (sets off his fur, of course) to wash himself on. Then he sprawled out, looking like an expensive plush toy. This is while I’m taking two wheelbarrow loads of moss off the lawn. I was dumb, I didn’t wear gloves or I could have worked longer.

Katie and I did a shop. I loathe Superstore. I want to stop shopping there.

Nita called and I made sure John called her as soon as he had his helmet off. The move is on for this week. Happy family news, she’s been accepted at UBC.

Three kinds pasta with three kinds sauce tomorrow night. I’m thinking meat sauce with a little heat, crunchy veggie sauce and my homestyle Alfredo, and we’ve already got the pasta, some of which looks quite odd. Yum, delights await tomorrow.

message on the wind

The Drugs I Need
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

This is a parody…. Austin Lounge Lizards provided the music and the chorus is frikkin hilarious.

Message on the wind
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

I have felt compelled to call Sandy in Ontario for a week now, and when I finally overcame my qualms (I thought perhaps one of her relatives had passed on) and called her, it turned out Bitsy, a very good dog, departed this life last Friday of a heart condition. We quarrelled some years back and I hadn’t spoken to Sandy since. When I called (like what the hell was I thinking, 9 am on a Saturday when the Lodge is open???) it was the usual, work to the ceiling and guests driving up and breakfast cooking. I was amused and pleased to learn that Paul had called her on his way to Grundy Lake; of course no one else in the convoy wanted to stop but I’m sure Keith wouldn’t have minded reacquainting himself with one of our favourite family spots.

Anyway, if you are looking for a really wonderful vacation spot which is just comfortable enough not to be roughing it and just wild enough to be interesting, you can do MUCH worse than Red Deer Lodge & Campground Madawaska ON.

(Notes from 2019….. heavy sigh)

my new lawnmower
2005-06-25— Posted by: allegra

This $3K (US) Solar Mower will really show the neighbours who’s upscale.

for sale by owner’s government

Somebody’s response to the eminent domain ruling
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

found a great site
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

that helps you make custom safety signs.

Alone…..if you don’t count John
2005-06-24— Posted by: allegra

Paul phoned me as I was wending my way home from the restaurant last night (and I’m glad I pulled over) to tell me that the song I recorded (actually that was with Gomi, not with PD) which is WB Yeats set to music (The Second Coming) had ‘the best harmonies I’ve ever heard’. Which was really nice to hear even if I could not hit a note during the first two bars for the life of me. It’s a damned hard song to sing and I wrote it. I was feeling musical after that so I found the mandolin – it was hiding in the dungeon – and banged out a couple of tunes, and then, because the mando does that to me, started writing another tune. Just music so far, but it has something to do with summer and I keep hearing the Edge doing backup guitar. Yeah, like that would ever happen. But it helps the process so I’m not complaining.

After joining me for part of the evening Katie vanished again, so I decided to cut the lawn. (I had been planning watching a movie with her, Finding Nemo, which I have never seen but…)

So There I Am, feeling virtuous and hardworking and property owner like. But that was then; and now I am ready to beg Keith’s forgiveness for making him touch this clapped out hulk of a lawn mower (Keith as noted in previous blogs hauls 99% of the lawn duty). Jeez, Louise, as they say, where do I start.

Okay, the extension cord has been run over repeatedly and repaired repeatedly and you have to snake it around your hand while you’re mowing to keep the juice coming. I think, “Interesting!” and keep going. The power switch has an intermittent in it, but I figure out how to let it out slow and take it back in slow and I manage to keep it going, thinking, “Fascinating!” but I keep going. I notice that the handles have broken and been repaired in a way that is functional – to a point – but hardly decorative, making pushing the lawnmower a rather Zen experience as it is not laterally stable, which accounts for the interesting appearance of the mowed rows – the ones I finished. I think “That’s weird” and keep pushing. I notice that the wheels are wobbling; cursing, I stop tighten one of the nuts (not realizing until afterwards that I HADN’T CUT THE POWER! WHAT a moron), but don’t realize that I’ve tightened the wrong one, because as soon as I get to the plum tree, a wheel comes off. I turn it over (again? again??*) and realize that the blades look like the discard pile after a Viking melee, and I can’t find the nut (although the washer, being bright and shiny, is easy to find) and then I say **** this noise, I’m off to the hardware emporium tomorrow to buy another lawnmower and after consulting with John I push the lawnmower into the garbage area by the garage and leave it, with its little wheel on its head like a party hat. Why Keith has not boycotted lawn duty until given something approaching a real lawnmower I have no frikkin idea, but I just want to publicly state that I’m sorry. And of course in my enthusiasm for weed whipping the other day I destroyed the back garden hose, and we need more extension cord, so I’m going to be heating up the debit card Friday night, I can tell.

Rob of Nine wants his Munchkin game back so I am returning it, but Brooke handed back the next three SIP digests (that was fast), so he’ll get those today too. I can hardly wait for his opinion of High School, digest 6, which has some of my all time favourite comic art in it and is screechingly funny. “Sidekick!” she spluttered. Ah yes.

John came up to me after the lawnmower debacle and said, well, if you haven’t used up all your mowing mojo, come and mow me, so I ran a rizzer over his head and trimmed his ear hair (how unfair the goddess is in her liberality, sometimes!) and of course that always calms me down; it’s a primate thing.,,7-1664577,00.html

Hope you enjoy this mum, I thought it was interesting.

* You’re supposed to hear My Life in the Bush of Ghosts when you read this.

the headlines write themselves

enough sleep
2005-06-23— Posted by: allegra

Cousin Gerald sent me a bunch of pictures. Some cute, some bizarre, but I REALLY sat up and took notice when one combined two of my fave themes, aircraft and moose. Herewith…..

Sometimes the headlines write themselves
2005-06-23— Posted by: allegra

This morning, another miscellany. First up:

Theological and classical studies are suffering intellectually because the academic tools used to study them have not progressed or evolved the way other scholarly subjects have, says Professor Bradley Mclean of Biblical Studies at Knox College.

Culled from

I read on Eurekalert this morning that there’s a virus that’s endemic in human populations that infects and destroys cancerous cells. I remember theorizing the existence of such an organism when I was in my teens.

Also read in what causes bedsores. This is actually important because infected bedsores are hell for the patient and not much fun for the caregivers. What happens is that the healing mechanism gets stuck. The cells at the bottom of the wound are supposed to unstick and migrate to the edge of the wound. In bedsores they stop – they literally stick together and quit migrating. That’s what forms that nasty cliff at the edge of the non healing area. Also, cells at the edge of the wound are supposed to lose their nuclei and form that tasty scab – uh, I mean, they are supposed to transform into a mat of cross linked proteins that forms a waterproof barrier while what is underneath continues to heal. That process stops at the same time. There is a substance your body normally makes indicating whether the healing process is happening properly or has stalled so now we know how to demonstrate that wound healing is screwed up when the wound is small and can hack it off earlier rather than later, or better yet come up with a non invasive treatment. May you never have bedsores! They really suck.

It’s 6 am and I’m just waiting for the bread to come out so I can go to work.

Katie’s asleep.

I have been wanting to write a guerrilla marketing piece about work for a long long time now and I got about a third of it done last night. “A girl’s guide to our products”. Sexist, but somehow thrilling and chewy, and I get some lovely shots in at the competition. This line deleted, as is the rant that flows naturally from any comment you ever make about marketing. I will insert one comment, which is Why Can’t We Use Geek Factory as our marketing Mavens, but I imagine, given that they actually work, that would be too much to pay for. This was OF COURSE last night when I was supposed to be doing something else for work, but my frontal lobes began to strangulate my optic nerves, so I had to stop and do something else. My muse wants a beer.


2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra

Read the complaint. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the guy or consider him to be the biggest, most self-absorbed wanker I’ve run across recently. Or is Jessica Cutler an even bigger wanker? You be da judge…

Do yourselves a favor, and don’t sleep with people who have anonymous blogs.

Then ask yourself how anybody would KNOW whether somebody else has an anonymous blog in which they described in gruesome detail your shrimp fetish. Mmmm, shrimp. So I just want you to all be happy that my name and my blog address are exactly the same, that I do not even hint at what’s going on in my sex life (although I must make it clear that I have no *legitimate*, *civil* or *performance* complaints, just the usual tiresome and not to be published kvetching which any middle aged woman can uncork without effort given half a bottle of wine and a sympathetic audience, and sometimes even without those) and that even if I had the world’s hottest sex with you, personally, last night, I’m not going to describe it because my mother would rather firewalk than read it to my dad (she reads the blog to him because sometimes he has to explain things to her, which is pretty funny when you think about it). Let me find something safe to talk about.

How about those gas prices??? I’m driving by signs and I can’t tell if it’s the gas price or a cross promotion for an FM station. You know, 102.9 FM. 103.5 FM. The sound of our culture screeching to a crawl.

post haste
2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra

The boys are headed to Ontario for a week to camp and frolic, etc. I have to get off the computer right away and drive them to the airport as check in time is about an hour from now. More later…..

enough sleep
2005-06-22— Posted by: allegra

Finally met the inlaws, this would be Katie’s boyfriend’s mum and the rest of the family in their lovely apartment in New West (with the damned BIG deck). Dinner was make it yourself subs and potato and pasta salad. That woman makes the best potato salad on earth.

Happy solstice everyone.

As is usual at the Solstice, I had a number of happy daysigns. The first was on the way into work when a six foot tall fibreglass lobster went by me, tied on to the back of a flatbed, I hasten to add. Afternoon and heading back up the car with Rob of Nine and Patricia – giving them a lift – Rob nearly killed a freshly hatched garter snake, on the stair by the waterfall, so wee that its head was, like, the size of three matchheads tied together. I went into raptures about its beauty and cuteness, and then put it on the ground next to the stairs where it would not get trodden on by the next person to come along. Dang, it was a cutie patootie.

Then we had a MOSt EXcellent discussion about Disgusting Smells. It was a classic… “I can top that story” series of anecdotes. Bloated wretched mice pried from under sink floorboards, nicely gassing seal carcasses trodden on land mine style by large dogs who after FOUR baths still reeked, and the four year old boy who decided that a bucket would do for an ensuite…. ah yes, much hilarity.

Picture is some guy who appears to have worn a gorilla suit while jumping on the standing stones at Stonehenge. Man, the civil authorities in England must be really mellow, or this guy must have been really persistent.

I’m in a much better mood today, just waiting for Paul to get home.

Work is so disgusting in between bouts of euphoric hope that I think I’m going to have a complete failure of health between now and August. I might show up to work naked or start drinking at noon and then somersault myself down the cafeteria stairs while howling verses from Revelations. Jeez. I guess that’s been done. I’ll know I’ll think of something original and apropos to indicate that my last gasket has lost its seat. I know this feeling won’t last, or will last until I slap my task list into something resembling order… right now it’s making like the opening scene of Van Helsing.

Keith is at an end of term movie. Katie of course is at the in laws. And Paul will be home soon.

Chor Leoni

Chor Leoni
2005-06-21— Posted by: allegra

Ma. Ma… I had about 20 “I wish my parents were here” moments last night. 45 beautiful voices singing about opera (pianissimo…FORTISSIMO… pi zzi ca to cresCENDO!) and then That’s Amore, and the Funiculi Funicula song, and it opened and closed with Comedy Tonight, and the triumphal march from Aida was in there, and they sang Send in the Clowns, and the back up band included a freaking amazing guy on violin, a really good bassist, oh, hell, they were all good… but there was a mandolin! and the costumes were absolutely hilarious (all these guys wearing Roman style costumes, but one of the togas was… a sleeping bag). 30 guys wandering on stage with violin cases and black suits and snap brim fedorae. Sigh. And a really silly audience participation song (which they only do once a year) Honestly, you would have loved it. Promise me you and pOp will go to see them in Victoria this summer, you WILL not regret it. I have seen them six times now, and they are always amazing. And the guest singers were amazing; may I draw your particular attention to Mariatheresa Magisano, whose unabashedly operatic name belongs to a Juilliard trained soprano who hails from Montreal. She combines angelic features, the luscious mezzo frame, a soaring, effortless and joyous voice and gutbusting physical comedy skills. As always the ‘showmanship’ was great and the audience was practically giddy as we strolled out to our cars under a full moon which danced amid beautiful noctilucent clouds….


I am so choked
2005-06-20— Posted by: allegra

May the pilots of Air Canada go to hell and keep a place warm for me. Whatever the hell happened to ‘buy the airplane your neighbors build”???? Boeing aircraft are safe and well built but NOOOO Air Canada pilots are paid by the weight of the aircraft, and since Boeing is making them lighter, they want to stick with the heavier Airbuses. Somebody should slap those guys (excuse me – I’d reason with them but there have to be some neurons on the other end).

I have other Air Canada news, but I’ll keep it cryptic. NorthWest Contract = Delta Contract, and I refer you back to a previous blog.

In other news, when Katie isn’t studying for her Provincial, she’s watching Angel.

Keith applied for a bunch of jobs yesterday. It’s grindingly slow.


2019 called and said that Boeing aircraft suck

little to report

little to report
2005-06-19— Posted by: allegra

Brief correcting note – the last line out of the last post was mine, not Alex’s.

When I first started hanging out with Paul, he used to sing, “You ask me why I don’t say much, that’s because I don’t have much to say,” which about covers it. I’ve had my coffee so I can’t go back to bed. But I really feel like lazing around, so I think I will.

Paul is off to work shortly.

Happy Hallmark card day to you all. Hey Ma, tell pOp that I did get him a card but forgot to mail until yesterday. The review board, aka the family, approved, and hopefully he will too…. still no word on the computer parts…

Hm. I actually do feel motivated to do something – I see spider webs all over the place and think I will remove them.

I was unduly harsh about the LXG comic. The funniest part is not the comic part, which is frankly narsty and colored in a fashion I don’t like, but the ‘text intermission’ at the end, which is a tour of all of the imaginary places extant at the turn of the 20th century, like the Island of Dr. Moreau, and the Lost World, and Arkham, etc. The descriptions of these places are quite dry and quite amusing, and you have to really be paying attention to catch all of the references.

I have learned the extent to which cats are creatures of habit. I bought them new food dishes and while Zeek! was okay after I jammed his face into the dish repeatedly, Kira has decided that she wants her old dish back. Okay, eat mice, see if I give a flying fig. I mean, you should see, or not see, the old dish. It was impossible to clean, and cat food dried onto its surface in such a fashion that even if you soaked it in hot water for half an hour it was still a bear to clean. Let me give you a hint. It was so disgusting that John CLEANED it while he was doing cat care for us one weekend. People who know us will understand the significance of this.

So I gave up and got stainless, and now the cats are freaking out about how weird and shiny their dishes are. Shown is another grad picture, this time with the star. Doesn’t he clean up nice? Paul looks charming as well.

I think Harry Potter is out today? I must go acquire it. Dibs!

Keith is a grad

note from cousin Alex
2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

There may be some weird html dreck in here, but the message is a solid one….

Hey Allegra!

If you wanted to post something on your blog re this with a link to my donation webpage….

This is the year I promised myself I would do two things that are important to me: get involved in community events, and work at fundraising for cancer research. The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is a way for me to accomplish both goals at once – this year I am registered as a walker.

I hope that you will support me in this effort, and visit my webpage at and make a donation.

I am walking in memory of my cousin Dierdre Heagy, who succumbed to her battle with cancer 14 years ago at the age of 26. I hope to personally raise at least $5000, and my team “Hunger For Da Cure” captained by my cousin, Michael Hungerford, has a combined goal of raising $66 000.

Please support us on this journey to find a cure for this indiscriminate disease that has touched all our lives.

Derry was a sweetheart, I miss her.

2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

I’d like to thank Paul for the strongly composed and thoroughly wonderful pic – when the kids tossed their caps in the air, one of them stuck to the ceiling, a beautiful end to an interesting evening.

We didn’t stick around for the dance but everything else was quite fine. Because the grad was so small – maybe 25 kids – everybody got a turn at the mike to get all teary or congratulatory or full of happy advice. I kept my mouth shut, for once, but Keith made everybody laugh when he said, I was trying to compose a speech consisting of 80’s song titles, but I’ll stick to one, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”

A lot of the kids who graduate from Keith and Kate’s school have a lot of problems with people and academics both, and family of origin issues. One of the grads is a (FTM transsexual  2019 CALLED AND SAID YOU JACKASS IT’S) trans lad and he turned and told everybody in his grad class that he would not have made it without them. I got the story from Katie earlier this year and man, I was choking back tears during his speech. If we don’t support the kids who are ‘different’ the school system is a damned cruel place, so I am really really glad that this place exists for kids with gender identity and legal and substance and family of origin problems – as well as kids who just can’t hack regular high school.

The affection and respect of the kids for the staff, teachers and principal of the school were PALPABLE – it was an incredible display. And the food was damned good too. Just to round out the delights of the evening, it was at the Gizeh Shriners Hall.

enough sleep
2005-06-18— Posted by: allegra

Keith graduates today. Gotta remember to take the camera.