Delightful visit and some news about that chat

All my relations, I acknowledge my unpayable debt to the peoples, lands and waters of MST country.

For Paul’s bday his double cousin Jim and spouse Jan cooked dinner; a pink salmon (they are hard to cook right and you need a meat thermometer), corn on the cob and a delicious greek salad with veggies from their garden.

Katie turned up later after dropping off Alex and Keith was supposed to go gaming but didn’t and was too upset in the tummy to eat with us. It’s all good, it was the perfect amount of food, no leftovers.

While we were talking, as we do, Jan was curious about my encounter with a yellow breasted chat.  I had read that they live in BC so hadn’t worried too much about where it appeared, but it turns out that they are rare in the lower mainland, possibly not regulars at all. She found something on line about the chat – how it was the subject of habitat rehabilitation in the Okanagan. It needs a bunch of stuff to breed. A wild rose bush in a clearing of a forest with willow and cottonwood is their idea of a home in Heaven. If you clear the wild rose bushes for development bye bye chats. Also, they just got themselves into a new bird family because they’re chonky, among other things. The one I saw was monosyllabic, but in the spring the wee bastards never shut up and have as many as 40 separate calls. Also the boys dangle their feet and shake their booties to attract girls, who watch from underneath, and they have big goddamn marks on their plumage only visible in UV. All in all a wonderful evening of natural history, family love and damned good food.


what a thing to have a brO (and friends)


With thanks for the many simple pleasures of MST Country, with thanks to the people and the stories that make this place, for the sky, land and water, for all the beautiful creatures herein. It is a good day.

Jeff has (like Thorkel) stood in the ‘undeviating stream of my complaints’ as I whined about my health (okay the rumours about brain damage are true! what it is!) and survived!

Also I called Dave and wordsaladed all over his uncomplaining ear. He’s got to haul himself off to a doctor as well, shortly, and he’s looking forward to it about as much as I did. I have to go into the clinic 14 days hence.

Today I am going to wander down to the drugstore and find out what manner of side effect lies in wait for me there. DO NOT WANT a YEAR OF NAUSEA.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Junction to help Katie set up the baby room and nag her dad about how old he got, since he’ll be 72 tomorrow. Last time I was there we had a talk about the things that could have killed him, like the time he hit a wall on his motorcycle at 50 miles an hour, then (limping four ways from Sunday) rode what was left of it to Ron M.’s place in London and crashed on his couch. Shook it off and beat most of the dings out of it the next day. The shit we get up to when we’re young! and then after we’ve survived it we wake up in a cold sweat decades later going HOLY SHIZZBALLS OF RECKONING. I still get a chill when I think about the plane crash. Surviving stuff like that should make you a better person, but as best I recollect the only thing that came out of it was that we should have wills, although we didn’t actually DO anything about it until years later.

I’m up to 2700 words on the haunted object story and I’m loving the dialog, it’s most hilarious and effective (and yes I do say so myself, dialogue is one of my writing skillsets).

I now veer wildly off into Schadenfreude land. He was a cruel and evil and anti-science man, and now he’s fondling Satan’s dick in hell, and GOOD. For when the link disappears:

(Ed Mazza, Yahoo News, Monday September 13 2021)

Bob Enyart, a notoriously homophobic right-wing radio host who refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, has died of COVID-19.

The death was announced on Facebook.

“It comes with an extremely heavy heart that my close friend and co-host of Real Science Radio has lost his battle with COVID,” wrote Fred Williams, co-host of the ironically named show, which routinely pushed anti-science talking points, including creationism.

Enyart was 62, according to Newsweek.

My age. LOL Fred do tell me your vaxx status

after all, repulsigans, you have taught me that the cruelty is the message as “Cops” returns to Fox Media

later that morning – Mike called and told me about the Reddit Herman Cain award and it’s all for vile people who said covid was a hoax and then died of it so I was able to tell Mike I already had an award recipient on my blog this morning DOUBLE LOL

fill the cup

For the beauty of the lands and waters and the strength of the people and creatures, I give thanks. To walk on this land is a great gift.

Got a plum cake over to Tom and Peggy, it was still warm in the pan, yesterday morning. Mebbe it wasn’t biscotti (me yelling over the phone at Tom I’M NOT A ONE HIT WONDER YOU KNOW while Peggy was no doubt rolling her eyes) but it sure is edibibble.

Walked in Fraser Foreshore Park and received the gift of a new bird; it was a yellow-breasted chat. I got a good long minute of him, yellow underneath like a waistcoat, over pale trews, and browny-green on top, and then my goodness he flew so I got his flight pattern and then there was his call, which was what got my attention in the first place.

I walk those woods, or I should say that little strip of biodiversity jammed and vulnerable between Sto:lo and Burnaby South’s industrial zone, often enough that I know what the background noise is like; nothing but crows and possibly eagles on a really hot day in August. A pleasant sunny day with a bit of wind in May and the woods ring with everything avian that has the capacity to sing, pretty much all blowing up their syrinxes at once. But this fellow was alone, and he said chak, like a bird four times his size and bellicose, and I thought who the hell is that? for he is not much of a conversationalist and I have not heard him before.

He kept making noise, that irritating chak! noise, until by great good fortune he turned out to be as yellow as a goddamned Minion and thus almost comically visible to an amateur such as I. (Less than five metres off the trail, less than five metres up a tree, and in bright frikkin sunshine. HULLO. He flopped from branch to branch and he didn’t care who saw him. And I could have stood there a while longer but chose not to, because I don’t persist in standing as well as I used to, and I had enough markers to be able to figure out what manner of critter I was looking at (I’d also clocked the eyestripe). This species is omnivorous. He’ll do well in that park if he eats millet, someone is feeding the ground birds.

I offered to take Paul to lunch and he deferred to Keith who was on another call. We were on the way back to my place and heard from Keith, so we went over for a late lunch there and I got to see the whole family including Alex, which was very pleasant. My plum cake was well received. Paul and I then spent an hour singing and playing (I of course, even with my recent illness, am well rehearsed, so I made it hard on myself by picking up an instrument I do not regularly play at this time, a standard sized mandolin. I felt like butterfingers and clumsy had come to live in my hands, it was quite comical.)

THAT BUILDING IS CONCRETE. I sang as loud as my body can when I’m sitting down and Katie didn’t hear a thing.  It was so good, so very good to see her. Alex had a new game which he was playing with his oldest friend on line, which is in my view cute as hell. How else are kids supposed to sustain friendships without some technology I esk you.

I ate the bean chili that Keith made, and drank beer, and came home.

Doc appt today

mOm have you seen this birding site?

little bits of happiness

I’m still working through the throes of coming out of a twitter addiction but the results over the past two weeks are:

1 I’m no longer subject to strangers hitting me up for cash

2 I’m no longer getting live feed of people being killed by ‘their’ governments, drowning in floods, being shot by police, wildfires and other up to the minute disasters

3 I’m posting more to my own blog

4 My mental health has improved marginally – I feel less desperate and less oppressed by the state of the world

5 I’m writing more

6. I miss Pebble in the Sky and so many other people on twitter, I want to hear their voices in my head, I miss them so much. But I’ve been telling people on twitter for years how to get hold of me, so if they don’t, they’re busy, and that’s okay, or they didn’t make a note, and that’s okay too. I miss the funny ones, the writing ones, the dead serious about the working class ones, the technoweenie anarchists and the Ottawa grannies and the filkers and the local journos.

speaking of writing more, out of the 1500 words I sent to my mOm the other day, she unerringly picked out the single sentence of dialogue that encapsulated it and I just want to say publicly that mOm can claim to be suffering from mental deficits and I’m going to repeat what the cognitive scientists say; old people get to the same place as young people when given time for the tasks they must solve…. and when not subject to be hassled while they’re thinking.

I am old too, you know. I’ll get there eventually. And in the meantime I’ll quit telling her to respond fast, I’m stepping on my own cloak there.


I am feeling much better than I did yesterday. Most of the sprung ribs have gone back into their little detents but I still have abused tendons and one very bruised left hand to deal with. It no longer hurts to cough or laugh, but rolling over in bed, bending over to pick anything up, and getting up from and sitting down in a chair hurt like billy-o. I don’t feel much like typing, that’s for sure, it hurts.

We’re having a super quiet time, just talking in the sunroom. Alex is being quite civilized. He’s an amusing lad.

do not whack the simulacra they’re running subroutines as fast as they can

Truly, one must have survived two heat domes to enjoy the humane temperature and humidity currently blanketing MST country. I popped the front door open at about 4:30 am to see what I could see, and the soft light and welcome light breeze were balm for my overheated soul.

This morning I’ve run the facecloths through the wash; they’re in the dryer. I have trained Buster and brushed him TWICE (we have two brushing stations in the house and he wanted me to hit him up in both); I have popped some clear plastic face shields and clips into a bag for Mike as spares -he uses them for eye protection, not COVID protection and why not since the delta variant goes through air like cigarette smoke – I wear mine when I’m doing the lawn (which reminds me, I should do some weed whacking once it’s not quite so damp, and now I’ve written it down, so it’s on the task list). Jeff loaded and ran the dishwasher. I cleaned out my purse again, and found something in it which I will not report but made me laugh like a drain. Something-something, a certain morning after at Statpower, my desk, and that’s just to remind me what it really was. I put additional sterile masks in a clean bag and into my purse; I counted my pills to ensure that I had enough until my next GP appt on September 13 and put a weeks’ worth into my purse so at least I’ve got my BP medication if I’m on the wrong side of a bridge if/when that fault lets go; I practiced octave mandolin and dulcimer and kazoo, and you’d know when by the moment Jeff rolled his eyes, put his headphones on and turned up the EBM; I found a shade for the light behind the TV (there’s supposed to be an extremely expensive sun-spectrum light there and after 12 years of faithful and continuous service, except during power failures, it expired, so there’s an ordinary incandescent bulb there now and it was just too fucking bright so I wandered lonely as a person with ADD around the basement until I realized THERE WAS ALREADY A SHADE FOR THE LAMP thank you Granny and swapped it off a lamp we aren’t using for the one we are, so now the light level in the media room is back to semi-Stygian, instead of having an ambience like someone’s training a Klieg light on me for an interrogation); I played a whole bunch of Sherlock (as mentioned in previous posts, my all time favourite puzzle game, available for a very reasonable price from Mr. Everett Kaser please pay the full retail thank you) but never got my 8×8 time below 8:30 (best time under 5 minutes, and I’d like to see YOU get that time) which leads me to believe that my cognition and processing time today will, sadly, not be excellent; and I even got dressed if you can believe it. Now I’m waiting for the various water-using machines to quit cycling so I can make pancakes, and in the meantime I should probably go downstairs and fold laundry until I get bored.

SO LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING IN VICTORIA WITH MY MOTHER (also my dad whom I love just as fiercely as my mother, just not as mushily); SO COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY REFUSING TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE THE CLUSTERF …. THAT WILL BE THE JOURNEY TO VICTORIA. Well, really, it’s Saanich, but most people call it Victoria. Full marks if you get the reference.

I spoke to Tom, who sounded hoarse and thrawn but lively af (he was at work when his phone said he’d missed a call from me, which, strangely, he had not) on the phone yesterday, no housefilk today. The shop will be moved into his garage; (this is his NON side gig, not that anyone but he can keep it straight at this point); his sole employee entered into a state of nullibiety under ‘unforgiveable’ circumstances, and given that grumpy ol’ Tom has a fuse (for important matters, on trifles he is …as people are) of ample dimension and remarkable length, I refuse to even think about what the employee did to earn that particular word from Tom. Also Peg’s got relatives in from out of town, it all seems like too much work and fuss for them.

Still pissed about the mailbox. I feel like every time I take a step forward from being a selfish ass, in this case by writing friendly bracing letters to friends and relatives, for which I need a mailbox, the social environment says FUCK YOU! try harder ADD person, use your executive function for something you shouldn’t have to, because some fucking bureaucrat is trying to save money. Always and continuously, capitalism pushes governments so they are rent collectors instead of service providers. And that, mes soeurs, mes hypocrites lecteurs, is a rant for another other day.

Yesterday and today

First, have a bear from the Capilano neighbourhood of North Van, as of about last week.

AND we don’t deserve dogs. Nor cats. (Buster when he see WOMBAT he CRAZY). NOR ORANGS.

Yesterday Paul and I walked in Fraser Foreshore. I had a dizzy spell coming out of the house so I didn’t drive, and thus nagged Paul freely the entire way back and forth.

Virtually no birds singing, none of our usual animal companions, not very well attended, nobody but us and an Asian couple bothering to wear masks. I told Paul the Delta variant is like cigarette smoke and even outdoors on pathways where we have to pass close by to people you can can get a whiff…. also I’m getting REALLY MIXED PRESS on how good Astra Zeneca is on suppressing Delta. Apparently, the word is now that it’ll keep me out of hospital if I get a breakthrough infection but I’ll be more likely to be contagious to other people if I’m asymptomatic. Not exactly the shit ya wanna hear when you’re going to visit your parents, who while not frail are elderly (sorry guys but you are over 80 after all.)

We bailed on pho as soon as I mentioned Schnitzel, by gar, and I got three takeout schnitzel dinners from Balkan House so Jeff could enjoy our celebratory meal too. Paul took exactly the same amount of time to get beer from the Oliver Twist, which faces Balkan House (I suspect he actually used the crosswalk, since jaywalking across Edmonds is something only silly young people do) as it took for the food to arrive. It was fantastic… much better than the last time, although the food portions on the rice and potatoes were smaller than I’m used to. The breading though… always a classic.

That plus beer (Red Racer Vanilla Stout, a total rip off of Granville Island Winter Ale) and a blueberry turnover for dessert, and we had a lovely meal.

Finished Swan Song and loved it. I think it’s a one-watch but it was a lovely, heartfelt movie with lots of great bit performances, the young gay bartender being a standout. Wish I had his name but imdb is oooooosssssssslessssss.

We’re really feeling the Lack of ‘Wanted’. They made three seasons and stopped, like sensible people, but we are not sensible people and want more. As always, we are salved by Elementary and the inhuman perfection that is Lucy Liu in that show.

Danny DeVito’s been locked out of his Twitter account for supporting the Nabisco strike. LOL

about to leave the house whooooppeeeee

Paul’s arriving shortly for masked walkies and pho.

Jeff and I are halfway through “Swan Song” an Udo Kier film. I’ve already cried six times I’m sure I’ve got some left in me but GAh I’d better take water in a bottle.

Gene Roddenberry would have been one hundred years old today. He was a massively imperfect human being and sexist af and Star Trek is an important cultural inflection point. We can think these things at the same time, because imperfect beings are always thinking about imperfect beings, and think they can still get it right.

Corpse flower

Uncle Fester, Bloedel Conservatory’s titan arum or “corpse flower,” bloomed on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. (YouTube/Vancouver Park Board)


I have chicken thawed in the fridge and must Do Something with it.

Trip to Victoria for next week confirmed.

Tom is feeling poorly; he’s been in hospital again. I wrote him a letter, I should mail it.

House filk has been postponed until we have better health and a certain venue. (Edit later) nope it still may happen on Saturday. I think Peggy is possibly contemplating more food than she can reasonably get into her mouth but I ain’t argying wit’ a grown woman. I mean, she’s having rellies for house guests AND wants a house filk? I WANT EVERYTHING AT ONCE she is my relative, there’s no getting around it, I don’t care what the family tree says.

Small shop & collapse

Well my brief burst of energy has imploded. I’m feeling small and tangled-up and misanthropic, but many things, including Buster’s training schedule, are exactly as they should be. But…. blueberry turnovers, for the first time, so that was tasty.

Slept from 9:30 pm to 6 am this morning! I am well rested but not energetic, what gives, body.

Heading to Victoria next week with some descendants, unless something hinders. Fingers crossed for a good visit.

This is for me mam.

Still LOVING “Wanted”, coming up on the end of the show, 3rd season.


OTTAWA — The Public Service Alliance of Canada president says he “will not stand for the termination” of federal public servants who refuse to get vaccinated, after Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau warned of “consequences” for those civil servants.

In an interview with CTV News, Chris Aylward said “it’s very concerning to us when national party leaders are making statements around discipline around terminations when it comes to these vaccinations. That is totally unacceptable to us.”

Aylward, who represents more than 160,000 federal public servants, stated that he supports the government’s stance that all federal public servants should be vaccinated. But he said unvaccinated employees will require accommodations to keep their jobs.

  • CTV News, from website 10;08 am PST 18 Aug 2021

An Alabama doctor is tired of helping people who refuse to protect themselves and others — so he’s no longer taking appointments with anti-vaxxers.

Mobile, Ala., physician Dr. Jason Valentine posted a photo on Facebook in which he’s seen standing in front of a sign that reads “Effective Oct. 1, 2021, Dr. Valentine will no longer see patients that are not vaccinated against COVID-19.”


AUG 17, 2021  5:23 PM
Today is the 40th anniversary of the day Paul and I went to housekeeping. I emailed him asking him if he wants to get takeout for lunch. His response was that he has appointments so we’ll do it tomorrow.
copyright Masato Mattori

I am not going to spend a lot of time yoinking your chain about Afghanistan. The politics of exploitation and colonization stretch into pre-history and I’m not a pro. Therefore I will stick with the present.

  1. If you have the money or donations in kind, please give generously to Afghan refugee and aid organizations in Canada or your jurisdiction. They are more clued in to what is going on and what is needed than I am and I’d rather give money to an Afghani woman in Canada, who will most intelligently disburse what she can to current refugees, than try to give a dime to international aid organizations, given the difficulties with freight at the moment. If your hope is lively donate directly to Afghan Red Crescent
  2. Please, if you have the stomach for it, read this: Stonekettle’s comments about Afghanistan.
  3. Please consider sponsoring or assisting in sponsoring a refugee, or asking your house of worship to sponsor someone. The one time I signed sponsorship papers for an individual it was the brother in law of a co-worker. I signed up for being financially responsible for him (as did another co-worker, who awesome as they are will remain nameless here) but never had to expend cash because he was working and self supporting two months after landing here (despite his considerable health problems, a consequence of the privations he endured as a refugee).

middle of the day

Katie took a break in the middle of the work day yesterday to take my phone call because I think it’s safe to say that I’m concerned for her mental welfare at the moment and we had a rudely long call (as far as her employers are concerned) but she was already in an office so there weren’t any big ears and we could just hang.

Some parts of the conversation were incredibly painful, the stuff that you just don’t put on social media because of how it plays out over time, because of who might be affected adversely, because of who might cruelly take advantage of it. But I have to say that overall, given her circumstances, Katie is doing the correct things in the correct order and Keith and Paul are being supportive and (relatively) non-judgemental. Things aren’t great but they aren’t critical, and the baby is fine as far as any of us know. And now I’m going to post this before I say something I shouldn’t.

I’m spending an awful lot of time thinking about Honey on the Moon/Best Roommate in the World without actually writing and now I’m thinking I want to rewrite it so it’s a much slower slow burn.

sad but okay

I had a very long talk with Katie last night, got caught up on what’s going on with her and her s/o, and it’s not my story to tell, so I won’t. But I’m sad.

I feel compassion for everyone involved, but I’m going to centre Katie for the time being.

Love each other while you can,

Soon we’ll go and have our fun on Bowen Island, and after that, Victoria to see the grands.

happy family news

Paul got a job! he’s working part time for the thrift store around the corner from us both here in East Burnaby. I had the Sudden Strong Urge to phone Keith (I try to ask if he’s got 15 minutes and tell him I don’t have an agenda at the beginning of the call so he can pace himself, I think I remembered that last night) and among other news, I gleaned that. I am thrilled. We talked about sleep hygiene and how he’s adjusting his cooking style to suit his housemates, which is also happy making news.

I am well rested and in a good mood, maybe I’ll get my executive dysfunction whipped into something like a shape and get something done today.