the NRA is still double plus asshat

enough sleep
2005-03-27— Posted by: allegra

I’m recording later today… actually I kinda have to kick ass and get out of here cause I’m sposed to be there for 11 and pd’s got more people coming at 3. Keith has announced that we are out of essentials like crackers, milk and coffee. Saw Ray at Glen & Maggie’s last night on Pay per View. That was a very good movie… nice to know Hollywood hasn’t forgotten how. Glen also recommends D’lovely and My Life as a House when we get around to it.

The dejunking continues, another bag o clothes (Paul actually got rid of some clothes, may wonders never cease) and all the beer bottles from the last three months.

Saw the pics from Susanne’s trip to Edinburgh, Paris, Bruges, Rye, London and Bath yesterday. So we saw lots of pictures of places that our favourite characters, being Lymond and his alterego Nicco would have seen….

I don’t know what Zeek! thinks he’s going to excavate out of the cat box, but he’s sure been at it long enough. Now he’s crying, probably to be let out.

I’ve had head pain (not what I consider a headache) pretty much continuously for weeks now. Maybe I’m about to have a stroke! It would be too much to hope for, if I did have a stroke, that it would kill me. Time to work up a living will. Further to the Schiavo tragedy, living wills are big business for lawyers all over north America right now… and so they should be. Virtually every adult I’ve ever spoken to on the subject would rather be dead than vegetative, and I know at least two people who would beg to be shot rather than go there. There’s nothing like watching a formerly lively and intelligent loved one turn into an expensive set of reflexes to fix this idea in your mind. It sure makes for interesting domestic conversations.

Just read that the NRA, in a search for “all options” to prevent school schootings has recommended that school boards consider allowing teachers to carry weapons. Uh, yeah. I really want a horny 26 year old teacher, hip deep in luscious flesh, to be carrying a weapon. “You WILL bring in your homework, won’t you?” “You will come out to my car and do a line with me, won’t you?” “You will (sexual shenanigans) with me, won’t you?” “You will bring your friend to film the (sexual shenanigans) so I can post it to the internet, won’t you?” Ah yes, guns in school will be very educational, indeed. I’d like to thank the NRA for being so progressive about the other kind of chickenhawk, though, that was an added bonus. Or maybe, like most reasonable people, they’d rather that people get jiggy than fight? Even if it represents a tragic imbalance between adult and child? After all, it’s usually the kid in these situations who figures that the adult is career toast and the kid’s the sad victim, which must add oceans of piquancy to the sex. Doomed tragic forbidden love is so very very hot.

Schiavo vs Hudson

Now I am not trying to say that a white Florida woman has more value than a black Texan baby. I’ll let YOU be the judge of that. But just think, if a judge in Texas says to the hospital, you’re right, this kid should die, what is a human life worth anywhere in the US? And don’t forget, George W. Bush put his own goddamned pen to the execution orders for over 150 men and women during his stint as Governor of Texas, including, in at least one case, a man who was given demonstrably incompetent legal help (the lawyer slept through portions of the trial.)

(2019 says look up Terry Schiavo on Wikipedia, ’cause the article I’m referencing below is gone….)

Interesting, eh? The very spareness of the description of events, most of which point to a complete hijacking of the justice system, is heart wrenching. Of particular interest are the opening ten or so paragraphs, which lay the foundation for what follows. What happened to Mrs. Schiavo was a family tragedy. Now her parents are accusing Mr. Schiavo of murdering her! But if you look at the timeline, they tried to bring her home for three weeks early in her ‘convalescence’ and couldn’t do it, so they have guilt as well as all of the other issues to deal with…. Okay, folks, time for an exercise in comparative ethics. Warning, the little baby in the picture from the article below is grossly deformed…. and didn’t have 600 K US$ in a trust account at the time of his death.

(This story is gone too)

I light a candle for the Schiavos and the Schindlers, and I light a candle for Wanda Hudson.

I also light a candle for Peter T, who, when I said I was keeping a candle lit in my heart for him, said in his trademark puckish way, and in his wonderful South African accent, “But you’ll be putting it out before bedtime?” Bless all those who keep a sense of perspective and where feasible, a sense of humour.

2019 says he’s the guy I got Miss Margot from.

The Asanas

Poem – the Asanas
2005-03-26— Posted by: allegra

I have a friend who has spent a very long team healing herself from a traumatic childhood and a troubled adolescence. Part of her healing process has been yoga. Asana means pose or posture.


Asana one

white spikes of bone
stick out of the lawn
arrange yourself
so that you can sit among them
and be at peace

Asana two

bones are like that
alive, dead
they bruise and splinter
scatter marrow
fertilize the slow and frantic

arrange yourself
so that you take them
as your deepest camouflage

Asana three

throughout the canon
there is nothing like this
you must find this posture out
and teach it

you will not return harm for harm
the lifestream says
can you hear your higher self calling

in the posture, as in a trance
you hear yourself
-my machine took the message-
spirit shook awake and said
it doesn't matter,
and in the stretching muscles
you encompass and reveal
the world, a boy who had no bris
a girl who had no canopy
a woman who had no mother

pause and breathe

Asana four

forego motion, load yourself with oxygen
and energy
awareness beckons from behind the tv
and the rushing to work
the sirens, all the punctuation
for the living word of you

teaching with an open mind you learn
how limits dissolve and reform
like traumatized bone
fast damage and slow healing

geologic healing, sometimes

every cell knows where to be
it doesn't have to think
envy the body all its power
it never has to think
you call
and mostly it responds
arrange your bones
so that the body's will
is that of your quiet mind

Asana five

upward the inward
alchemical, the spirit
can transmute the split and spoiled

the burnt bone of our ancestors
the little-bits of flint

we knap ourselves
in the lap of life
we see the tool inside the rock
now remnant by the fire of memory
this posture is for making tools
so that we may build the land we love

Asana six


on a page
lost in thought
indeed there are places I can name
that I don't want to visit any more
but they live inside of me
as if I never left them

some wounds never heal, there is no cure
for the death of love, no pretty closure
but to set the maggots on the wound
and hope they know when to stop

behind my eyes
in the hands that long
to hold yours once again
in my chest
in my shoulders
pain comes through
in bouts of helpless weeping

lost in self pity
wanting to damage the brain
that injures me so
yet seeing the flowers from the window
hearing someone giggle

I come to

it is time to sit again


walking octopods
2005-03-26— Posted by: allegra


The little beggars are going for a stroll. The first walking Octopod is from Australian waters, the second from Indonesia. The great thing about this, of course, is that it used to be that in order to walk you either had to have an exoskeleton (“You cockroach!”) or a spine. Now that we KNOW that God made spineless creatures who can walk….metaphors will never be the same again.

Okay, if you have good taste, don’t go here. Especially don’t look at the Elvis. The accompanying descriptions are in some cases way better than the pix, but when they say, “the intertnet is forever” these are the kinds of pix they were thinking of……

Hm. Just noticed that it’s 4:20 am. I actually got enough sleep… went to bed early, for me, and napped half of yesterday.

What else is going on. Well, I TRIED to buy a bass, but Paul announced that we don’t have the money, so Katie and I will have to fire up the webcam and make a little extra money.

That actually is a joke, okay, so don’t sic the child abuse people on me. I’m going to sigh heavily now.

I get really cheesed off at the Canadian political common taters who say OOOOO we should have given refugee status to those deserter Yanks. Because they are fighting in an illegal war, doncha know. I just don’t get it. I mean, can’t they go back to the land of the free and experience the joy of armed maniacs threatening their wives and children while they are in jail while the cops look the other way? The conscientious objectors will be perfectly safe and under constant scrutiny while they are serving in some high class military pokey for like a hundred years. And when they get out, if industrial civilization hasn’t collapsed in the meantime, they can get a really good book and movie of the week deal. In fact, if their wives are not negotiating something like that right now, they are dumber than I am, and that’s going some. This crap about an illegal war is just that, crap. Canadian Immigration is used to hearing about gang rapes and getting your business firebombed and having your Gestetner tossed under a halftrack. The humanity! If we can ignore all the people who actually ARE getting harassed half to death in furrin lands, why should we get all cry baby about an Amurrican who’s made an unhappy career move? Man, I wish I’d gone into firearms earlier, but strictly as a personal development thing. It isn’t something I’d join the army to learn about.

Played Munchkin – just noticed that it DID have an extender pack – twice last night. Keith won and Paul won, but the second game I had a hand to dream of and was at level 9 when Paul made level 10 and won. He even picked up the Divine Intervention thang. We are still playing cooperatively rather than competitively, but I imagine that will be over the instant we play with either Brooke of the CBL or Rob of Nine.

I have never seen quite the gathering at the golf course for beers after work on Thursday, which was Friday, because of Good Friday, before. I was the only female (I manfully carried on anyway…) at least until Liz, Rob of Nine’s fiancee, showed up and that actually cheesed me off as I wouldn’t have minded speaking to her but I promptly had to leave because Paul had to go to work early and I had to go and pick up chocolate for Katie and I kinda wish I hadn’t because I had an entire pack of Winegums to myself because I mean, if you’re buying chocolate for SOMEBODY ELSE and you can’t eat it because it will trigger a migraine, you have to buy something as a consolation prize. Damned long sentence, that, and not very intelligible…. anyway, there were a couple of people there pounding ales who virtually never attend, although it’s not like I go every time Jim E. calls beer. Can you believe it? George’s going away party was at an Undisclosed Location? When I hear stuff like that I think Drunken Orgy… and camera lenses cracking all over the lower mainland. An unnamed person did a SPOT ON imitation of another unnamed person, and I laughed so hard I nearly spit beer all over my end of the table. Good thing all the men I work with have such wonderful reflexes. My refluxes, on the other hand….

Riverbend posted again, thank heavens. She’s marking the second anniversary of “Shock and Awe”. It’s the first time I remember her mentioning her dad, she’s always just talking about her mother.

Paul Wolfowitz may not get the World Bank job…. not because he’s an incompetent chickenhawk, as some other common taters say … but because, as reported in the Daily Mail, he can’t keep it in his pants. This is really scary. Have you seen a picture of Paul Wolfowitz? Or a pic of the woman who has royally p*ssed off all of her neighbours, because when Paul shows up at her place his security detail is there all night? Yeah, I know I’d sleep better knowing that armed dudes with Get out of Jail Free cards are playing pinochle in the car outside my pied a terre, and that Paul Wolfowitz is actually having sex within 100 meters of me. Brrrrr ….. and don’t tell me ugly guys need lovin’ too, I’ve DONE my share. Actually, I just found a website with pics of all three of them side by side. It’s some weird thing that says Paul Wolfowitz is a tool of the Other Side…. according to Tom Clancy? I’m rubbing my eyes but the words are still there.

I remember a buddy of mine, many many years ago, saying to me that the difference between Republican scandals and Democratic scandals (and this was BEFORE Bill Clinton, okay?) is that Democratic scandals involve bodily fluids, and Republican scandals involve large portions of the Federal deficit. So what I’m coming around to here is that maybe somebody has figured out that money is great, but bodily fluids are more fun especially if you can mix the two together. I quote from the Daily Mail “However, Wolfowitz’s only comment on the complaints has been a terse statement issued through a Pentagon spokesman. He said: “If a personal relationship presents a potential conflict of interest, I will comply with bank policies to resolve the issue.”” I find what his wife … and there’s a certain amount of confusion about his marital status, unusual in such a devout Republican … said about the situation amusing. Anybody who wants to read the rest of it can go to in_article_id=342048&in_page_id=1770. You’ll have to take out the space in the middle. Found the Daily Mail link on, which still isn’t as much fun to read as Although they claim to be competition. I think the folks who dream up the headlines at must all be people who did their BComm speciality in Bait and Switch techniques; those people are appalling.

Not that I’m expecting DJD to read this, but if you are, here’s an item you might have missed; Camille Paglia INCLUDED A PAUL BLACKBURN POEM in her new book about poetry. Of course, it’s “The Once Over” instead of something better, but what can you do. For those of you who have no clue, Paul Blackburn was the premier American poet of his generation, I wrote a long poem called “In Colours Unsuspected” for him, I have a couple of pictures of him over my desk, and if I could raise three people from the dead so I could talk to them for an hour, one would be Emma Goldman, one would be Dorothy Dunnett and the last would be Paul Blackburn. My mother, of course, would be raising dead relatives so she could talk to them about the finer points of genealogy, but I am crasser by far than that….Okay, I’ve been doing this for an hour, I can stop now. I can stop anytime I want.


enough sleep
2005-03-25— Posted by: allegra

Holy cow. That was weird. I emailed Glen about the site and within about thirty seconds it was magically fixed. Finally broke down and called DJD last night and he sounded happy to hear from me. I think my life is currently much more interesting than his. He said he’s working on a novel, and because I am a bitch of biblical dimensions, I asked him to read the first sentence to me. Writers write. I shall say no more.

With respect to the poem, every place you see an ampersand is actually an ampersand, and I don’t know what to do about those hard spaces. If I try to repost it a second time with the HTML tags in, you end up being able to see ALL of them instead of just part of them, rendering the entire thing *completely* as opposed to partially unreadable. Okay, I am going to break down and learn this magic crap. Except really, I don’t want to. I want to be able to type a poem into a text editor that I already own and then have it appear exactly as I typed it in an HTML document which I can then paste into this box.

I have an exceedingly busy and fun weekend happening – checking out a bass, going to see a fellow spitter with respect to her pictures from Europe, family fun (thus far unscheduled by Paul, sigh) and someplace in there some recording, if PD ever gets back to me to confirm Sunday.

I am supposed to do some commenting about the political situation, but the personal is political, so I’ll work that end.

Mr. Damon is occasionally posting again at I am VERY happy about this. He even sent me a terse and sheepish email indicating this, which was sweet of him. Still no word from Riverbend.

Interesting that the Minnesota school shooter left a swathe across the internet. A big one. I tried to watch the flash animation he did but got interrupted. I read his chilling comment, which was that he could tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Or maybe it was another internet fake. The spelling sure was good for a 16 year old boy…… he even spelled capisce right.

Paul is home so I must needs go. He had a hell of a busy night. Wonder if John got to TO.

poem got truncated
2005-03-25— Posted by: allegra

This HTML thing is still giving me fidgets. And for some reason, I can’t delete it and re-do it. Glennn!!!!! argh?!

Anyway, there’s another couple of stanzas, but at least it chose the place where a thought is complete to quit.

Ay Yi love poems

Not much to report today. Weather mixed sun and cloud, high of 11. I desperately need a shoulder rub, but I don’t imagine I’ll get one anytime soon.

Paul seemed quite cheerful on the phone just now. Last night I re-read him a love poem I wrote for him on New Year’s Day five years ago and that seemed to make him feel better. Katie asked me to forward it to her, which seemed like high praise. Then I read her most of the rest of my best love poems and she seemed to enjoy those, too. I am a fool for love, but in the words of the troubadour, I want pity from no man for a pain I would not trade for anything.

Speaking o foolishness, still trying to figure out what to do for an April Fool’s joke at work; apart from taking in the mandolin and walking around the company in a jester’s cap singing rude couplets extemporaneously nothing has a lot of appeal.

I promised Keith I’d be off by now, so bye all.


From Brother James in Ottawa:

The Blog must go on!!!! SAVE THE BLOG!!! Even though the thought of you hanging around your house naked with people I only know by first name is a bit disturbing to me� It serves it purpose.

With such a ringing endorsement, what else can I do??? I was waiting for ONE other human being (besides my mother, who technically doesn’t count because she is a goddess) to ask me to save it. I guess I was having a bad day, not helped by getting laterally back-forthed and bitchslapped by a tag team of Paul and Katie.

Keith went to see the Aviator on the big screen, by himself, last night, and loved it. Seeing as how he’s an immense Cate Blanchett fan, and he likes movie making, airplanes, and forties fashion, you can see his point. He also said that he identified with the lead character, at which point I thought a number of things which I ain’t posting.


2005-03-21— Posted by: allegra

Effective immediately, blog operations are suspended. I might as well just be sending a daily email to three people anyway.

It’s been fun. I’ve got the domain for another year and may do something else with it than blog.

enough sleep
2005-03-21— Posted by: allegra

Nothing much to report here. Survived another weekend; kids off to school (during March break, alas!) to get their Food Safe Certificates so they can get summer jobs. Turns out the commute to Cap College isn’t that bad, only about an hour. I don’t know whether I’m working on that flu that Keith had or I just overslept (I actually got more than 8 hours total yesterday, with the afternoon nap). Sang and played at Tom and Peggy’s yesterday evening and had fun as always. That 12 string Larrivee sure sounds good when Paul plays it. Zeek! is being a righteous pain in the ass; he is being much suckier than normal and since he has zero claw control it ain’t much fun. The Sea to Sky Highway was closed the first weekend of March break due to a mudslide. The ski folks in Whistler must be ripping their hair out. Noam Chomsky’s study is a mess, with pictures of grandchildren perched on top. Pokey seems not to be a psycho kitty any more, which is a relief. Some drunk on an airplane started yelling and came to the attention of a rugby team, who chivalrously took over from the flight attendants…. At some point he quit breathing and the medics failed to revive him once he got on the ground. My advice is don’t drink on airplanes. Hey mom, remember when you could knit on airplanes? Pic (sorry about the quality) is of a portion of a double rainbow which appeared at sunset yesterday.

various subjects

corporal works of mercy
2005-03-20— Posted by: allegra

Upon hearing that Mike had had “a bad day” (no details) Katie and I assembled a SWAT team (that stands, in this case, for Special Warmth and Therapy) and a) helped him assemble a sofa bed – it’s very cool – b) drank a single beer and c) worked on his feet and shoulders for 15 minutes (I took the shoulder end, Katie took the feet) and left him, while not in an appreciably better situation, at least in a better mood.

I am a devious, deeply troubled woman, but my friends know my worth.

I have a stupendous picture of Mike, but I don’t think he’d thank me for posting it. He’s naked, but figleafed by a lap top…. Zow. I guess for people just walking in, I should make it clear that I, and most of my close associates/family, with some notable and exceptions, are not nudists (that would involved being fanatical) but definitely relaxed about skin. We have central heating to thank for that little quirk….

Keith is still very happily working his way through all of the Red Dwarf episodes; the kids are both working their way through the borrowed Angel season one; Paul has just gone to church (?!) and I’m being dragged downstairs to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Pray for me.

Oh, and one last thing. The Motherhouse of the Consorority of the Brides of Lymond just sprang into existence. Legend has it that Sister Brooke fell into a trance and was pierced by a wondrous love (and a need to organize something. A Unitarian failing, to be sure). All we need is a mission statement and a dirty great sword to jump over, and we’re in business. I’m a-hankering for a really cool dress, too, so that should work out nicely. Hunter green velvet, with a embroidered bodice, and a reliquary with the toe bone of St. Dismas at my belt. One thing’s for sure, there will neither vows of chastity NOR poverty in this select group…. (For those who don’t get the reference, St. Dismas was a saint, since unbeatified, who was the patron of thieves and swindlers, and is much mentioned in Poul Anderson’s Nicholas van Rijn stories, viz. Trader to the Stars, which I cannot recommend highly enough – they have aged reMARKably well).

2005-03-20— Posted by: allegra

Paul secured his position as the King of Romance this morning with this exchange:

I’ve been watching you sleep.

Subtext: you snore like a frog!

Subtext II: I’m insomniac again.

You have a very pretty mouth from this angle.

At that point, I opened my mouth, stuck out my tongue and shook my head.

Without changing his tone of voice, which was a low, romantic murmur, he said, “Course, it looks better when it’s closed.” Then we laughed very hard. Ah, romance!

Katie’s supposed to be cooking breakfast, but it’s nine o’clock and she only just got out of bed. I helped things along by cooking potatoes, she says this breakfast needs a couple of boiled potatoes.

I have an insane amount of cleaning to do today by which I mean, any. Have a good day, y’all.

enough sleep
2005-03-20— Posted by: allegra

January 4, 1998

Title redacted

Editor’s note…. Paul is making me clean off the hard drives of soon to be dead computers, and look what I found from a LONG time ago.

My personal situation at work currently bears no resemblance to this, by the way; I just like the tone of restrained fury.

Classic management practice is to get the employees to work as much as possible without paying them for overtime. There are many tactics for doing this. The easiest is to hire people, who despite everything that has happened to them in life, still have a strong work ethic. This means you surround employees with other employees who work very very hard and tacitly ask them to meet the standard others set (the Microsoft tactic). Another tactic is to offer undisclosed and potentially unclaimable future rewards. A common ploy is to tell them what must be accomplished and that performance pay depends on it. (Then the managers tell you that everything depended on ISO certification, and even though you made the audit, you are not getting your perf pay. This is called bait and switch – everyplace but the workplace.) You can guilt them, offer stock options, scare them with the competition and stage promotions for the very hardest working. You can yell at them, but this is not as fashionable as it once was.

The problem is that older employees have seen this all before. Us knowledge workers have a horrible sense of been there & done that, and as seductive as it is, we are not buying it.

The corporate meanspiritedness of the Eighties is with us still. Management still wants to run a lean mean fighting machine, without looking at the long term costs of doing so. They make us read books about The Immense Need for Total Quality, Total Customer Focus, Total Commitment and catechize us about it, and then spend no money on it, as if telling us these things made them happen.

We are still, after all this time, stuck in a quarter by quarter performance review mentality. If the customer is not reviewing us on a quarter by quarter basis, why should management? This is the open secret of corporate life. Because, dear children, the people who own or hope to suck money out of the enterprise we work for, besides us, are our REAL customers. And the second we forget it, we are out on our little tushies in the snow. It is not our customers who determine who goes or stays around here. Management does it for them, and sometimes not too well.

Anybody who thinks that the current customer focus is real is living in a cubicle located on another level of reality, well away from the rest of us. The current focus is on what bankers can measure. As long as certain measurements meet what passes for criteria in the minds of senior bankers, and the managers can deliver those numbers, there will be happiness at Board meetings.

For people like me, answering the phones and dealing with genuine and thorny customer issues daily, the focus is on staying sane while my managers rearrange my workload without streamlining, diminishing or training me for it.

So I am working ONLY 8 hours per day, and encouraging my co-workers to do the same. My reasoning is thus:

Every study I have been able to get my hands on indicates that working unpaid overtime does nothing for the company in terms of overall productivity and is actively bad for your health, morale and ability to think straight.

There is also the interesting question which I ask myself before I decide to work unpaid overtime, which is….Why am I subsidizing the stupidity of the company? If there are not enough people to do the job, then stretching myself over the gaps is merely a cosmetic effort. I will not get rewarded and the person whose shortsightedness put me here will be covered in glory, that we made it through another month with only three people in the department, when we need five.

(This deleted as I got rather detailed.)

The sooner the system experiences major problems, the sooner management will quote unquotes fix them, or process them out of existence. My confreres and I know that one of us will snap or forget something crucial, and we will either be disciplined, fired, or told to attend more meetings. Which prospect is more daunting?

After all, you do NOT get to be a certain age without having had to look for work. You get fired, reduced hours, laid off, demoted, transferred, you quit with pleasure, as I have three times in my life, you quit in despair or fear of something worse; the work that was fun becomes torture. The commute gets to you. The perks evaporate in another round of cost cutting. A whole department quits overnight and there is a job suddenly waiting for you someplace else. You get headhunted, your husband tells you to take a leave of absence or he will be committing you, and there is no job when you go back. These are familiar variants of an old theme.

I am not looking for work right now. I used to get angry, and now I am somewhat more relaxed about it. The work experience is mostly defined by coworkers, and my situation is good. Most of my coworkers are intelligent. Some of them are downright fun and wise and humane. Sometimes we kvetch, sometimes we nod and say how good it is, because we have ALL been someplace worse. That is scary.

My opinions about improvements are useless at work because I have no way to frame them in money terms. I can quote Harvard Business Review articles until I am blue in the face, but only examples I can pull from current reality mean anything to my managers, and even then my demeanour will kill my message. I am not the kind of person who gets taken seriously by employers. It is only people who have seen me at my best – away from work – who take me seriously. Managers consider people like me to be useless bellyachers. Ainsi soit-il. To share it with my friends is merely ventilating uselessly, but if I feel better afterwards… okay.

Looking for work does not scare me. There is a really easy algorithm for finding work, and I will use it only as necessary. I am utterly replaceable; so is everyone else. I used to think that all the knowledge we assembled in a company as employees was worth some money and some respect, but I know now that it is only worth some money, and if I want respect I will go to church, eat supper with my children, have a long talk with my husband, visit friends, phone my mother and pay my bills. Looking for respect at work, that is a mug’s game, and I won’t play no more.


gyrocopter and continued wrong ravings

Cute, but not life enhancing.

Rob of Nine, may he find a level of hell to make hotter, has introduced my family to a ridiculous card game called Munchkin. The game attempts to provide the ‘Dungeon Experience’ (ie, Dungeons and Dragons, not the ‘nails and lashes’ type) in card game format. It includes such things as the Boots of Butt Kicking and the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment in the Armoury, and The Potted Plant as an enemy. I lost all my cards in the first hand and came in, as you might say, a distant fourth. Paul, despite being the most cursed individual in Munchkin history, still managed to win.

Katie at Dax’s – responded with horror when I told her I was coming to get her at noon. Dax not answering my email about spending the night over here for a change.

Paul and John, having finally obtained the Holy Grail of the right ****ing part for the Beemer, are about to strap the thing back together, not that the riding weather this day will be much good.

Read the airplane accident reports in COPA magazine this morning, and there is something so unintentionally amusing in there that I am going to copy it, and since it’s a government report, I will mention that the copyright does belong to Transport Canada, Transportation Safety Board. Data is preliminary and subject to change. I have made small edits for brevity.

An RAF 2000 amateur built gyroplane left Medicine Hat AB on a pleasure flight. Following a normal climb to approximately 250 feet above ground, the gyroplane began to lose altitude. The pilot confirmed that the airspeed, engine rpm and rotor rpm indications were normal for a climb configuration; however, the gyroplane continued to descend, and a forced landing was performed on 10th Avenue in the southwest corner of the city. (Editor’s note. Oops.)

There was no damage to the gyroplane and the pilot and passenger were uninjured. The winds were reported as north at 15 to 25 knots and the temperature was approximately 15 degrees Celsius. The take-off had been accomplished towards the South Saskatchewan River valley, located about one mile to the north, and the anticipated rate of climb was 200 to 250 feet per minute. The wind and terrain conditions were such that the gyroplane may have entered the downdraft side of a wave of air flowing over the south bank of the river valley, which exceeded the climb capability of the aircraft. (Editor’s note; Paul, an experienced glider pilot, made a face when he heard this. “May have?” But the best is yet to come….)

The pilot taxied the gyroplane back to the airport, with a police escort, following the incident.

And that’s when I cracked up. I woulda paid money to see that.

Paul has his game face on. Must go clean things.

The news….
2005-03-19— Posted by: allegra

The balloon has gone up.

There has been a presentation on Peak Oil in Congress.



Good morning! Isn’t it wonderful! Did I scare you yet? Sarah Irani painted this stunning picture entitled Mama and Babe in 1995. The universe paused in its expansion upon the coming into being of this, the single most noxious thing I’ve ever posted pictorially. Cazart! Likewise John Belushi noises!

Then the universe recalled into the ground of its nothingness that INDEED there was a Museum of Bad Art, and balance was restored. I’m seriously thinking of deleting the picture after a couple of days. Actually, now that I think of it, it perfectly sums up how I feel about some things, like Mel Brooks’, sorry Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ.

According to those crazy slurs that control the global media, the Canadian B’nai Brith is reporting that antislur events have become 4 times as eventful since the movie was released. The dry comment was made that Orthodox slurs expect racist attacks and for some reason hardly ever report them. Suddenly I feel the weight of 5 thousand years of cycling in and out of the ability to kick serious butt, weighing heavily on my shoulders. Splitters!!! Somebody kick me under the table. Hey Vanunu, I name the next element after you, Vanununium.

Hey Brooke, now that I’ve introduced you to the sexiest man you’ll ever meet, how does it feel? How does it feel to know that he is utterly unattainable? Those blue eyes will never look into yours. Those scarred hands will never touch you. Okay, in unison girls, back of the hand to the forehead, droop a little to the side, and siiiiiggghhh, a big time exhalation carrying a fragrant abyss of longing no living man could hope to be the object of. Lymond!

Moose and suchlike

pomo moose
2005-03-17— Posted by: allegra

Man, it’s been ages since I posted a pic of a moose. This moose is from Sweden, and when he’s not suicidal, he’s self-referential.

I hear the Swedish parks people hate German tourists. Germans apparently can’t see that sign without feeling compelled to steal it… which means the mooses have nowhere to scratch themselves, and the government has to be replacing hundreds a year.

St. Patricks Day
2005-03-17— Posted by: allegra

I’m gonna paint myself green and go to work. Ackshully, it’s too chilly.

I light a candle for all the people who are getting jerked around by immigration right now. I light a candle for all the people who are being separated from their favourite activity due to illness.

I am making biscotti again, it seems to be a mental health issue. This time I added enough salt and the dough seems somehow better, and as I commented to Rob of Nine on the bus last night, “and I *did* toast the nuts.”

I am thinking this will be a superlative batch, rather than the last batch which was just very good. I know, I know, most people greet my biscotti with screeches of delight, no matter their condition, but after almost ten years I’m a bit of a weenie about these things.

I should take a pic of a biscotti and post it. Yeah like I don’t have enough things on my list of things to do.

Last night I dreamed I went purse shopping in a city that was entirely a mall, and the cheapest purse that I found, that I liked, which turned out to have a tesseract in it, was 90 bucks on sale from a thousand. I reached into the purse and it promptly got much bigger. Now I know, and the people who’ve seen it with me know, that that’s because I watched ‘delivery’ a couple of days ago. I have to tell you that is right up there along with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli doing a 30’s style music video and a number of other things in the top ten of neat crud I’ve found on the internet for free. Anyway, the link to the 8 minute long “delivery” is on Try not to step in anything on the way by.

Anyway, I put the tesseract purse down, thinking “Ya know, in every story I’ve ever read this kinda thing NEVER turns out well, although I will be whining about how cheap it was for a year” and then all of a sudden I’m at the finish line of a snowmobile competition, standing next to a woman on a pay phone, who’s addressing an unknown person in chiding tones, “If you want more beer, you’re just going to have to put your skis on and come down here and get it.” I step away from the pay phone, thinking, “Well, that was weird” and then a bunch of park rangers haul a bunch of drunken teens and pre teens (all boys) out of the bush and start assigning them marks on how beautifully they puke. Then I woke up, may St Patrick and St Bridget ever protect me.

So there was a lot of drunkeness in my dreams last night…. I can only assume I was channeling the drinking going on in other time zones. Like England, where my server is….

I send you all a big hug and hope you have a lovely day. Must go cut biscotti now.

2005-03-17— Posted by: allegra

I esPESHially like the dragon lady nails. From my buddy Tammy who recently returned from da Bahamas.

2005-03-17— Posted by: allegra

It graupelled at work today and I ran out in it. It’s my favourite kind of hail, and we usually get it at least once a year, in March, here in Vancouver. Google it if you want to learn more. I first ran into graupel in Montreal, on the day when everything fell out of the sky in a four hour period (rain, several kinds snow, sleet, freezing rain, graupel, hail – including thunder and lightning – and let’s just say it was the single most interesting day, meteorologically speaking, I’ve ever lived through.)

Tiger trap

bill vaccaro took this picture
2005-03-16— Posted by: allegra

scanged from Gaper’s Block. I find this pic deeply disturbing.

it’s raining!
2005-03-16— Posted by: allegra

This means that all the tree pollen has been reduced to the point where most of us can breathe again. Yippee! Paul continuing to feel much better.

enough sleep
2005-03-16— Posted by: allegra

Katie blew off her goddamned art class, the little weinie.

The reason for this post is the pic, which shows a Sumatran tiger attempting to eat a camera … a remotely operated camera, she hastens to add…. Man I didn’t think I’d see a tiger’s uvula before I went to bed tonight, but there it is, big and pink and cartoon like.

Too cheerful

too cheerful
2005-03-15— Posted by: allegra

Asian banks offload their greenbacks

By Josh Gordon, Economics correspondent (Canberra)

The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

March 12, 2005

reprinted from

The US dollar's status as the world's main reserve currency is under threat as Asian banks back away from the superpower's ballooning twin deficits.

Over the past three years, central banks in the region have been scaling back their holdings of US dollars amid jitters about the United States' ever-expanding current account and budget deficits, which collectively soaked up at least $US1000 billion ($A1265 billion) of foreign currency last year.

A report by the Bank for International Settlements has estimated that the share of deposits held in US currency by Asian banks dropped to 67 per cent in the September quarter of 2004, from about 81 per cent of total deposits three years earlier.

The figures suggest that a dramatic but not widely publicised regional shift away from the US dollar is under way.

They follow a warning from Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi that the Japanese central bank should consider diversifying out of US dollars. Korea expressed similar sentiments last month.

The report said the shift had been most pronounced in India, where the ratio of reported US-dollar holdings has plummeted from around 68 per cent to 43 per cent over the three years to September 2004. China has also been scaling back its holdings, taking its share from 83 per cent to 68 per cent.

enough sleep
2005-03-15— Posted by: allegra

I didn’t actually get enough sleep, seeing as how consciousness smites Paul long about 4 am these days. Anyway, after snarling at him for a few minutes (he was gloating about how all this feeding people Sunday dinner is going to force me to clean our house, which isn’t actually that bad right now, although Paul was going on about it like we had two hundred cats and a beeg ball of aluminum foil that we hadn’t turned into capacitors yet…. oh yeah, I never told that story… anyway, stuff him) he ran away to run, which is good, because it would make us both feel better. Anybody who wants to buy me the t-shirt shown, which is at, is certainly welcome to. I won’t stop you. Or you might consider some of the other fine products at that site. Mom, if you go there, there is a t that says “Acid Reflux Made Me Do It”. I know you will immediately want to buy this shirt, but before you do, you should probably know what the popcultref is. Ashley Simpson, a young woman whose talent may not be in proportion to the amount of money spent advertising her, was caught lip syncing on Saturday night live. (By the way… she got a rave review in Georgia Straight. The reviewer was not expecting to enjoy it, and did anyway.) That was her excuse for not singing live…. acid reflux. There, don’t you feel better informed? Keith is running a temperature and may stay home again from school today, and Katie is practically living at Daxus’ (she got in the car last night when we went to pick her up, and said in an extremely mocked out Hispanic accent, “I -Lovv- Heem!” and she keeps doing that and it’s really unutterably cute). All the biscotti are gone. But I have toasted some more almonds. I gave some biscotti to P.D…. did I mention I recorded on Sunday? It was good, definitely heading into Joe Raposo, Burt Bacharach territory…but it ain’t done, I figure another couple of sessions. Oh, and did I mention Sin City? It was fun. Two things stand out, apart from seeing Sabrina and Colin… I like Sabrina, she’s adorable. Anyway, there was a guy there who is A DEAD RINGER FOR OZZIE OSBOURNE. Like who cares, but when you turn around in a line up and there he is, it’s quite startling. And he had spare coupons, so he saved us nine dollars. The other visual I must share is five women all got up like Catholic school girls doing shots in unison. I dunno why, but it got me, right here… (vaguely thumps chest). Apparently my caps glow purple under black light. I’m gonna have to check that out sometime. Good thing they are on the same teeth so they match; would be a drag if they were uneven. In December there was lots of red. This time it was a sea of black. We simply MUST get Paul better pants. I was in a process meeting yesterday, all day, and I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE. I am deleting the next few sentences. But it’s true, damnit. I did enjoy it. I stayed til 6:30 to type the notes up, I was so happy. I know, I’m nuts. It was a grindingly hard days’ work, too, we didn’t dick around. I had fantastic roast lamb at the Main on Sunday evening. I am lighting a candle of healing and strength for Heather…. well, lets’ just say she’s glad she’s got a trip booked for Turkey in October… it’s always good to have something wonderful to look forward to, especially when the near term is gonna be so hard. I light one for her husband as well. Paul got up this morning actually sounding cheerful; now he’s back from running and I sumpose I should face the feces and get gone. Everybody have a great day.

walking my feets back home

armageddon tired of this
2005-03-14— Posted by: allegra

I came home last night from singing and playing over at Tom and Peggy’s, and the Pachelbel Canon was playing, and Katie had changed the cat litter. This meant I could vault up the stairs with the Angel first season (borrowed from Brooke) and say look whut I brung ya, which prompted squeals of joy from Number 1 daughter.

I can’t really say anything else about what’s going on in my life, partly because it would be mean, and partly because I’m hoping that I’ll quit choking on other people’s stupid emotions. Hullllooooo? The most important thing about human beings is not their reason, but their passion, for it is the passion that makes them choose how to employ their reason…..sometimes it appears that not much choice is involved. Picture is entitled “Walking my feet back home.”