26 January 2006

Second Breakfast ...

I was feeling somewhat human on Tuesday (in spite of the election results), so I ran around and did a bunch of errands I've been putting off. By the end of the day, I was utterly wrung out and that hasn't improved much over the last couple of days. This is the most annoying cold/flu bug.

I had second breakfast with Barbara and Annailese yesterday. Good fun. I also tried something called Green Pie that Miles makes. Wonderful stuff.

I've been putting together a CD for Mom's cowboy friend in CA. I have the covers done and the CD. Tomorrow, I'll acquire a jewel case and assemble the whole mess, just in time to take it to the APs before they leave on Saturday.

23 January 2006

Lying to Children ...

Brandon's off to Ottawa again. I took him to the airport this morning and voted on the way home. I have a terrible feeling about this election.

Mary, Cory, Ernie and a friend of his and Linda came by on Saturday, had a little visit, then all but Linda left. Mary took the three boys to pick up a fourth, then to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Linda and I had baked tofu sandwiches for lunch, then pelted off to the same theatre to see the same movie. We went for dinner, then came back here to play Mancala for a while, look at pictures, and play a little Clan Lord. Linda put herself to bed around 10:30, when she got tired. In the morning, we made breakfast burritos, got Linda all packed up and headed off to Whyte Avenue to putter about. We went to all the places Linda wanted to go, except 10,000 Villages, which is closed on Sundays. We went to the Friends and Neighbours Café for lunch, an old haunt of Grunc's. One of the fish in their aquarium is 24 years old. That was the end of Linda's birthday sleep-over because it was time to go to the APs to celebrate Ernie's birthday. There are a lot of meals when Linda's around!

Rose and Cassandra and their Ma Mere and Pa Pere were there already when we got to the APs. They came skipping to the door, shreiking, "We have company! We have company!" Mary and Ernie arrived a little later, and Robin a little while after that. Cory stayed home to study. Cassandra was playing with my hair while I got her bundled up to go. She said, "Look at your curls, Auntie Lynn! This one is a C for Cassandra. (little gasp and big-eyed stare) Did you grow it just for me?" What could I do? I like through my teeth, "Of course, Poppet. I grew it just for you." She didn't ask about Rs for Rose.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 8:28
Hours of dark: 14:15ish
Sunrise: 8:33 am
Sunset: 5:01 pm
Start of twilight: 7:53 am
End of twilight: 5:40 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 5°C (41°F), humidity 44%, wind NW 32 km/h (20 mph.), barometer 29.73 in. Hg

Today.. Sunny with cloudy periods. Increasing cloudiness with morning with 30% chance of showers early this afternoon. Wind becoming W 40 km/h gusting to 60 km/h late this morning then diminishing to 30 km/h (mph) this afternoon. High 5°C.
Tonight.. A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness near midnight. Wind NW 30 km/h becoming light this evening. Low -3°C.
Tuesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High 9°C.
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -10°C. High 4°C.
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low -6°C. High -2°C.
Friday.. Sunny. Low -15 High -7
Normals for the period.. Low -20°C. High -8°C.

22 January 2006

Happy Birthday, Ernie!

19 January 2006

Choices ...

First read the following (reprinted with permission), then go listen to Harper's Bizarre.

Or you could listen to Harper's Bizarre first and then read the following.

Or you could listen while you read.

"Harper's Bizarre" - An ElectroPolitica Diatribe from MC Puff Wheat and Upright Grand Master J.

Thanks for reading.

With the election looming in the near future, composers MC Puff Wheat and Upright Grand Master "J" have ground out another epic work of "ElectroPolitica"

"Harper's Bizarre" is a musical expose', a "flick of the earlobe," if you will, outlining some interesting past associations of one Stephen Harper, whose name seems to have been in the news recently.

Due to constraints on time, we are unable to provide you with a CD hard copy of the tune, but encourage you to listen to our broadcast quality mp3, which can be found by following the handy link below.

With our last work, "Ralph's World," we relied heavily on word of mouth, focused email, and the support of college radio stations in Alberta who were willing to tread where others feared to go. "Ralph's World" became a popular contribution to CJSR's "Rock 'Til You Ralph" compilation, and saw surprising popularity on internet peer to peer networks.

If you are of a mind to do so, please follow the link to "Harper's Bizarre," and accept our thanks for listening. We would appreciate your passing the link along to anyone you think interested.


Thank you for your time,

MC Puff Wheat & Upright Grand Master "J"

"Harper's Bizarre" Copyright 2006 John Doe Productions.
Freely available for play on any media. Commercial resale or reproduction is strictly prohibited without the express written consent of the composers.

John Doe Productions,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


*If this link is not working, try this one. And give Ralph's World a listen while you're there.

18 January 2006

I like the Sustainability Blog a bunch. This post got me thinking about chaos vs. order in my own space.

I don't think there's a clean gene. I think it's learned.

My parents are very clean and organized and tidy. Dad says that a truly lazy person cleans up right away and keeps things tidy. I didn't learn it from them.

I learned that I want to know whether or nor I've paid the bills that are due, and that I occasionally want to be able to find the one from three months ago to check it. So I learned to keep the bills in one place until they're paid and in another place until I file them and I learned to check the first place occasionally to see if it's time to pay them yet. I also learned that the bigger the receptacle I have in the second place, the longer it is between filings and the more tiresome it is. (Recently I learned that shredded paper is a problem for the local recycling program - so I've added the step of making soup from the papers I'm not willing to recycle unshredded and adding it to the compost) Eventually, I learned that Dad was right, but I had to take my own path to that lesson.

My kitchen cupboards are organized precisely, the drawers less so. I like the bed made but don't mind if I step on a shirt or two on the side of the bed that isn't visible from the bedroom door, as long as they're not blocking the heat duct. I rinse the dishes and stack them so it's easier to wash them when there are enough to bother with, but I'll soak a pan rather than rinsing it right away because it uses less water. I keep my paperwork in order but I have things hanging from every door knob in the house. There's way too much stuff on my bookshelves, but it's all standing up pretending it's in some kind of order and I dust it just often enough that I don't have to name the dust bunnies and give them collars. I dust mop the kitchen and hallways daily because I like to go barefoot and those are the places that get gritty. I vaccuum the area rug only when the layers of cat hair become visible. I take a couple of seconds to turn a pile of clutter into a neat stack; it's no less cluttered, but the appearance changes and now I've handled it and know what's there. I like to know what's where. I don't like hunting for things when I want them.

In my world, there's just enough cleanliness in the chaos so I feel like I'm actually driving this bus, rather than being an unwitting pawn on the giant entropy board. Once I feel I've exerted my will on the maelstrom, I'm content to let the rest whirl or settle or do whatever it pleases.

I'd like to live my life somewhere between Dad's truly lazy person who puts everything away right away and Spider Robinson's Jake Stonebender who figures if the bedroom's tidy there isn't enough fucking going on. Y'know, balance.

It seems like it's less about being tidy and more about being aware - aware of my immediate environment, and aware of its impact on the larger environment, and aware of the choices I make about how much I want to manage my impact on those envioronments.

15 January 2006

Jiggety-Jig ...

Home again. Home again and all that. I got in Friday night and fetched the cats home from Kitty City yesterday. Nina's purse was stolen Thursday night, so all her stuff's here, but she hasn't been able to get in. I guess I should change the locks. It looks like we got a couple of millimeters of snow while I was gone. It still looks like fall out.

I went to the APs today. Mary, Randy, Cory, Ernie and Linda were there. Pete's skiing and Mona's not feeling well, so Dad picked up Rose and Cassandra. When I got home, Nina came to pick up her stuff.

I tried a salad at Adele and Doug's on New Year's Eve when I took Nina home. Adele says Jeanette got it from an Israeli wives' cookbook.

Yummiest Salad Ever
1 garden cucumber (not the English kind)
1 ripe tomato
1 ripe avocado

Peel cucumber and cut into 5mm cubes. Cut tomato into 5mm cubes. Peel and pit avocado and cut into 5mm cubes. Mix and serve. Really. That's it. No seasoning. No dressing. As is. It's amazing.

Whistler fooled me. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground when I got there, so I didn't notice right away that the moss was bright green and springy and the ground cover leaves were alive and well. That much humidity (it was either raining or snowing or both most of the time I was there) and temperatures hovering right around freezing make it very interesting and very, very pretty. It's perfect for a ski resort! It's a few degrees cooler up the mountains, so the snow stays on the runs. Perfect!

See this? It's a chandelier made from antlers. There's more than one of them in the Earl's in Whistler. They're huge.

There are antler and bulb wall sconces like this over the booths.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 8:05
Hours of dark: 14.5ish
Sunrise: 8:42 am
Sunset: 4:47 pm
Start of twilight: 8:01 am
End of twilight: 5:27 pm

Current weather: Clear. -9°C (15°F), humidity 92%, wind W 4.8 km/h (3 mph.), barometer 29.85 in. Hg

Tonight.. Cloudy periods. Fog patches dissipating overnight. Low -15°C (°F).
Monday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High -7°C (19°F).
Monday night.. Cloudy periods. 60% chance of flurries overnight. Low -18°C (0°F).
Tuesday.. Cloudy. High -2°C (28°F).
Wednesday.. Cloudy. Low -6°C (21°F). High -4°C (25°F).
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. 40% chance of flurries. Low -13°C (9°F). High -5°C (23°F).
Normals for the period.. Low -20°C (-4°F). High -9°C (15°F).

11 January 2006

Rain and Strep and Commerce, oh my!

Turns out Nina has strep throat. We went to see Mona, Pete, Rose and Cassandra after I took Nina to the doctor, and now Cassandra is feeling yucky. Damn.

Whistler is pretty, in a disneyfied kinda way. Lots of pedestrian-only areas that take you past a bazillion stores on the way from anywhere to anywhere else. It's been right around freezing, so there's rain in the daytime and snow at night. There's snow on the ground with puddles anywhere it's been shovelled or ploughed. It's fun to watch Solas in the snow. She's seen the stuff only once before. Poor Sephi hurt his wrist snowboarding the day Solas got here, so he's all splinted up. I think it was awfully nice of him to go to such lengths to get time off while Solas is here.

I was wondering what the funny numbers were next to the scotches in the menu at Monk's, where I met them for lunch yesterday. They were prices. Oh my. The prices at the two places I've looked so far have ranged from $10-$20plus for a shot of single-malt. Solas calls Second Cup Two Cups. Cute. She's got Darren calling it that now, too.

09 January 2006

Off to see the wizard ...

Mary's dear friend's cancer treatment is not going well at all. Please fire any spare good thoughts you have their way.

Epona hit 1,000 km. on the way back from taking the cats to Kitty City yesterday.

Dad should be here shortly. He's offered to take me to the airport 'cuz he rocks and I'm spoilt.

07 January 2006

Dream ...

I had a wretched dream early this morning. I dreamt that I put my two new M*A*S*H* DVDs into the gearshift on that girl's boat at the same time and they wouldn't play. Not only wouldn't they play, but they were cracked when I got them out again. I put the first one in and ejected it a few more times and it kept getting more beat-up until it came apart. I tried it again with the second one with the same results. When the cafeteria guy came along, I showed him and he gave me a Grateful Dead album (vinyl) that I hadn't heard before to play while he checked to see what he could do about the DVDs. The album was great and the cook replaced my DVDs. But I knew that the original ones broke because I put them both into the gearshift at the same time and I didn't tell the cafeteria guy that part. I woke up all sweaty and miserable.

06 January 2006

House Angels ...

I took Nina to the mediclinic today for her throat. Then we went to Mona's to pick up stuff from Pete for the fixing of Nina's old iMac ... on the way, we stopped at the Mac store for Mona's Nano that was in the shop. At Mona's, there were helloings and showings and tellings and then we made house angels (which are just like snow angels, but made on the kitchen floor, of course). I think the cute fix did Nina more good than the antibiotics.

05 January 2006

What's New ...

I got all wound up too tight again and my neck went out. Instead of dealing with it on the 31st, I picked up Nina and the old iMac that Pat rebuilt for her and brought them both here. It hadn't been working for a while. I got it to start from an 8.6 restore disc, and it'll start in 9.0 and 9.2. I just can't get OS X to work on it. It may be that one or more of the OS X discs is bad. I'm going to try swapping hard drives with my old, dead iMac (it got a brand new hard drive when it died, but that wasn't the problem, turns out) and seeing if that helps. Then Nina and I went and got our hair done, had a bite to eat and ran some errands. Nina was a little freaked by how many people point, wave, or stop to talk about the wee car. By the first, I could breathe without crying if I took drugs for it. The next day I could move if I took drugs for it. The next day I was taking homeopathic goo for sinuses and yesterday, I was as good as new.

I ran a few errands yesterday. I went to the yarn store for something specific, which they didn't have ... and I came back empty handed! I washed and blocked the dollhouse blanket and pillow (filled with yarn scraps) for Annailese. Around dinner time, I noticed that I had no water. After a panicked checking of the basement for broken lines and spewing water, I phoned the utilities company. The water main in the alley broke. With luck, we'll have water back tonight.