Saturday, July 29, 2006

What the Education System Lacks

The Man, my dear husband, has some earnestly-held opinions on the education system. I'd tell him to write a book on the subject, but it's already been written, I think, by this guy - Robert Kiyosaki . The book, as I recall, relates the story of two men - one a very well-educated 'worker' who knew only how to work for money, and the other a man of more humble beginnings who figured out how to make money work for him.

Finance is a favourite topic of my husband's. He thinks that there is a serious failure in the current system of education in that they do not routinely teach Economics. This has an end result of merely creating an endless supply of 'worker bees'. Perhaps there is little incentive to teach people to be 'capitalists' because business needs workers.

It's all very well and good to get a wonderful education, to achieve upper-level employment, but there's more to do! We need to educate our children about conserving and investing. Peter suggests that we should teach children to look at wages as 'tools'. A workman couldn't do his job without tools and the first thing any worker needs to do is to start collecting the tools necessary to be a capitalist. It doesn't matter what the employment, something should be put aside to build for the future. If it feels nearly impossible to do, then it is all the more important to get started early!

Every elementary school, every middle school and every high school should have mandatory courses in Investing rather than Algebra, Trigonometry and the like. The average student does not require advanced training in mathematics, but every student needs to learn basic money management! Can you imagine how very useful such training would be? It's not taught now because no one has taught the teachers. I think it is time we demand it, though, for the sake of our children.


Debra (The Deblog) has just installed a tagboard on her blog and I think it could be the source of a lot of fun. I'm considering lurking there and when I see that another person has entered her site I could shout out "Who are you? What are you doing here?!" I'd be kind of a gatekeeper... I'm sure Debra would be very grateful. The tagboard is the neatest thing, though; it's just an IM device, but it's got a nice little obscenity filter which thoroughly amuses this simpleton.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hey! Are you my thousandth visitor?

I was just looking at the count over to the right of this page - it stands at 999 right now. Please leave me a note and tell me who visitor number 1000 is!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Worst Domain Names

Maxine at Petrona is too much of a lady to insist that you click on the link she's got to 'Worst Domain Names', but you really should. I've seen similar lists before, but these definitely are the worst (best!).

Debra the Poet

You might think I'm being too much of a 'homer', but over at Bookshelves of Doom they currently have a haiku contest running and our Debra's entry is definitely the best. The theme is 'Superman' and I think Debra's entry has depth coupled with wry humour and it even has the 'voice' of the Superman we know from the movies. See if you don't agree with me.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I live in Paradise. Lately Paradise has been as hot as the Other place, but nevermind, I love it here. Downtown Victoria reminds me of Disneyland these days, crowded with tourists. Shops stay open in the city centre late into the night and the tourists are all shopping. They say that there aren't quite as many American tourists this year, so I can't imagine where all these people are coming from. The pictures show the Empress Hotel and the inner harbour and causeway.

So...there's a knock at the door...the guy opens the door, looks around and sees a snail on the doormat. He picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can.

Three years later...there's a knock at the door, the guy opens the door and the snail says..."What the Hell was that all about?"

(Dedicated to Clare)

Thursday, July 20, 2006


"Canadian Business" is a rather good investment magazine. Their July 17 issue has an article titled "They're Golden" in which they look at some of the best places to retire. The article cites Warren Bland, professor emeritus of geography at the Northridge campus of California State University who wrote "Retire in Style: 60 Oustanding Places Across the U.S.A. and Canada". Guess what city tops his list? Victoria! He used a set of twelve criteria which retirees should consider, including landscape, climate, cost of living, transportation, crime and health care. For each category he awarded a score out of five. Victoria was tops, with 52 points, followed by Boulder, Colorado, London, Ontario and Portland, Oregon, each with 51 points. San Antonio, Texas got 50 points and Asheville, North Carolina, Austin Texas and Boca Raton, Florida got 48 points.

The "Best Place for Weather Refugees" category was won by Victoria. The article states: "It's been said before, but it bears repeating: Victoria's climate can't be beat. Not in Canada, anyhow. For those seeking escape from winter's rigours but who are reluctant to leave the country, this urban oasis tucked onto the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island is ideal. Temperatures are mild year-round, and annual precipitation averages only 84.5 centimetres. (By comparison, Ottawa receives about 235 centimetres of snow every year.) Expect flowers in February."

I told you that I live in paradise! And as for "flowers in February", we've got flowers year-round!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Inimitable Minx

If you hustle on over to Minx's site right now, you'll see why I was missing her yesterday. She's got a post titled something like "out of the mouths of babes" - whatever - it hit me as just about the funniest thing I've read in ages. That 'Terminator' story is a classic! Don't miss it! (Just make sure you don't have a mouth full of coffee when reading it...)

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Missing Minx

Where on earth has Minx gone? I keep going to her house, but everything's locked up and dark. Minx!! Turn on the lights! I want to come in and look at all your neat stuff.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Please Visit!

I've been a little distracted of late, working on my family history. Maxine came up with the idea that I should move it into standard web pages so that there could be movement back and forth between pages. I'm very 'green' at this as you all know, but it's actually been a lot of fun!

I bought a new scanner/printer so that I could upload some pictures for the pages. I barely know how to operate it and I'm absolutely hopeless at placing the pictures where I want them, but I love what it's added to the pages.

I'm starting to understand Debra a little better now. I used to be somewhat mystified by the continual changes she made to her sites. Now I'm looking at this project of mine and I see many improvements that should be made. Anyway, I'd be pleased if you'd take a look at the new pages, even if they're not yet perfect. So far I've got nine pictures in there - one set of great-grandparents, two sets of grandparents, etc. There's lots left to do, but I'd still like you to take a look!

YouTube - Gizmo Flushes

Debra posted this - YouTube - Gizmo Flushes She needs to add some more posts to her 'urine, etc.' category I think. Interesting cat!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

End Of World - Interesting view on how the world will end

Blame that daughter of mine for this one. End Of World - Interesting view on how the world will end

Keeper of the Snails

Clare Dudman has a delightful essay here: Keeper of the Snails about her day in London today. What a contrast to my own day!

Clare, here's how my day went...We had breakfast while waiting for a car repair. Back to the 'shop' an hour and a half later and the car wasn't ready, so we trudged fifteen blocks to buy one large, shiny bolt. I was troubled by sore heels so we stopped briefly at a local shopping mall to sit down for a minute. No sooner were we seated than I spotted a suspicious-looking yellow puddle nearby. We left quickly. We then hobbled six blocks to a store called Xcess Cargo and looked at cheap garage-sale-type items. We gathered a few of the cheap garage-sale-type items and entered a long lineup with other discriminating shoppers. Husband looked at his watch and suddenly remembered that he had a chiropractor appointment. We hastily returned our selections to the shelf and hot-footed back to the car repair shop. The car was out on a 'test drive', so we borrowed the shop car - a giant grey dusty Ford - and sped to the chiropractor's office. I waited in the car and admired: a fat man wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed "Proud to be a Croat" walking with three mangey rat-dogs; two steriod-enhanced workmen loading a truck with circular saws; a little car that somehow discharged seven Chinese who all stopped and stared at the saws; a dog wearing the obligatory leash, but with no owner attached. Two more dogs arrived and much sniffing ensued. A lady then appeared, following an Irish Setter...the Setter 'set'. And now the most exciting part of my day!!! I've never seen this before...the lady wiped the dog's bottom!

How does your day stack up to that, Clare?!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Alien Princes

The intergalactic invasion is about to commence! Soon the alien princes( prinsengalerij ) will extend their iron grip to rule Earth. Led by the ruthless Henk, all must bend to their will. Surely one hero will rise in this dark hour to offer hope to the puny earthlings...but WHO?

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Results Are In

The Department of English at San Jose State University announced this year's winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest today. In case you haven't heard, the contest asks entrants to submit the worst opening line for an imaginary novel. Retired mechanical designer Jim Guigli seemed quite motivated to win this year, submitting sixty separate entries. He won with

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.

Runner-up was Stuart Vasepuru of Edinburgh, Scotland with

"I know what you're thinking, punk," hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' - and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' - well do you, punk?"

In the Adventure category, Irene Buttuls of Lytton, B.C won with

Christy, lounging in the gondola which slipped smoothly through the enveloping mist had her first inkling that something was afoot as she heard pattering hooves below (for our story is not in Venice but Switzerland with its Provolone and Toblerone) and craning her not unlovely neck she narrowed her eyes at the dozen tiny reindeer, pelting madly down the goat trail.

Runner-up Christin Keck of Kent, OH offered:

She looked at her hands and saw the desiccated skin hanging in Shar-Pei wrinkles, confetti-like freckles, and those dry, dry cuticles--even her "Fatale Crimson" nail color had faded in the relentless sun to the color of old sirloin--and she vowed if she ever got out of the Sahara alive, she'd never buy polish on sale at Walgreen's again.

There are a lot more of these jewels here!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

YouTube - Quick Change Artists on America's Got Talent

WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT!? YouTube - Quick Change Artists on America's Got Talent Could someone PLEASE explain to me how they DO this?! Do these people have twins or something? I've never seen anything like it. | media | Amazing ad from a bank you'll never use

I wish we had ads like this! media Amazing ad from a bank you'll never use It's really very good - creative, artistic, definitely worth watching!

Even Clinton Went by the Book - Los Angeles Times

An excellent item in the L.A. Times Even Clinton Went by the Book - Los Angeles Times in which Ronald Brownstein reports on an interview with former president Bill Clinton and Clinton's comments on judging the worth of a presidency.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Gay Referee - Google Video

Perhaps you haven't had enough of soccer yet. Just an incredibly cheerful, active fellow :Gay Referee - Google Video I could watch this over and over again!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Eagle Fledgling

There's an eagle's nest a couple of blocks from here and Peter and I saw a fledgling in the nest yesterday, trying out his wings. Today, Peter called me out to witness what was probably the baby's first flight. Eaglet and parent flew about four or five blocks. The parent carried on a ways, followed by masses of harassing crows. Baby came to an uneasy stop on our neighbour's roof. Click on the picture to get a closer view!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Question For You Blogging Pro's

I've been busy transcribing my Aunt's family narrative into the new blog and I'm not sure how to deal with rearranging the posts so that they will follow a logical sequence, from 'a' to 'z' rather than from 'z' to 'a' when complete. I had hoped to be able to cut and paste subsequent posts to the end of a previous post but that doesn't appear possible. Could someone please advise me? I suppose it's logical enough to just continually edit the first post and add that way, but I'm afraid that a mistake might cause me to lose the whole thing.

Hobson Family History

I've started another blog. I understand this is a very common occurrence among bloggers - the sudden realization that one blog is just not enough! I don't think my second blog will be of much interest to anyone other than my family because it's titled "Hobson Family History" and I'm starting out by simply transcribing a history which my aunt wrote in an exercise book. There seem to be quite a number of pages and the ink is faded, so this will probably take a while. I don't think there's anything 'juicy' in there, so I'm not going to recommend this to anyone other than my daughter. Eventually I'll add other branches of the family tree to the record and the next two generations will have a fair beginning place should any of them decide to investigate their heritage. I've got to get a scanner! I'd love to be able to add pictures to this.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

From the Ball-Room to Hell

This From the Ball-Room to Hell should be required reading for you loose women! You know who you are. It's an 1892 tract, written by one T.A. Faulkner and posted in its entirety at

Here's an excerpt:
She is now in the vile embrace of the Apollo of the evening. Her head rests upon his shoulder, her face is upturned to his, her bare arm is almost around his neck, her partly nude swelling breast heaves tumultuously against his, face to face they whirl on, his limbs interwoven with hers, his strong right arm around her yielding form, he presses her to him until every curve in the contour of her body thrills with the amorous contact. Her eyes look into his, but she sees nothing; the soft music fills the room, but she hears it not; he bends her body to and fro, but she knows it not; his hot breath, tainted with strong drink, is on her hair and cheek, his lips almost touch her forehead, yet she does not shrink; his eyes, gleaming with a fierce, intolerable lust, gloat over her, yet she does not quail. She is filled with the rapture of sin in its intensity; her spirit is inflamed with passion and lust is gratified in thought. With a last low wail the music ceases, and the dance for the night is ended, but not the evil work of the night.
The girl whose blood is hot from the exertion and whose every carnal sense is aroused and aflame by the repetition of such scenes as we have witnessed, is led to the ever-waiting carriage, where she sinks exhausted on the cushioned seat. Oh, if I could picture to you the fiendish look that comes into his eyes as he sees his helpless victim before him. Now is his golden opportunity. He must not miss it, and he does not, and that beautiful girl who entered the dancing school as pure and innocent as an angel three months ago returns to her home that night robbed of that most precious jewel of womanhood--virtue!
When she awakes the next morning to a realizing sense of her position her first impulse is to self-destruction, but she deludes herself with the thought that her "dancing" companion will right the wrong by marriage, but that is the farthest from his thoughts, and he casts her off--"he wishes a pure woman for his wife."
She has no longer any claim to purity; her self-respect is lost; she sinks lower and lower; society shuns her, and she is to-day a brothel inmate, the toy and plaything of the libertine and drunkard.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

YouTube - One LUCKY SOB

You have to look at this. YouTube - One LUCKY SOB Two cars are stopped at a corner and traffic is passing in front of them. A third and then a fourth car come up to the intersection. Watch the fourth car, on the far right of the screen! Twenty mp3s of Great Songs from 1901-1920

There are some marvellous OLD recordings here: Twenty mp3s of Great Songs from 1901-1920 I was thrilled to finally hear "The Yama Yama Man", a song I remember my father singing. He was born in 1902 and "The Yama Yama Man" was recorded in 1909, so I can understand why his rendition wasn't perfect. Still, he remembered it pretty well and so do I! I'll be spending quite a bit of time at this site because they've also got recordings by Al Jolsen, Alma Gluck, John McCormack, George M. Cohan and even John Philip Sousa's band.

tfh - tin foil hats

This is great! Tin Foil Hats for the discriminating lunatic tfh - tin foil hats I like the 'Chaplin' myself. I might try making one when the boys are out. If I could only keep a straight face, I'd love to try to convince them that I'm finally 100% certifiable.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eyes Wide!

WHOA! We just had a nice rolling earthquake! It sounded like a truck rumbling down the street. I hope there aren't any more....

The house was really shaking and I thought for a couple of seconds about getting up from the computer to shelter in a doorway. I was busy reading Skint's blog though, so I stayed put.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Poetry With Teeth

Minx has another lovely poem here: The Inner Minx It's called "As Cotton". Now I'll ruin it by telling you about a fantasy that I have -- Minx' poem brought it to mind --

Years ago I was standing in a fairly crowded elevator when a man stepped in and stood in front of me, just a little closer than I thought was necessary. Throughout the ride, from the top of a very tall building to the ground floor, I stared at the back of his neck and thought about clamping my teeth into it! One of these days someone is in for a big surprise. It will almost be worth the nuisance with the police just to watch the excitement unfold, don't you agree?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day

Today is the 139th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Happy Birthday to us!! It's a wonderful country to call home.