Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Science & Technology at Scientific Blood Transfusions Might Aid Treatment of Bird Flu

Here's an interesting article on treatment possibilities in the event of pandemic. Science & Technology at Scientific Blood Transfusions Might Aid Treatment of Bird Flu Have any of you given any thought to how prepared you are for the possibility of pandemic flu? It seriously concerns me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wounded in Action

My eye is horribly red...I think Parmesan cheese is the chief irritant. I know I'll enjoy this story later because it really was a ridiculous scene, but right now my eye hurts too much to laugh. I made a Caesar salad for dinner tonight and took a giant Costco-size bottle of ready-made dressing out of the fridge. Someone - I can't name names, but the chief suspect is a blue-eyed twenty year old male - someone had recently used the same dressing and returned the bottle to the refrigerator with the cap improperly secured. Oblivious, I held the bottle in both hands, at shoulder height and shook vigorously. What happened - I've never seen anything like it in my life. Well, I didn't actually see it because my eyes were full of Caesar dressing. And the front of my dress. And the floor. The only thing that wasn't covered with Caesar dressing was my salad.

The language coming out of my kitchen these days is simply disgusting.

The Brights' Net - Home Page

Have you heard about this bunch? The Brights' Net - Home Page I was visiting Scott Feldstein's page today and he identified himself as a "Bright". Sounds interesting.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

failure - Google Search

failure - Google Search My son tells me that there's a similar item if you do a search on Google for "french military victories", then click on "I'm feeling lucky".

Do this now!

Do this now, before Google fixes it! Go to Google, type in 'failure' and see what comes up as the first entry!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Over on the right there, under my picture, under the "Countdown to BAFAB Week"and under the visitor tally, I just put in a little feature. It shows some of Debra's latest book reviews and there are excerpts from other random reviews that change each time the page is loaded. Watch for the one about the naked guy popping up all over the place. And I like the one about the woman who decides to take up stalking. Aside from the fact that the naked guy excerpt got my undivided attention, I think this little addition makes me look a lot more intelligent, don't you agree?

If you know my email address you should know how very apt it is right now. Did I mention that Nico, the pup we're babysitting, is not housetrained? I sat out on the lawn with him for hours today. Nothing. Then, thirty seconds after we came back indoors, he made a lovely puddle in the middle of the kitchen floor. We lucked out with one offering of the solid variety on a newspaper but found a second under a group of hibiscus plants and a third on my son's bedroom floor. The puddles have been everywhere. Fortunately, our downstairs area is all tile but the wee fellow has also christened the hallway rug upstairs. I think we have five more days of this. Makes Minx' vegans sound like pretty attractive guests. Our guest even does rude things against your arms and legs. Vegans don't do that, do they, Minx?

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm a Grandbitch!

I came into our 'media room' (this is humour..the room is a horror) to read blogs. I'm up-to-the-minute now on all my favourites - The Deblog, The Inner Minx, Skintwriter, Keeper of the Snails, As It Happens, lowebrow, verbatim, Aces Full of Links, Crossword BeBop, Deep Thinker, Light reading, Woulda Coulda Shoulda, this is not a blog and new naughty favourite The Gideonse Bible. I'd like to get up now and draw the curtains. I'd like to put on the light. I'd really like to go to the bathroom! But there's the tiniest dog imaginable curled up between my feet and the legs of my chair. His name is Nico and he belongs to my son's girlfriend. I guess because he's a lady's dog Nico finds me a safe 'port'. We're babysitting him while the son and girlfriend are off on a week-long hike around Cape Scott (the Northern tip of Vancouver Island). Nico has spent much of his day glued to me. I'm definitely going to have to take antihistamines tonight because Nico has fleas and I am so allergic to fleas! He's an adorable little guy though - I'll get a picture of him to post later. He's a chihuahua, but not one of those hairless brown things. He's warm and furry and looks more like a miniature Doberman pinscher. Peter thinks he should have been named Mickey (as in 'Mouse').

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Boy, Ted's gonna go to Hell. This is really sacrilegious. For goodness' sake don't even consider going to look unless you're a very liberal-minded person. I guess I'll be in one of the lesser levels of purgatory because I couldn't help laughing. Every time I watched it.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Where on earth is Clare? I keep trying to load her blog, but it's not there! Please come back Clare.

Now here's a very clever fellow named Ted whose blog I found through Thinking Woman. Bright, bright people! Ted has a totally inappropriate picture of someone's homemade political sign (Don't blame me, blame Ted) posted near his book meme responses.

Friday, August 18, 2006 - Vat's ridiculous - Aug 18, 2006

Maybe this would cure my addiction to chocolate. - Vat's ridiculous - Aug 18, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Debra's Haiku

Boy, did that Debra ever just give us a tongue-lashing. Alright already! She's got a haiku contest (here's the info on that if you'd like to enter) over at Book-Blog. Briefly, you need to write a haiku using the word prose, post it on your blog, link to the Book-Blog, and tell Debra about it. I put in TWO links, Debra! I think I should win. The contest closes August 31.

Here is my entry:

Other peoples' rules
Haiku counting syllables
Prose is more my style

(I think it's all in the presentation myself.)

Do click on the pictures below to see them full-size!

Peter and I drove to Port Renfrew today, about seventy-five miles through second and third-growth forest. It's still beautiful because the region has been 'managed' for many years and is constantly being renewed. You wouldn't know that it had ever been logged. The scenery and excellent salmon fishing make it a bustling tourist destination now. We saw fishermen bringing in quite a number of nice big Chum salmon today.

En route we saw a black bear cross the road in front of our car. Peter said he would have weighed about three hundred fifty pounds. We also spotted deer by the road, but they're very common here (We saw one a block away from our home this week.)

Between Port Renfrew and Bamfield, hikers can travel the forty-seven mile West Coast Trail, cleared originally as a rescue trail for shipwreck survivors. About a hundred years ago there was a notable shipwreck in the area of Bamfield that had passengers make it to shore but die for lack of access to help. The West Coast Trail is not an easy hike. There are parts of it that can only be traversed at low tide and hikers who ignored posted warnings have been swept out to sea.

I love this part of the island! The east coast has a much larger population and is quite benign. The west coast is rugged and beautiful.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rebecca S. for President

I think Debra's daughter, Rebecca S., is presidential material! Debra has a posting about the five top items her children have said that still make her laugh. Rebecca's comments are funny, sure, but they're so insightful as to be somewhat unnerving. This young lady sizes up a situation brilliantly and is not afraid to tell it like it is. Add to that a level of wisdom and restraint which I can only envy... Maybe I should ask for her autograph now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This is an interesting item about the "Vanishing Y Chromosome". You'll enjoy the comments too!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Canadian Post Office

Over on Skint's blog I recently had occasion to comment on the relative unreliability of the Canadian postal system. Truth be told, we don't seem to have a 'system'. We've got something more like a part-time delivery service manned by such likeable, affable people that one would hate to complain to them. We wouldn't want to ruin anybody's day.

The people working behind the counters at the post office are always civilized and pleasant. Our posties are charming fellows. "Darling Tom" acquired his name when he caught me by surprise one day after Peter told him to "just go on inside" to use our telephone. My affectionate greeting caught him a bit off-guard too! Our current postie is Phil, a somewhat hefty fellow who seems to always be half running along his route. How could we ever complain about the fact that sometimes our mail takes weeks to travel under a hundred miles? Or about the "Special Delivery" letter that was mailed from the U.S. on December 24th and took ten days to arrive? Fact is, that's not all that important. Most Canadians probably realize that if it's a matter of 'life and death' you'd be best not to rely on our post office. However, I've got a story for you about one time when the Canadian postal service SHONE.

I was holidaying in the American midwest when I saw something...can't remember what...that I knew a particular friend back in Canada would find interesting. I picked up a postcard to send, but I didn't know her address. She lived in a rural section of a large (2 million people) community at the time. I wrote my postcard and in the address section I started off with "I have faith in the Canadian post office..." and I went on to describe where she lived "in a little grey house, near the farms, at the South side of the Massey Bridge, Delta, B.C. " My postcard would have gone through a series of huge sorting centres and all along the line there was some affable Canadian postal employee moving it onward. It actually only took about ten days to arrive at my friend's house! Now that's what I call a postal service! They won't be hearing any complaints from me!

I'm a big, fat copycat! I was just visiting Maxine's blog and found that she's added just a touch of colour to the page. It looks so nice, I'm playing with it here. O.K., "too much, no good.."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Walker and The Three Bears

Skint's books are ready! He's got a post titled "Les books est arrive" in which he mentions a certain "lovely Susan". That's ME! Skint's not only written the books, he's published them too. If you order "The Walker" you'll see that he also posed for the front cover. Skint promised me a really gushing autograph in my books. I'm sure he'd autograph one for you too - it just wouldn't be quite as good as what I'll be getting...

Haiku Contest

The Deblog has a haiku contest running. Go on - you can do a haiku! I still don't know how to do a link directly to a particular post in someone else's blog, so you're going to have to scroll down and find the contest, but here's a little of what Debra's posted about it...

(1) Write a haiku that contains the word "prose"--used either as a proper noun or not.
(2) Post your haiku on your blog, with a link to the giveaway at
(3) Let me know about your post by adding a comment here or at
Post your haikus on or before August 30th, 2006. I'll collect the entries and my daughter (aged ten) and I will pore through them and decide which we like the best. I'll announce a winner on August 31st.

Here we go, Douglas just taught me how to do the link directly to Debra's contest. Thanks so much for the tutoring, Douglas! (Good man and a damned fine poet! Make sure you enter that haiku, Douglas - I think it's very, very good.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 : Comma quirk irks Rogers

I feel so guilty about enjoying this article: : Comma quirk irks Rogers A large Canadian company thought they had a five-year contract for the use of utility poles. Turns out somebody with the other company is a stickler for punctuation! One misplaced comma is likely to translate to a $2.13 million cost to Rogers. There's one English major wearing a big smile right now!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bagel Recipe

Lee from Lowebrow was complaining that she can't get any decent bagels. Here's a very nice bagel recipe for you to try out, Lee.

You need: 1 packet yeast, 1/2 cup lukewarm water (105-115F), 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon margarine or oil, 3/4 cup scalded milk or lukewarm water.

Sprinkle yeast over 1/2 c. lukewarm water. Let stand 8 to 10 minutes, then stir to dissolve.

Using your food processor with steel blade: place flour, sugar, salt and shortening in processor. Process 6-8 seconds. Add dissolved yeast and process about 10 seconds. Add milk or water through feedtube while machine is running. Process until dough forms a ball on the blades. Let machine knead dough about 30 to 40 seconds from the time the ball stage is reached. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Round up in a large greased bowl, cover with foil, and let rise for 20 minutes. Punch down.

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (a little too small for my taste...I divide into 8). Roll each piece between the palms of your hands into an 8-inch rope. Join ends to form a ring. Let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon honey. Drop 3 or 4 bagels at a time into boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds; flip over quickly and then remove from water. Repeat with remaining bagels.

Dip in poppy or sesame seeds (or leave plain). Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 25 minutes, until well browned. It may be necessary to turn the bagel over for even browning.

It's a good recipe, Lee and probably worth making if you can't find any 'authentic' bagels in the store.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I wish the picture was better! I didn't have time to get around to a better angle because this little scene unfolded so quickly. Peter and I were driving through the park today when we drove by a baby crow standing on the white line down the centre of the road. Baby crows look very much like adult crows and are primarily identifiable by their supreme awkwardness and stupidity. Peter looked down, horrified, at the poor vulnerable little thing. Adult crows were circling overhead and cars were zipping by. We drove on about a block and Peter made a nifty little u-turn. We found a spot to park the car and just as we were hurrying up the road toward the baby a car came along, straddled the bird and drove right over it! The wee fellow survived it. Another car turned directly into its path and came to a dead stop as Peter and I ran forward. Bless the lady's heart, she stayed put and waited while Peter performed the rescue. It's not all that pleasant saving crows, actually, because they're an ungrateful lot and the adults were dive-bombing Peter all the while. Baby, probably not even a fledgling, showed his natural feistiness and snapped at his rescuer. Still, he got safely to the bushes and he has a chance of surviving. We've seen this sort of thing before and observed happy conclusions.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Scenes from Oak Bay
100th anniversary, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"These are the days of our lives..."

Peter and I went out for breakfast the other morning after a visit to his chiropractor. We had an unhealthy meal of bacon, sausages, eggs, hashed brown potatoes and toast. Peter took a forkful of the slightly-unhealthier-than usual hashbrowns and said "Mmm, this grease tastes so good!" (We did make up for it with a healthy supper.)

We often eat breakfast at this same restaurant and we were 'adopted' by a little waitress there. I don't know what she sees in us, but she's a sweet girl, divorced and raising two children. On our latest visit we got a little more than we had bargained for. On previous visits we'd heard about her impending move and her excitement about building a new life with her boyfriend. This time, though, she sat down on the bench beside me and announced "G. left me!" Then she burst into tears. Poor girl. So there I was, sitting in the restaurant, hugging our waitress. She had a multitude of problems and Peter and I volunteered to help a little, so a couple of days later we went over to her home with our minivan and an open trailer attached. We loaded various small household items into the trailer and critters into the back of the van. There was one giant cage with two rabbits, two smaller cages each holding a rabbit, another cage with hamsters running on a little exercise wheel and a large cage holding a cockatiel. Once everything was loaded there was room left in the van for two people. Unfortunately, we had three people because we also had to transport one very sweet little girl. I didn't want the wee girl to be any more uncomfortable than necessary so she got the seat and seatbelt and I got to place one half of my bottom on the seat and kind of 'float' through traffic for what felt like a very long thirty-minute drive. There's not much more to the story than that, but it's an example of how you never know where a day might take you, possibly even to a surprise trip on Noah's Ark!