Saturday, September 30, 2006


Gotta add these to my Christmas shopping list! - 'Idiot' barb gets passenger detained - Sep 28, 2006

It appears that anti-American extremists have finally, completely succeeded in their efforts to destroy American freedom: - 'Idiot' barb gets passenger detained - Sep 28, 2006 . I know that the average American knows better than to allow this nonsense to continue. Might I suggest revolution? Or impeachment? Perhaps a class action suit against the officials now administering 'security'? Do you remember what a free society was like?

Debra and Tom have suggested that we're wiping our bottoms with sandpaper up here in the North! Take a look, folks. We're got all the amenities and we're not paying outrageous prices for them either.

Here's what they did to our beautiful holly. It was the height of the right branch. And it wasn't an axe that destroyed it, it was a saw through at least a foot (diameter) of trunk. The cut that's visible is to a narrower branch.

Friday, September 29, 2006


The new neighbours haven't made much of an impression. Peter went out into the backyard and discovered the fellow chopping the top off a (previously) beautiful holly tree in our yard. The fellow's excuse - his wife said it was their tree. On our property!! I don't know whether I'm more unhappy or angry. I don't think the tree is going to survive because he cut it in half. It was an absolutely beautiful holly too.

I'm starting to get the feeling that perhaps this isn't my day... a little dog was just visiting and got so excited that he puddled on my shoe - while I was wearing it!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Minx has an interesting item about a Cambridge University pronouncement. Aaprptnely lteter odrer in the bdoy of a wrod is icnsoneequntail. As lnog as the fsrit and lsat lterets are crorcet our bianrs are albe to rfseuflhe tehm.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Connecticut Amazon

Debra's just set up a 'Deblog-centric Amazon store' on her site. Read about it here. Over on the left side of her page, under the crossword puzzle picture, she's got nice little links for you to click on and you can do all your Amazon shopping there. It would be really nice if you'd consider doing your buying by going through her link; I think she might benefit and it's not going to add anything to your bill.

We Move at a Slower Pace Here

They could only get away with this in Canada. I've 'cut and pasted' my Amazon order below. Note how the order was placed September 17. Take a look at the delivery estimate!

Order Date: Sep 17 2006 Order #: 701-2694270-0071524 Recipient: Susan Barr
Items not yet shipped: Delivery estimate: Oct 25 2006 - Nov 13 2006
1 of: One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead
1 of: Vanish: a Novel
1 of: The Tipping Point : How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
1 of: Genius : A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds
1 of: Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time

Artichoke Flowers

It's a shame to let artichokes go to flower - they taste so good before that stage! The store-bought artichokes just don't measure up to the home-grown variety either. Clare wanted to know what an artichoke flower looks like. Aren't they beautiful?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Peter's Magnificent Creation

He's been working on it for some time, and it's finally done! There are a few minor 'kinks' to iron out, but it actually works amazingly well.

It's all-electric operation, designed for use into the 'feeble' years. The tracks extend out over the beach, then the leading edge descends to the beach. The boat is lowered slowly, riding on a little 'dolly' which is now equipped with large tires. When the boat has reached the beach, the dolly comes off the tracks, the boat is wheeled to the water's edge and can be launched without trouble. Surprisingly, the reverse operation is just as simple and effortless.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Can You Name This?

I guarantee that you know the name of this flower. Can you come up with it?

I think it's time to tell you. Great guess, Maxine. Amazing guess, Kimmy! I had never seen the flower before. It's ginger. I made stirfry a while ago and had a bit of leftover ginger, about the size of my thumb. After a few days I spotted a little green tip and decided to try growing it. It's not the most impressive plant, but it's certainly an interesting one.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Romancing the Stone Cold

Debra gets the BEST STUFF! This one's courtesy of her friend, 'Eric the Blogless'. Eric sounds like a fun guy with seriously perverse reading habits. - Blair wife quizzed on pretend slap - Sep 17, 2006

Now why does the media choose the WORST possible picture to publish? - Blair wife quizzed on pretend slap - Sep 17, 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006


Time Magazine reports: "The smaller aperture of the lid has been designed to prevent hedgehogs from entering the McFlurry container in the unfortunate incidence that the lid is littered"... (part of a statement from McDonald's regarding the decision to redesign their cups after protests from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society claiming that animals are trapped after trying to eat leftover ice cream and then starve to death. )

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Profile in Courage - Gabriel

Lee over at Lowebrow is a resident of Germany. She recently posted an item about her son , Gabriel, that I can't get out of my mind. He's a very special young man and she's proud of him. Not much wonder. He has empathy, character, and rare courage. Surprisingly, the 'villain' in Lee's story also seems to have recognized this.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Your Opinion, Please

Peter and I went to Home Depot tonight to buy some electrical conduit for his Magnificent Construction (I'll tell you more about that later). When we went into the store, alarms sounded. That's happened to me before. I mentioned it to the clerk before we left the store and she said it might have been my cellphone or, delicately, perhaps a bra. "Not mine", I told her. We proceeded through the door -- alarms sounded , heads swivelled, staff came running. Our clerk called out "It's just her cellphone".

I'm starting to get a little edgy about this. I don't want to be an old crank, but I also don't want to be embarrassed or harassed. What do I do? I must say, I have a tendency to get 'uppity' when people step on my toes and I can envision a scene. I don't want to be difficult with someone who's just trying to earn a living, but I do want to be left alone. Okay, I'm not carrying anything embarrassing in my purse - no guns, no hypodermic needles, no adult diapers. No 'hot' merchandise! I'm not afraid of someone seeing the contents of my purse, but what about the 'other guy', the person who would be humiliated by such an intrusion?

If it comes to the point that they ask to inspect my purse, I'm going to have to fight, aren't I?

Skint's Books Just Arrived!

Remember those books Skint mailed to me on August 10? They arrived just a few minutes ago. The exterior of the package was horribly mutilated but Skint did an excellent job of packing them so the books arrived in pristine condition. Thanks Skint!

My earlier post about the Canadian postal service was quite prophetic, wasn't it? Actually, I think my books travelled farther afield than originally planned because I can't identify some of the language rubber-stamped onto the remains of Skint's package. There's a plastic overwrap that's exclusively French-language, but there's also a stamp "antananarivo-tri.., etc." I wonder where it was? All very exotic.

Fiddling in Japanese

Thinkingwoman has "Fiddler on the Roof in Japanese" on her blog. It looks like it also attracted a racist comment... Never mind, that's humanity for you. Anyway, if you're at all familiar with the original Fiddler, you'll get a kick out of this. It's long, but I had to watch the whole thing, trying to interpret it for myself. It seems that 'sheeshkara' or something like that means 'tradition' in Japanese.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting - The FRAUDfiles Fraud Blog

If you don't feel rotten enough today, go here: Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting - The FRAUDfiles Fraud Blog There's a list of the 2,996 participants in the 9/11 tribute to victims. I've been reading tributes for much of the day...Talk about heartbreaking!

Photo above 'borrowed' from Vanessa at L.A.Woman

Friday, September 08, 2006

You really should go check out Minx' post "Geography of a Woman/Geography of a Man"! It's well worth reading.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My baby started his second year at the University of Victoria today! He hasn't changed much, has he?

Life is an Interesting Business

Isn't it? You never know where a day will take you. I won't bother with the other items I was going to post because today took an unexpected turn. Peter picked up the telephone this afternoon and had a conversation which seemed typical of the ones in which I prompt from the background "Tell them we're not interested!" The person on the other end of the line was doing most of the talking and Peter's responses were congenial, reserved, receptive...odd. He got off the 'phone and told me that it was Sand's Funeral Home who had buried his father in 1983. They had been contacted by a retired Vancouver police officer... What? Said police officer had provided detailed data on Peter's father and believes that Peter's father was also his father. He had contacted the funeral home in an effort to connect with family. Actually, it was all very polite and civilized. Our new brother telephoned a couple of hours ago and I chatted with him for about half an hour and then handed the phone over to Peter for another hour's chat. He sounds like a very nice man and by his description, he probably looks like a Peter clone. Also over six feet. Also 'big'. Jet black hair until he got older. Bald on top. We're looking forward to meeting him.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Debra from The Deblog and has a *BAFAB Week contest running on her blog right now.

*BAFAB (Buy a Friend a Book) Week (see is a holiday you celebrate by surprising a friend with a thoughtfully selected book. BAFAB Weeks come around four times a year, the first weeks of every January, April, July, and October.

To participate in Debra's contest, she wants you to complete the following meme, post it on your blog and tell her about it with a comment at book-blog - with a link to your post - on or before September 29, 2006.

My meme is going to look significantly different from everyone else's, I suspect, because I don't read much in the way of fiction. I favour poetry, history and science. Debra's book reviews have pointed me to some alternative reading recently, though. Here's what's in my Amazon basket right now:

One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead, by Clare Dudman
Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor, Laura Schaafer
Vanish, Tess Gerritsen
The Ruins, Scott Smith
Exercises in Style, Raymond Queneau
The Dark is Rising Sequence, Susan Cooper

The Win a Free Book for BAFAB* Meme!

1. What are you reading now? I read poetry all the time, choosing randomly from a very large collection. Right now it's Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I'm not sure what to think of him - he's interesting... Not exactly my 'cup of tea', but I think I might choose Ferlinghetti or John Ciardi collections for that 'stranded-on-a-desert-island' question in another meme. I'd probably end up hating them by the time I got off the island, but there's plenty of material to ponder with those poets!
2. What's the best book you've read this year? Trying Neaira, by Debra Hamel.
3. What's your favorite work of historical fiction? Trying Neaira, by Debra Hamel. It's a good book and I'm quite thrilled to 'know' the author.
4. Pick a random book from your shelves and write down its first sentence. Does it make you want to read more? "It was a museum, in a way like any other, this Musee de l'Homme, Museum of Man, situated on a pleasant eminence with, from the restaurant plaza in back, a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower." Yes, I'd say that the sentence successfully draws the reader in.
5. Have you ever read a book and wished that you'd written it? What was it? "Lord of the Rings" - wonderfully creative, Tolkien wrote beautifully.
6. What book on your shelves do you wish you'd never bought? "The Gun Seller", by Hugh Laurie. I found it disappointing.
7. Have you ever bought someone a book for BAFAB? Yes. I've participated in the last two BAFAB weeks.
8. What book do you really wish someone would buy you for BAFAB? Now, if I fill this in I'm going to look like I'm soliciting a present! Here's one I'm asking for for Christmas - "Reminiscences of Wordsworth Among the Peasantry of Westmoreland", by Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley.

Next part of the meme requirement:
9. Go to and leave a comment mentioning your post. Remember to include your permalink in the comment. O.K., in a minute...
10. Tag three people. That's difficult. I hope you ladies won't mind.... Marie? Minx? Lee?


I think Maxine should be back soon. She's been gone two weeks, driving through France. I've spent the last two weeks driving back and forth between home and Costco. Hope it's been a lovely holiday, Maxine!