Saturday, June 30, 2007

Seen on a waterfront walk

Can you read the little flag? It says "Shame". We have very high standards in this community...

Chez Sack

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Eight Random Facts

Clare from "Keeper of the Snails" has tagged me for a meme.

Here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves.
3. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves.
4. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged (named and shamed).
5. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged (cut and run).

Eight Random Facts

1. My parents were unhappy, unwise intellectuals.

2. I was raised in a volatile, high-stress household and for the first thirty years of my life I was what my husband would call a "shrieker".

3. Recognizing my own frailty I sought out and married the perfect man - a great soul, a mahatma.

4. I would describe myself as normally very sensible and practical and yet I am still haunted by a dream suggestive of reincarnation which I had when I was only five or six years old.

5. I've achieved all I wish to achieve, but I regret my lack of education.

6. I can 'read' faces and expressions very well and because of this I'm hesitant to get involved with people. Still, I find it easy to treat most people with respect.

7. Two members of my family (none I've mentioned here!) were bi-polar. Medication made them worse and so I'm very leery of doctors and medication myself. Surely I must be the weakest link in my family chain, but it probably doesn't show. I have a 'mood gauge', my attitude to Peter (the mahatma). If I ever catch myself muttering negative comments about him under my breath I know that there must be something wrong with me. I take stress-formula (B plus C) or just plain B vitamins. Invariably Peter is his old adorable self within a day or two.

8. I'm very happy with my family. Of course I think the children are physically beautiful and intellectually gifted, but, more importantly, they are good and decent people. Each one of them can be relied upon to do the right and kind thing.

Now I am required to tag eight people. Eight! Eight people who would probably prefer to spit on my shoe... Please consider playing along, but I know some people are cool to memes so there will be no hard feelings should you opt to spit on my shoe.

Eight People:

Debra, from the deblog
Maxine, from Petrona
Tom, from Random Thinking
Kimmy, from The Smug Cloud
Doug, from Crossword Bebop
Jan, from Jan's Writing Journal
My new friend, Herry, from Herry's Journal
Ian, from This Writing Life

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I have to face facts, if some (fool) were to do a movie of my life the best choice to play Susan would be Colin Firth in 'drag'. Not that I have a gender-identity problem, it's just that I see my nature as being a Colin Firth character. Decent enough, but lacking that external 'sparkle'.

This train of thought was set in motion by blog posts from Debra and Clare. Debra's is an amusing story about plumbing problems on a Continental Airlines flight. Clare's relates her discomfort hearing the activity of a wasp nest in her attic. My 'take' on both stories is so pragmatic and dull. What do I do? I am concerned about the effect on Continental's business and I consider the first step for dealing with a disturbing noise. It's funny, once I was a 'creative' sort of person. I think that the demands of dealing with life efficiently have turned me into a dray horse. Perhaps I should start drinking or something...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Botanical Beach

Peter and I trekked down to Botanical Beach today. At the west end of Juan de Fuca Park, it's one of the richest tidal areas on the west coast. The shoreline is unique, with ridges of shale and quartz jutting up through black basalt.

The drive took about two and a quarter hours on a narrow former logging road. The area is rain forest and more often than not foggy and dripping rain. It was a lovely day today though. After arriving at the parking area, about two kilometres from the beach, we descended a steep wooded trail, past wild columbine and trillium. Signs warned that black bears and cougar could be seen at any time. I was more alarmed by a fellow walking behind us singing at the top of his lungs (perhaps intent on driving bears away?). He sounded like a tone-deaf Johnny Cash and the lyric he sang seemed somewhat threatening.

The tides are at their lowest at this time of the year and visitors can walk out across the sandstone to look into tidal pools full of marine life trapped when the tides recede. It's really a lovely spot, but the access is a little challenging. Tomorrow I'll probably be writing about my aches and pains!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Elderly desperadoes

Victoria has a large population of senior citizens. Now, in answer to the growing threat, the city has introduced suitable restraints. Only in Victoria...

Lateral Thinking

Another 'lateral thinking' item, this one proves to me that I'm not fit to survive in the real world.

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village money-lender. The money-lender, who was old and ugly, fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter. He proposed a bargain. He said he would forgive the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter.

Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. The girl would pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the money-lender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her? Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the money lender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to consider the story. It is used in the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking. The girl's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if she chooses the above logical answers. What would you recommend the girl do?

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the money-lender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.


Most complex problems do have a simple solution. We just don't usually think them through to achieve an answer.

Lesson learned by Susan: Don't even try to live by your wits! It never once occurred to me to try a 'tricky' approach. My solution was to simply draw out both pebbles and expose the deceit. As my friend Sender would have said "This will not help you, Susan!"

Martha sent me this - just a sweet 'zen' moment.