Monday, October 31, 2005

Dinner So Not Chez Nag

"What to talk about:
How is the stuff we pulled out of the pumpkin like sin in our heart? (They're both yucky; sin is inside us; it's sticky and smelly.)
How is the way we cleaned out the pumpkin like the way Jesus cleans us out when we confess our sins? (All the yucky stuff is taken away; Jesus scoops out the sin"
Via J-Walk

Dinner Chez Nag

Dinner avec la famille. Nag Jr. was raggin' on about how he hates Gene Simmons, Tom Cruise and Dr. Phil. To which I responded, "What, no bitches?" For some reason this broke them up.

Caught Between a Rock ....

We have a full house here, just for the next little while. Last night Baby Nag had the phone monopolized, he could win a girlfriendchat marathon.
Nag Jr. was watching a TV program downstairs that featured hot guys wearing their girlfriends' underwear. Mr. Nag was in the bedroom listening to the soundtrack of "The Wizard of Oz" on JazzFM (really). What was I to do, where was I to go? I opted to lie down beside Mr. Nag, guessing that he'd fall asleep within moments, having worked the night shift the previous night. I guessed right. I turned off the Cowardly Lion (hope you found courage, buddy; if not, try ebay), and settled into my new ObusForm pillows to read Madame Bovary.

Plamegate, The Movie.

As usual Mr Sun makes some of the most cogent comments on the web. Think this is a joke? Don't kid yourself. This, with only minor variations, will be appearing as a movie-of-the-week.

Sewage activist wiped off B.C. ballot

At last a politician who cuts through the crap.
"VICTORIA When you're a two-metre tall human turd, who talks with a falsetto voice and wears a slightly tilted sailor's cap, you're used to turning heads, as well as stomachs.So James Skwarok, better known by the name of his character, Mr. Floatie, was certainly expecting to draw attention when he threw that cap into the ring in a bid to be mayor of Victoria. In fact, as leader of the campaign to get sewage treatment here, he counts on it to tell all who will listen that the City of Gardens uses the Pacific Ocean as its toilet."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fall Back

Hope you've re-set your clocks. Wouldn't want to be late for work boop-oop-a-doop!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Paris photo album

I'm already gearing up for our trip to Paris in the spring, lining up the apartment, reading the blogs, etc. 40 Days in Paris has a lot of great photos just guaranteed to whet my appetite. Click the link below for the slideshow.

Woman's body mistaken for Halloween decoration

A word to the wise: Timing is everything.
"The apparent suicide of a woman found hanged in a tree was ignored for hours because neighbours thought she was a Halloween decoration."

Rusty is a homosexual

"Rusty threw open the window. 'Oh, no!' he cried. 'The house is on fire! Mother! Father!' Rusty felt the door as he learned at school. The door was hot, so Rusty stayed in his room and yelled for help from his window.
A big strong fireman came up on a ladder and carried Rusty to safety. Rusty hid his face against the fireman's uniform until they were safe on the ground. Rusty was very glad to see that his whole family was safe.
'That's a good dog you have,' said the fireman. 'He saved your family! And we got here in time, so your house is barely damaged.'
The next night, Rusty couldn't sleep. He thought about the fireman. He thought about how warm and muscular the fireman had felt through his uniform. Remembering the fireman gave Rusty a funny feeling. He wished he could be together with the fireman again. "

Don't worry, Rusty, it's perfectly normal to have those feelings. I know a big brave firefighter who makes me feel the same way and I'm not a homosexual.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Move On, Dudes

I know/hope that my readers tossed those "Vote For Pedro" t-shirts long ago. This is cute but even I know that Napoleon Dynamite is soooo last year. If this was a geek check, though, I guess it worked - after all I posted it.

Sky-high cost of living makes life much harder to stomach

We should all feel a twinge of shame at the heartbreaking stories coming out of Kashechewan. The provincial Liberals' finger pointing is a true embarrassment. I watched Studio 2 the other night and watched David Ramsay perform more twists than a contortionist as he tried to avoid any blame for the Third World conditions in which our First Nations live. Everyone knew, no one did anything. I believe that conditions are nearly as bad on other Northern reserves. Even those living on more prosperous Southern reserves often lack indoor plumbing and many other amenities that the rest of us view as essentials.
"KASHECHEWAN RESERVE Daily life here revolves around a few places, but none holds the kind of grip on residents that the Northern Store does. It is the only game in town, the modern-day version of the Hudson Bay trading post. But instead of fur changing hands, it's cold hard cash and lots of it. A jar of Cheese Whiz costs $17.39, a box of concentrated Tide fetches $21.89, a package of 30 diapers sells for $21.99, a 24-pack of Cottonelle, $19.39 and wieners, $11.19."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wal-Mart Urges Congress to Raise Minimum Wage

Of course there's a method to their madness:
"The proposal to lift minimum wage is particularly likely to raise eyebrows. Though Wal-Mart pays above the current $5.15 an hour minimum wage -- the average hourly wage among its 1.3 million U.S. workers is just under $10 an hour -- some of its smaller competitors don't pay as much. As a result, a boost in the minimum wage could pressure the profitability of Wal-Mart competitors."

What Would Jesus Brew?

"STARBUCKS coffee cups will soon be emblazoned with a religious quotation from Rick Warren, the best-selling author and pastor, which includes the line, 'You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.'"
So God is now endorsing overpriced, over-hyped coffee drinks. Tacky or what?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Birthday in May? Then you're right to think you were born lucky

I was born in May. I look at when animals have their young and it's in the spring. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.
"There are people who believe they were born lucky. And some who believe they were not. And the difference between them, according to new research, is about six months. If your birthday is in May you are probably one of the lucky people, whereas November babies tend to get a raw deal, psychologists say."

If Animals Had Day Jobs

If an animal had Mr. Nag's job. There wasn't one for the manager of a national historic site.

I'm Mad at Blogger

I have 2 blogs, this one and one that deals with more literary topics. I can't seem to post directly to the other blog from Explorer any more. For a while Explorer just shut down when I tried to post to my other blog. Now it just pretends to post to My Own Private Book Club but the post appears here and I have to delete it. What's with that?

Folk Remedies Index - Health 911

There are remedies listed on this site for anything that ails you. I sometimes have a reaction to the histamines in red wine. I am told that I should let the glass of wine sit for 30 minutes and the histamines will dissipate into the air. ( I know you're thinking,"Like she could wait that long").

Whatever Happened to....

Just the other day I was wondering what OJ is up to (I'd been watching a bit about his trial on TV - it's not like I think about him all the time). Looks like he's managing just fine and has been touring my town, Niagara on the Lake. It appears that his ego wasn't damaged one iota by his nasty scrape with the justice system. He thought Inniskillin Winery was hosting a reception for him. Would anyone actually do that?

Rosa Parks, 92: Civil rights hero

"Rosa Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., almost 50 years ago grew into a mythic event that helped touch off the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, died Monday. She was 92 years old."

Monday, October 24, 2005

In The Spirit of the Season: Extreme Pumpkins

The Puking Pumpkin:

"An extreme pumpkin circa 2002. At that time I began to think that pumpkin carving should be more gross and less girly. It was at that time that I started to experiment by carving pumpkins with power tools. Early experiments didn't go so well. Eventually, I developed some strong techniques.

This website is designed to share those techniques"

Ottawa caves to lobbyists on do-not-call law

What, I ask you, is the point of this:
"Last week, committee members engaged in a sad display of self-congratulation, as a two-hour House of Commons debate on the bill became an opportunity for several Members of Parliament to highlight their work in limiting the bill's effectiveness.
Committee members claimed that the exception for political parties is needed to allow for 'freedom of speech and for get out the vote campaigns.'
Similarly, an exception for polling companies was deemed to be essential because a truly effective do-not-call list could lead to 'unrepresentative samples of the Canadian public created by unreliable survey results.'
No one seemed to consider whether polling companies have alternate means of conducting surveys without resorting to invasive phone calls.
The reliance on telemarketing by charities and businesses was cited as the primary reason for those exceptions. One MP claimed that without the exception, charities 'would have been condemned to die,' while the prior business relationship exception, which allows businesses to call customers 18 months after their last transaction or six months after a mere inquiry, is needed for businesses to 'survive.'"

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Remembering Susan by David Horowitz

I found this memorial of Susan Lydon from Front Page Magazine to be very affecting. I knew a lot of people who slid down the very slippery slope that was the 60's. Some are dead, some are damaged beyond repair, most are just fine, thank you very much, because they only flirted with danger, were never totally absorbed by it. I can't say that too many of the real casualties truly pulled themselves out of the abyss.
"This was a woman for each of us to remember. What she achieved in her life was an authentic liberation. She went into the valley of the dead and came back with an appetite for the truth and a gift of renewal. If only we will receive it."


From John Sakamoto's 10 Things We Learned This Week:
A pair of D-cup breasts weighs between 15 and 23 pounds.
Ten to 20 per cent of the weight of an old pillow is dead skin and dust mites.

That does it - I'm getting breast reduction surgery and new pillows.

The Politics of Tap Water

Sometimes I think I'm the only person in North America who still drinks water out of the tap. It's free and it doesn't make me sick. Every once in a while I'll drink a bottle of fizzy water but that's different. My kids don't drink tap water and apologize to their friends if that's all we have. Well, I don't apologize and David Rakoff agrees with me, so there. In his second collection of essays Don't Get Too Comfortable he flagellates the narcissism of North Americans, including their penchant for bottled water.
"'It's safe and it's good plus there is a political reason for drinking it,' he says. 'The gas and the vehicles used to transport water all over the continent to people who already have perfectly good drinking water is wasteful and destructive to the environment. Plus, I'm such a cheapskate, it seems crazy to have to buy water in a restaurant.'"

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Family Matters

One of the reasons we visited Quebec recently was to visit the village of L'Ange Gardien where my ancestors settled in the 1600's. I guess I'm what some would call pure laine. Unfortunately, we got distracted once we got to Quebec City and decided to forego the side trip up to the Charlevoix Region. Here's a picture of the large monument to the Trudel family in L'Ange Gardien. At some point we'd like to take a trip to the original homestead of Jean Trudel in Parfondeval , now a B&B, in northern France but we'll probably get distracted again (once I'm in Paris I'm impossible to budge). Our family motto is short and to the point: Ad Sum, as in "add some more Scotch to this drink, you cheap bastard" or some such obscure Latin meaning.
This is what we missed:
"The monument stands twenty-five feet above its base which is itself four feet in height. Including the helmet, the total height of the structure is thirty (30) feet and the approximate weight is thirty-two tons. Here is the significance of each of the emblems on the monument: The cross: symbolizes the faith. The ax: symbolizes the colonist. The scythe: symbolizes the harvest. The sheaf: symbolizes abundance. Year 1645: arrival of Jean Trudelle in Canada. Ad Sum: motto of the Trudel family. The chalice: recalls the first mass in Ange-Gardien. 1664: year of this first mass. The Coat of Arms: armories of the family originating from Adrien Trudelle, of France, who was ennobled in 1696. The helmet: that of a gentleman. The monument can be seen on highway #138 along the St Lawrence river.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Open Brackets

Open Brackets is a favourite of mine. Here are some movie cliches from Gail Armstrong
"1) When a poor person walks into wealthy person's home or into a swank hotel, s/he will stop just inside the door and look up, and probably do a full turn, head back, mouth agape, awestruck by the splendour in a manner once reserved for those beholding the glory of God when entering an opulent cathedral. The message is clear: unabashed reverence of money is totally endearing.
2) When Barbara Streisand's character gets a make-over, she will look exactly the same before and after; only difference: the sudden revelation of cleavage.
3) Only old and/or unattractive people, and annoyingly precocious children in voice-off narration who have come through harrowing circumstances miraculously unscathed, can impart wisdom. The young and gorgeous may only do so if they are minutes away from death."

Candy Out of Sight Is Out of Mind

This reminds me of the old joke: I'm on a seafood diet, when I see food I eat it.

"Candy Out of Sight Is Out of Mind
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Scientists studying candy-jar psychology have confirmed what most of us know instinctively: Out of sight is out of mind.
Secretaries who were given Hershey kisses for Secretary's Week ate more of them when the jars were clear or on their desks than when the chocolates were in opaque containers or placed a short distance away."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Halloween Witnessing Tips For True Christians

1. Wait for unsaved children to come to your door and hurl a bucket full of warm lamb's blood (goat or dog blood can be substituted later in the night if you run out) all over their hair and faces. Shout - 'I plead the power of the Blood of the Perfect Lamb over you! Take that! FOUL DEMON!'
2. Dress up as the freshly resurrected Christ. To make your costume as realistic as possible: (a) use your mother's sewing needles to poke holes in your hands and stomach; (b) wear bluish makeup to look like someone who has been dead and lying around in a cave for a couple of days; and (c) stuff five pounds of week-old hamburger meat in your pockets to smell like rotting flesh. Sneak up behind people, grab them, turn them around, look them in they eyes and scream, 'Why have you forsaken me!' And then slap them very hard across the face with a palm-full of rancid hamburger meat. It will usually scare the living Hell out of little children, and they are sure to remember their first experience with Jesus for the rest of their pathetic lives.
3. Offer to exchange your giant treat bag with the small bag of an unsaved child - when he gets home, surprise! BIBLES!

Click the link to


This has always been one of my irrational fears. I never go to the bathroom in the dark. Turns out it's not so irrational after all.
" 'A 19-year-old living in one of the flats went to the loo at 2am and was quite surprised to see the snake looking back at him.
'He raced down to the garden to get a concrete block to cover the toilet seat - but it was several days more before the big capture.'
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire Service said last night: 'An occupier of a flat found the snake in his bathroom, placed a plastic bin on its side and the snake called Keith climbed in. A lid was placed on the bin and it was handed over to the RSPCA.'"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New and Improved Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? "Jessica Simpson 's Answer:
Why would he be on a road, I thought chickens lived in the ocean?"

Bad News/Good News

Foreign Policy: Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals Results

FP and Britain's Prospect magazine asked readers to vote for the top five public intellectuals from our Top 100. The results are in. See who came out on top and what the results say about the world's leading minds.

Top 20
1Noam Chomsky
2Umberto Eco
3Richard Dawkins
4Vaclav Havel
5Christopher Hitchens
6Paul Krugman
7Jorgen Habermas
8Amartya Sen
9Jared Diamond
10Salman Rushdie
11Naomi Klein
12Shirin Ebadi
13Hernando de Soto
14Bjorn Lomborg
15Abdolkarim Soroush
16Thomas Friedman
17Pope Benedict XVI
18Eric Hobsbawm
19Paul Wolfowitz
20Camille Paglia"

Flora Bush: The Child Left Behind

A touching little video
Meet Flora Bush, the daughter the President doesn't want you to know about. What's an ignored teen to do? Sing a pop song of course. Enjoy her new hit 'Get Out of Iraq (and My Room).'"

The Colbert Report

I wish I could stay awake late enough to watch this. Mr. Nag just suggested that we tape it. Anyone know a techie who can figure this one out for us?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

"Timothy Leary: Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.

Douglas Adams: Forty-two.

Nietzsche: Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.

Oliver North: National Security was at stake.

B.F. Skinner: Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to be of its own free will.

Carl Jung: The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being."


Patrick's Brother Gets Married

This is hilarious - make sure to click on the link to share in the whole experience.
"So my little brother Craig got married to a wonderful woman named Allison this weekend. I'm still not fully recovered from it all, and likely won't be for some time, but I've got a mess of photos here that I'm going to use to try and recreate the past few days' events. From what I can piece together, it was all very boozy and festive."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Edukating the new generation of radicals

The Edukators is a German film that looks like something I'd like to see - a movie with a social message and a good storyline.
"Jan is torn between morals and political action. Unbeknownst to Jule, he and Peter have been spending their nights disarming alarm systems in rich people's homes. Using Peter's knowledge of systems he once installed, they break in, rearrange the furniture and leave notes saying, 'Your days of plenty are over,' or 'You have too much money.' They sign themselves 'The Edukators.' The purpose is to make their victims feel vulnerable and perhaps question their overly comfortable lifestyles."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Canadian World Domination!

"Welcome to the General Headquarters of the Campaign for Canadian World Domination. Your future tyrants are General Claire and General Jenny. The Generals are Canadians who are taking over the world and re-designing it to suit their aims. "

Check One

via Defective Yeti

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

10 Foods You Should NEVER Eat!

"Does Mother Nature want you eating half a cup of oats coated with three teaspoons of sugar and laden with more artery-clogging fat than you'd get in a McDonald's hamburger? No doubt she'd prefer you eat low fat, low sugar, whole grain or bran cereals like Grape Nuts, Wheaties, Kelloggs AllBran, Post 100% Bran, shredded wheat, oatmeal, or Wheatena. If you're stuck on granola (and sugar), at least choose a product like Healthy Choice Low Fat Granola, Nature Valley Low Fat Fruit Granola, or Quaker 100% Natural Low Fat Granola with Raisins."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let's Give a Big Welcome to ...

My dear friend Larry, the loveable cynic, is now a blogger. I'd add him to my links but for some reason I'm having trouble with this at the moment. I tried to send him some negative comments but was rejected because I'm not on his team. Well boo hoo - who wants to be on your poopy team anyhow?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tough Decision

Just when I was ready to give up on Texas.... Actually I gave up on Texas years ago but this provides a glimmer of hope for that Bush votin', electrocutin', redneck state. What a board meeting that must have been:
"An Episcopalian school in Austin returned a $3 million donation rather than comply with a parent's request to censor the gay-themed Annie Proulx short story 'Brokeback Mountain' (recently adapted into a film). St. Andrew's Episcopal School made the unbelievably gutsy decision despite pressure from rich guys like Cary McNair, whose daddy owns the Houston Texans, and Ben Crenshaw, a professional golfer. "

Speaking of Comments

I didn't realize that anyone other than a couple of friends read my blog or would want to. Then my dog died and I got a lot of comments from kind folk who understood what I was feeling and took the time to offer condolences. Much appreciated although some of the sad stories got me weepy all over again.

Questionable Food Trends From Epicurious

A few posts ago I mentioned sea foam as a menu item. Several people asked for clarification (WTF did you mean by that?). Today I stumbled upon this article which, among other things, clarifies what I meant. It's a food staple at El Bulli which some consider to be the world's best restaurant - no, wait a minute, that was last year.
"Foam: It was a bold innovation when Ferran Adri did it six years ago. Now it's just an oddly textured, melting lump on the plate at every boite with culinary pretensions. Give us something we can bite into, please."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pathological Liars

I know an individual who is a textbook case, seriously. As I suspected, this person is a victim of biology.
"Pathological liars have less gray matter and more white matter in their prefrontal cortex, according to a report in the October issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry. Gray matter consists of the cells that do the thinking, while white matter consists of the cells that connect them."
Hey Dalton, if the finger-pointing continues, you can go into the next provincial election pleading too little grey/too much white brain matter. Yeah, that's the ticket.

DNA study of human migration

"With a swab of cheek tissue and $100, you may be able to help scientists figure out how humans spread out across the earth. "

A friend of mine received this as a gift from his son and was able to trace his roots, through his DNA, all the way back to Africa.
Here is another site that traces migration from earliest times. It's quite a journey.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fall Garden

Fall Garden
There's still a lot happening out there - asters, cleomes, zinnias, roses, cosmos, mums - just don't look too closely. I haven't weeded in two months. It was too hot to work outside most of the summer and then I just gave up, figuring the snow would cover it up soon enough.

Being Poor

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.
Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.
Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.
Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.
Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends' houses but never has friends over to yours.
Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won't hear you say 'I get free lunch' when you get to the cashier.
Being poor is living next to the freeway.
Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.
Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn't mind when you ask for help.
Being poor is off-brand toys.
Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.
Being poor is knowing you can't leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.
Being poor is hoping your kids don't have a growth spurt.
Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.
Being poor is Goodwill underwear.
Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.
Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.
Being poor is your kid's school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.
Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

CareLess Bands

Defective Yeti care band alternatives (a buck a piece):
"For those of you who have been too busy scouring thrift stories for Rubik's Cubes and parachute pants to keep abreast of current trends, 'care bands' are these rubber rings that people wear around their wrist, each of which costs about a ha' penny to manufacture and sells for, like, five bucks. People are willing to pay the markup because some amount of the money is contributed to charity, and then the band itself serves as an homage for their largess. "