Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Car Snot

What else do you call the ice that forms on the front bumper?

Majestic icicles, dribbling out of the car's nose.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is this okay?

I'm like everyone else. I've been stuck in a tight plane, with the person in front of me being a selfish twit and reclining the seat all the way back.

Yes. It's annoying. Yes. It's rude.

But does that give me the right to use these Knee Defenders? Little gadgets you put on your tray arms to stop the chair in front of you from reclining.

Oh, the designers have a little 'courtesy card' to give the person in front of you. Sort of a "hey, I'm infringing on your personal space before you infringe on mine" -- and vaguely political too:
I realize that this may be an inconvenience. If so, I hope you will complain to the airline. Maybe working together we can convince the airlines to provide enough space between rows so that people can recline their seats without banging into other passengers.
This is designed for the asshole who thinks the world revolves around him/her. The person who parks in the loading zone ("I'm just going to Starbucks." ). The person who thinks s/he is too clever to live by the rules.

Yes, the insensitive ass who fully reclines his/her airplane seat is an ass. But so are the people who think it's okay to change the rules to suit themselves.

They're all shmucks.

At least in my opinion.


Saturday, November 25, 2006


It snowed last night.

How long has it been since I lived somewhere with its 4 incredibly distinct seasons? About 8 years...

Vancouver has 3 seasons...wet with moments of sunshine, cold and wet, and just wet. But now I'm back where summer is hot and dry, autumn is windy and cool, and in winter -- it snows! I'm going to actually need to find my winter boots.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

No. Seriously. This has to stop.

51% (41% - 60%)
You seem to have a healthy balance in your life when it comes to the internet and life away from the computer. You know enough to do what you want online without looking like an idiot (most of the time). You even have your own Yahoo club or online journal! But you enjoy seeing your friends and going out to enjoy life away from your computer.

The Quiz at Quiz Meme!


Very generous, fruitful, people feel reassured around you, and willing to give their best.

Colors: male: yellow, female: orange
Compatible Signs:
The Nile, Horus
Jan 8 - Jan 21, Feb 1 - Feb 11

Role: A god of the creation of the earth; the patron god of Thebes; and the king of all the gods of Egypt
Form of a man, wearing crown with the sun disc and double feather plumes. Sometimes shown with blue skin.
Sacred animals:
ram, goose

What is Your Egyptian Zodiac Sign?
Designed by CyberWarlock of Warlock's Quizzles and Quandaries

I ignored the What's your DJ Name quiz...Ah raincoaster, you're taking me to the dark side.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Where will these tests end???

I'm The Godfather (classic movie test)


I'm Saddam Hussein (leader test)


I'm a Golden Retriever (dog test)


this one I like the most, as I've always had a special place in the pagan sector of my soul for this card:

You are The Fool

The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tests have been making the rounds lately in my circle of blogs, Nag and Raincoaster and Metro.

What's next? What flavour of yoghurt are you?

Will it ever end? Will any of them ever actually be relevant?


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beyond cultural sensitivity... the new TV show Heroes.

Not sure if I'm sold on the show yet (and we all know how little I want to be addicted to something else on TV!), but the biggest part of the show's charm to me is the absolute lack of fuss made about the various nationalities, races, what-have-you. The closest it's come to commenting on appearances ('cause trust me, no matter what colour they happen to be, they are the cutest, hottest, prettiest actors on the block!) is to have the cheerleader eschew the whole popularity thing.

I don't know if this show is for me, but producers, take note of what entertainment should be: mix up your cast to reflect the real distribution of the world, but don't make who the character is rest on what the character is.

Oh, but keep them hot, because it's a given that we'll still want our fantasies!

Like Sendhil Ramamurthy:
(And no, Metro, I'm sorry to say he doesn't look like you!)


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cultural Sensitivity

Another sensitive topic...(for Lyd, who likes the provocative posts!)

I'm working on a project with a group of people who have all done their 'cultural sensitivity training' to work with the local First Nations groups.

First, some definitions, from this site:

Cultural Knowledge: Familiarization with selected cultural characteristics, history, values, belief systems, and behaviors of the members of another ethnic group (Adams, 1995).

Cultural Awareness: Developing sensitivity and understanding of another ethnic group. This usually involves internal changes in terms of attitudes and values. Awareness and sensitivity also refer to the qualities of openness and flexibility that people develop in relation to others. Cultural awareness must be supplemented with cultural knowledge(Adams, 1995).

Cultural Sensitivity: Knowing that cultural differences as well as similarities exist, without assigning values, i.e., better or worse, right or wrong, to those cultural differences (National Maternal and Child Health Center on Cultural Competency, 1997).

But does any of this mean that people should be treated with kid gloves? I'm a little annoyed at the way statements are's hard to re-create, so I won't try, but this pussy-footing around feelings, this skittish 'oh-we-mustn't offend' attitude gets to me.

When does treating someone with the respect due them become bending over backwards to ensure no slight can even be imagined?

I'm not expressing myself clearly here...but I hear it all the time in the USA -- the We must help Them attitude that will just keep the different 'groups' separated.

And now I'm hearing it in emails like this:

...The underlying issue is simply being sensitive to cultural issues, which is what the discussions we had at our last meeting were about. The “I treat everyone the same approach” is definitely not appropriate with First Nations communities. There are very strong historical and cultural reasons for this. I have been to cultural sensitivity workshops and have learnt a lot from them, very helpful.

As far as I know, I don't discriminate, nor do I have any (undiscovered) prejudices [just don't talk to me about jocks or beauty queens!]. And I do try treat everyone with the same respect -- my question is, why does anyone have to be treated with kid gloves?

Yes, one should be aware of cultural differences.

Yes, one should strive to act in a manner appropriate to the culture you are dealing with. Never touch a Thai child on the head. Don't blow your nose at the table in Korea. Don't mention the war to Germans (sorry, couldn't resist!). And all of the really subtle things that one should try to pick up, or yes, take a class to learn.

But we are not dealing with Star Trek first encounters with alien races...we're talking about people who we share a planet with. Why would it be "definitely not appropriate"?

Who wants to be put on a pedestal and be oh-so-carefully protected? As a woman, I don't. At what point does cultural sensitivity go too far?

Talk to me people!

A short time-killer...

Folks, after my rather contentious post of the other day, I think it's time for something innocuous.

So, here is a tasty little Monopoly-based game, called Dice Mogul. It takes just the right length of time to play...long enough to give you a change of pace from work, but not so short you need to play it more than once to give yourself a break. Easy to learn, but you need to make some decisions. Essentially, Monopoly without the nasty politicking and back-stabbing.

Have fun.


Monday, November 13, 2006

An absurd generation of alarmists

Rachel Weisz makes a sane statement and gets lambasted for it.

Why does this attitude of zero tolerance make me so livid? A glass of wine once in awhile for a pregnant woman is no big deal.

Last night foetal alcohol syndrome specialist Dr Raja Mukherjee, of St George's Hospital Medical School in London, said: "If Rachel Weisz has drunk during her pregnancy and the baby is fine then that's just pure luck. The problem is that you don't know who is at risk and who is not.

"It doesn't mean that anyone who has drunk alcohol is going to be affected but because we cannot predict, then it is safer to avoid it.

"There is a risk throughout your whole pregnancy.There is potential harm to the unborn baby's brain at any point and that is fact."

It is probably also a fact that every doctor, politician, activist, you-name-it was born to a mother who had the odd glass of wine during her pregnancy. I know my mother did -- and I'm perfectly fine.

Does anyone ever ask these self-righteous blowhards about their mothers? Doubt it.
Of course, in North American psychological practice, I believe a daily glass of wine with dinner (you know, like Europeans imbibe) is considered alcoholism.

Gads. Get a life.


How 'bout you, eh?

You are 100% Canuck!

You rock, you are an almighty Canadian through and through. You have proven your worthiness and have won the elite prize of living in a country as awesome as Canada. Yes I know other countries think they are better, but we let them have that cuz we know better than they do, eh?

How Canadian Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thanks, Nag!

I have my Canadian Oxford Dictionary, boxes of KD in the pantry, a toque, and the remains of a 2-4 in the fridge.

That's the way it should be, eh?


Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Cat's Pyjamas

Was browsing through the flyers in this morning's newspaper...

I don't know what's worse...that people come up with these products, or that an audience -- and buying public -- exist.

Pet vests (and coats and boots, and...) I've seen -- but pyjamas?!?!

Then there are the advertising claims that ad execs think will work...I don't know if you can read the small print in the middle:

...but it says "Tested on 10 women in a wind-tunnel at -8, 1 hour."

Sounds like a movie title.

Silly people.


Spectacular 1,000-Hand Bodhisattva Performance

I was going to blog about something utterly absurd this morning, but instead, I found this:

Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva Masterpiece - video powered by Metacafe

I hope it gives you a moment of wonder, a moment to lose yourself...


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why I hate TV

I've spent the last 5 or 6 years not watching TV. Not really out of spite, no socio-political reasons...just simply personal reasons.
  • Money. Why spend money on cable when I could buy books?
  • Commercials. I have a love-hate relationship with commercials. Once, they're adorable mini-movies. Ad nauseum, they're, well, just awful.
  • Time. I found that if I sat down to watch a 30-minute show, I'd sit down early, 'cause I didn't want to miss anything...and for some reason just keep watching. (I don't have an addictive personality. Really. Maybe only with moving images...)
  • Family. I have a family that doesn't turn the TV off when I go visit. As a teen, my sister used to come home from school, turn on the TV, go down the street and have tea with a neighbour for 2 hours, come home and yell "Hey, who turned off the TV? I was watching it!" (I wish I were exaggerating. She's better now. Some.)
  • Control. I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. Not Tuesdays at 9. Yes, I could use a VCR...but then I still have to remember to program it, and find time to watch it. Maybe Tivo is for me -- but then we're back to the money issue. So, I collect and watch movies.
Don't get me wrong. I've had my TV obsessions. I went through a period where I could not get enough of The Nanny reruns -- the Paddington Bear of TV. (No one really noticed that she was a lunatic, just like no one noticed that Paddington was a bear in a coat carrying a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches.) And don't get me started on Babylon 5 -- the one and only show I taped religiously every night (Space showed all of Seasons 1-4 in sequence), and watched after work. [Recently replaced all of those worn out tapes with the DVDs...heaven. Come over sometime, and we'll have a marathon!]

Now, after the 5 or 6 years of no cable, we're here, and we have cable (only Basic, mind you -- but that's another issue!)...and I've been exposed to CSI.

Just an aside: Why on Earth would anyone want to go to Las Vegas? Aren't they worried about the Jessica Fletcher Effect?

Anyway -- I really like the characters, the stories...the show. So now I'm trapped. Thursday night, 9 p.m. comes along, and I am there watching my show.

"My show." Gads. Listen to me.

And tonight reminded me about why I hate was one of those shows that picked up the story lines from a couple previous ones, and left you with tasty (only to the studio execs that want people hooked!) mini-cliffhangers -- leaving me worried that I might miss the episode next week. I'm trapped. Hooked. Lost.

But at least it's only one show.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

My cat fetches

Yes, my marmalade tabby has us nicely trained to throw a jingly plastic ball, on command.

But unlike a dog, he is not actually playing with us. He merely uses us to further his play.

And, of course, he doesn't actually appear to want us to throw it. He drops it (it's a round plastic cage thing that he can carry in his teeth) in our general vicinity, and sits down Yeah, that's it.

He'll do that 5 or 6 times in a row, as I'm sitting at my desk.

Metro discovered that he had been trained as well, this week while I was away.

Good boy!