June 30, 2005
Happy Dominion Day
In lieu of a long-winded post about Canada (Dominion) Day, I leave you with some pictures of past years. July 1 is my favourite holiday of the year - it's summer, there's a parade in my neighbourhood, and I wear my red and white's proudly.

I could wax poetic about how I feel we could be a much better country, and how I wish our parliament would do things differently, but there are other days for that. Today, I am just proud to be Canadian, and am thankful for all we have.

As my friend will be arriving soon and I will be busy entertaining, blogging will be light for the next few days so I will leave you with a slightly early wish for a fantastic long weekend, and a

Our patriotism may have been ignited by a beer commercial, but hey, I'll take it!

Imagine having to wear that bear suit, along with the woolen uniform on a
hot summer day. That is a hero!

I am fortunate enough to live about 2 min. from the parade route. There is nothing sweeter than waking up on Canada Day to the sounds of bagpipes, and marching bands setting up outside your bedroom window.

My Mom and her sisters showing our true and patriot love. I was wearing the flag as a cape that night as well.

This will be missed this year. We no longer have fireworks in my neighbourhood after some young idiots decided it would be fun to toss bottles filled with gasoline at the police the year before last. What used to be the highlight has now been ruined for all.

What is this day, you ask? Well, up until 1982, July 1 was celebrated as Dominion Day - but as our link to the British monarchy was diminshed it was renamed Canada Day. It's our day to be patriotic, to appreciate our wonderful country and reflect on where we have come and where we are going. It's also a day for barbeques, parades and general summer festivities. Much like the American Independence Day.

So on Friday, I will be on the curb watching the parade, taking pictures and then it's off for a salmon barbeque at the fair, baseball watchin' and spectating of some belt-sander races. After that, the barbeque's at my place, followed by some brews outside on the patio at the local pub listening to bands in the summer breeze.
June 29, 2005
Maverick has left the building
As much as I try not to spend too much time on celebrities, I have to comment on Tom Cruise's decline into oblivion.

Asked in an interview with the tabloid daily Bild if he believed in aliens, Cruise said: "Yes, of course. Are you really so arrogant as to believe we are alone in this universe?
That's right, Tom....instead of just voicing your opinion, insult the questioner at the same time. Have you been reading 'How to Make Friends and Influence People' again?

As far as drug free goes, it's a theory that plays little weight with me. While certainly there are many situations where alternative methods could be used, I thank my lucky stars every day that there is medication that allows me to live my life in a relatively normal way. I have chronic pain. I will be taking pain meds for the rest of my life, and believe me, if there was another way, I would be happy to do it, but there's not. Had I been born 40 years ago, I likely would have not had a productive life nor been able to hold down a job. Yet I can and do.

People who judge those without actually walking through that same path are just sad. Until you've lived with a chronic illness, or a debilitating injury, don't condemn those that have found themselves faced with that situation. I used to have a boss who had never been sick a day in his life, nor ever lost anyone close to them. Empathy? I had better luck talking to a bag of hair. So I assume Tom is just fortunate enough never to have really felt the pain of an injury nor the darkness that comes with it. How lucky.

A friend in the blogging world wrote this, an open letter to Tom Cruise. She said it well, and it's one of the best posts I've seen in a long time.

As for Cruise, he'll be playing with Michael Jackson, Christian Slater, Anthony Michael Hall, Jean Claude Van Damme and other face-planted stars from yesteryear pretty soon. Hopefully, Katie will have grabbed some senses and at least salvaged something of her young life by then.

This latest blathering about mental health is a big commercial for Paxil if I ever saw one. Dude, y0u may not believe in it, but seriously, take the little blue pill....you'll feel better and so will your publicist. Not to mention poor ol' Steve Spielberg who no doubt is in some backroom somewhere slamming his head against a wall.

Like most celebrities, I want them to entertain me. I don't want to know their opinions, their philosophies in life, what they do in their spare time. Nor do they want to know what I am doing when I'm not watching their movies.

I used to be a fan. Lt. Pete Maverick, Brian Flanagan, Ron Kovic, Joel Goodsen, Cole Trickle, Lt. Daniel Kaffee....Charlie Babbit, for gad's sake. Fine films, loved them.

But since the whole incident of leaving Nicole Kidman one month before their 10-year marriage, therefore disallowing her to common assets that the law allowed, he started sinking. The man does not seem to display any hope of humanity nor sense.

Even given his whole Oprah stunt was fueled by love, who jumps on couches and screams like that? Dude, that's just crass.
Canada's wacked priorities
So it would look like the parliament has approved the Bill for Same Sex Marriage. After an absolutely endless debate that was like some B-Movie you knew the end of and could practically mouth the words of the script, the result was predictable. 158-133 for allowing same-sex marriages.

As much as part of me has a somewhat 'live and let live' approach to most things in life, it has disappointed me to no end that this law ate up 4 MONTHS of parliamentary time. When laws like Carly's Law, mandating stronger sentences for drunk and prohibited drivers who kill, gets pushed to the backbench, I really question the priorities of our government.

Why are we spending this much time on what really amounts to a private issue when our country continues to fall down time and time again, on matters that truly affect the average Canadian?

It occurred to me that the next parliamentary debate should be the Spinsters/Bachelors Social Reform Policy. There are many of us who certainly didn't start out life expecting to be single all our lives, yet that is the path that we ended up on. Was it nature or nurture for us? Can we blame our parents? Can we blame our genes? Or was it just the luck of the draw?

Either way, we are destined to spend our days separated from the majority of the population. Paying taxes for services that we will seldom use a family-sized portion of.

Where is our bill? When can we legalize 'single' as a separate subgroup, allowing us to collect special pensions from the 'SPP' (Spinster Pension Plan)? Give us subsidies for eating alone in restaurants and going to movies by ourselves?

Ok, I'm being facetious. But seriously, this whole waste of extraordinarily precious time annoys me. It never should have been allowed to! If anything, it should have been voted on in the next federal election - which is pretty soon, right Mr Martin? Let the people speak. Not the politicians who are in a bigger hurry to further their own careers above anything else.
Horrendously hectic
Things are beyond crazy so blogging is taking a back seat.

First the good news, my friend from San Fran will be arriving tomorrow afternoon for a mini-vacation/girly weekend! I plan on showing her all Canada has to offer on Canada Day. And of course, Saturday, we are off on the zodiac boat to go whalewatching.

I bought a new camera for the memories this weekend.

Now the bad news that is causing a lot more concern. My Mom has been ill for the last little bit, and with emphysema, even the most basic cold can send things into a spiral. Since the party last weekend she has taken a turn and is extremely ill. She is unable to move and has been bedridden since last Sunday. However, bringing up the thought of her going to the hospital is met with open hostility. My Mom is one tough lady, but she's also stubborn and it's very frustrating to see her unable to get more than two words out before gasping for breath.

If you could keep her in your thoughts, and wish her well, I'd appreciate it. Of course, a few prayers couldn't hurt.

I am trying to get tomorrow off work, but it's looking sketchy. The computers at work have been down all day due to some server trouble in Austria (apparently a very bad storm in Zeltweg?) so the work is piling up and I can't seem to get ahead.

Todd update, just to throw it in....haven't heard from him in 4 days but got a quick email that they are working 14-16 hour days and he's exhausted. That and AT&T is demanding his next born for the phonecard and he has to wait until payday for that to happen. He's forbidden me to spend more money on phonecards, as he wants me to save, but well, after hearing that, somehow my credit card number slipped onto the AAFES site and bought a 550 Card. Oops!
June 28, 2005
Wanna see what you'll look like in 10, 20, 30 - even 40 years?

Check out this site.
June 27, 2005
Painfully real
Paint It Black has posted about losing his friend, and fellow soldier, Sgt. Arnold Duplantier II.

It's a painful read, but I urge everyone to take a few moments and send some supportive words to Sgt. Devore. We have no idea from the comfort of our homes the tragic circumstances happening daily in the warzones of the world.
June 26, 2005
Unique gift

This was from my Mom's sister and I thought it was just one of the most unique gifts.

I don't know how well it turns out in this photo, but i reads:

'EXTRA, EXTRA! Read all about it!! The CRUNCH is on Leen is having another birthday - the big 70th! What happens when you turn 70? You tend to EAT-MORE, SKOR less, some become BUTTERFINGER, lose a little PEP, or develop some extra ROLOs. But Leen some gain SMARTIES in their old age. So if Dick stops asking you to get FRISK-ie, show him some TWIX and say good-bye to the 60s. Leen, and follow the AERO to the 80s. You don't hear any SNICKERS from us and we don't think you're from MARS so sip your WINE GUMS, and enjoy the BOUNTY, they can be real LIFESAVERS as we shout WUNDERBAR!
Mom's party went off very well. She turned 70 on Friday, and was born in 1935 - the same year as Elvis. We like to remind her of that every chance we get.

To surprise my mother, you have to be 14 steps ahead of her. After raising 4 sons and a daughter, as well as partially raising 8 grandchildren, she's been around a time or two. My mother has what we refer to as 'antennas'. She can pick out a deception quicker than anyone I know.

When we decided to go ahead with the party, I had to call a friend of hers that she had originally made plans with. The lady was not in the phonebook, so I had to pick a time they'd be out of the house so I could sneak in and find the number. I got the number, and thought all was good until last weekend, when Mom said, out of the blue - 'Why were you in my house when I wasn't here two Saturdays ago?' I looked puzzled and came up with the first thing that came to my mind - that my stomach was acting up and her house was my emergency pit stop. Turns out her neighbour, probably meaning nothing by it felt the need to let her know I'd been by.

We had the party at my brother's house. It's where we often have dinners, so asking her to come over wasn't the problem. The problem was trying to delay her until 6pm so the guests would have a chance to arrive after work. Or to try and keep it the same as any other birthday so she wouldn't get any ideas through the day.

I called her in the morning to find her pretty feisty and in a bit of a mood. You see, my mom has fairly progressed osteoporosis. She has a considerable amount of chronic pain, and some mornings are rough. On top of that, she has emphysema so coupled with the humid days, summer is no longer her friend the last few years. She said she was planning to go to my house during the day to do some gardening. Mom, I said, it's your birthday....don't worry about anyhing with me! Don't go over there...I want you to stay home and enjoy the day! Really I was more concerned that she'd go over and somehow open the fridge to find the large macaroni salad, greek salad and cake. But no, she had it in her head she was going over.

Then she said she planned to go to my brother's for 4pm. Why should she wait until 6? When has my brother ever had a problem with her going over early to play with the kids? She knew my niece would be home and there was no amount of talk that could change her mind. I left work early, to try and at least beat her there.

I had the 'Aunt Bus' going and had to pick up her elderly sisters (my mom is the youngest), before the 1 hour drive out to my brothers. We got there at 3:30 and got all the chairs set up. Just in time for her to arrive early. So instead of 'Surprise! Everyone's here', it was more of a 'Surprise! Here's a bunch of chairs!' Even still, she was surprised and feeling a bit silly for pushing the issue of coming early. The guests arrived about an hour later, and she was able to greet them all one by one, which probably was better for her in the end. Her breathing wasn't great as it was, and I think we all realized how much she is aging lately.

We had about 40 guests overall, and all but one of my brothers showed up. I wish so deeply that he could put aside his ego and realize that our parents were human. Yes, they made mistakes but who hasn't. His reason for not coming was that his daughter had a baseball game. I think at 16 years old, his girl could have gone without her Dad at one game in her life, or even 1/2 a game. From what I understand though, my other brother had called him on it so time will tell. Of course, he still couldn't seem to find the time to make a call either. I guess even cell phones don't work at baseball diamonds.

We talked of some of her other birthdays....like her 25th, when she and my uncle were kicked out of a local restaurant for being disorderly. Having been told there was no floor dancing, she and my Uncle kicked off their shoes, jumped up on the table and began to dance. The way they saw it, they weren't breaking any rules, but I guess the manager had other thoughts.

Or her 5th birthday, when she jumped off a chair and impaled her chin on a fire poker. Her Dad had to bundle her up and take her on the tram to the hospital in the next city, but she was just excited to get to go on the tram for the first time, she completely forgot she was actually hurt!

But it was a good night, made better by the great turnout. I had to leave
early, given the golf tournament the next day, but she apparently stayed until nearly 1 am! I don't remember the last time she and my Dad stayed up that late. She's been pretty quiet the rest of the weekend, but something tells me this was one of the best birthday's she's had in a very very long time.

Above is little photo comparison of her great-grandaughter on Friday night and Mom at the same age in 1938. Family resemblance? Naaaaah.....

Close but Far Away
Sometimes, the war in Iraq seems so far away and in others, far too close for comfort. Again, I'm lucky. My boyfriend keeps in contact more than most, and I am grateful. I hear from him at least once a day. It may be just a 3-word email, or a 10 second phonecall, but I still hear from him in some context. And I spend a lot of time reading blogs to keep up with him, so I can support him as much as possible.

It's easy for me sometimes to feel like he's just on an extended vacation. To emotionally survive a loved one's deployment, I think you have to sort of shut off that worrying part of your brain. CaliValleyGirl puts it best in her latest post:

My boyfriend also downplays everything for me. If you listened to him, you would think that his unit of Ch-47s are just heavy-lifters, and basically are like flying trucks. *Yawn*boring. Nothing dangerous...except for when they crash...or get shot at...
I have been doing this type of survival method for years when it comes to my brother's jobs. One is a policeman and one's a fireman. You know it's dangerous, you hear the news stories, but when you actually think of what they're doing, it's usually more like you want to believe they're renting movies at Blockbuster or driving around eating donuts. You know it's not true, but it's just easier. I remember once listening on a police scanner and hearing that my brother was involved in an incident where guns were drawn. It was the last day I ever listened on a scanner. I like being an ostrich!

Todd and I made a pact early on that he doesn't tell me details, and I don't ask. By doing that, he preserves a sense of calmness that allows me to be a compartment of his life that doesn't have be full of trauma. Having said that, he has given me some fair details over the time, now that he understands that I can handle it, but I don't wish him to feel like he has to share. Only if he wants to. But I have heard the 50-mil rounds over the phone and even a very loud explosion once. It brings things home.

This week's news in the milblogs has been tough. A milblogger, TC Override was injured fairly severely brings things home. However, the compassion he's been shown has been truly heartwarming, and to see the milblog community come together wonderful. At least two other milbloggers have gone to visit him at Walter Reed, and there's no doubt that the hands that hold him up will not be walking away any time soon.

Then today, I finally get some time to read and catch up on my friend's blogs and I see that Paint It Black has lost a soldier in his platoon. Sgt Devore has been one of my favourite reads since before he even got to the sandbox, and his writing has brought life 'over there' home to me. He may not even realize the impact he has on us reading, but his words have often given me the strength to support Todd when he doesn't want to talk. I think of what Sgt. Devore has written and it reminds me that sometimes I must just support without words, and only actions. When I read about the loss of his friend, I felt it deeply. Mike, I am just so very very sorry. Another blog mentions the same incident here, in a little more detail and from a much different perspective.

Michael Yon also has great new article up about some of the lesser known missions in the war. We often forget that those serving may not be in the well-publicized operations like Lightening or Spear but are doing other critical jobs that will never make the front pages. This article was interesting to me because it briefly mentions where Todd is, in a round about way.

Earlier this week, Chrenkoff had a visual post showing the 26 countries that are supporting OIF. I learned from it....I had no idea how many countries were involved, and it only made me more frustrated and sad that Canada is not there. We should be and I am deeply sorry that we are not.

I'll leave you with The Anchoress's open letter to all servicemen deployed overseas.
It was a good day

So yesterday was the big company golf tournament. I continue to be amazed by the friendliness of the people who work at this company, and the feeling of true community spirit. Most of the group are friends outside of work too, and it's just accepted that we all are just one huge family. I cross my fingers and toes every day, that I can be part of this group for real and that this 6-month contract works into something a little more substantial. I feel right at home here, and will be truly sad if it doesn't work that way.

I took the 6 month contract because I wanted to be available for when Todd returned from the Sandbox. But now I'm thinking it would work out well, if I could just stay and Todd and I will figure the rest out. Good jobs are hard to find.

Back to the golf tournament. My first time EVER on a golf course. I had now been to the driving range twice. Once was a disaster. The second vaguely better, once I realized it was my body that was supposed to move and not my arms. I turned out to be a fairly quick learner, and it was a lot of fun! I kept up with the rest of my group - and if I do admit so, was even better than one of my teammates that actually does play once a month. He was getting so frustrated, and kept missing, while I would hit the ball straight and strong each time. Granted, strong still wasn't even slightly strong enough to get it far, but that will take time.

We got back to the clubhouse with a respectable +3 for the course, and settled in to the banquet and party. Prizes were given out and there were so many prizes everyone could pick 3. I picked a shirt for my Dad, a new Supersoaker water gun (the dog goes crazy for water!) and a steering wheel lock. I thought I was on top of the world...a fantastic day, a newfound interest that I'm hoping to learn more, good people and even a great tan. Who knew it was even going to get better?

The host then announced it was time for the grand prize drawing. They held up an entire set of titanium golf clubs, which resulted in some ooh's and ahh's from the crowd. Apparently titanium makes much better clubs - who knews? So imagine my surprise when it was MY name called! I won the grand prize of clubs. No bag or anything, but I'm not complaining! I was so excited and am taking this as a definite sign that I will need to learn this game.

It was not just a good day, but a great day. And while I'm incredibly sore today, I am very happy.
June 24, 2005
Time Passages
Gypsy in the Wind tagged me with this little walk down memory lane.

10 years ago...
My first boyfriend and I were splitting up after 10 years, and I was recovering from a major operation on my right arm/wrist. My Uncle was in the end stages of lung cancer (he passed away July 21, 1995 at home). I was on medical leave from my job, but would lose it in August due to restructuring (otherwise known as my boss decided he didn't like me anymore). That particular summer was one of the most - actually, the most difficult of my life and it changed me totally. However, I am also thankful for what it taught me - to be reliant on myself for happiness and not on another's actions. I grew up that summer of '95 and it truly was a blessing in disguise.

5 years ago...
I had been working at my'new' job for 5 years and was learning how to be a manager. I quickly found out I am not people-manager material, but give me data and I'm off an running. Of course, I did have a rough start. A girl I hired for one of the main positions was pregnant and didn't know how to tell me as I needed her for a major project in September (she was due in October). So as she grew larger and larger, she still wouldn't admit to it. According to HR and our employment lawyers, it's a 'can't ask, don't tell' thing.

I had also just bought my home, and that summer took a trip to Australia with my niece for 3 weeks. It was a great trip, although travelling with a 16 year old is a little more challenging than I ever want to do again.

1 year ago...
I was just getting ready to go to Hawaii with my friends. I was happy, healthy and more than ready for a vacation. Who knew my life would change so much meeting the NavyBoy?

The job was monotonous, and after 9 years, I was hating it. But I was not a quitter. Thankfully things turned out so positively.

I had the 5th day of a migraine, and took the afternoon off work to pass out. I laid there wishing I could be more forceful with my doctor and make her understand how debilitating my life feels at times. But instead, I see her when I'm feeling better and tend to forget the bad days as soon as they're gone.

It's my Mom's 70th birthday. We're having a surprise party for her at my brother's. At this point, we don't think she has any idea, but my Mom has 'antennas' and not much gets past her.

It's the company's golf tournament. Wish me luck! I've now tried this driving range stuff twice, and have a cute little white glove. If you can't golf, at least you have to look the part, right?

5 snacks I enjoy...

  1. Rold Gold mini-pretzels
  2. Wasabi-coated Macadamia nuts
  3. Golden Oreos
  4. Melted chocolate chips with icing sugar
  5. Ben & Jerry's Peace Pops (Cookie dough ice cream!)
5 songs I know all the words to...

  1. Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
  2. Livin' on a Prayer - bon Jovi
  3. Goodbye Girl - Bread
  4. Love Bites/Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
  5. Hotel California - Eagles
5 things I would do with $100,000,000...

  1. Remodel my home
  2. Pay off my family's debts
  3. Go on an extended vacation
  4. Give some to charity
  5. Get a tummy tuck
5 locations I would love to run away to...

  1. Cork, Ireland - see where my family lives
  2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  3. Angel Falls, Brazil.
  4. Greece
  5. Rome, Italy - I made a promise to go back there and I will
5 things I like doing...

  1. Reading mindless magazines and trivia books
  2. Hanging out with friends for coffee, or dinner
  3. Writing
  4. Scanning old photographs and making them into slideshows
  5. Family history
5 things I would never wear...

  1. Contacts (more because I can't, though)
  2. Facial piercings
  3. T-Shirts with provocative sayings on them (if I want it said, I'll say it myself)
  4. Bike shorts (I don't bike, so why would I?)
  5. Supportive hose
5 recently seen movies I like...

  1. The Clearing
  2. Love Actually;
  3. Be Cool
  4. Revenge of the Sith
  5. The Aviator
5 famous people I'd like to meet...

  1. Robin Williams
  2. Stevie Nicks (I think she'd be really interesting to talk to....)
  3. Kate Hudson
  4. Amanda Marshall
  5. Whoopi Goldberg

5 biggest joys of the moment...

  1. My nephew, Lex
  2. Knowing that Todd really does want to be in this relationship as much as I do.
  3. Having a new job I completely enjoy and being happy to come to work every day.
  4. New coworkers who I feel appreciate me, and are becoming friends.
  5. Helping my best friend plan her wedding for next April.

5 favorite toys...

  1. Digital camera (I never am far away from it)
  2. Webcam
  3. Cabrio - when the sun is shining, there's nothin' better than a convertible.
  4. External Hard Drive with 26,000 songs on it
  5. Kitchenaid Mixer - Love to bake/cook a lot more now that I have that!
5 people to tag...
  1. Idgie/Fried Green Tomatoes
  2. Rebecca/Doxology
  3. Stephie/Stephie's Thoughts
  4. CaliValleyGirl
  5. Teresa/Cool Single Mom

June 23, 2005
Maybe never is better than late?
Air India Flight 182 crashed off the coast of Ireland 20 years ago today, killing all 329 aboard - mostly Canadians. The bomb that was planted in the plane was loaded here in Vancouver. A second bomb went off in Narita, Japan later that same day, killing two baggage handlers and wounding four. I mention this background, because I don't believe it's widely reported outside of Canada. I could be wrong, though...but I don't think I am.

Today, June 23 has now been declared a National Day of Mourning for Canadians in honour of the horrific bombing off the coast of Ireland in 1985. The largest one day death toll due to terrorism prior to 9/11.

I heard the Prime Minister's address this morning, which in part he says:
And for years to come on the 23rd of June, we will formally mark a National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism -- a time both to remember those who have died at the cold hand of hate and to renew our determination to stand resolute against those who would seek to bring terror upon the world.
While I don't for one second diminish the loss that the 329 families experienced that day, nor the horror of the next 2 decades of fumbling bureaucratic messes, justice denied and immeasurable grief, isn't this sudden change of heart a little disrespectful?

Where were these half-mast flags for the past 20 years prior to this? Ireland certainly seems to have done the honourable thing and built a memorial at the site, but in Canada, the home of more than half the victims, what have we done? Where, after a 20 year criminal investigation which inevitably ended in acquittal, is the inquiry? The public scrutiny into what went wrong?

A half-hearted promise of:
To the families whose loved ones were lost on Flight 182 – I say to you today that with your help and guidance, we will build in Canada a permanent memorial to those who perished.
One day. Just like one day, we might actually be able to provide some sort of closure to this community who has gone through one failed investigation after another.

Read the rest of Martin's speech here.

I find this whole display by the government today to be a slap in the face to the families and those directly affected by the tragedy.

As one of the victim's surviving family put it:
We appreciate it, but it's too late," said Radhakrishna, who was commemorating the death of wife Nagu, daughter Jyothi and son Thejus.
June 22, 2005
Live 8 Barrie-Style
All this talk about Canada's Live 8 concert being a bunch of has-beens, I had a little peruse around to see who was signed up.

So far, it's

Bryan Adams (didn't he stop considering himself Canadian a long time ago, anyhow?)
Jann Arden
Bachman Cummings Band (ok, slight casino fare, but they're showing up...can't fault that!)
Barenaked Ladies
Blue Rodeo
Bruce Cockburn
Celine Dion (by satellite, because she can't get Rene away from the card table)
Gordon Lightfoot (wow, he's alive?)
Motley Crue
Deep Purple
Our Lady Peace
Simple Plan
Sam Roberts
Tragically Hip
Great Big Sea (for this alone, I would be there!)
African Guitar Summit
Tom Cochrane
Doba Caracol featuring K'naan
Les Trois Accords
Tegan & Sara
Dan Aykroyd and Tom Green (hosts)

If it were on this side of the coast, I'd see it. As far as has-been's go, come on...you start to plan something this close to the event and expect everyone to drop and run to you? During the summer, when most concerts happen anyway? The list is pretty damned impressive, considering the time crunch. We tried planning a birthday party for my mother a month ago, and couldn't even get the whole family together. Planning, people! July 2, 2006 might have given a little more play...not to mention having it on a holiday long weekend.

Now if Gowan, Corey Hart...or even Honeymoon Suite were on there, I might feel differently. Oh, or Anne Murray for that matter.

Geldof, and for that matter Bono, are mouthing off about the lack of funding from governments. The ol' magic 0.7% (which translates into $12 BILLION out of the Canadian coffers). Well, I may criticize Martin fairly frequently, but I am quite happy he's not opening up the purse. Sure, world poverty sucks but there are much more important things in our own backyard that need cleaning up before anything else. By the way, how much is Geldof giving to the concert? Other than his time and name?

Will I watch it? Probably not. It's the Canada Day weekend, and I can think of a lot better things to do than watch a concert. I'd rather do something celebrating my own country. Actually, this is what I'll be doing that day.
A new video from Baitcar.

Dude has 123 criminal offences to his name, at the age of 28. On crystal meth, and with a loaded gun. Once arrested, he was charged with 24 offences and was sentenced to only 4 years. Where is our justice system in cases like this?

Really makes you not want to drive the streets knowing people like this exist.

Although if you want a sense of how frustrating it is for the police, check out this news release from our local RCMP. I didn't know sarcasm was part of compiling a professional press release, but it serves it's purpose.
June 21, 2005
Too early for a caffeine rush?
Thank you, Logitech
Been fairly scant on personal details of late. Suffice to say, much has been going on behind the scenes.

I often blog to release a lot of my random thoughts of the day, and so as not to inundate my 3D friends with my streams of consciousness. However, I must say a BIG huge thank you to my friends here in the blogosphere. Your support and your concern has been extremely touching...and very much appreciated.

Todd and I are back on track, it would seem. I am not a waffler...the fact that the last month has been such a rollercoaster is a new experience to me. I don't know when I've ever been so all over the place and even though I have had long distance relationships in the past, this whole deployment thing adds a dimension that I could never have imagined.

So, this past week or so, since the addition of the webcam to our daily routine, we have been able to tackle some big issues face to face. Seeing his face as I tell him my concerns, and vice versa for him has been huge. The good news? Even though he pulled back so abruptly and basically told me to back off and start moving on, he now has admitted that was due to frustration and anger. When I got my back up as well and basically gave him the ol' 'same to you, buddy', we both realized, like an overspent rubber band, it was not what we really meant. Without that webcam, I don't know if we would have been able to see it the same way.

That and also my fellow blogger-friends who took the time to email me and call me, basically just lending a supportive ear. I can't thank you enough.

So I've spent some time licking my wounds, and now we move on. Even better news? He has decided not to go ahead with his extra year of deployment. He had just put in for the year, when he told me to walk away and now realizes it was all more of a defence mechanism and that it really wasn't the best choice. Thankfully, his batallion leader (sorry, guys, my military hiararchy is all screwed up so I won't even try to name a rank!) agreed and the paper was torn up. Soooo....he's back at the end of this year!

One of the downfalls of webcams though? He can see me when I look like crap - I've had a migraine for the past 5 days and believe me, I look it. And when I finally agree to turn on my cam, what I don't need to hear is 'You're right...you need to go to bed, honey. You look shitty." Thanks dude!

However, I also found another downfall for him. The other morning I was eating a Ben & Jerry's Peace Pop when he came online. Apparently, according to him, I violated some code of the Geneva Convention by eating ice cream in front of him.

I wish I could say where he is, but it's a very small base. Not even a base really, just a CSC. There are no blogs that I can find, and I don't need it googled so suffice to say, he is in Iraq and it is extremely hot and sandstorm-y. (Yeah, it's a word!)

In other news, my medical stuff has been difficult to say the least and I think it has a lot of play in my emotions. I have, shall we say, a 'compromised reproductive system' and these issues have become incredibly painful of late. The doc is talking of things that would make my perceived future very unlikely. Ah, damn it...forget the double speak. It looks like my chances of ever having biological children about as possible as a snowball in hell. I am not dealing with it very well, and have fits of sadness and anger that I find very difficult to get through. I haven't told Todd. I don't know how. I can't even tell my family at this point. Ever since meeting Todd, it was the first time in my entire life that I felt safe enough to even consider children. To me, I knew I couldn't do a single-parent gig and while I certainly give kudos to those who do, it's not a road I see myself on.

So now that I actually, after all these years on the planet, am in a situation that may allow me to have that secure and strong relationship/partnership, I now am seeing it slip away and am not able to do much about it. It just sucks, to put it mildly.

I held Baby Lex on Sunday and the tears just streamed down my face. I am profoundly saddened and feel very overwhelmed. However, I know that this is not within my power to change and I must let my life lead me where I need to be. Who knows? I would never count out adoption, but again, I need to be in a secure relationship before pondering that one.

Ok, got myself all sad again...so that's enough for tonight!
June 20, 2005
Year of the Veteran
Hat tip to Bound By Gravity and Brent Colbert.

It would seem that every Canadian may call the Ministry of Veterans Affairs
1-800-443-0394 and request a pin for every member of your household. I have
not called yet but I intend to later today.

Apparently, every member of your household is '2', but either way, make that call today.

Honour our veterans!
Innocence Lost
All the media frenzy of the evil Holmolka being released from prison has had me thinking about the changes in the criminal landscape of Canada in my lifetime.

Before I go further, I just want to point out that I see Holmolka as a weak and pathetic creature. She would kill her own sister in order to please her boyfriend/husband? Not to mention all the other things she did in her crime spree with Bernardo… Truly a sad, small human being. Having said that though, I don’t think she should be pitied and forgiven. And if she was that weak before, there’s not much likelihood that she grew a spine in prison.

Besides, even mentioning her name aggravates me. She is given power each and every time someone speaks or writes of her, and she does not deserve that.

When I was 10, the Lower Mainland of Vancouver was rocked by a serial killer. Clifford Robert Olson. The name still fills me with fear and dread, and I’m transported to that time when my childhood was transformed from one of a free-spirited carefree world, to locking our doors at night and my mother watching my every move.

For those that don’t know who he is (and I refused to google him to find links), he murdered well over a dozen young children in my neck of the woods. One girl went to a neighbouring school, and was very active in community sports. Anyone who grew up in my age group knows who she was and she is still missed. A couple of the bodies were found close to where I went to school. One of the girls was picked up from the store across from my brother’s house.

I remember, even at that tender age, the pleas of the parents for the safe return of their children. The posters were in every store. Those smiling school pictures of these children that you knew at some level would never see their parents again. Children that were the same age as me. Children that even looked like me.

When he was finally arrested, his name became etched in my soul. cliffordrobertolson. It was one name. Not three. I still don’t think of him in any other way. Turned out he lived on the same street as my oldest brother. The thought that he likely looked down the street and saw my 4 year old nephew playing in his yard sickened me. I wondered if he looked at Ben and if he disregarded him only because he lived too close.

There’s a whole story involving how the police handled his investigation, which I won’t go into here. It’s well documented and controversial. My brother was peripherally involved in the case, and he would get angry whenever we tried to discuss it. He said he couldn’t even think of giving the ‘waste of skin’ the worthiness of a conversation. It was dark times, not just for the Province of BC, but for our family too.

Life was changed completely for me, and those my age. I knew that evil could be anywhere and it coloured my every move. At 10 years old, I lost my innocence. Not only did my mother not want me out of her sight, I didn’t really want to be out of her sight either.

Now again, 25 years later, we have another serial killer with Robert Pickton. He looks poised to make Olson’s exploits look like child’s play. But he didn’t chose little children for victims…he looked to the downtrodden. He picked a part of society that few people would take notice of, except for the victim’s own families.

Thinking about him makes those childhood feelings come back up to the surface. The fear and distrust of everyone. Knowing that even the most normal looking person can be deeply dangerous.

Oddly, I had this conversation with my 22 year old niece. Her response was ‘Who was that guy? I’ve heard the name but I don’t really know.’ It floored me. Someone who changed my entire outlook on the world, and she only knows he’s in jail but not really sure why.

She wasn’t even born when Olson was ‘active’ and while her own father was involved in the case, he didn’t bring his work home and would never speak of him. So she has grown up without the same mark on her psyche that I did. In some ways, I commend my brother for keeping her world so free of evil, but in others, it scares me that she doesn’t have the same knowledge and fearfulness.

I found it amazing though that she and I can have such differing views on the world. We grew up 12 years apart, yet in some ways it’s a lifetime.
June 19, 2005
Oh my goodness!
Rebecca mentioned this little sharing tool on her blog the other day, and it is just way too much fun. Here's one of Hayley last summer...I haven't been taking too much video lately but now that I know how to share it, that will definitely change.

Video sharing made simple by JussPress.com
Daddy's girl
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My Dad will be 73 this year. He is starting to show his age a lot more these past couple years, but he still has that sharp, somewhat sarcastic wit that I seem to have inherited.

Unfortunately, a few of my brothers don't see him in the same light I do. This has hurt him immeasurably and I used to wish that they would eventually change as they grew up. It hasn't happened. In my Dad's dark days, he says he only has 3 sons (he has 4). Ironically, though, that one son who has so blatantly ridiculed and criticized my father has now become his spitting image.

My Dad's a quiet guy. He always has been, but it became more so after he developed throat cancer in 1974. Found in a routine medical exam, he was found to have had a tumour growing in his throat so large that it had threatened to cut off the oxygen and would have killed him. He had no symptoms, and it was only absolute luck that a doctor was quick enough to catch it. The operation was a major one, and he was left profoundly deaf in one ear. On top of that, he also had a large depression on the side of his neck, and a scar approximately 10" long. Medical oncology being what it was at that time, he was treated with cobalt radiation. While I don't remember a lot of the treatment, I do remember his black charred face a result of the exposure to the cobalt. Cobalt's no longer used...and for good reason.

He survived, which is a pretty incredible miracle given the size of the tumour. But he was no longer the same. Embarrassed by his scar and his lack of hearing, he withdrew. He also had a side effect that whenever he ate, his sweat glands would water and he would drip off the side of his face. Being the little girl I was, I didn't think this was a big deal at all. Don't all Dad's faces leak? Doesn't every child have to stand on the right side of their Dad and wait until he looked at you directly before you speak? I never had any idea that these things were cause for shame and it was only years later that I found out the reason he wouldn't go to movies, or out anywhere.

For me, it was my normal childhood, but for my brothers, they resented a father who wanted only to read and be by himself. What happened to the guy who'd play ball with them? The older ones eventually came to accept the change, but my youngest brother never did.

I'm a pretty introverted person by nature too, so this always worked for me. And when a few years later, my Dad became bedridden by a back injury, I was in my glory. Every day I would rush home from school so we could play 'Battleship' or 'Monopoly'. I was so sad when he was eventually recovered enough to return to work.

Life has continued. He has a lot of health problems now, compounded probably by his 60-plus years of smoking. I don't hassle him on that...he's a smart man - he doesn't need me to bother him. He's also lost hearing in his other ear, likely from overcompensating for so long and is now almost completely deaf. However, lately, it's been mostly about melanoma. Every few months something more is cut off him. A year ago, it was his upper lip. He now has the 'Mark of Zorro' in the space below his nose and the top of his mouth. He must now wear a hat whenever he's out. It was something he wasn't too impressed with, and makes a face every time my Mom harasses him into wearing it.

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He's now the last living elder male in our family. It scares me that he seems to be expecting his end these days. I hate that, and I wish he would be more positive. But all his family is gone, and all the brother-in-law's on my Mom's side. His friends have gone too.

Today, on Dad's Day, I'll be spending most of the day with him and my Mom. Then we'll be having dinner at my brothers. His gift from me? A laser level. He gets very frustrated these days that he can't do what he used to, but I intend to keep him thinking he can.

He'll be a little embarrassed by the attention today, but I know deep down he'll be thrilled.
June 18, 2005
Pieces of Me
Found this on Tricia's blog and thought it was a great idea:

Twelve Movies
  1. The Notebook
  2. Braveheart
  3. Officer and a Gentleman
  4. Steel Magnolias
  5. Dirty Dancing
  6. The Tao of Steve
  7. Ghost
  8. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  9. The Harry Potter movies
  10. Beaches
  11. Gone with The Wind
  12. Good Will Hunting
Eleven Good Bands/Artists
  1. Bon Jovi
  2. Amanda Marshall
  3. Martina McBride
  4. Tom Wait
  5. Great Big Sea
  6. Jann Arden
  7. Lisa Marie Presley
  8. Faith Hill
  9. Stevie Nicks
  10. John Mayer
  11. Just Jinger
Ten Things About You
  1. I have a shoe addiction. Somewhere around 80 pairs.
  2. I am left handed
  3. I love fresh flowers, but never remember to buy myself some!
  4. I am more than a little anal, and label anything I can get my hands on!
  5. I just found out I likely will never be able to have children of my own.
  6. I am a news junkie, and spend a lot of time every day keeping up with world events.
  7. I am fairly nervous of meeting new people, but I am working on it.
  8. I am more than 60% grey and colour it religiously.
  9. I have never been married, although missed it by a hair in '95 when I found out my fiance was cheating. Would like to be married, but am very glad that didn't work out.
  10. I would love to write a book on the story of my family's immigration from Ireland, something like Angela's Ashes.
Nine Good Friends
  1. Leigh
  2. Fiona
  3. Shannon (isn't it great when nieces grow up to be friends, too?)
  4. Teresa
  5. Kelly
  6. Stephie
  7. John
  8. Ian
  9. Michelle
Eight Favorite Foods/Drinks
  1. Chai Latte with Almond flavouring
  2. White Chocolate Aero bars
  3. Pasta with my own 'throw everything in' white sauce
  4. Coca-Cola (well, more an addiction, but I digress...)
  5. Lebanese Konafa (shaved filo pastry, honey and cheese)
  6. Hot Chocolate & Bailey's
  7. Salmon w/ dill sauce
  8. Scallops wrapped in bacon
Seven Things You Wear Daily
  1. Glasses
  2. my Grandmother's wedding ring (they married in 1922 in Wales)
  3. a sapphire ring given to me by my parents on my 19th birthday
  4. an amethyst celtic ring with a trinity knot on either side
  5. a gold/opal ring given to my mother on her 50th birthday by her mother
  6. an amethyst pendant necklace from my niece, Shannon
  7. Clothes (yeah, not too descriptive there, but I definitely wear them every day!)
Six Things You Hate
  1. People who take and don't give back
  2. Lying (I have extreme trust issues, and once doubt is placed it's hard for me to regain)
  3. Prejudice
  4. Ill-informed people who jump to conclusions but won't listen to a different viewpoint.
  5. Migraines!
  6. My toes
Five Things You Do Daily
  1. Check my email, blogs and newsites
  2. Watch TV
  3. Play ball with the dog
  4. Talk to my mother and my niece
  5. Read
Four Shows You Watch
  1. Lost
  2. Law & Order: SVU
  3. Six Feet Under
  4. ER
Three Places You’ve Lived (I' ve only lived 3 places, actually):
  1. My parent's home - a 5 bedroom house with a big in-the-ground pool (up until '92)
  2. My first apartment in Vancouver - a 1 bedroom tiny hole in the wall that I hated ('92-'99)
  3. My own townhouse that I live in now, bought in '99. I walked in here and knew I was home.
Two Things You Want
  1. Someone to grow old with
  2. Family unity (but I may as well say world peace there)

One Person You Want To See Right Now

1. For real? Obviously, Todd. My world does seem empty without him here. But if we were talking anyone, I would say my cousin who passed away in '97. No day goes by that I don't miss her. She may have been my Aunt's daughter but she was my sister in every other way.
June 17, 2005
A first
My company is putting on a golf tournament for the office staff next weekend. They have been such a great place, and have practically insisted I join them...even if I am only on contract.

But...I have never even held a golf club, let alone swung one. Thankfully, I'm not the only one, so a couple of the guys took us to the driving range the other day to give us some pointers.

First problem encountered. I am left handed. Even though I valiantly tried to learn on right-handed clubs, it was not meant to be. This is one sport you can't (or at least I can't) be ambidextrous.

So I line up, bend my legs like I'm trying to sit on a chair, back at a straight angle and pull back to swing.

Second problem encountered. This has since become known as the Jessica-Simpson syndrome. Not that I'm anorexic like her, but well, I do have the front appendages. Golf is not friendly to the more curvy female form. Apparently, ol' Jessica made mention of the problem on her show.

I tried to follow through. But was seriously impeded. Since then, I've become the butt of a few lighthearted jokes at work, nothing serious but it would seem my teammates are now more concerned with me bringing the beer and driving the golf cart. That, I should be able to do.

I've been sort of watching the golf stuff on TV, and it does seem the women are a lot less busty, and in mentioning it, it seems to be the thing they don't tell you about golf. Must say, no one ever mentioned it to me.

But I have to admit, it was fun to get out some frustrations on some dimply little balls. Even if I did better rolling them along like mini-bowling balls, it was pretty entertaining.

Next week, us newbies are going out a couple more times to try and practice. Believe me, we need it!
June 15, 2005
Challenges and technology
So the challenges continue. I would love to say things are rosy with Todd and I, but sadly, they are not.

I would stand beside him for as long as it took, but he is making it very difficult. I won't go into too many details at this point, except to say we are at a bit of a crossroads. Over the weekend, we decided it was maybe a good idea to scale back a bit. I was pretty distraught, but understood his reasons.

He has chosen to deploy for a further year, which would mean not returning until mid-2006. He feels very awkward about me waiting for another 18 months. If that was all, it would be a no-brainer. I made those decisions long ago, and would be there without question. Once he returns, he still needs to deal with his divorce and custody issues, so it's not like he would return and be moving up the the Northwest the next day.

Having said that though, we sort of stumbled onto a new form of communication that has made things a little more confused. The last two nights we've been able to have our talks through a webcam.

This is the first time I've seen his face, seen him smile, or the twinkle in his eyes in nearly 11 months. It makes a very big difference and I thought I missed him before, but now that's just quadrupled. It's done the same for him, and sort of put us both into a vortex of emotions we both weren't expecting.

I have been questioning blogging this because, well, I feel like while I am trying to be a supportive military girlfriend, I am slipping down a slope that I am having trouble getting a grip on. It makes me feel everything I have wanted over this last year, every thing I have dreamed of, everything I have fought for is sitting on the edge of cliff and I am losing control.

I am a jumble of emotions right now and I don't have any answers. I can only trust in fate and what is meant to be, will be. It's just very dark right now.
June 12, 2005
Alberta weather photos
I received an email this morning with the following pictures, apparently from the recent storms in Alberta. I have not verified the authenticity but even if they are not from last week's storms, the pictures are still amazing and worth sharing.

I have always been amazed at the awesome power of nature. My mother was terrified of thunderstorms, but my father was determined that I didn't pick that up from her, so as a young child, we would always make an 'event' out of a storm. Because of that, storms always provoke an excited anticipation with me. I have seen some absolutely amazing storms, espeically one in Utah and another in Mexico that will stay with me forever.

I missed a tornado in Tennessee by about 7 hours once. Much to my disappointment, but the friend I was travelling with was the opposite and very thankful that we had not caught up to it. However, if I have anything to do with it, I will experience one at some point in my life.

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Go Maverick!

What military aircraft are you?

F-15 Eagle

You are an F-15. Your record in combat is spotless; you've never been defeated. You possess good looks, but are not flashy about it. You prefer to let your reputation do the talking. You are fast, agile, and loud, but reaching the end of your stardom.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

June 11, 2005
Brother Fish
Have you ever read a book that so deeply effects you that you actually miss the characters after you've finished reading?

I just completed 'Brother Fish' by Bryce Courtenay. He's been one of my most beloved authors for a very long time and up until now, his other book 'Four Fires' was my all time favourite.

Unfortunately, right now, this book is only available in Australia and will not be published in North America until the end of this year. I had purchased it online, and had it shipped here at a premium price (considering it was hardcover and nearly 1000 pages!), but it was worth every penny.

The plot is roughly:

Inspired by real events, it tells the story of three people from vastly differing backgrounds. All they have in common is a tough beginning in life.

Jack McKenzie is a harmonica player, soldier, dreamer and small-time professional fisherman from a tiny island in Bass Strait. Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan is a strong-willed woman hiding from an ambiguous past life in Shanghai. Larger than life, Private Jimmy Oldcorn was once a street kid and leader of a New York gang. Together, they reap a vast and not always legitimate fortune from the sea.

Brother Fish is an inspiring human drama of three lives brought together and changed forever by the extraordinary events of recent history. But most of all it is about the power of friendship and love.

Part of the story is based in the POW camps in the Korean War where Jack and Jimmy first meet. These characters are so likeable you can't help but get so involved in what happens to them. It's not a completely happy story as it traces many of the dark sides of history involving racism, post traumatic stress and poverty. Courtenay is meticulous in his history, and I've learned more through his stories than most any other as he has an incredible way of making history come to life.

The Age reviews the book as:

Courtenay has underpinned Brother Fish with impressive historical research. His acknowledgement pages at the end are long and meticulous and the bibliography is worth an exploration. The story is one the likes of which you can sometimes hear from old blokes reminiscing over a beer in the RSL or the Trades Hall bar. The adventurous old can surprise complacent youth. The story covers the big bads: racism, bigotry, sexism, war, organised crime, all the human turpitudes.

The biggest crime, you feel, in reading this and any Courtenay, is dehumanising someone, anyone. The plight of the Aboriginal soldier is shown alongside that of the American "negro" soldiers in the 20th century's world wars as well as the Korean one.

Half way through the book, I started savouring it and reading so slowly because I knew I would not wish it to end. When I did finally complete it a week or so ago, I felt sad because even though it ended well, I knew I wold miss the stories and the characters.

If you have a chance, definitely try to get your hands on this one. Especially if you have an interest in war stories, this was one of the best I believe I have ever read.
He stands!

Little Dude is standing now, and while he's a bit wobbly and looks far too tiny to actually be holding up his weight, he's pretty proud of himself. Of course, at only 5 1/2 months old, it will be still a long time before he's truly stable, but I was pretty impressed all the same.

Must say one thing I do miss about going back to work is not being able to spend much time with Shannon and the kids. I was so fortunate to have my 'sabbatical' after the lay off for Lex's first couple months of life. It truly was the mat leave without the mat. And now I find, I am missing the kids a lot.
Music meme
ArmyWifeToddlerMom tagged me with a music meme, and although I think I may have done a similar one some months ago, I would love to do it again. Music's a pretty big interest in my life...

I am like AWTM, in that I absolutely love all music. There is no genre I can honestly say I hate, although some I enjoy more than others.

Total Volume of music:

CDs: 440 and yes, I did catalogue them some time ago.

Cassettes, Records, tapes: Cassettes, probably only about 30 or so left around here. I have no medium to play them anymore. Records, about 200 or so LP's and probably 100 45RPMs. A few years ago, I started collecting the discards of my brothers and family when they decided to get rid of their turntables. I don't have a turntable either but have decided to try and find one, with the intention of converting them into MP3.

MP3, and other hard drive format: 150GB, or somewhere around 28,000 songs. I had only about 40GB until a week ago, when a friend at work loaned me his hard drive of 113GB of songs. I am still going through deleting all the duplicates but I feel right now like I must have every song ever recorded!

Last CD I bought: Rod Stewart/Stardust. I love his new style...mellow, and great background music.

Song Playing Right now: .38 Special, Caught Up in You

5 Songs that mean a lot to me:

1) I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders (I've always wanted that to be my first dance song)
2) With Arms Wide Open - Creed (when Hayley was born, it seemed so perfect!)
3) Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino (my parent's first dance, and it reminds me of the love they share even after 53 years of marriage)
4) Someone Else's Dream - Faith Hill (reminds me of when I finally felt strong enough to leave home and start my own life)
5) Good Mother - Jann Arden

First recording I bought myself: a 45 of Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes.

Artists whose recordings you own on more than 2 manufactured (not home copied):
Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks, John Cougar Mellencamp, Billy Joel, U2, oh..there's lots. Many of my CDs are various artists. I have a 'compilation cd' addiction and especially when I travel, I always like to grab a few compilations. England's always got much better compliation CD's than we ever seem to get in North America.

And on that note, I bought tickets to two concerts this week too. On August 23, I will be in Row 8 for John Cougar Mellencamp/John Foggerty, and in October, we will all be going to see Loverboy at the casino!

June 09, 2005
And the pendulum swings...
Well, this has been a challenging week to say the least. Todd and I had a disagreement that morphed into something that it never should have been.

The end result, after much emotional strife, is that we will be fine. I really wasn't sure. In fact, I truly thought it was all over.

Long distance relationships are never easy. This is not my first such romance. I dated someone from South Africa and another from England. My friends like to tease me that at least I've picked the right continent this time. Funny, considering where he is now....

It was a couple of incidents. One I blogged about, the other was a little more private, but it picked at an old scab I had thought was healed over. Apparently, he has that same scab so we both bolted and cowered away from it like wounded animals. I got my back up, and began to shut down. He did the same.

Unfortunately, if this relationship didn't have enough dramatic issues in itself, we both have been through some pretty deeply punishing pasts that make us both a little reticent to trust again.

After some pretty hurtful words, we both took 5 days silence. Tonight that was broken. There were a lot of tears, a lot of apologetic reactions, and well, I think I can now breathe a little easier knowing that what happened was a simple miscommunication, made more difficult by the situation. If he were here, this would have never gotten to this point and I think it's just another lesson in believing what we have is strong and real. We both need to trust in that a little more.

Each time we reach another level, we both seem to want to fight it a bit. Almost like a defence mechanism, I guess. I want to believe so much in what we have...he does too. But in the end, we both run scared when things get too real. I suspect, unfortunately, that this will not be the last time we have a little bump but hopefully, next time we will both remember this and learn.

I'll breathe a little better tonight, and maybe, with luck, one day I'll actually get to exhale.
June 08, 2005
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?
Baitcar.com is up and running (more or less).

A bait car is a vehicle owned by the police and is intended to be stolen. After a bait car is stolen, the location, speed, and direction of travel of the vehicle is monitored by police dispatchers at EComm through GPS tracking. Everything that takes place inside the bait car is caught on audio and video. The dispatcher will coordinate a police response and once officers are in position behind the bait car, the engine will be disabled at the click of a mouse button which allows for the quick arrest of the car thieves.

It's a fun little glimpse into reality when the thieves steal a bait car, only to realize they've been caught.
Quiet time
It's been a bit of rough week so forgive my light blogging. Not really ready to talk in a public forum just yet.

Suffice to say, relationships have some ups and downs, and well, this would definitely be a 'down'. Not really sure what's going to happen but right now it is, um, challenging.

And yesterday, just to make things that much more fun, my kitchen flooded when my garbarator decided to self-destruct when my dishwasher was running. Of course, considering 10 people were on their way to dinner, perfect timing!
June 06, 2005
The Red Ensign Standard XXIII
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On the occasion of the 61st anniversary of D-Day, fellow BCer Temujin has the honour of raising the Red Ensign Standard for the 23rd time. He does us proud and his introduction is well worth the read.

In part, he notes wryly on his grandmother's health:

As Alzheimer's disease ravages my maternal grandmother like it did her husband in the 1990's, it has become more important to me to remember the things she told me as a boy. My grandmother was fully aware of history. She told me stories of her life as a young girl in Saskatchewan, and recalled the times that her husband played band for the troops that were set to depart. It is the ultimate irony that such a woman would have her mind taken from her in this way. And people in this country choose to forget.
Go have a peek. It's a great glimpse into this wounded country of ours, and of some of the more introspective Canadian bloggers.

I often feel very intimidated by this group of bloggers, as I know my words are seldom eloquent enough, nor thought provoking. But it is with great pride I fly the Red Ensign, along with the other 55 in the group.
June 04, 2005

One of my part time hobbies is making tribute DVD's for family and friends for birthday and other occassions. I have an addiction to old photos and the history surrounding them.

I have the honour to work on one at the moment for a friend of my sister-in-law. Her grandmother was born 100 years ago on June 7 in a small, remote fishing village off the coast of BC. This lady has seen so much in her last century that I am in absolute awe of her legacy.

She was born in a time when First Nations people were barely recognized in their own ancestral homes, and their culture was not only shunned but it was illegal for them to have their ceremonies. A simple Potlatch would have the missionaries running for the police to throw them in jail. She and her brothers were sent to Residential schools as young children for re-education.

Vi was born before the first radio communication, was 10 years old when the first World War broke out and 30 years before Elvis was born.

I am having a challenging but enjoyable time trying to get her life into a picture filled tribute to her life. What she has seen in her century of life is nothing short of amazing. And she still goes on. She lives on her own and has no plans to slow down. A few years ago, they visited a few homes for the aged, but she became even more resolute that this was not where she was headed.

An article was written about her in 2003 in the local paper:

Thomas J. was a veteran of the First World War, who served overseas with the 54th battlaion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France, where he was eventually wounded. His job was to take supplies to the soldiers in the trenches and it was during one of those trips that he was wounded. Luckily, his wife says, he fell on top of his horse, which took him back to the Army camp.

Now 98, Violet still has the bullet that went through her husband's chest, just missing his heart. The rough pointed piece of metal looks more like a small arrowhead when she takes it out of the pillbox where it's kept.

Sadly, she lost her husband 35 years ago now.

As I go through her scrapbooks, and her pictures, I am just amazed by her life and what she has seen and been through. The place she was born is now long abandoned and is not even on a map. It's a window into the past that we have such rare opportunities to see.
June 02, 2005
More than a little intrusive...
Shagster.net - the latest online database that compiles sexual partners announced in England.

Accordingly, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you have in fact slept with Sharon Stone, even if you weren't aware of the fact. Now a website is seeking to build the world's biggest database of previous sexual partners - a so-called "Sex Degrees of Separation" resource .

Read more here.
Can I just say EWWWWWW? There are some things that just don't need to be done.

(hat tip to Red)
Notes to the Single Guy
So long distance relationships have their moments, and it seems to make it all the more challenging when the other half is in a war zone.

However, I think what happened last night was a bit of trainwreck and while I'm a pretty easy going person, NavyBoy has some toes deeply imbedded in his mouth at the moment.

I am hurting from the accident. Wish it wasn't true, but my back and my right arm seem to have taken the brunt. In the grand scheme, nothing more than muscular and it should be alright in a few weeks.

Todd called last night, but hadn't checked his email so didn't know what had happened. So I quickly explained my mood and the accident details.

His comment?

'Well, women drivers. You really have to be a little more careful. I've always said women drivers are too easily distracted.'


'So I'll bet you were on a cell phone at the time, right?'

I was and still am not impressed to say the least. He said he was only trying to get me to laugh and was teasing, but holy hell, dude, wrong move!

So if you are talking to your significant other, do not make gender based remarks, 'cuz I can tell you NavyBoy is going to have to do some serious climbing to get out the hole he just dug.
Techie Help?
I hope someone reading this can help.

Apparently, if you're reading this in IE, then my links to the left are not visible. There should be archives, links, highlights and a few random other things showing, but they're not there.

In Firefox, it looks fine.

I'm not entirely well-versed in HTML, so I can't see what the problem is.

Can anyone lend suggestions?

(And thanks, CaliValleyGirl for letting me know!)
June 01, 2005
When hate is not hate...
Yesterday, a very disturbing story broke here involving a young Sikh man who was apparently accosted by some youths in a local park.

They apparently held him down, took his turban off and cut his hair off with boxcutters.

The Sikh community and the police appealed for calm. Veiled threats were thrown around about how the perpetrators were probably safer in police custody. The police took the situation very seriously, as they should and investigated it as a hate crime, with racist motivations.

I live about 10 minutes from the park in question. While it is generally a safe area, I wouldn't feel comfortable at night there. There are apartment buildings facing the park where a couple murders have occured, and there are often police incidents. Probably not on the same scale as something inner-city but here in the 'burbs, it's definitely an area on the police radar screen.

Now, personally, I find the thought of someone being assaulted in this manner the lowest of low. Anyone who is singled out for his/her beliefs and abused in a manner has my complete empathy and those involved should be dealt with in the strongest methods available in our judicial system.

Buuuut, when the next day doubts begin to surface about the youth's story and it turns out he may have just made it up for attention, my blood boils. It is reckless, misdirected and completely reprehensible to incite racial tension. If he is found to have fabricated this story, then he should feel the wrath of the justice system himself. Forget being troubled. I realize the boy must have many emotional problems but considering the world today, and the tense atmosphere, this needs not to be covered up and swept away. Just like that Runaway Bride in the States a few weeks back, this dude needs to face the music.

And boxcutters? Dude, really...what teenage thug walks around with an X-Acto knife?
Quizzes r us

?? Which Alcoholic Drink Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

And wha????
Exotic Dancer
You're Exotic Dancer Barbie. You have some moves,
and will do anything for a few bucks. Take it
off girl, but keep it PG-13 please.

If You Were A Barbie, Which Messed Up Version Would You Be?
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Wesley Snipes?
Apparently, Wesley Snipes was held in custody in Johannesburg Airport today for carrying a false passport.

I didn't see the story on any other news source other than the South African one, so I guess it figured itself out. Or maybe the fact that Britney eating pickles and ice cream or the freakfest of Tom Cruise and his daughter/girlfriend was more important.
How I ended May

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Not the way I wanted to end my evening last night. I made a mistake last night and caused the above.

I was turning into a parking lot and didn’t see the car in the inside lane. Can’t take it back now and it’s done. I’m angry at myself. I am a good driver, and was so shaken by the accident I couldn’t even think what I needed to do after. Thankfully, the poor guy was very kind and wrote all the information down for me.

He was on his way to a job interview, and was just a young guy, only 22. He couldn’t get hold of his parents to pick him up so I drove him to the job interview myself. Least I could do!

Sadly this morning, I am now realizing it doesn’t take much when you already have a bad back to get thrown into chaos. I am very sore and uncomfortable today. Such is life!

I am reminded of the line in Fried Green Tomatoes (Hi Idgie!). You may be young and pretty but I’m old and have more insurance. Hopefully, with my long standing claim free insurance, I should fair ok.

I think the funniest thing though was filing the claim online last night. I got through the pages of details on the insurance site to be given a confirmation number of HLY-FCK. Can I buy a vowel please?

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.

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Turning thirty and a half
  • July 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006

  • The WeatherPixie