July 31, 2005
27th Standard

One of the newer members - and fellow Lower Mainlander - of the Red Ensign bloggers is hosting the Standard this week.

Go over and have a read. As always, a thought provoking group of people, and Shane has done a great job of showcasing the best posts of the past two weeks.
Quote of the Day
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

-- Thomas Jefferson
Amazing art
Check out the rest of these amazing chalk drawings at Virtual Street Reality.
July 29, 2005
I haven't updated the kids lately but both are growing like absolute weeds.

Although I cringe at the fact I'm actually posting the pic of me and Ms. Thang, I absolutely love this one - even if it is a little red.

Hayley is now going to swimming lessons but as all 3 year olds do, she feels it is not important to actually LISTEN to the teacher and feels the need to jump in the pool while no ones looking. That one will definitely be giving us some grey hairs.

Last night, she informed me that she is currently engaged to Tarzan and that they are going to have 4 babies. It sure does start young!

As far as Mini-Dude goes, we've have a big milestone over the last week. He has mastered the fine art of crawling. Look out world!

I wish it would show up on the pics but he has the coolest little birthmark on his forehead, somewhat lightening bolt shaped. We are calling him our very own Harry Potter. I cannot believe he's already nearly 7 months old!

As always, my grandniece and nephew are what keep me steady and grounded. Those kids are the absolute world to me. Especially considering the options of me ever having any of my own have yet again diminished to some degree as the health issues seem to be definitely causing it to be more challenging. Not to mention the relationship situation.

They're on their way over here now, so blogging will be light over the weekend as we spend the days camping in the backyard, at the water park and at the beach. Memories will definitely be made over the next few days!

To those having a long weekend, have a great one (It's BC Day here) and those just having a weekend, hope it's a bit relaxing too!
The Desert Voice
I've become an avid reader of the Desert Voice over the last few months. It's a great way to keep up to date with what's going on in the southern deployment area, and well, where a certain interest of mine is. I am being particularly vague here and I know it. Just keeping privacies where they need to be. But check the links out....they're worth it!

This week's edition has a particularly interesting article on Page 4.

And if that wasn't enough, although we often hear a lot of what's happening up north in Iraq, we should remember that the south isn't a walk in the park either. Things have definitely heated up this week.
ABC Meme
Saw this on Gemmak's blog and thought it was good little conversation piece.

A is for Age: Well, 35, of course! (But just two months more...)

B is for Booze: Not very often...the health stuff tends to dictate that, but I've been known to imbibe once or twice. ;-)

C is for Career: Buyer/Logistics Analyst

D is for Dad's Name: Richard, but goes by Dick. I always thought how it would be terrible if the name you're given at birth morphed over the years into some sort of nasty slang. Definitely feel for the Dick's and Gay's of this world.

E is for Essential Item to Bring to a Party: My nefarious macaroni salad, for sure! Well, that and my smiling personality.

F is for Favorite Songs at the Moment: Day after Tomorrow, Tom Waits; Those Words, Cory Lee; Mr. Brightside, The Killers; Gwen Stefani, Cool; American Soldier, Toby Keith

G is for Goof-off Thing to Do: Name That Tune at the pub. Always good fun to let off a little steam.

H is for Hometown: Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver BC

I is for Instrument You Play: Heart strings? or musical would have to be my MP3 player. ;-)

J is for Jam or Jelly You Like: homemade Blackberry

K is for Kids: None from this girl. But I get my fill from my niece's babes.

L is for Living Arrangement: Me and the dog.

M is for Mom's Name: Eileen.

N is for Names of Good Friends: At the risk of unintentionally missing a mention, I will just say I am blessed in the friendship department.

O is for Overnight Hospital Stays: Gawd. Too many. Many as a child. As an adult, muscular reconstruction of my wrist (1995); sepsis (6 days in ICU in 2003); kidney (December 2004)

P is for Phobias: Spiders. It's getting worse with age. I have difficulty opening closets in my house or moving things that may have even a remote possibility!

Q is for Quotes You Like: "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

R is for Relationship That Lasted Longest: 10 years with my ex. Ended in 1995.

S is for Siblings: 4 older brothers.

T is for Texas: Never been. Looks ok though. I'd love to go to a baseball game there.

U is for Unique Trait: I read magazines from back to front.

V is for Vegetables You Love: Yellow squash, turnip, asparagus

W is for Worst Traits: I analyse way too much.

X is for X-rays You've Had: So many I should glow. Most recent, my knee.

Y is for Yummy Food You Make: Pasta with a garlic, cream sauce. No recipe - I just throw whatever in and it usually turns out amazing.

Z is for Zodiac Sign: Virgo, on the Libra cusp.

If you post this on your blog, leave a comment and let me check it out!
July 28, 2005
Playing in the sandbox
Thanks, all for your great advice regarding the work situation and GDTH. It has not yet resolved itself, but will shortly. I know what needs to be done - the opportunity just needs to present itself.

So, on that note, it's time to give a little update on the boy in the sand. I've alluded to our difficult times lately. Distance is never easy. There are always misunderstandings, the wrong tone in a comment, or just pure frustration from being apart. For Todd and I, we have only just begun to know each other. There is still much we are learning. When I got this new job, it curtailed a bit of our conversation time. I wasn't able to take calls during the day at work, which was his evening. So his regular time of calling was no longer an option. He's not an email kinda guy - I'm lucky if I get a couple words - so it took a little bit of a toll on us. It was slow, and neither of us really understood the impact in the beginning.

We would drift apart a bit, and then when finally we were able to connect, it was harsh, rushed and often left us more confused than before. About two months ago, I found out he was in singles chat rooms on the internet. I was extremely hurt by it, and felt betrayed. I couldn't tell him, though. Not at that time, so I just became withdrawn instead. Looking back now, I realize that was not the most productive way to handle it.

I won't go into details of that, but suffice to say, it is no longer an issue. Finally a few weeks ago, I lost control on the phone and let it all out. He put his back up as well, and suffice to say, we had our first serious fight as a couple. I guess it's something that needs to happen in every relationship, but ours just had the added advantage of having to pay the long distance charges to boot.

We have since been very open with each other and have reached a somewhat improved level of communication. It could have ended there, and I think some of my friends & family had hoped that it would. That somehow I would see the folly in our challenging situation, and I would finally move on. The heart, however, is a funny beast. It does what it wants, and what it knows it needs.

It meant the world to me when I realized that he was as serious about making this work as I was. This was no folly to him either. He and I detailed a lot of our baggage and we were ready to get to that next level.

Now, it was nearing the end of his deployment term. The batallion he is with has been returning home over the last few weeks, and some have been home since June. He wouldn't tell me what was going on at first, but he had been offered the opportunity to re-enlist with the new group and stay for another term. He was in a quandry. He dearly misses his little girl at home, and was scared that I would walk away if he chose to stay. That he'd be throwing away everything we had worked for.

To be honest, I was disappointed when I first heard but I asked him a single question - 'Will you regret it if you come home now?'. He was silent for about 5 seconds and then said, quietly, 'Yes'. He feels that the project he is working on is going very well, and that he has much to offer an incoming team. Fair enough, I heard myelf saying, your decision is my decision. We're a team. Whatever this may mean, I know that I am in this for the long haul.

So, he signed the papers the next day. He will now be staying until April 2006. He will be coming back to Colorado for 2 weeks in September, but it is uncertain whether I will be able to see him at that time. The powers-that-be have only accepted his re-enlistment this week, so much is still new and unknown. I know he has a lot to do in those 2 weeks he is home, including rebonding with his daughter and I respect that. And I am caught in a quandry because I have no holidays with this new job - of course, given my mood yesterday, I could have just walked. Although I know that thought is fueled by my frustration at possibly not being able to see him until next year. It may be 22 months in between our reunion and that's a bitter pill to swallow.

It's funny. Part of me is definitely disappointed that I won't be able to see him soon, given that my whole plan was to work through this contract and then take an extended time to be with him once he was home. But a bigger part of me, one that surprises me to some degree, is incredibly proud of his choice and I can't help but feel this is the right path.

So...it looks like it'll be another lonely winter. But when it's right in your heart, you do what you need to do.
July 27, 2005
Ya know, if life didn't have enough stresses on it's own, people and their idiotic perceptions make it worse. It has been a tough week, well a tough few weeks but it builds character, right?

I am very angry right now, and feeling out of sorts, so in some respect I probably shouldn't be blogging to the entire world. I try not to let my emotions get the better of me but I am human. Not a happy human at the moment though.

For the past few weeks, I have been enjoying the company of a few people at work. This new job has been a windfall in finding people with like interests, that included me as if I had always been there.

Having Todd in Iraq makes it rather difficult a lot of times and I do find myself getting lonely. It's strange how I was by alone for so long, yet now that he is in my life, I find myself feeling like part of me is not here. It's strange, considering he's never has even set foot in my house, but there is the distinct feeling that he belongs here somehow.

So I've been going out for dinner a lot more with the people from work, and in particular one guy, we shall code name Guy Down The Hall (GDTH). I was up front with him from the beginning that Todd was my priority and that I was not looking for 'that' kind of company. But he didn't seem like that. We began to build a pretty good friendship. He was teaching me to golf, had even come over to my house to help fix my computer a couple times, and many lunches and dinners. We talked a lot. He's a nice enough guy, if not a little full of himself. Even if I wasn't involved with Todd, I wouldn't have been attracted. He's just plainly not my type.

Well, it's no secret that Todd and I have had a rough patch. We are coming out of it now, a little stronger that we anticipated and GDTH knew it. He seemed supportive, although a little condescending about me waiting 'for a dream' (his words, not mine). Todd did know I was making friends and knew about GDTH as someone who had become a good friend.

Fast forward to last Thursday night. GDTH asked if I wanted to catch some all-u-can-eat sushi after a company soccer match. I agreed and we went. Just like we had done a bazillion times before. But it was odd. He was very much on himself, and ranted about women in general. How most will lie and manipulate to get what they want. That he most girls he'd ever dated ended up being psychos and I heard in quite graphic detail the level of some of his encounters. I did try to change the subject, to add my two cents but he was clearly on some sort of agenda, so I let him rant. Figured he must be having some sort of issues with some female friend of his. At one point, he went into this tirade about women cheating. I said considering I knew the other side of that, I would never do such a thing. He looked at me and said 'Given the right circumstance, you would'. Thought that was odd, but let it go.

The bill came and he insisted on paying. I had my money out on the table but he wouldn't take it. Fair enough. I was tired, I didn't feel like arguing. I thanked him and left.

Friday came and I ended up with a severe migraine that kept me more or less bedridden until Sunday. Didn't see him Monday. Not unusual. Our office is in the midst of reconstruction so we are all out of place this week.

On Tuesday morning, I got an email from his administrative assistant (who I am also friends with) asking me to go for coffee right away. So I went, thinking she must be having problems again which we often chat about.

Imagine my surprise when she hits me with his story. He apparently has decided (deluded?) for himself that I have...gawd, I can't even say this without fury...become emotionally attached to him. That I somehow am pining after him and he doesn't know how to push me away. That he is 'tired of having to turn down every girl he tries to befriend'. What a freakin' prince.

He apparently told quite a few people in the group that he felt 'very uncomfortable' around me and that he tried on Thursday to let me down gently by talking about his ex-girlfriends but I wouldn't take the hint. I am horrified to say the least.

Every time we have had dinner or what have you, it has been his call. I have not ONCE asked him. I had, or at least though I had, been crystal clear that my man is in Iraq, and that's where my interest lies.

At first I was embarrassed, and a little humiliated. I'm past all this 12-year old, high school crap. But now I'm just completely angry. We had to walk out to another part of the facility yesterday afternoon, after all this came to light and it was just the two of us. I decided to start the ball rolling and said 'You know what, GDTH? Todd and I are very much together. You may have misinterpreted that, but I just need you to know where I stand'. He said nothing but continued on the tour of the plant.

When he returned, he apparently told his admin. that I had practically blurted out my situation with Todd as if I was trying to cover something. I am floored!!!

I am now past angry. This is just not cool. I am on a 6 month contract, and while I love this job, I am not prepared to take this kind of misinterpreted, poorly perceived issues on my reputation. Given that I may have a chance to see Todd in September (more on that on another post), it was all I could do not just to say screw it today and walk out.

The last 48 hours I have gone through our interactions to the best of my recollection, and there has not been one time that I can remember where he could have misinterpreted my situation. There was one time, when Todd called when we were out for dinner and I missed the ringing. I tried to pick it up and it had already gone to voicemail. I lightly said 'Oh he'll call back.' because I didn't want it to seem like a big deal. I am always deeply disappointed when I miss a call, and I usually keep that as quiet as I can. I am a fairly close to the vest person. My blogging is my outlet. I don't let a lot of people into my emotional side, so I didn't feel it appropriate. That is the only time, though, that I can recall ever being nonchalant, or some way could have been misinterpreted.

I plan to discuss with him in the next day or so, as soon as an opportunity presents itself that does not lend to more idle gossip. Unfortunately, I am more than peeved at the moment, and my anger would not be appropriate. I need to simmer down enough to deal with this in a calm manner, lest he add me to his list of 'psycho girls' he's needed to 'put down gently'.

Dude, seriously, you ain't all that and a bag of chips. Now, Todd on the other hand, is that and then some.
Wishing well
The Canadians leave for the new mission in Afghanistan today.

Stay safe and keep your head down, and come back soon. Many of us thank you for your service and don't let anyone tell you differently.

(If you wish to support our Canadian soldiers, there's no better place than Angels n' Camoflauge)
July 25, 2005
More than likely
A poll released over the weekend suggested that World War III is likely within our lifetimes. Some would say it's already here, but we just call it by a different name.

The Fourth Rail has put together a presentation that brings the point home. I urge everyone to watch it.

The ancient Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times' comes to mind. We truly do. Our grandchildren's grandchildren will be going over these days in history books, no doubt.
July 24, 2005
Plain wrong
What is wrong with the world today when this can happen?

Those people, not least of which the bus driver should be ashamed of themselves.
Stopping to think
The news of the British police fatally shooting a man in the Tube is tragic.

Even more so for the fact that the situation dictated the police officer had no option. It is sad and regrettable, but this man did give the police reason to doubt his intentions.

We are currently in a situation where the bad guys are not wearing devils horns and uniforms. The decision to shoot is not one taken lightly and there is no time to think. Just take a look at the Anchoress's post if you need to have a little visual reminder.

That police officer will live with this shooting the rest of his life. He will go over every single moment over and over again, considering what he could have done differently. That moment, that split second when he felt he must pull that trigger, he would have truly believed in his soul that it was the only choice he had to save others. To serve and protect. It's what we need our police officers to do.

It's better to be judged by 12, than carried by 6.
Nancy Drew and the Secret Tunnel

The discovery of a drug tunnel between Canada and the US has made the headlines this weekend. What surprises me most though is that it was so close to the Sumas Border Crossing. I used Google Earth to find the area and marked it. The border crossing is only about 500 yards away!

This border crossing is not new to problems. It's the same one that had two border guards targeted by drug smugglers in the last year. One border guard was arrested in May after being found to be coerced into transporting a load ino Bellingham.

The Silent Republican has some interesting thoughts as well.

I like to think it's an isolated one-off but who knows? Given the crackdown on the Hell's Angels last week, it looks like there is much going on under the surface that we have no idea.
Vancouver is closed
For a month now, since June 27, the ports of Vancouver have been held hostage by the VCTA - the Vancouver Truckers Association. A group of truckers, although not a recognized union, that have decided to walk away from their jobs.

My company, like many others, have goods in port that we are unable to get without fear of violence. We talk tough about terrorism in the world today, but when it hits our own backyard, the government turns a blind eye. And if you think this doesn't affect you, trust me...it does. Every Canadian has been affected in some way.

Now when this started, I felt some empathy for the truckers. It's an expensive, thankless business and with the rising gasoline prices, no doubt getting more painful every day. However, when I heard their demands included a $75 rate, yeah, that changed. And given that I'm only newly dealing with ocean freight, it came as news to me that these same truckers that are causing the strike are the ones that undercut everyone else years ago and have now realized it's impossible to conduct business at that level.

It's not all truckers. There are some that do continue to attempt to work, but they've been hit with open violence. Rock throwing, clear threats of 'we know where you live', and even gunfire. It's the Wild West out there.

Now the violence, which we've heard varying rumours of, is now hitting the MSM. A trucker's home was targeted the other night, and a window above a child's head shattered by a rock. I'm not even going into the gang of thugs that shot up a bunch of trucks (with one man sleeping inside the cab). This is mafia, mob-based violence. And it feels like we are powerless to make it stop.

Small Dead Animals has a good post on the subject here.

However, given the actions over the last month, patience has dwindled. Companies are in real danger of losing their businesses for good and jobs have already been lost. The Port is technically still open, and therefore, storage fees apply. Each and every day those storage and demurrage costs add up and how can a small business ever recoup? I know my company is already in the tens of thousands of dollars, and we only have a couple dozen containers waiting.

Sure, Best Buy, Sears, and the big dudes can do something. They have deep pockets. But they are such a select few. Many companies are beyond their means, and with the government turning a blind eye, what are the options?

The Chamber of Shipping has implored the government to get involved. K Line has already now diverted to Tacoma. The news has even hit the Asian newspapers.

Would it be different if this was Halifax or Ottawa? You can be sure of it.
July 22, 2005
Sand in my shoes

This evening marks a year gone by, an anniversary if you will. A year since a certain man sat down at my table at a restaurant on the beach in Waikiki and introduced himself as a proud member of the US Navy.

This last year has been nothing and everything I expected. It has changed me. It has changed him. Forever. If you would have told either of us at that moment that we would still be involved a year later, I don't think we would have believed it.

Two weeks away it feels like the world should've changed
But I'm home now
And things still look the same

I had no idea that someone who should have just been a holiday memory would realign my psyche. This past year, we have spent mostly getting to know each other on the phone. 365 days later, we both need our daily phonecall fix. Of course, now they come from Iraq.

I think I'll leave it to tomorrow till unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I'm back in my flat on the road
Where the cars never stop going through the night

I still often look at the pictures of Hawaii. Remembering each moment, savouring it. Trying to remember the feeling of his hand in mine, his bear hug engulfing me, his breath beside me. I miss his touch.

To real life where I can't watch sunset
I don't have time
I don't have time

This past year has seen him change his home, the one he'd known for 10 years then be deployed to Camp Anaconda and beyond. Something he thought, at the age of 40 was long behind him. Instead, he's living in the desert contemplating his life completely changing direction. When I met him, he was at a crossroads. He had just changed residences and his life was in upheaval. He needed a kind ear, a friend. That was how this all began. A year ago, I had no idea what Semper Fi! was, or FOBs, APOs, MREs, IEDs, were. I never could have dreamed I would know what it sounds to hear an explosion on the other end of the phone, nor not to be alarmed by it and almost used to it. I respected those that kept the homefires burning, but I had no idea what that meant. I now know what it means to be tied to the phone, to live for those times we can get a computer connection. I don't look for flowers or trinkets. I hold on to those phonelines connecting us over the many thousands of miles.

I've still got sand in my shoes
And I can't shake the thought of you
I shake it all, forget you
Why, why would I want to
I know we said goodbye
Anything else would've been confused but I wanna see you again

Part of me wonders if it all should have been left on the beaches of Waikiki. In the memories of the walks through the grounds of the Hale Koa. Of sitting on the shore, with the ocean lapping at our feet. Then I think about how much his friendship means to me. How we have no idea how this will end up, how we have no answers but for today, I know that I am in his heart. That I have grown to love him more than I ever thought I could.

A couple of months ago, things hit a roadblock. He gave me reason to doubt his intentions. To doubt who he is to me. I am still struggling with that. My issues with trust run deep. I don't have a lot of support of my friends and family who see this as a folly that I will eventually grow tired of. On my dark days, I wonder if they are right. My turn to blogging was a way to help support him. To become aware of the issues others go through. It has helped. A military girlfriend can be a strange place to be.

I wanna see you again
Two weeks away, all it takes to change in time around by falling
I walked away and never said that I wanted to see again

But then I remember what we have triumphed through. That with a very short time to get to know each other in person, we have managed to build a bond that I know will be with us always. A year later, and well over 300 phonecalls, the tie is strong. What we have is nothing short of miraculous. And I think how lucky we both were to cross paths that night in the tropical summer evening. A girl from Canada, who rarely has much to do with the nightlife scene, and a guy from Denver recently separated and not wanting to spend a night in a cold hotel room contemplating his world changing.

I wanna see you again
I wanna see you again

The words that haunt my brain. The last words before I fall asleep. The first words I think in the morning.

But I know I will see him again. That this year will be worth the lonely struggle it has been.

I miss him very much tonight. It's an exquisitely painful feeling. The unknown can be cruel. But at the same time, I know that somewhere in a tent in the hot, sandy desert there is a man waking up right now and he's thinking about me.
This crazy mixed up world
Those who sacrifice a little freedom for a little security, deserve neither.

I sit here tonight watching the news about the man who was shot this morning in London, suspected of being involved in the terrorist attacks. Then now the stories of the horrific bombing in Egypt this evening, leaving many vacationers dead.

Then discussions of civil liberties come up. I'm of the mind that if a security person wants to see in my handbag, and that may cause one less person to feel concerned, you're welcome to it, my friend. I have nothing to hide, and I welcome it.

Security personnel aren't requesting people to do these things on a whim. The state of the world today commands it. Sure, we all wish it didn't but it does. It is only frustrating that the enemy force is something out of an old Sinbad movie, when one head of dragon is cut off only to spout seven more.

Imagine being on a subway and seeing this:

"I turned around and there was a man lying on the ground with his arms outstretched in a Jesus Christ position, lying on top of a medium-sized black and green rucksack, face up," he told the paper.

"He had his eyes shut and there was a puff of smoke coming from the bag. Some girls started screaming, the emergency cable was pulled and everyone started running away from him towards the front of the train," he said.

Read the rest here.

And here's another blog worth reading. And another one.

We need a little less concern about hurting people's feelings and a little more concern regarding safety and security. Australia's Prime Minister's response today, reminiscent of statemen of days past, hits it right on the mark:

PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that. (Laughter.)
Enough of the hand-wringing over what things should be like. It's time to take care of business.
July 21, 2005
Not again
The news this morning out of London did not put a smile on my face this morning. I had just said to a friend this weekend that there was a guilty feeling of relief, in that there's usually about a year's respite between attacks. I didn't want to be proven wrong.

Even if the CBC can't say it, I can. Bastard terrorists.

n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Stay safe, Londoners!
July 20, 2005
Beamed up
Looks like Scotty was on the receiving end of the beaming up this time.

He was 85.
July 19, 2005
Where will they go next?

If you thought Google Earth was cool, apparently they weren't thinking very terrestrial when they created it.

Check this out. (Make sure you zoom all the way!)
My aunt's dog passed away yesterday. Poppy was 9.

Anyone who has an animal living with them knows how close to family members they are. Poppy was even a little more than that.

Just a couple days before Christmas in 1995, my aunt lost her husband to cancer. It was pretty sudden, given that we all thought the tumours were shrinking. One night he got up to go to bed and collapsed. He died the following day of a blood clot and it was found the tumour in his esophagus was roughly 4 lbs. For some reason, it had never shown up on any of the tests he had gone through.

My aunt was devastated. They'd been married 47 years and she was lost.

They had one child, my cousin Lani but she lived out of town and only came into visit maybe twice a year. My Aunt was lonely and grief-stricken.

In 1996, we banded together and got my Aunt a beautiful purebred Golden Retriever puppy. I remember the night she arrived from her long trip down to the Coast. She had been born on a large farm in the Interior and had never seen carpet or stairs. She was terrified. That little puppy looked up at us with such fear as we coaxed her in the door. The breeder was a Danish lady and when she talked about the puppy, it came out 'Poppy'. Her name was born.

My Aunt adored that dog. Poppy was the reason she would get out of bed in the morning. Before she had her, she was seriously depressed and with her daughter so far away, she felt very alone.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 1997, it got a little worse. My cousin passed away very suddenly at the age of 48. It was a terrible death. While she took 9 days to actually pass, she had a stroke and suffered badly before she finally was at peace. Her death has and always will haunt me and it rarely leaves my consciousness.

For my Aunt, it was tenfold. She had lost her husband, and now her only child. All she had was Poppy. Of course, we visited, we called. But she has never really recovered. Most of the family now has just let her be...calling her 'Crazy Aunt J'. There are serious cracks in her soul. She drinks a little too much. She stares at the walls and at times becomes very morose.

But Poppy has kept her at least someone even. She takes her for walks every day and it's what keeps her going. She has mentioned more than once that she didn't want to be here if Poppy wasn't.

About a month ago, Poppy took a seizure. It lasted about 2 minutes. A long time when you're standing helpless beside her. When she came out of it, she was confused and a little aggressive. My Aunt tried to go near her, but she bared her teeth. It surprised us all, as Poppy had never shown anything but the even-tempered Golden Retriever personality that makes them so popular. The vet came but there were no obvious signs of distress. Blood tests were negative and it seemed like it must be a one-off. Maybe she choked on her food?

For the past month, she has been fine and back to her old self. Then the night before last, she took another seizure. And again. Through the night, she had about 7 and by morning, she was unable to move at all. My Aunt called the vet, who came straight away to the house and he diagnosed a severe stroke. There was nothing that could be done. He put her to rest, right there, with my aunt soothing and comforting her the best she could.

We are all devastated, and extremely concerned for my Aunt. I tried to talk to her last night, but she was incoherent. I don't know what I can do. Flowers seem so trite.

I don't know what will happen now. My Aunt has already had a stroke herself, last November. She's not young. Getting another pet was something she distinctly said she would never do. She didn't want to burden me with another animal if it outlived her, but frankly, I have no problem with that.

Of course, it's too early to think that way. I am just very sad this morning. I will miss Poppy very much. She was just so much more than a dog, she was the lifeline for my Aunt.
July 17, 2005
Book tag
Red has tagged me with the book tag. Thanks, buddy! =) I did this back in May so I'm just updating it for 2 months later.

1. Total Number of Books I've Owned
Beyond a number, I am sure. I have a real addiction to buying books and rarely end up being able to go without buying one. Even just going to the grocery store usually finds me picking something up. Right now, I have my library with 6 5-shelf bookcases completely filled. There alone has to be 500+ books.

2. Last Book I Bought
Do you need to ask? Harry Potter, of course! It arrived yesterday at 10:30am and I've been buried since (well, as buried as I can be with everything else).

Before that though, I bought The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

3. Last Book I Read
"Brother Fish" by Bryce Courtenay...it was a fantastic book and I still miss the characters two months later. It's a great book about the unlikely friendship formed between an Australian (Tasmanian) soldier and a black US soldier during the Korean War while POWs. It is very powerful and has made me tear up quite a few times. It hasn't been released in North America yet (I had it sent from Australia), but when it does in October, everyone should read it.

4. 5 Books that mean a lot to me
- Four Fires - Bryce Courtenay
- The Burning Shore - Wilbur Smith
- The Shopaholic Series - Sophie Kinsella
- Exodus - Leon Uris
- Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

5. Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog
I'm not going to tag anyone but if you'd like to do this, I'd love to read your answers. Just let me know and I'll pop by your site.
July 14, 2005
Knee-ly news
Ok, lame subject title, but hell, my blog, my sad attempt at humour.

I mentioned briefly last week that I was having knee problems. I have never had any sort of knee issue in my life but 2 weeks ago, I got out of my car and my knee fell under me. I had to grab the hood of the car from going down completely.

Since then, each step has been excruciating. Walking more than a few steps leaves me feeling nauseated and extremely uncomfortable. I tried to ignore it. But it woke me up at night quite a few times and all the Advil in the world didn't seem to be touching it.

Finally last Friday I gave in and went to a walk-in clinic against my better judgement. The doc was very pleasant, poked and prodded me and declared me to have a partially torn LCL. Fair enough, it'll heal in time, I thought. The doc told me nothing could be done but rest and ice. 'It'll hurt for a while, my friend', he grinned.

Well, it has and then some. I can't seem to walk up or down stairs and have taken to sort of hopping down them. I bought a tensor bandage thing that seems to support it better than anything, but nothing seems to give me relief. And of course, given the situation with my Mom, my health is definitely in the back seat at the moment.

Today though, I decided enough was enough and booked an appointment with my GP. I expected the old lecture of 'lose weight' and I think that was part of the reason I didn't want to go. Well, I was surprised, and caught off guard by what she found.

After a series of x-rays, it turns out I have torn cartilage, not ligaments. It is severe enough for a laproscopy apparently, and I am now being referred to a surgeon. It's quite a lot to take in, considering I have never really had problems before.

Of course, now I'm on the endless waiting list in the void of our medical system. I spoke to a few people today that have had similar issues and have been told this could be months now before I even get to see a surgeon, let alone actually get the procedure done. Not really sure how I'm supposed to get through it, but I assume it will heal to some degree that I'll be able to walk a little better hopefully.

Holy hell, though. I just start getting my health in order, getting more active with golf and just getting out more in general. Not to mention starting a new job. I am NOT impressed.
July 13, 2005
Balming of London

We took on the Romans, the Saxons, the Danes, the French, William Wallace, the Black Plague, the Roundheads, the Great Fire, Napoleon, the Nazis, and the Blitz, and we're still here. You terrorists are bloody amateurs.
Check out what Snopes has to say on the 'Balming of London'.

Hearing that the culprits were homicide bombers was deeply frustrating to me (and many others, I'm sure). How do you even begin to police that? If their own families truly didn't know, if we were to believe that, then how do you ensure it doesn't happen again?

It's like the freaks that do things like Columbine. They are so warped that normal logic doesn't apply. It is just a very sad reality that we live in.

Of course hearing more news like this doesn't help.

In the same vein as the post the other day, another piece of treasure from the family history box.

The inscription on the back, in my Grandfather's much younger handwriting reads:

R.R. armoured car "Scorpion"
Taken before handing over to the Irish Free State Army

Pretty funky looking tank! After watching 'Gunner Palace' last night for the first time, I was looking at this and thinking about the comment 'It'll probably slow down the bullet enough so it stays in your body'.

And in the background is that ol' Model T! Not exactly sure where this was taken but the majority of my Grandfather's time was spent in Cork as far as I know. After the RIC disbanded, he and his new English bride flipped a coin on whether to emigrate to Canada or Australia. You can guess what they got.

I spent a few hours trying to research on the internet last night, but now I'm more confused than ever. Will have to spend some more time on the weekend.
Look who's comin' out West!
Seems like ol' Paul is making the trip west on Saturday for Chuck Cadman's funeral.
July 12, 2005
Nearly 9 decades ago
(Welcome Blackfive readers!)

I was going through a few old documents the other day and came across this piece of history. When I noticed the date of July 12, 1918, I knew that I would have my post piece for my blog that day.

In France, towards the end of WWI, my grandfather - an Irishman - was on the battlefield when a fellow soldier - an Australian - was injured.

In the crude circumstances of the day, they went to a makeshift tent where my Grandad donated a pint of blood for the injured man.

There were no adminstration groups, no formalized procedures, so the Corporal asked for a piece of paper. My Grandad had just a deployment form in his wallet, to which the Corporal wrote:

'This is to certify that on July 12, 1918, JM Webber gave 950cc of his blood to save the life of a wounded comrade'

The rest is hard to read and although I've tried to have it searched by a military researcher some years ago, it would seem to be lost to history.

Joe was just a few months past his 18th birthday. He had already been to Northern Africa and Italy fighting for the British after lying about his age to join the military. He once told the story of this moment and how crude and unsanitary the conditions were but that it was one of his proudest memories to be able to help out the Australian. Nicest bloke, he'd say...still was cracking jokes while his guts were saying hello to the frest night air. My Grandad had a way with words to say the least.

A few months later, it would be him on the receiving end of treatment when he was bayonneted in the stomach. He was left for dead on the battlefield and wasn't found until nearly 36 hours later by some French nuns. They carried him to a field hospital where much of his small intestine and part of his stomach would need to be removed. He was extremely lucky to have made it at all, but would suffer from severe pain the rest of his life. When he died at age 86, it was found to be the scar tissue from that event that eventually kinked and killed him.

I often think I would love to research his military history. I know parts, but not nearly enough. I have a few papers from his time in the war, as well as his stint in the Royal Irish Constabulary. Actually, that's what interests me most. The stories from RIC during 1918-1922 in Cork were fascinating, and tore his family apart. Even to this day, I get nervous talking about 'The Troubles' because it's ingrained in me how disasterous it was to his family and how he never spoke to his parents again because of things that happened during that time.
July 11, 2005
Do you know Canada?
The Globe and Mail has a quiz out today.

I got an embarrassing 14 out of 20. I guess I don't know my country as much as I should.
Welcoming a new brigadier
I don't always get around to welcome the new Red Ensign Brigaders when they arrive. Am always happy to see others and continue to broaden my insight into my beloved country, but today I would like to welcome The Left Handed Right, as he hoists the traditional flag of Canada.

He notes:
You see, many people like to accuse Conservatives of being to negative - of hating Canada. It is a bizarre accusation to me, because we all know that when you fight over something, it is not because you hate it, it is because you care about it. It is important enough to fight over. Conservatives fight for the soul of this nation. We fight because we love Canada and want to treasure it and keep it safe. We want to cure that rot at the core of the nation, not twist Canada into some bonsai tree
Read the rest here.

Makes me want to stand on some soapbox, saying 'Yeah, what he said!'

And it doesn't hurt that he's a fellow southpaw from my neck of the woods. Welcome!
July 10, 2005
Mini Road Trip
We took a quick trip across the line today into Washington State. Given the 'orange' feeling in the air, we expected some delay at the border and readied ourselves accordingly. We made sure there were no forgotten bags in the car, and all was easily visible. Passports at the ready, we popped over to the Pacific Border Crossing (otherwise known as the Truck Crossing).

A few random thoughts - the American flags were all at full staff, while the Canadian ones were at half mast. Not really sure what the 'right' thing to do here, but I would suspect that the flags should be at a respectable half mast at least until the dead were fully counted. That may sound harsh, but I was quite surprised to see the American flags up.

There was a commissionaire on the US side directing traffic into the lines. He looked like a real gruff old guy as he signalled cars into each queue. Then, suddenly, he reached into his pocket revealing a dog biscuit which he took over to a car with a dog in it. He spent about 5 minutes talking to the people in the car and seemed to just be enjoying the chat. We opened our window and my friend called out to ask where our biscuits were. I think we made his day, so he came over and started chatting to us and told us a couple of fairly racy jokes to make us laugh.

Going through the Customs, we were met by a thorough but friendly border guard. He joked with us when we told him we were on a shopping trip, asking if he should call Visa to let them know we were on our way in.

Not many trucks waiting in the commercial lot though, which surprised us. But considering the Port Of Vancouver is stuck behind a strike line, I guess it's the nature of the business right now. (which by the way is the bane of my existence at work right now as I work on getting 6 containers released about as effectively as running in quicksand)

While we certainly are at a higher level of security right now, and with good reason, they have seemingly perfected the system. Or at least today. While it may have taken a few minutes longer than in the past, I think everyone seemed to feel it was just part of the adventure.

Off we went but the trip was for naught. The store we were looking for was closed on Sundays, so it ended up just being a drive today. Well, maybe just a little bit of a Fred Meyer stop, but that was mandatory for the sugar cookies.
Link alert

There have been such great posts in the blogosphere the last few days regarding the tragedy in London.

Here's a few that caught my eye:

One of the more widely linked ones is Tim Worstall. He was even picked up by the mainstream media with his post, Terrorist Bombs in London. A must read.

Peace, Order and Good Government points us to a chilling thought. There was actually 6 on that list...Italy was also included. Do I think Canada's in the crosshairs? My gut reaction is no. I think the people that do these despicable things have higher priorities, but as I don't think like them, who knows? Our security does need to be tightened. Our Marine security alone is a shambles, let alone our transit security that allows a teenager to be beaten to death, yet now starts worrying about packages.

Red, a friend of mine from outside London, posts a couple rare pictures, and shares with us the London mayor's speech. One of the better ones, I think.

The above picture comes from this site. Some very cool graphics here.

Here's a first-hand account of someone who was not only there, but went on to experience an inflight emergency on his flight out of Heathrow

From Trucker Bob, I leave you with this quick little verse:

Life is but a pathway
Of freshly fallen snow
Be careful how you tread it
For every step will show
July 09, 2005
Chuck, we will miss you
As if the sadness of the last few days wasn't enough, tonight the word comes through the MP Chuck Cadman has lost his battle to cancer.

Very rarely, if ever, do I remember ever feeling so sad about a politician dying. But Chuck was an example to us all. I won't eulogize him here. There are many sites that will be able to do that better than I.

He was a man of principle and integrity. He didn't bow to public pressure. He wasn't born to politics but went to it after his son was brutally murdered in 1992.

For a snippet of who he was, read this interview.

In one part, he noted:
I said if you consider me the worst dressed person because I happen to wander out here looking the way most the people in my constituency look, I'm not apologizing for that. I do own a suit and there are times I have to wear one, but I spent my whole life going to work in my jeans and my sleeves rolled up and just because I got this job didn't change that. The last time I checked it was called the House of Commons because it was where the representatives of the common people are. And if I happen to look like them, I don't apologize for that.

It is just so unfortunate that the last months of his life had to be so burdened by our political woes and that he was not able to spend it in tranquility.

Hopefully his legacy will allow other likeminded individuals to take up his torch and to stand up for a better country.

He leaves a deep void in this country, and he will be missed.

May he be in peace now, and reunited with Jesse. His family will be in my prayers tonight.
Yesterday was my Dad's 73rd birthday. I had plans of writing another long post about some of his stories. Something about how he got his degree in his mid-30's with 4 small kids in the house hiding in the laundry room for peace, or about how he would help his Dad making sure everyone got to their blackout shelters in WWII.

But that was not meant to be. Instead we spent a very quiet evening looking after my Mom.

I posted last week that my Mom isn't well. I can't remember what I wrote and am too knackered to look it up, so if I repeat myself, it's my blog so I can. [grin]

My Mom has emphysema. It is worsening. We knew it was coming, we knew this is not just a minor illness. But everyone expected it would be a long way off. Apparently we were wrong.

When my Mom got sick the day after her birthday. she got steadily worse. By last weekend, she was unable to get oxygen, and would pass out and even had a couple seizures. My Dad dutifuly looked after her, and I called every 2 hours. I had a friend in town from San Fran, and also I knew she couldn't take visitors as it was. My Mom is a fighter, and that is what I am sure is helping her as much as it is. She refused to go to the doctor for the first week, and would blast anyone who tried to tell her to go to the hospital.

But she finally did last Friday. The doctor respected her wishes not to be hospitalized but put her on major medications, including strong steroids. She did warn her that things needed to turn around quickly or hospitals would no longer be a choice.

My Mom has improved since then. But they are tiny tiny steps. Now she can speak a full sentence without losing a breath, and she can manage to sit on the edge of her bed. Yesterday, she walked into the bathroom unassisted.

She went back for the doctor to check her yesterday and the doctor was none too pleased. She should be much better than she is, but her lungs are deeply inflamed and all the medication in the world is not helping because effectively the route is closed. She ordered her to the hospital, but my Mom once again refused. She said it took every bit of her energy but there was no way she was going. She told the doctor 'I have my husband who will take care of me to my dying breath and I am not going into some germ-filled, overcrowded hospital'. Her fear isn't unfounded, and I know she believes deeply that if she does go, things will get worse before they get better which she doesn't have the strength for.

So the doctor relented. She is at home on oxygen, with a nebulizer she must use 6 times a day. The doc has given her until Monday to show some improvement or then she must go.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a sort of two-fold issue with the rest of my family. One is this quiet undercurrent that she has somehow done this to herself. That her years of smoking, although she quit about 5 years ago, has been some sort of self-multilation and therefore, it's ok not to really respect what's happening to her now. The other issue is that frankly, my brothers are doing what they do best and sticking their head in the sand and pretending it's not happening. They call every 2-3 days (or should I say their wives) and then they've somehow done their duty.

I live very close and have done what I can, but it's not as much as I would like to. I have had a little injury myself and am a little immobile. Apparently, last week by doing absolutely nothing at all, I have torn my LCL in my right knee. Walking is, at the very least, challenging.

Dad is exhausted. He was nearly falling over yesterday but he will not relax. He won't leave her side for even a minute. He's exactly where he wants to be, but I worry for him too. He's not getting any younger and this last two weeks has aged him deeply.

I call her every hour or so, just to check. My Dad is deaf as well so it's difficult to see how he's doing but I've had a few conversations with him while I'm there. Not easy though...he's a stoic guy and his love for her is so strong right now. It makes me a little weepy to know that after 53 years, their love has grown stronger than any relationship I know.

Yesterday, over cake, my Mom apologized to my Dad for being sick and not being able to do anything for his birthday.

To which, he looked at her with dogtired eyes and said 'You have given me the greatest gift. You are here and that's all I wanted.'
July 08, 2005
Needing a smile?
So apparently this is what they're doing in the Sandbox in their spare time.

Share video at JussPress.com

(thanks, Christi for sending this. ;-))
July 07, 2005
The next chapter
So this time, it's London. Sure, it's easy to say it's inevitable or that certain political decisions are to blame, but that's really not the point, is it?

A lot of people today lost loved ones, and many more were injured and will never be the same. And some not physically injured, but who saw things that will never leave their consciousness. Whie we sit here numbed by a number, there are people sitting beside hospital beds, and insane with grief...those are the people we need to keep in our thoughts and prayers.

I keep thinking about the 40 dead. It's not just a number. Imagine yourself standing in a crowd and then, poof, they're all gone. 40 people, 40 families changed forever. And that's not even starting to count those injured.

The point is we are reminded today that the world is truly dangerous and we can never let our guard down. There seems almost another level of complacency lately that made us feel that these large-scale terrorist attacks were sort of somehow a possibility, but the security feeling that has pervaded for the last few years hasn't really been evident.

My morning has been spend hearing from friends in London. Emails with subject lines like 'He's okay!' landing in my mailbox. Brings back those other days that remain in infamy...Bali, Madrid, and of course NY/DC. And hearing ironically from Iraq, as well, as Todd called to make sure that my friends were ok as well.

Been reading the first-hand accounts on the BBC this morning. Chilling stuff.

It's a sad, sad day. And my heart goes out to the Londoners. Today is not a day to armchair quarterback, but to stand with the people of London and lend our condolences and support.
July 05, 2005
Red Ensign Standard - The Quarter Century

Today, the Red Ensign Standard flies over at the Raging Kraut's place.

Along with a great little story about visiting the Red Ensign flag that is honoured in a museum close to his home, he also mentions what our group means to him:

We've had debates on who and what we are as a group -- I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say that we have a pretty diverse cross-section
of opinion: Conservatives, some (one?) Liberals and Socialists, Libertarians, Anarchists (maybe, I have my suspicions), Aging Boomers (Hippies!), New Wavers,
Epicureans, Grouchy Old Men, Snot-Nosed Punks, Tasteless Culture Vultures, the over-educated and the under-employed...it's a "big tent."The overwhelming consensus of this group is that they believe in freedom, individuality, and above all, truth.

I have found myself over the past few months of being a Red Ensign Blogger that we have a great group of very intelligent people and I am definitely honoured to be apart of them. Their posts keep me keenly aware of the important events of my country and allow me to expand on what is truly important to me. We are going through a great deal of turmoil in Canada these days. Whether we end up sticking our heads in the sand waiting for it all to calm down or we stand screaming at the top of our lungs demanding change, the point is our country is changing and we are at a crossroads. I know this group allows me to not just wish for a better Canada but actively feel like it is possible. If our 60-odd number of bloggers are out there, then there are many more of us that don't blog but feel the same. That is what makes me optimistic for our future.

July 04, 2005
The 4th of July
Happy Independence Day to my American friends all over the world.

I have come to a newer understanding of the US over the last year of supporting Todd, especially since he was deployed to Iraq. I have seen a deeper love of a country and a true patriotism that has allowed my own to ignite and become stronger as well.

I have always lived half an hour from the border, and have felt very little difference between that imaginary line between 'here' and 'there'. Remove the politics and the fact remains, it's the people that make a country.

Have a great July 4th, my friends.

(BTW, I snapped the above pic in May 2003 in San Francisco. The warehouse had been burned out in a fire a few weeks before and there was something so poignant in the burned husk of the building with the flags waving in the distance)
Old Soul
You are an Old Soul!
You are an old soul writer--neither a pantser (who writes by the seat of her pants) nor a plotter
(who plots out a book before writing it). You're a person who values serendipity and
spontaneity, but also realizes the benefit of having an idea where a story is going before
you write it. You may make up an outline or have a plan for a book, and write something
totally different, but that's OK. You're not comfortable writing without having at least
some idea of where the story is going, but you also like the freedom to change the story from
what you originally planned. You're a born writer who realizes the value of serendipity.

What Kind of a Writer Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

One day, I'll actually write that book that's floating around in my head. As soon as I can visualize it totally, I'm there. Of course, that may be still another 20 years or so...
Support The Troops - Canadian Style

I often feel like I'm the only Canadian with a "Support The Troops" magnet on my car. It's funny how often, if people feel the need to comment, they refer to me being pro-American. Still not sure why that's an entirely bad thing....

Supporting those that are deployed, no matter what country they come from is important. Those that serve make a big sacrifice in their life. They leave their families, their friends, the comforts we take for granted in order to make the world a better place.

It's not always political, but more a calling and for that, I have always been thankful there are people in this world that will do that to ensure I can enjoy my life in the way that I do.

So it was with a bit of a surprise I found out today that the Canadian troops don't have a 'Support The Troops' campaign similar to the US. The men and women serving in Afghanistan, Bosnia, China and other far flung regions don't have any Adopt-A-Soldier-type programs, or letter writing organizations.

Girl on The Right brings this to our attention and asks us to help with her goal of setting something up for our oft-forgotten military men and women. She writes:

So what of our Canadian soldiers, stuck in Afghanistan with nothing but a rusted Korea-era tank and a potato gun? Nothing. No blogs that I could find, and worse still - no letter-writing organizations. They've been forgotten. By our government, by our media, by our citizens, and by our charitable Christian women's hearts. They fight shoulder to shoulder with their American brothers and sisters, who receive care packages from perfect strangers, and the Canadians remain unthanked.
Read the rest here.

Just because it's not the top of the news, or even if you have differing political views, the point is these people have put their life on hold for our greater good. The least we can do is show them that they matter.

I know I'll do what I can to help. I hope you will too.
July 03, 2005
Whale Watching
I am incredibly exhausted from a very full weekend, and will not be able to post much tonight, except to say this weekend will long live in my memory as a fantastic one.

There is nothing I enjoy more than getting out on the open water and feeling the wind in my face as we fly over the waves. Whale watching is by far one of my favourite things to do, and every time I do it, I wonder why I don't more often. The dock is about a 10 minute walk from my house, and each time I am in awe of the beauty of my surroundings.

Here's a few pics from yesterday's adventure:

Who you lookin' at?

This was about 30 feet from the end of the boat. The whales were putting on a great show as two pods had come together - a rare event. So apparently it was like a little Orca Nightclub below the boat and there was a lot of showing off. Definitely impressed us!

There's a bald eagle nesting area just at the mouth of the river. We saw so many eagles, it was hard to even count. There is nothing more majestic than seeing an eagle take off in flight.

I am always amazed by the natural beauty of my local area. I have travelled all over the world, and this is still my favourite place on earth.

More when I recover enough to make sense...

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