Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blame Canada!!

Oh Noes! The Canadian Beer Fridge is being blamed for global warming!!

Don't be a hosehead. Put your beer in the snow, eh?

Just elfing around!

Some silly people just elfing around!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A different kind of rescue

I was quite moved to learn about the 2nd Chance at Life: Greyhounds and Inmates Corrections Partnership program.

If a society can be judged by the way it treats its prisoners and its animals, then this is a step in the right direction.

It needs to be said ...

... shamelessly lifted from the Globe and Mail ...

There's an excellent essay in yesterday's Globe and Mail. Robert Dreyfuss outlines, in logical and succinct terms, the reasons for a US withdrawal from Iraq in a timely fashion.

I am far from an expert on Iraq, but I do have a more intense interest in the subject than, let's say the average American with no military connection who cares more about American Idol and Britney's dramas does. I will freely admit that my opposition to the continued occupation of Iraq is based more on emotion than on anything else. Call me crazy, but I think that exit strategies are rather useful. What gives me pause is the thought that a withdrawal would be a betrayal to those who have already died in this war. A few months ago, I asked a young Army officer about his thoughts on the subject. Cory had already served a full tour in Iraq with my husband, and he was in the midst of preparing for his next deployment to the desert. His answer was eloquent and articulate. He said that we are a Logic-Based Society, and as such, our nation merely needed to define what victory looks like, declare victory, and leave. It sounds logical to me.

A few weeks later, Cory dropped by with something for my husband. I could barely maintain eye contact through my thick layer of tears, knowing that he would be leaving soon. I wanted to hide him in the trunk of my car and take him far away, to a place where that brilliant mind would be safe.

It's time for all of them to come home.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I don't know what they're talking aboot, eh?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

After 13 years of living in the United States (with a few years off for good behaviour, in Italy) I don't have much of a Canadian accent anymore. I found these quiz results to be highly amusing, because my husband was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I didn't think I had picked up on his accent or lack thereof .. but perhaps I have!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jonesing ...

My friend Liesl, who lives in Munich, dropped by today.

She brought a package of these for my son:

William shared one with me .. and I'm hooked.

Haribo gummy bears on the inside + crispy Smarties shell on the outside = Ach Mein Gott!!!!

Nestle, in their infinite cruelty, is only selling these crack-like goodies, delightful confections in Germany and Austria. Bastards.

Is anyone going to Germany or Austria soon?

Saturday, November 10, 2007


My friend Christi and I took a shopping trip to Ogdensburg this morning. It felt that we had crossed the border. The Walmart was full of Canadians riding the Loonie's ascent against the Greenback. It was comforting to hear that familiar accent once more, and as an added bonus, my fellow shoppers threw in some Quebecois/Eastern Ontario Franglais for my listening pleasure.

I could have sworn that I was at the Walmart near my parents' house in Trenton, Ontario - until, that is, the following announcement came over the loudspeaker:

Would the owner of a black van, license plate number ABC123, please move your vehicle. You're blocking the horse-and-buggy parking, and our Amish customers need to park there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Faint November Rainbow

A slight wash of colour after a brief hailstorm.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Step into my parlour ...

Was there a full moon this weekend?

It feels like there was a full moon, because I got just a little bit manic with a gallon of "Victorian Garnet."

Actually, it started with the curtains. Several weeks ago, I came across the velvet/tapestry panels in the clearance aisle at the Super-Walmart.

Then, I procrastinated, because I needed to take down the old window treatments and put up new double rods. And they had to be just the right double rods, which eluded me for weeks.

When I found the perfect double rods, I continued to procrastinate. I had mounted the old valences with Robertson screws, and I couldn't find my Robertson screwdriver.

Eventually, I broke down, went to the Super-Walmart, and bought a new Robertson screwdriver. And, there in the Ooops! Mistint! section of the hardware/paint department, was a quart of Victorian Garnet.

Hmmmmmm, I thought. Pretty. Would look amazing on the old textured wallpaper on the south side of the living room. But I kept on walking, right past that lonely little quart of paint. I did not have the time for extensive redecorating.

Victorian Garnet had a different idea. She kept haunting me, taunting me, beckoning me.

Finally, I surrendered, and came home with a gallon of Kilz, custom tinted to match Victorian Garnet.

'Tis no longer a living room, but a cozy parlour. I am delighted with the results.

Would you care for a cup of Earl Grey?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What have you been up to, these past 15 months?

There's a brand new, yet familiar air of excitement in our neck of the woods these days. The 2nd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division is trickling back home after fifteen months in Iraq.

Fifteen months. Four hundred and fifty days, give or take a few, in the sandbox. I was trying to wrap my head around that number today.

Fifteen months ago, we decided to homeschool William. Now, we're quite comfortable in our unorthodox little groove, and I can hardly recall what it was like to put him on the bus every day.

Fifteen months ago, my husband was still very sick. I've lost track of how many medications were tried, or how many diagnoses were proposed and discarded. It has only been in the past six months or so that the combination of acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments have brought Steve back to a reasonable level of health and functionality.

Fifteen months ago, the 1st Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division - my husband's old Brigade - was just getting back from their deployment to Iraq. Now, scarcely a year later, they are back in the lion's den.

I've been observing, if not participating in, the rituals of redeployment for far too many years now. And still, I get a little verklempt when they occur.

The local Super-Walmart is packed to the rafters with 2nd Brigade soldiers, stocking up on the necessities and frivolities of life back in the good old U.S. of A. Some of them sport brand new tattoos, still protected with cellophane. I'm not a tattoo fan, myself, but I can certainly understand these soldiers' desire to commemorate their experience with some ink.

What strikes me the most, is how young these returning soldiers are. In my eyes, they look like adolescents. In reality, many are still teenagers, with an eternity's worth of experience accumulated over these past 15 months. And they're still not old enough to buy a beer.

Welcome back, and thank you.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I *heart* my job

In today's mail, there was a letter from my employer. When I saw the envelope, I rolled my eyes and presumed that it was yet another letter warning me that our facility was about to become completely smoke-free. That's great news, but I've never been a smoker, so it really has no bearing on my life.

But I digress ...

When I read the letter, I received a pleasant surprise. It seems that, as a gesture of goodwill this season, all employees will receive a turkey!

First they give me unlimited amounts of Douwe Egberts coffee, and now a turkey?? I'm gonna stay there forever!

(No, I am not being sarcastic. I loves me some turkey!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

And now, your moment of D'OH!!!

I did a little retail therapy today, and amongst my frivolous purchases was a new eyeglass cleaning kit.

The first thing I did after getting home was to try out the nifty new anti-fog spritz and silvery microfiber cleaning cloth.

All was well until I popped my glasses back on my face, and the blurred distortion gave me vertigo. I unleashed a torrent of unprintable strong language at the obviously flawed product which ruined my glasses.

It took me a full minute to realize that I was still wearing my contacts.


My husband is still laughing at me.