Saturday, December 29, 2007

No good deed...

I thought this sort of thing only happened in England:
A Good Samaritan who called 911 to report a vicious beating of an innocent man is stunned two convicted killers are trying to blame her for their victim's death....

They have filed a motion saying Queen's Bench Justice Karen Simonsen didn't properly consider the actions -- or inaction -- of the woman who drove by the scene and called for help during the March 2005 incident.

Adam Lecours, 34, was seriously beaten and robbed by Pruden-Wilson and Sinclair and then left lying unconscious on a darkened street in The Maples, only to be run over moments later by an unsuspecting motorist.

The Good Samaritan testified during their trial last January that she saw the attack but was too scared to get out of her car and help Lecours after the culprits fled.

She called on her cellphone for help, but Lecours was struck and killed before police or paramedics arrived.

Defence lawyers Randy Minuk and Roberta Campbell argued last week their clients should not have been convicted of Lecours' death when the woman had the opportunity to rescue him and "control the scene."

The Crown is opposed to the motion, calling it "devoid of merit."
The judge will rule on the motion on Jan. 16. There's hope, though - the punks earlier tried to put the blame on the motorist who ran over Lecours, but that argument was rejected.

My heart sank a bit when I read the Good Samaritan's comment on this: ""I'm trying not to let it bother me but it's hard," she said. "It's definitely not a very nice thing for them to say." Look, lady: THEY. ARE. KILLERS. They don't say very nice things because they aren't very nice people. Decent people have GOT to stop wandering around like gormless sheep, expecting "niceness" from scum.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Civil disobedience

That's IT!!! I have HAD it with the half-assed management of the city of Ottawa. The rule is, in a week with two holidays, garbage collection is postponed by two days. Well, here we are in a week with Christmas and Boxing Day - our garbage day is Thursday, so it should have been postponed until tomorrow, Saturday. I even went out to the end of the driveway this morning, just to see what everyone else was doing because bitter experience has taught me that you can never be sure. Our nextdoor neighbours had their garbage out, but they never know what they're doing, and their garbage can be out ANY day, so I discounted them. I was reassured to see that no one else on the street had their garbage out.

But what did I see this morning? A GARBAGE TRUCK racing past our door! I rushed out to see it disappear around the bend, and looked wildly over at the neighbours' driveway to see that their garbage had been picked up! So we have missed the garbage pickup!

Do you know what that MEANS? Recycling is picked up on alternating weeks - paper one week, glass and plastic the next. If you miss a week, that means they won't be back to pick up your recycling for another two weeks! So by the time they come, you'll have accumulated 4 WEEKS of paper or glass & plastic.

Well, no more. This is my Declaration of Independence: Henceforth, I REFUSE to recycle! It is ALL going in the garbage now - newspapers, boxes, jars, plastic juice bottles, you name it. I will not turn my garage into a garbage storage site for the city.

The only exceptions will be wine bottles, because we can get money for them (a 20-cent deposit on each one) and composting, because that's to benefit MY garden. For the rest, screw it. I'm not going to do it and they can't make me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Insane Jew Posse

I'm a fanatical pro-Israel Catholic Zionist, but then I read stories like this one and I feel like saying, "You know, guys, you're making it REALLY hard for us."
A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that "the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals."

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences - just as organized military rape would have done."

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers' eyes.
Yes, that's the one constant you always find when you read the testimony of the women of Berlin who were there when the city fell to the Russians in 1945 - "Sure they gang-raped me, but I took it as a sign of their respect for me as a fellow human being. It was those polite Americans who were REALLY insulting."

(Hat tip: Chris Johnson at MCJ)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very nice Christmas

We really had a nice Christmas this year. This is the first time since having kids that we got to sleep in past 7:30AM on Christmas Day! I remember years when we were up, shivering, at 5:30AM, opening presents while it was still pitch-black outside. Then there would be 5 minutes of paper-ripping fury, and it was all over.

Over the years, I've had to learn to resign myself to the fact that certain ideas that I've always cherished just can't co-exist with life as it's lived in our house. Some traditions have had to go. When I was young, Christmas was a tantalizing, 2-week long tease, with presents arriving in the mail and being carefully placed under the tree for us to gaze longingly at. I'd artistically rearrange them over and over, and of course, we were allowed to slightly shake the presents, in order to guess what might be inside. On Christmas morning, the presents from Santa had magically appeared to add to the pile, so that there was a truly royal display to enjoy.

This year, I realized that we have to forego the sight of the mighty pile of presents, much as I enjoy it. The fact is, Thomas and James don't bother reading labels - they just grab the first present that comes to hand, and methodically rip open each package until they come to something they like. Dean and I were reduced to scrabbling among the torn paper, saying, "I think there was something for you under here - oh, here it is!" and pulling out a discarded book or cd. So this time, we took the presents for the boys and laid them out for them to see and open first thing. Then an hour or so later, once they'd calmed down and were happily playing with their gifts, Dean, Emma and I quietly got out OUR gifts and opened them without hindrance.

It turned out to be a big year for movies - Dean gave me the complete Dr. Katz series box set, and I gave him the collected Sidney Toler Charlie Chan movies (3 volumes). Last night we watched "Charlie Chan and the Black Camel", which has Bela Lugosi in it. Pretty good, though not all that intricate as far as mysteries go, and the last 3 minutes really come out of nowhere. But it was nice to see Lugosi outside the Dracula role.

When we went to bed, I discovered that Yin had found a pair of my underwear and gone to town chewing them up, while Dean had done nothing to stop her.

Me: You know, that was a perfectly good pair of underwear.
Dean: Yeah, I'm sorry. Maybe I could still rescue them?
Me: What, so I could WEAR them?
Dean: Yeah.
Me: But if I were in a car accident...
Dean: You mean at the hospital: "Oh my God! This must have been a TERRIBLE accident! Look at the state of her underwear!"
Me: "Why, there must have been SHRAPNEL flying, to leave her underwear like this!"
Dean: "And yet, her outer clothes were completely untouched!"
Me: "This is a mystery. We'll have to call in the CSIs."
Dean: "I couldn't do any chemical tests on the underwear; they would have completely disintegrated."
Me: "Let's involved INTERPOL.."
Dean: "The manufacturer's label was torn off, so we're publishing photographs of the underwear in all major newspapers, to see if someone can identify them. The victim is in hospital, and sent a message that she'll get better at once if we'll only return her underwear."

Monday, December 24, 2007

'When the jihad is in, the wit is out'

One of the main complaints of Mohammed Elmasry and his student hangers-on is that Mark Steyn has written that the Muslim population in the West is increasing while the non-Muslim population is decreasing. As Steyn has often said, he has become a "demography bore" on the subject, and has written many columns devoted to the statistics of reproduction in Europe. Elmasry's lengthy complaint contains language drawn directly from 'America Alone', including
29. The number of Muslims in Europe is expanding "like mosquitoes".
We've all dealt with Christians who proof-text - go scanning the Bible for isolated phrases that can be grabbed and brandished to support a thesis, without any attention to context. This is another such case: as Steyn points out, the "mosquitoes" statement was a direct quote from one Mullah Krekar of Norway. The problem seems to be not so much "racism" as "'Anglo Americans' boorish enough to let the cat out the bag".

But if it's "racist" to state that Muslims are becoming more numerous, let's try this thought experiment:
Within 50 years, Islam will be extinct on the European continent. Christianity will be triumphant, and Islam will be in retreat even in its ancient strongholds. A failed, brittle, incompetent ideology will crumple before a reinvigorated Christendom, which will be erecting churches on the abandoned husks of mosques in Syria and Iran. A weak, demoralized remnant of aging Muslims will be seeking terms from a surging Christian movement even as their children convert to the stronger, more confident religion. Etc.
This would be acceptable, no? No nasty racist suggestions that Muslims have never had it so good, so I'm certain there'd be nothing to make any Muslim complain. Somehow, I think that they'd still find something to be "offended" at.

But that's the whole point. It's not that this particular form of argument is objectionable, whereas that one on the same subject is just fine. The urge behind the use of these petty Committees of Public Safety (aka the Human Rights Commission) is to make certain things literally unsayable in any form.

Having recently converted to the Roman Catholic Church, I'm well aware of the sneers about "leaving your brain at the door", and the accusation that Catholics are "not allowed to think" anything that the Church doesn't want them to. But this is not only a lie about the Catholic Church, it is the true nature of thought-control mechanisms like the HRC. They are designed to create a culture of cowed, voluntary thought-aversion. Certain ideas are to be elevated into a Holy of Holies, before which the common herd must crouch down and avert their eyes, lest they be blasted for impious effrontery. One must not even LOOK at, let along TOUCH, something as sacred as the superiority of the Sacred Alien, whose ways are not our ways, but which must be unhindered in its triumphant passage over our customs, our history and our instincts.

And don't misunderstand my use of the term "Alien" - I am not referring to mere foreigners. I am referring to whatever is counterintuitive, against the grain, unnatural, and harmful to our traditional way of life. Homosexual chic, atheism, moral degeneracy, narcissism - all these are homegrown and alien to our culture. They are examples of what Chesterton called our "modern and morbid weaknesses of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal."

Friday, December 21, 2007

New blogsite

Free Mark Steyn! is a brand-new blog devoted to defending free speech, especially now that the nose of the rocket, Mark Steyn, is being attacked by an assortment of Muslim louts and the Canadian Islamic Council who want to get the government to shut up people who disagree with them. I believe it's run by Binky, of The Webelf Report - good to see him back in the blog trenches again.

The Titmice are still squeaking

I haven't written anything about the Muslim activists who have hauled Mark Steyn and "Maclean's" magazine before Canada's kangaroo court Star Chamber Human Rights Commission to save themselves the trouble of knifing him in the street refuting his arguments. It's a horrible, yet completely predictable, example of the soft fascism we live under in this country, and it's probably going to succeed. I just hope that Mark doesn't make the same mistake his friend Conrad Black did, and trust in the innate decency of the justice system. He'd better prepare to liquidate all his assets in Canada and move permanently to his home in New Hampshire.

Now the supposed Muslim "law students" who brought the complaint along with the CIC have emitted another squeal at the effrontery of David Warren for not being obsequious enough in his appreciation of their nose-in-the-air swaggering. "The Citizen" obligingly printed it in today's Letters section.
According to a recent study by the Canadian Islamic Congress, Maclean's magazine has published 18 separate articles containing similar Islamophobic bias between January 2005 and July 2007.
I guess it was too much trouble to list the number of pieces arguing the OPPOSITE side that Maclean's published - I believe the published something like 30 refutations of Steyn's thesis, but that doesn't count.
I think the vast majority of Canadians would be shocked to know that Canada's national magazine is being used to promote these arguments. [Actually, no, we wouldn't. We expect it, because we know it's one of the aspects of living in a free country. Hmmm. Maybe I'd better rethink that. Perhaps it's not "the vast majority" of Canadians who understand what living in a free country entails.] Mr. Warren is attempting to shut down a national dialogue on media fairness and human rights by claiming our approach is an attack on free speech. We hope that the irony of this argument is not lost on your readers.
Oh, believe me, the IRONY is not lost on me at all! The irony of these little pipsqueaks huffing and puffing that THEIR ATTEMPT TO GAG THE OTHER SIDE IN AN ARGUMENT is not sufficiently appreciated as a valuable approach to "a national dialogue on media fairness and human rights"!
Freedom of speech is a two-way street. [Yeah, and both ways go in OUR direction.] Our decision to seek a remedy from Maclean's through human rights commissions was only in response to the Maclean's editor-in-chief's refusal to grant appropriate space for a response to Mr. Steyn from a mutually acceptable author; Mr. Steyn himself is not a party to our complaints as Mr. Warren asserts.
In other words, the owners of Maclean's have a magazine, and we don't. You have, I don't have, so you give - the creed of the bum. They could publish their crap somewhere else (a writer for The Guardian even offered them space, for God's sake) but that's not the point. They don't want to communicate ideas; in true Muslim style they want to inflict ritual humiliation and force their enemies' foreheads onto the ground.

God, I hate living in a place where these smelly little nobodies have to be taken seriously.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What do you mean, I can't say 'Merry ****'?

Kathy Shaidle has a link to this story about the BBC censoring a Christmas song. It's not the annual censorship we've become used to, where the words "Christmas" and "Jesus" are expunged from the children's choir repertoire at the Christmas concert because some non-Christian may be offended. This time, the song was something I've never heard of (but then I don't live in the Benighted Kingdom) called "Fairytale of New York".
The emotionally gritty song boils over as the late Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues' Shane MacGowan engage in a vocal domestic that rings bells in households across the world every year.

But to chiefs at BBC Radio 1, the duet has suddenly posed an embarrassing problem thanks to two words they initially deemed offensive, but have since changed their minds about. Earlier this week, for the first time since its 1987 release, managers at the radio station decided to fade out the words "faggot" and "slut" in order not to offend listeners.

I can see their point. Imagine how you would feel if you were a non-faggot or a non-slut, being pointedly excluded from the holiday season in this way? I think it's absolutely terrible to think of all those people who can't participate in things like 'Shane MacGowan's character call[ing] MacColl "an old slut on junk" to which she memorably replies: "You scumbag, you maggot you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse I pray God it's our last."' In Canada, this would be worth a trip to a Human Rights Commission.

Christmas baking

It's Christmas, so naturally the baking is going into overdrive. I made butter tarts one day last week while the kids were at school, and as they're Thomas's favorite I pointed the treat out to him on his return home. He beamed, then went upstairs for his regular afterschool shower. When he came back downstairs, he headed over to the tarts, and said cheerfully as he floated past me in the kitchen, "How's your cooking?" I love it when he makes conversation.

I also made a cherry pie to be raffled off at Dean's Christmas office party, for the benefit of the Snowsuit Fund. I'm proud to say that my pie garnered $120 in sold raffle tickets! My pies have got a bit of a reputation now; I made a peach pie for their United Way benefit a few months ago, and the admiring compliments went on for days.

I also made Christmas puddings - 2 different recipes, one of which came from a Mrs. Beeton's cookbook. I did everything right, but the quantity turned out differently from what they specified. I ended up with TWO big puddings and an additional small one, instead of just one big one. We tasted the small one, just to see if I'd made some mistake, but it seemed just fine. I must say, this is the most alcoholic pudding recipe I've found yet - 1/4 cup brandy and over 1/2 cup sherry (the recipe called for stout, but that would have required a special trip to the liquor store, so I substituted sherry).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Loathsome

Not even I can think of words bad enough to describe this vile abortion-monger. Naturally, she's a so-called "priest" in that so-called "church", TEC. The only good thing I can think of is that at one time, she must have been a halfway decent person, BEFORE she was sucked into the clerical orbit of the Religious Black Hole. On her first go-round, she rejected abortion as a solution to her problems; by the time the Episcopal Church got its hooks into her, the humanity had been successfully programmed out of her, and she had all the virtues for ordination - a morbidly copulating killer.

I was thinking of something Ayn Rand wrote once. There was a time, when people would have recoiled from someone like this, as you would before a doctor who turned up in an operating theater with open smallpox sores on his face. It's not a moment for cool debate and exquisite pondering. You don't stop to consider how the doctor feels about his situation, or how he got this way, or if there aren't extenuating circumstances that should make you hesitate to "judge" him. You recoil from something unclean, and then you flee for your life.

(via MCJ)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Five feet high and rising

That's about the height of the piles of snow on either side of our driveway at the moment. Ontario was hit on Sunday by a record-breaking snowfall, and we still haven't recovered. The kids were home yesterday for the second snow day of the year, and it isn't even Christmas yet, but today they went back so I was able to venture out on the roads. Usually after 2 days, things are pretty well back to normal, but not this time. Roads have been ploughed for the most part, but not salted, so they're very slippery. Plus all the snow heaped up by the roadside is still there, and probably won't be removed for days. On Riverside, that's TWO lanes of traffic that are ploughed (although the snow has encroached so much, by now it's pretty much 1.5 lanes). Of course, we have to clear that heaped-up snow from the end of our driveway, and it's back-breaking work. That's why the piles are so high on either side; there's twice as much snow as there is on a normal side street. On the other hand, at least we can count on the ploughs, because our road is basically a north-south highway, and essential for commuters. The poor people on the sidestreets have to wait for days for ploughs; how they manage if they have to deal with hills, I don't know.

One moment of schadenfreude: this snow dump coincided with the end of the Bali blatherfest on global warming, and a lot of the Ottawa bureaucrats and pressure groups who attended were stuck when the airports closed. Even when they finally struggled back to Ottawa, they had to wait for hours for taxis, because of the backup.

It's snowing again; 2-4 centimeters predicted today, and again tomorrow. However, they're predicting a high of +6 and RAIN on Saturday! That's going make a mess, since all the storm drains are covered up right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Dad's Christmas Letter

I call this my Dad's Christmas letter, even though I don't actually know if he wrote it. It was among his papers when he died, and I'm not sure if it was something he wrote himself, or just something he saved because he liked it. However, his name was Don, and this IS sort of signed with something similar, so that and the fact that this is very much in his style makes me attribute it to him. So here goes.
Merriest Christmas

Dear By:

About this time of year, I usually take a moment to write a few letters to my good friends and relatives. This time of the year, I like to remember all the good things and indulge myself to the extent of getting a bit sentimental.

It is a blustery evening out but, here in my apartment, it's cozy and comfortable. I'm sitting here before my typewriter, sort of half listening to the radio and slowly sipping a nice very dry double Martini. I only wish you were here but, since you are not, the least I can do is to toast your good health and happiness, so, time out, old pal, while I bend my elbow to you and the many good times we have enjoyed together.

I just took time out to mix another Martini and while I was out in the kitchen, I thought of all the time I would waste this evening if I went out to mix another drink every once in a while, so I just made up a big pitcher of Martinis and brought it back in with me so I'd havr it right here besideme and wond't have to waste time making more of them. So now I'm all set and here goes. Besides Martinis are greatest drrink. For some reason, they neversseeme to affec me in the slightest. Can drink thwm all day long. So here goes.

The greatessts thing in the whole wokls is friendsihp. Ande believe me pal you are the geartests pal anybody everhad. Do you remembre all the swwel times we had together pal?? The the dead skunk in mysleeping bag. ha ha!! Boy how wew laugheud didn we. Never did get the skin kout ouut of it. Bit is was prety funnye anywayh. I still laught abouut it onec in a whole. Nat as muhc as I ussed to. Butu what the heke & after all you still be bestf old pal. and if a guy cand't hav a luagh on a good treu freidn one in a whiel waht the heke.

Dam pitchir is impte so i ujus wendoutand maed anotheroene and I sure swisch yuu weer haerol pal to hepp me drrink thses marotonmi becauss they are simpledeliscius. Parn me whilli lif my flass to you goot helahth oncemroe becaus u are the bests pal i got in a nother pals sleping bagg I*m damh if i knowle. That washh a loussty thingn for any dodyhdy todo an only a firss clas hole would di it. Wasna adm bit funney. Still stinkks. And if you thininkit's funey your a dirty lous anasd fare as i*m concrned you cn go plum to helll and stya ther. You dirty lous. To hel with ouy.

VVerye Trul not yours,

Donen

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mazes - they're not just topography anymore

Mrs. Schori has delivered her Christmas message to the Episcopal Church, and frankly, it gives me the creeps.

Not because of the theme - it's standard Advent/Christmas boilerplate: "Jesus was born in poverty and obscurity, and so we see him in the poor and the unfortunate, etc. etc." I've heard the same thing countless times in Anglican and Catholic churches. As these things go, it's pretty unobjectionable, except for the now-traditional pigheaded insistence on describing Mary and Joseph as "homeless". As Mark Steyn has so brilliantly said, "For Pete's sake, they weren't homeless — they couldn't get a hotel room. They had to sleep in the stable only because Dad had to schlep halfway across the country to pay his taxes in the town of his birth, which sounds like the kind of cockamamie bureaucratic nightmare only a blue state could cook up."

No, what's creepy is that it's so disturbingly incoherent. Chris Johnson says it sounds a bit dashed off at the last moment; to me it sounds like it was written on the back of an ATM receipt after a late-night booze-up. I went and read the whole thing, thinking that maybe Chris, that sly dog, had deliberately picked out an awkward passage, and the rest of it was alright. But no, it's only 2 paragraphs long.

The problem is that the logic disintegrates every few lines, and it's a bad sign when a person can't write logically for a mere couple of paragraphs.
In what form will you find the Christ child this year? The fact of the Incarnation in a weak and helpless babe says something significant about where we focus our search. I am convinced that it is part of our call to exercise a "preferential option" on behalf of the poor, weak, sick, and marginalized.
Excellent. I understand that. Then,
The long arc of biblical thinking and theologizing has to do with seeing God's care for those who have no other helper. Indeed, Jesus is understood as that helper for all who fail, by the world's terms, to save themselves. More accurately, we understand that Jesus is that helper for all.

What does this mean, exactly? Could someone relate it to some actual examples? Job? Hagar in the desert? The Israelites at the Red Sea? John the Baptist in prison? Is she talking about miraculous deliverances, or just a vague sense that God's always there, no matter how bad things are? And what is "Jesus is understood as that helper for all who fail, by the world's terms"? The passive tense doesn't help make it any clearer. Helper to do what? Helper in what way? The Son of God seems to be diluted down to a reliable shoulder to cry on, as is God. I can sort of understand the idea of failure by the world's terms, but is she saying that the WORLD sees Jesus as a sort of crutch for losers who can't succeed in tangible ways? I really don't know just WHO understands Jesus as WHAT for WHOM.

"Jesus is that helper for all." Well, OK. That's clear enough - we finally seem to be back on solid Christian ground.

But trying to map out paragraph 2 logically is impossible. It should be easy; it's "How might we begin to see that child in those around us". What follows is a series of linkages, and they're even formatted so you can follow - an example followed by the parallel example in parentheses. So let's see how well this works:

1. "strangers and aliens (both Immanuel and Immigrants)" - OK, so it looks like the plan is to balance a "present-day" example with a Bible example. "Strangers and aliens" are "those around us", and they match up with "Immanuel and Immigrants". Immigrants? As in Mary and Joseph? Maybe.

2. "wanderers (Homeless, like Mary and Joseph, for whom there was no room)" - This should follow the same pattern; "wanderers" around us, remind us of Mary and Joseph, who were NOT homeless, but we've already dealt with that.

3. "widows and orphans (Social Outcasts)" - now, wait a minute. Where's the balance between the two stories? "Widows and orphans" vs. "Social Outcasts"? What social outcasts? Where? Who were the social outcasts in the Nativity story? The shepherds? Or did the formatting switch? Are the "Social Outcasts" those around us today, and the "widows and orphans" are the Biblical parallel? But then this doesn't relate to the Nativity story at all. This makes no sense, and the eccentric capitalizing doesn't help.

4. "babe born in Bethlehem (Palestinian and Israeli alike; or the boy babies whom both Pharaoh and Herod sought to kill)" - Aaaarrghhh. Now the two categories have switched places; we called this the chassé-croisé when I studied translation. Now we're STARTING with the Biblical example instead of the modern-day example. Alright, then, we'll start with the "babe born in Bethlehem", and that's balanced by the Palestinian and Israeli children who are presently in danger in the Middle East. Oh, no, though, we're not done yet: "or the boy babies whom both Pharaoh and Herod sought to kill". Now wait a minute; this drags in a Biblical example into the category of what we're supposed to be seeing around us today. Totally incoherent - just another idea too good to leave out, stuffed in wherever space could be found.

5. "divine feeder of thousands (Soup Kitchen worker)" - we've moved a little quickly away from the Nativity story; Jesus won't be feeding the multitudes for many years, and I thought the idea was to focus on his vulnerability. Plus I don't find the parallel all that compelling in this case, though maybe Soup Kitchen worker's capitalization is a way of making the contest more equal.

6. "and savior of the world (Peacemaker, Bringer of Justice for All, Reconciler, Just and Gracious Lawgiver...)" - by this point the parallel linkage system has broken down altogether. There's NO "this world" candidate to match up against the "savior of the world", though maybe I'm just confused. I thought we were talking about Jesus here, but maybe it's Hillary Clinton.

Compare and contrast this with last year's Christmas message. Last year's is on a similar theme, but it flows logically and smoothly. What's happened this year? I suspect that Mrs. Schori's mind is on something else this time around.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back online

We've been without a computer for most of the past week. Our ISP informed us we'd contracted a virus, so the computer had to be sent out for debugging (turns out we had 7 Trojan viruses lurking in there!). James was quite outraged that his simple demands for "COMPUTER!" wouldn't yield any results. We had to keep stalling him with promises that the mysterious "man" would finish his work soon, and then the computer would reappear.

But now it's all clean, and we have a new security system in place, so I'm hoping this won't happen again. We've had this computer 5 years, and this is only the second time viruses have cropped up to interfere with our use, so that's probably not too bad. I have to say, though, it was nice and quiet in the mornings, without YouTube roaring out Scooby-Doo cartoons and Disney songs, not to mention kids fighting and going nuts with audio overload. If only it weren't such a pain to re-connect every time, I'd consider unplugging the modem every morning, just until I've gotten them out the door to school.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Poll at SteynOnline

Mark Steyn has a good poll up on his homepage. It's on the righthand side of the page, and asks "Which Christmas song do you least want to hear this holiday season?" There's a good selection to choose from, and I'm proud to say that MY choice is currently in first place! The sad thing is, it's only December 1, and I've already heard half of them over the radio!

Hitting the sauce

The HP sauce, that is. Our local Bulk Barn has just introduced a line of imported English products, and yesterday my eye was caught by the HP Mild Indian Curry they had on display.

Now, I'm a bit of a curry snob, as I've learned to make very good curry myself. I never buy "curry powder" at the store, but blend and grind my own garam masala. Most boughten curry sauces taste too sweet or too tomatoey for me, but I was really taken with this product. It is mild and a little sweet, but it doesn't have that "ordinary" curry flavour - it's got a slight tamarind/chutney taste, and it's really captivating. It says on the bottle it's good for chicken, but I first tried it on a taco, and it was GREAT! I think it would be wonderful on hamburgers, too.

I might well have been hitting the other sauce today (or as Dean and I call it, "respite in a bottle") because Dean is out of town this weekend, attending a wedding in London (Ontario). And as I said to him as he was leaving, EVERY SINGLE TIME he goes out of town, something goes wrong or breaks down. The most famous incident was the giant power failure that blacked out the entire east coast 3 summers ago - he was on his way to Toronto for a wrestling tournament, and just had to turn around and drive back (with no streetlights all the way). This time was no different - last night the fridge conked out. I decided that I am sick of struggling along with a second-hand fridge that's never worked properly (but this time was a serious breakdown - I think it lost all its coolant), so I went out shopping this morning to buy a new one. I got an Amana 22 cu.ft. fridge with the freezer on the bottom. And best of all, IT'S BLACK! I don't know why I never thought of this before - James is continually scribbling on any white surface, and I'm forever scrubbing off his graffitti. This will stop him cold.

The new fridge comes on Thursday; meanwhile, we have the old backup fridge in the garage, to hold the milk and perishable stuff until then. No, it's not a beer fridge - it's just an old fridge that still works, and we keep eggs and flour and other stuff that James would love to throw around if he could get his hands on it. But I feel like maybe I SHOULD call it a beer fridge, after reading this story about how Canadian beer drinkers are destroying the planet. So take that, Bob. Now you know what David Suzuki REALLY thinks about you, maybe you'll think twice about letting him live in your basement. After all, YOU HAVE THE POWER!!!