Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I was wondering what was taking them so long.

I read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" ages ago.

Then I read Dan Brown's the "Da Vinci Code", and I was so surprised by how much it reminded me of "Holy Blood..." that I went back and re-read it to ensure I wasn't imagining things.

In a nutshell, these are the questions that Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh ask in "Holy Blood, Holy Grail":

Is the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ in some way incomplete?

• Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross?
• Is it possible Jesus was married, a father, and that his bloodline still exists?
• Is it possible that parchments found in the South of France a century ago reveal one of the best-kept secrets of Christendom?
• Is it possible that these parchments contain the very heart of the mystery of the Holy Grail?

According to the authors of this extraordinarily provocative, meticulously researched book, not only are these things possible — they are probably true! so revolutionary, so original, so convincing, that the most faithful Christians will be moved; here is the book that has sparked worldwide controversey.

"Enough to seriously challenge many traditional Christian beliefs, if not alter them."
— Los Angeles Times Book Review

And sure enough, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Dan Brown, claiming he more or less directly pilfered from them.

I don't blame them, frankly.

Even from my distant viewing, the similarities were so noticeable as to be more than coincidence.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Rock on!

My dear friend Spider has written the MOST delightful post about our all-to-brief time as ROCK STARS!

And this is how it happened.

Each day we attended our junior high school we were constantly reminded of our inferiority, our ugliness and our general undesirability.

Every single day we were subject to some form of cruelty, and sometimes on the weekends if we happen to run into our despised enemies after school hours.

So it was an incredibly brave thing we did, signing up for an 'air-band' contest to take place in front our entire school.

Yup, we were going to lip-synch in front of the very people that picked apart every single aspect of our personality, clothing, and behaviour.

We were setting ourselves for total public humiliation.

On purpose!

And you know what?

We stood up there, flung aside our roles as 'nerds' and we totally RAWKED that day.

My cheeks still burn hot with dread and excitement just remembering!

(May I highly recommend you head over to Spider's blog and revel in the eighties?)

Saturday, February 25, 2006


The day that Alfred Russel Wallace took note of the astonishing variety of birds he was continuously surrounded by during his time in the Malay archipelago, marked a crucial turn in man's knowledge of the world around him. *

Of course, it was only when Charles Darwin published his new-fangled theory about evolution that it would have the world gasping out loud.
(Some would say it's a purloined theory, a notion removed from Wallace's poor, uneducated and un-connected hands by Darwin and his well-to-do society cronies. But that's a tale for another time.)

No matter who gets to take the prize for putting the two and two together, it's evolution that has decidedly and dramatically changed (and in some cases polarized) human understanding of the planet and our place on it.

This post, however, is not exactly about that.

Bear with me!

I was watching David Attenborough's "The Life of Mammals" on the Knowledge network last night (nerd alert, nerd alert!), and was struck by the super-specialization that some animals (birds and mammals alike) have developed to take advantage of their given surroundings.

Take for instance, the Koala.

It survives singularly on the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree.
True, there's more than one variety that they dine on, but generally they restrict themselves to the leaves of only 2 or 3 varieties for all of their nutritional requirements.

Now, eucalyptus leaves are not particularly nutritious, nor are they easily digestible.
The Koala actually spends the majority of its waking hours (which totals only about 5 hours on the best of days) just trying to get enough to sustain itself.
Why only one type of sustenance?

Here is another example that I can't quite wrap my head around.

There's a type of bird which is so highly specialized that without the male or female in a mated pair, the other would die.

Here's why.

The male bird has such a specialized beak that it is really only capable of cracking the nuts that it finds.
Unable to pick out the pieces of nut meat, it relies on the female birds more delicate beak to pull out the nutrients and actually share the contents with him.
Without him, she is incapable of accessing the meat.
Without her, he is unable to benefit from the contents.
(I have looked high and low on the internet to find the name/bioregion of this particular bird, and even called several friends. Does anyone know which bird this is, what it's called, or where it could be found?
I don't have a reward to offer...will my eternal gratitude suffice?)

So. Anyway.

Here's my query. The true reason behind this post.

Why would any creature evolve to such a point that a single change or deviation from the norm might result in the total devastation of the entire population.

I thought that evolution was supposed to give creatures the MOST ability to cope in their environment, not restrict it.

Can it be that some creatures are 'devolving' into oblivion?

What accounts for the creatures that specialize themselves out of existence?

*If the story of the intertwined lives of Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin seems interesting, may I humbly recommend "A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace"?
It's a really elegant, well researched book on the life of Mr. Wallace and his major contribution to the 'theory of evolution'.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I don't like SPAM!!!

But oh! How I LOVE me some Monty Python.

Oh yes.

I do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


The other day, I stopped my car (nary a crosswalk in sight), to allow a middle aged woman and, (presumably) her daughter to cross the street.

I sat quietly, patiently as they started off the curb…watched silently as they crossed the mid line, and passed along in front of my car.
And then I couldn’t take it anymore.

I was furious and it wasn’t pretty.

I honked at them.

I honked as they stepped up to the other sidewalk without once acknowledging the fact that I stopped mid-street, for no good reason other than to allow them to cross safely.

I honked because I was frustrated.
Probably I shouldn’t have.
But I felt this insane need to capture their attention; to make them LOOK at me and see that there was someone other then themselves on the planet.
I honked because I wanted them to say thanks, or nod, or in some little way notice me sitting there.
Waiting for them.

When people waltz through doors as I hold them open without even a sideways glance, I have no problem saying loudly and sarcastically, “Gosh, you’re welcome!”.
Occasionally it works; sometimes they half turn, sheepishly, grudgingly muttering ‘thanks’.
More often than not, though, they continue on their way, oblivious.

Well, Lynne Truss has written yet another insightful book on this very topic.

Entitled, Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, Ms. Truss applies her razor sharp wit, fiendish sense of humour and real concern as to the epidemic that is the unmitigated 'jerkish uprising' that's quickly taking over the world.

And I'm not some grumpy old lady.
I'm 33.
(Just to prove that it's not just older people who shake their canes at the terrible crassness of the youth these days.)

And, as my initial example demonstrates, it's not just the young who seem to be increasingly rude, it's people who should know better, too!

But I suppose ones sense of 'entitlement' changes to whom you are courteous, or whom you blatantly ignore?

Mine is a kind of moral outrage too.
I want to wail out, cry outloud at the snub.

"I'm good enough, damn it! My kind actions deserve to be noted!! Hello?? I'm worthy of your nod of thanks!!!"

It seems like an over the top reaction, I suppose, but I despise being looked through.



Read "Talk to the Hand".

And thank you in advance!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

And now, for something completely different!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Who knew!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Thanks Nancy!

mmmm Tuna Tataki!

Like Nancy, I love to eat out.
Fortunately for me, Nancy writes a great 'foody' blog all about the fabulous restaurants to be found in Vancouver.

That girl knows what she's talking about!

After having seen her post several times on the little piece of heaven known as 'Yuji's', I decided to try it for myself.

Even if you don't like raw fish, there are plenty of other dishes to be had...I happen to love sushi and so was treated to some very fresh, fabulous examples.

I had the tuna tataki (thanks for the pic, Nancy!), hamachi sashimi salad (try saying that three times fast!), grilled black cod, toro sushi, unagi, and a VERY delicious spider roll.

I really liked the room, too. The walls were a slate blue, warmed by the rich honey-colored wood wall segments, tables and floor.
It's not a large space, so I think my friend and I were lucky we got in without a reservation, but next time I'll be sure to call ahead.
I would hate to show up and not be able to get a seat!

So thanks Nancy!
Your insightful restaurant reporting lead to a delicious recommendation.
I look forward to reading many more (and even more forward to trying the ones you suggest!)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

What would happen if you gave a war, and no one came?

I was just reading Ruben's post today.

He wrote how frustrated he was that he didn't speak out when people around him were making "offensive, idiotic comments", and it got me to thinking....

I recently saw a show on A&E about racism and the neo-nazi movement occuring in some of the southern States: Alabama was the particular focus of this show.

The A&E crew was given 2 months to interview and tape members of one of the larger groups (I can't be bothered to remember the name of it) that is spawning in the backwoods there.

All I saw was an hour dedicated to a bunch of un-educated, pimply-faced, scrawny teenagers drinking beer and slam dancing.
I saw a young man sitting on a BMX bike, holding a rifle; he was a 'guard' for the compound.

May I reiterate? He was on a peddle bike.

Their 'leader' was a ex-felon of undeterminate age who appeared to enjoy hugging his youthful charges a little to often.

The only thing they did with enthusiasm was yell the 'n word' and voice some filth about hangings.

Their sentences were made of little more than hate and the 'eff' word.

Oh, and they had a little birthday cake with Hitler's picture on it; they all saluted it before digging in.

So where am I going with this?

Well, Ruben, if I was to be put in front of a small gathering of those neo-nazi's, I don't know what I would say.
All my eloquent words and heart felt arguments would fall as snow on a raging volcano ; I would not be heard.

My heart would know, though. My mind would, too.
The friends I choose share my beliefs, and if ever I should have children, they too, would learn.

What to do with those who are full of hatred and ignorance?

I don't know for sure.

But sometimes, perhaps turning away is the best thing.
If you take away their 'audience', maybe you take away their power?

Friday, February 17, 2006


Evil rotten little minion from the vilest levels of FLU HELL!!

I swear, I'll not show you mercy a moment longer!


I win I win I win nyah nyah!

I left it dead, and with it's head, I went galumphing off. *

Regular blogging will resume eventually, in the meantime, have a marvelous weekend!

* with deepest and most heartfelt apologies to Mr. L. Carroll.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


"Don't you know who I AM?!

Yeah, that MR. Flu Bug to YOU.

I've got yer little friend.

Don't worry, I won't hurt her. MUCH!


I'll toss 'er back when I'm good and done with 'er."

help meeee!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Welcome to my nightmare.

Dark sends his minions of sleep to come find me; to seduce me into their arms of dreams and sighs and slumber.
I go. Easily.
Slipping hastily into realms unimagined during the day.

But you know, given the cataclysms and catastrophes my night time meanderings bring, it's surprising that I dare to sleep at all!

For instance.

I awoke this morning remembering a particularly bizarre dream.

My head had been severed from my body.

Alarming enough, no?

But it gets better. (well, worse, but you know what I mean.)

Whatever agents did the severing, and for whatever (unexplained) reason, they also decided to keep both my body and head alive for exactly one day.
After that one day, my body was going to be allowed to die.

My head, however, was to be kept alive.
They were to place a mirror placed in front of my face, so that I may watch the rot and decay take over.
They were going to have me watch my face literally disintegrate in front of my eyes.


Now what did I do to deserve THAT!?!

Look closely at this picture...it's really rather deceiving.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My favorite painting.

This ISN'T exactly the painting I own, but it's darn close.

The artist, Brian Scott, is a vital fixture in the valley. His lively, richly painted interpretations of the aging homes that proliferate in the valley are much sought after around the world.

At the bottom right-hand corner is a red-roofed building; it's the United Church that Spider and I used to sneak into in the dead of the night and thump away on the old organ housed within.

Yup, it's my old hometown.


Chances are, you've never heard of this little town on Vancouver Island.

The population is only around 6,000 people.
No malls or movie theaters.
8 streets one way and 7 the other...pot holed and mostly sidewalk free.
Truth be told, it's not much of a town.
In fact, when I resided there it wasn't even classed as a town, it was (no kidding), a Village.
"The Village of Cumberland."

On the other hand, I do owe Cumberland a real debt.
Spider, Kimber, and 'Pol, are by far the best friends anyone anywhere could ever dare to ask for, and Cumberland's exactly where I found them!

(BlackCrag and OB Juan will also know EXACTLY what I'm talking about; both having survived their own trials and tribulations there!)

This painting looks just the way I like to remember that old place; crooked fences, bright coloured houses, and a brilliant moon illuminating the spaces where the streetlights miss.

As you drive into the tiny little valley, especially in the evening, you can see the smoke drift and curlique about the treetops; ghosts gathering silently over head.

Sometimes I go back in the fall.
I go back simply to walk around at dusk to smell the smoke pouring forth from the woodstoves and fireplaces; it's a rich, memory-inducing smell for me.

I love that painting.
(Darn, I guess I kind of miss that little place!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


It looks like I'm well on my way to my 10,000th visitor! *
In fact, only 50 more visits will take me over the edge.
(Hey, I can hear you laughing! Stop that!)

I do realize that some people get that many visits in a single day, but frankly?
I'm still happy.

So thanks to all you brilliant, articulate, funny and charming visitors to my dear little blog.

Thanks to all of you willing to translate my 'unique' spelling and unusual use of the much-abused apostrophe into something other than sheer doggerel.

And heck, thanks for all your witty comments. Those are the best part of this whole blog!

*Sadly, it's highly likely that six thousand and sixty four of those vistors are ME repeat-visiting my own blog.
But that's a tale for another time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Just a brief note.

Oh look, a post to say I haven't got a THING to post about.

OH! Okay, well, that's not entirely true.

I purchased a long sought after book the other day.

The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher.

I had read one of her books before, "The Gastronomical Me" and simply fell in love.
This 'The Art of Eating', is a collection of her 5 books rolled into one delicious tome.
I am SO looking forward to drinking in her words.

If you're a 'foody' of any kind, I truly and highly recommend her books.

(I realize that this isn't a very good 'book review'. It lacks everything a good review should have. Like information on what the book is about for instance.)

Okay, here.

I'll try this.

She writes about food. And her life. And food in her life. And...uh...travel and food. And she throws some recipes in too. She writes darn good.
Does that help?

Friday, February 03, 2006


I thought I'd leave my FAVORITE poem here for everyone to enjoy.
I adore all the made-up words used, and I suspect that's where I got my love of making up my very own words.
And while I'm at it, can I blame Lewis Carroll for my atrocious spelling, too?
(This poem just gave the old 'spell check' a run for it's money!)

I memorized this from start to finish, just because.


Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bird Brain!

Red-Tailed Hawk

Bald Eagle


Blue Heron

Red Winged Blackbird

I love my drive back and forth to work.
The building that I work in lies on a flat, delta-like area of farms and flatlands...perfect for birds.

The above are just a few that I see almost daily.
I always catch my breath watching the hawks drift over the fields.

Once, when I was a child, I was standing in my backyard trying to decided how to spend my afternoon, when out of the sky a pigeon fell, bloodied and broken.
I froze, unsure what to do.
Before I had a chance to do anything, a hawk came whistling out of the blue sky and struck the bird at my feet.
Trying desperately to get the pigeon air born, he flapped in front of me for a few moments, lifting it a few feet off the ground.
Little hawk, big pigeon...he dropped the bird again and flew up to a tall tree to consider his alternatives.
There weren't any; he wasn't big enough to fly off with the pigeon, and eating it while a little girl stood there stunned wasn't an option either.
He flew off, leaving the tattered bird behind.

We had to put the bird out of it's misery, of course.
Well, my dad did.

But that was my first encounter, up close and personal with the amazing birds.
What an experience.

And then there are the little Blackbirds; they have such a delightful trill when they set up shop in the reeds and rushes that line the ditch-banks. I look forward to them every spring.

I'm a lucky girl; happy amidst all this wildlife.

I do have to give credit were credit is due...I was inspired by Ms. Spider On The Road and her recent post about African birds.
I got to considering how varied and amazing our local wildlife is here in British Columbia.
Thus, what you see here.

Thanks Spider!

* Side note...I didn't take any of those pictures, though I wish I had!