Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books are important.

"For him that steals, or borrows and returns not, a book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw at his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not. And when at last he goes to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever."

~an inscription at the library of the San Pedro monastery in Barcelona.

That about sums it up. The bit about the bookworms is particularly pointed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crazy. Not stupid.

Whenever I mention to someone that I'm not scared of anything, I invariably get the same response. "You'd be scared if someone had a gun to your head, or if a large truck was racing uncontrollably toward you."

Well. Yes.
I would be afraid. I'm crazy, not stupid.

What I mean is, I don't have any irrational fears.

Rats? Mice? No problem. I once walked out of my apartment building to come face to face with a large rat sitting on the handrail. We stared at each other for a moment and then each of moved calmly on. Also? Pol and I had pet mice for a while. Wen, Mousameeque, Turbo and Torque. Very sweet they were. Especially Mousameeque.

Snakes? Nope. Held many a snake in my time, including a few very large constrictor's (Thanks pseudo-Alice Cooper! The best thing about your show was the snake. Remember that one, Spider?)

Um...bats? Well, I've never really seen them but at a distance and I admired their long, swoopy (it is SO a word!) flight around the lamp posts on their hunt for dinner. Nothing scary about that.

Heights? I went up the CN Tower once, in Toronto. They have a glass floor inset that I strode across. Other people would stand at the very edges looking down, clutching their significant others trembling and looking pale. I don't think my walking across it made them feel any better.

Enclosed spaces. I haven't really ever been 'trapped' in an enclosed space, and I doubt it would be fun. But I've been in a cave or two, and wiggled through cracks and crevices enough times to know that it doesn't bother me.

What other irrational fears are out there? Spiders? Ha! I pulled on a shirt once and stood brushing my hair in a mirror when a large fat spider crawled out of the shirt and up my neck. It surprised me, that's true, but after a momentary pause, I scooped him/her gently up and deposited it outside. Can't blame me for the rain!

Planes are a big fear for many. But I've been really fortunate to fly quite a bit, and have, in fact, flown both a plane and a helicopter myself (wheeeee!) and found it exhilarating.

Oh, I almost forgot about needles! Nope, not scared of them either and I have the tattoos to prove it.

So that's me.
Of course, being 'fearless' isn't always what it's cracked up to be. I seem to missing the instinctual 'voice of reason' that keeps others safe.

I have often put myself in questionable situations because I wasn't afraid. Walking alone along deserted streets late at night through bad parts of town, accepting 'candy from strangers', riding on motorcycles with people I don't know, and generally careening through life without much of a thought for danger. (Come to think of it, on several of those occasions I had friends with me. I don't recall them putting a halt to my activities. Kimber! Spider! What happened to my exterior "voices of reason"?
I rather suspect they came along to pick up the body parts and prepare a feasible story for my Mom.)

It's amazing that I'm still here, whole and sane (don't laugh!) and un-traumatized.

How 'bout you?

I posted a picture of a wee rabbit 'cus I figured no one would appreciate large pictures of snakes, rats and big needles. I like you guys too much to want to scare you away!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


My landlord owns both the house I live in and my neighbours house. Occasionally, he shows up to talk with the neighbours.
Do you see all that space behind the little pick up truck? Yeah, there's room for him to park his car there.
But he didn't.
Instead, he opted to drive his car up on our lawns and park. When he was done conducting his business, he proceed to drive across both lawns to get back on the road.
And I was worried about getting the lawn mowed.
But you know what they say about older men driving fancy cars, don't you?
They have very small....IQ's.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The 'Eyes' have it.

After all these years of wearing glasses or contacts, I'm seriously considering eye surgery to correct my (extreme) myopia.
I looked into it years ago, but the technology wasn't up to the challenge so I wasn't considered a good candidate.
I've recently booked an appointment for the preliminary exams with the hope that I may be, now. Still, it's a huge cost, and technically, it's rather unnecessary...I can make do with contacts and glasses for the rest of my life, but it would be such a treat not to have to worry about them any longer.
(And the costs for those add up over the years!)

My eyesight has steadily declined over the years since I was eight years old. In fact, I rather believed I'd be blind by the time I was 25 but fortunately, that wasn't the case. (Though I have to say, my prescription now is way beyond the 'norm'. I think most people with myopia have approximately -1.5 to - 4 on average and anything above that is high. I'm at -9.5 in one eye and -10 in the other. And that was from an eye exam 3 years ago. I'll bet it's even worse, now.)

I'm not nervous at all about the actual surgery, things like that don't bother me. It's the cost! It's a rather substantial amount...when all is said and done it'll be just over $3000 (this, of course, includes hotel accommodation, travel expenses and the like. The initial exam is done in Victoria but the surgery is done in Vancouver.)

Well, we'll 'see' how it goes. It may be that I'm not a candidate at all; there are some clinics that can't accommodate that degree of myopia. It won't bother me if it can't be done, then I won't have to agonize over spending that much money.
But one day, I'd really like to be able to open my eyes in the morning and just see.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

New word!


You can use it for describing how you feel when you've just tripped into a large open pit that is guaranteed to make everyone involved feel 'awkweird'.

For instance:

You go out to a great get-together for a co-worker on Friday night. Monday morning you run into the one person in the office who was specifically NOT invited * forget, and then proceed to blab away about how much fun it was and what a great restaurant you dined at.

Your faux pas is made blindingly clear by the blank and stunned look on the person's face and the flat, "Oh. That sounds nice."

This moment is followed closely by you stuttering "Uh, well, it was really nothing much. Just spur of the moment. Really. Kinda lame. Uh."

Say it with me, "AWKWEIRD!" **

* Yes, I work in an environment where some people are excluded from group 'after work' occasions. I don't like it so much, but there you go.
All the office politics were in place before I ever arrived and I try to keep my head down and not get involved. But I guess I am involved.
It rather sounds like I'm trying to excuse myself here from rather bad behaviour, doesn't it. I suppose I am.
I kind of understand WHY she's not invited, she's not very well liked in general though I have nothing against her personally.
Perhaps I should just decline going to those parties from now on. It might assuage my guilt.

** No, fortunately, it wasn't me. One of the 'invited' guests accidentally mentioned it to the uninvited co-worker. I felt bad for her. For both of them, as a matter of fact.

Monday, April 07, 2008

2 + 2 = ?

I placed my lunch order.

"That's $10.00, please."

I handed her a twenty.

She paused.

Opened the till.

Pulled out a calculator (!).

Discreetly tapped in the (complicated!?) sums.

Consulted with the other staff member.

"So you give her $10 dollars back." The reply came.

Hesitatingly she handed me a ten and looked at me quickly to ensure she hadn't made an error.

Is it just me? Was that not bizarre?
I swear, I'm getting less and less patient with things like that.
It was all I could do not to cock an eyebrow at her and inquire how grade two was working out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Open Letter To Kansas School Board

I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I’m sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith.
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.
None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is.
For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.
We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

I’m sure you now realize how important it is that your students are taught this alternate theory. It is absolutely imperative that they realize that observable evidence is at the discretion of a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Furthermore, it is disrespectful to teach our beliefs without wearing His chosen outfit, which of course is full pirate regalia.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough, and unfortunately cannot describe in detail why this must be done as I fear this letter is already becoming too long. The concise explanation is that He becomes angry if we don’t.
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to hear our views and beliefs. I hope I was able to convey the importance of teaching this theory to your students. We will of course be able to train the teachers in this alternate theory. I am eagerly awaiting your response, and hope dearly that no legal action will need to be taken.
I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

Sincerely Yours,

Bobby Henderson, concerned citizen.
P.S. I have included an artistic drawing of Him creating a mountain, trees, and a midget. Remember, we are all His creatures.