Blowin' In The Wind

It's been warm enough this last week that I can drive with all the windows open. I love the feeling of the wind blustering around me as I scream down the highway. There's only one problem. Last year, my hair was this long:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

This year, it's this long:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

(OK, it's not a great photoshop job, but it is a reasonable representation of where my hair is when I'm driving along at 120).

Obviously, I'm going to have to make some changes before I wrap the car around a tree.



MonkeyBoy helped me create a family's worth of South Park icons (thanks, Chellee!):

Here's me:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And Dean:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And Chickadee:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And MonkeyBoy:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

He made all the creative decisions, including webbins and wings.

Here are Grandma and Grandpa, too. For some reason, they don't get wings - but check out the cool matching samurai armour!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Agricultural Ambiguity

It's a confusing time of year for local farmers. On the one hand, it's finally warm enough and dry enough to start setting out seed, so the corn farmers have been busily plowing and fertilizing (which adds a lovely olfactory dimension to my daily commute) for the last week. On the other hand, we've had adequate sun and heat for growing alfalfa since February, so the cattle farmers have started bringing in the first hay crop of the year. Pity the poor dairyman who grows feed corn for his herd - he's working round the clock right now to get everything done.

It makes for slightly disjointed scenery - one field is freshly plowed, rich, black earth, the next newly shorn, pale green stubble.

I don't know when this image was taken (thanks, Google Maps!), but it's pretty close to what I see on my morning drive (from a slightly different angle, of course - where are the hovercars we were promised?!?). The brown fields have just been plowed, the light green ones freshly hayed, and the dark green ones belong to lazy farmers.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

My route's marked in red, and the big grey mass at the bottom left is Boundary Bay - the tide was out, otherwise that bit would have been dark blue.


Silliness on a Sunny Day

A new meme from Ursula via Chellee, wherein you drag your favourite song over to your favourite translation site, translate it into German, then into French, then back into English. I tried a few songs, but decided to morph the meme and go for kid's rhymes (it's just the mood I'm in today - not doing what I'm told, general low level subversiveness, trying to do an end run around the rules because I'm tired of always being the good one). Nursery rhymes don't work as well as regular lyrics - by their nature, they're pretty simple and hard to screw up. But I thought it was funny and, around here (if nowhere else in my life) I'm the only one who counts.

So here, in no particular order, are some mangled-language (would that be manguage, or langled?) nursery rhymes for your reading pleasure:

1. They you placed inside your, at right foot
Placed outside their at right foot;
They placed inside your at right foot,
You agitate completely approximately and him.
They make Hokey-Eingeschraenkte,
And you turn yourselves around.
On this, is that it is completely!

2. It rains, pours it;
The old man schnarcht.
And it did not push its head went to sleep
And he could rise the morning.

3. Little hop rabbits Foo Foo by the forest,
Digging which auffangenmaeuse
And bopping him on the head.
And good Fee, and it came said downwards:
Small FooFoo rabbit that I would not like to see you,
The auffangenmaeuse one to dig and him on the head bopping.
I will give you three probabilities, and if you behave badly,
I make you Idioten.

4. The child of Monday is a fair of the face,
Child of Tuesday is among that seemed fully,
Child of Wednesday is misery,
Child of Thursday must fully go far,
Child of Friday is affectionate and giving ,
Child of Saturday for a life must to work,
But the child who is carried in Sabbath day,
Is suitable and intelligent and good and homosexual.

And, for the sake of experiment, I ran this last one through Google, as well as Babelfish (which did all the previous derangement).

5. On the pipe of insulation
With cheeses I cover completely,
Lost, my bad Fleischkloeschen,
When somebody sneezed.
It stored the table and on the floor,
And then rolled my bad Fleischkloeschen
Towards the line of the door!
It did not roll in a garden
And under a shrub
Was now however my bad Fleischkloeschen
With nothing chews

On the whole pipe
To cover with cheese,
To lose I my bad Fleischkloeschen,
When somebody to sneeze.
To store the table and on the floor,
And then to roll my bad Fleischkloeschen
Towards the line carries it!
To roll in a garden
And under a shrub
Maintaining my bad Fleischkloeschen
Nothing however corn salad


In the Depths of Spring

The season of new beginnings is fully upon us here on the West Coast. The garden is bursting out all over, the cherry trees have brought out the big guns - the double/triple/octuple blossoms ...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

the rhododendrons are in full swing ...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

the daffodils are almost finished and the tulips and pansies are a riot of colour ...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Dean even had to haul out the lawnmower yesterday and beat our tatty lawn back into submission. I saw my first goslings of the year on my way home from work yesterday. And my dad reports that his eagles have hatched ≥ 1 eaglet (lots of noise from the nest, but too soon to tell if it's one or a pair).

It's supposed to hit 23° tomorrow (that's 73F), the kids have been running around in shorts and sandals, and we might essay a picnic this weekend. Unfortunately, Dean took my camera with him to San Francisco this weekend, so there will be no boastful, envy-inspiring photos. Sorry.


Mystery Pic Revealed

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Girls, it's time to take a stand

BMO has taken issue with Dean's comments on the lovely Angelina's attractiveness to us XX types (that's chromosomes, not film board rating, by the way - kudos to anyone who's both). So far, it seems to be mostly guys weighing in on the subject, and I think we need to make our voices heard (OK, our comments read - you know what I mean).

So wander over to Brian's and let him know how you feel.

Mystery Pix

Taken yesterday in Stanley Park. Five points to everyone who guesses the subject.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I'll post the big picture later.


More MonkeyBoy Musings

Last week, MonkeyBoy asked if he could play my guitar (a birthday present from my parents some years ago, never mastered). So I held it on my lap, and he played vigorously, composing the following on the spot:

Sometimes in my heart it makes it feel all shaky
Then I feel like shakin' *

Sometimes my heart feels shaky
You can hug me if you want to
But if you touch my heart you'll feel it shaking

To get the full effect, find a slightly out of tune guitar and strum, with the palm of your hand, from bass to treble strings, energetically but without discernible rhythm. Chant the words, being careful not to match the un-pattern of your strumming, with a mouth full of gum. Two jumbo gumballs should be sufficient.

* Shake your torso enthusiastically at this point, but don't stop playing.


Something I Hadn't Considered

I was talking with a co-worker today and mentioned MonkeyBoy's propensity to circumnavigate our house using the furniture rather than the floor because, according to him, our carpet turns to hot lava at regular intervals.

My co-worker pointed out that this might make the house somewhat difficult to sell.

Maybe we'll have to sell the MonkeyBoy first.


Literary Miracle

Of a sort. Some background facts, pertinent to my story:

1. As a child, I read a lot. To say I was a voracious reader would be something of an understatement. I took a book with me pretty much everywhere we went.

2. My paternal grandparents had a farm just outside Fort Langley. After my grandmother died, my grandfather remarried, in 1976. His new wife didn't like our family all that much and, as a result, we didn't get that many invitations. We did, however, spend Boxing Day there every year - a tense and painful gathering.

3. They sold the farm in 1988 or '89.

And now, on to the story ...

About 2 years ago, Chickadee and her dad were browsing in an antique/used bookstore in Fort Langley. She knew I had read a lot of Nancy Drew books when I was young and, spotting 6 or 8' of the yellow books on a shelf, asked if she could get one. When he dropped her off an my place a few hours later, she proudly showed me the book she had chosen:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It looked vaguely familiar and I said I thought I had read this one as a kid. Chickadee hadn't opened the book yet, and I flipped the cover open to look for the standard plot synopsis. Instead, I saw the following inscription on the fly leaf:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The handwriting is that of my maternal grandmother, who died 6 months before Chickadee was born, the date my tenth birthday. I had, in fact, read that book.

I promptly called my mother and (politely) accused her of selling off my childhood library. She said no, that all my books were in boxes in their garage. So the only explanation I can think of is that I received the book on December 15th, and took it with me to the farm on Boxing Day. I must have finished it there, and left it behind. Then, some 12 or 13 years later, when the farm was sold, my evil step-grandmother must have sold all their books to a local dealer. And there Nancy sat until 2003, when my daughter found her and brought her back to me.


A Question

American politicians, at least the ones currently in power and George Dubya in particular, seem convinced that their mission to bring democracy to the rest of the world has come down to them directly from God.

My question is this: what makes them think God likes democracy? I've read the bible, and I didn't notice a lot of references to open elections, or individual rights and freedoms. Looked a lot more like a dictatorship to me, back when God was running the show directly. And a pretty harsh dictatorship at that. Lots of smiting and sacrificing and general suffering. Very un-American, if you ask me.


Slow News Week

I just realized that I haven't posted since Monday and, even sadder, I really don't have anything new to say. I've got a couple of ideas for longer posts rattling around in my skull, but lack the time to write them at the moment.

Is there anything you'd like to know about me that I can answer in under 10 minutes?


Quirks of Memory

My officemate has a classical internet radio station going on her Mac, and they're playing a piece I recognize - I played it, some 20 years ago, in one of the two concert bands I played in. I love the piece, can hear the second clarinet part running underneath (although this is a symphonic rendition so the clarinet has been replaced by violins). But I can't, for the life of me, remember the name of either the song or the composer. An utterly wild guess would be Handel's Water Music Suite.

Oh, cool! I got it right!!! That almost never happens - it was the horns that gave it away. And I think we played that suite in both bands, which helps. I've probably only heard it a few hundred times.

I'm not right very often when it comes to identifying music, I fear. I have an excellent aural memory - I can drop instantly into any piece I've ever heard before and, if I played it before, can add in the clarinet line I played 2 decades past. I can even tell, if it's a song I know but a version I don't, where it varies from what I've heard before (after watching the video version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat a couple of times, it took probably 200 playings before the Canadian cast recording we bought stopped sounding wrong).

But ask me for the name or composer, and 95% of the time I don't have a clue. Ditto for pop music - unless the name comes from the chorus, I'll probably get it wrong and the only bands I can consistently identify are the Stones and the Beatles (much to Dean's dismay).

Which is kind of odd, considering that I can match up probably 90% of the books and authors I've read in my life (and there have been thousands of those). And if I've read a book more than once (again, thousands), I can probably identify both title and author from any reasonably representative passage therein.

The human mind is a mysterious thing.