Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Grudges and why I hold them

Sometimes I'm not a very nice person. When I say I'm not a nice person I don't mean I'm rude to strangers or pushy in lineups or beat my children behind closed doors, not that sort of not nice. I mean that when I don't like someone or feel hard done by by the actions of someone I don't automatically do the above, absolve them of their *crimes* against me just because of their present circumstances.I really don't buy into the whole 'the minute someone is terminally or critically ill, they are absolved of all the nastiness they've created or spewed out into the world thing'.

People are who they are. Getting sick is about getting sick. It is not a free pass for being a prick.

I do however believe in Karma. In fact, I've learnt not to tempt Karma as SHE has a very distinct and incisive sense of humour.

So perhaps, this might be not a good idea but here goes anyway.

I believe 'THAT' is karma. Not meaning to say that she's my personal revenge sidekick because THAT would be TEMPTING KARMA and that I do not do. Ever. Besides, chances are, they aren't just unnice to me. I'm talking about the people about whom it is said, "oh that's just *insert name*, they're just that way." The ones whose cutting remarks leave you curled and bleeding with their careless or sometimes purposeful slashes and jabs.

Um... no.

If someone goes around being a dink to people, they will get theirs. I believe it was Oprah Winfrey (yeah yeah I USED to like her) who said that she believes that people will get theirs, she just wants to be there to watch it happen.

:)I'm with her.

So what, exactly, am I babbling about? I'm talking about coworkers and others in my past who have been inconsiderate and at times out and out nasty to me. For no good reason other than some misguided sense that feeling better than me made them better over all.

There are a couple of women in the southwest Calgary area who followed me around a grocery store once, making remarks one wouldn't expect from teenaged girls about someone who 'looked' at the boy they pretend is their boyfriend. Nasty, mean spirited outright hurtful things to say to anyone let alone a complete stranger. Bet those two were real popular in high school. I'm talking about them.

There's an ex coworker of mine from... gee... nearly 26 years ago now, who actually sabotaged the work that left her desk to make my job harder, simply because she didn't like me. Despite repeated reminders that she was shooting herself in the foot by our manager she continued these actions till we were both fired. You can bet I'm talking about her.

There's a couple of grade school teachers who by their every day actions contributed to my junior high days being a wedge of time I'd rather not think about. Thanks for the help in growing up there, ladies, and there is no consolation in knowing that you messed up your own daughters the same way (blessed are those who grow up in a small town :) for they know all, even after they leave, courtesy of those who do not.). It really doesn't make what you did to me and others in your classes any less painful, even some 30 plus years later.

So, yeah, I'm talking about them, too.

These are all people to whom I was nothing more than peripheral. In fact, in the case of the two *ladies* who followed me around a grocery store for upwards of 15 minutes taunting me like kindergarteners, I was a complete stranger.

I'm no where near perfect. I've snipped at people and had others chastise me for my tone in talking to people and such. I've been the nasty customer who'd better get some satisfaction, but, you know, I've also been the one who calls up to make sure that the boss knows the extra efforts someone has gone to on my behalf. I try to balance my actions, rather than walk the tight rope of being understanding and considerate 100% of the time.

That way has gotten me walked on by people in my life.

So the pendulum swings.

People to whom I've been nothing more than a blip, here's notice that when something bad happens to you, you won't have to worry about whether I still think you're a creep. if you were before you still are, most likely and for the very few who actually take the wake up call and do something about it, good for you...but I'll believe it...when I see it.

You know who you are:

You've passed me on the highway, shaking your fist at me because I was driving slower than you and you had to shake yourself out of the stupor you usually drive in to pass me. To you, it's just an extra $10 at the gas station, to me that's two meals for my family so pardon me while I drive a little slower to get more out of my car.

You've gotten impatient behind me in line because I actually took the time to know the prices of the items I was buying. To you it's a buck, to me it's a loaf of bread. 'Scuse me for feeding my family, yet again.

You've brushed by me at the grocery store, without so much as a kindly smile or a murmured ''scuse me'. You've nearly run over my children because you had to get out of the parking lot that fast. You've snarled at me over the phone because the product the company I work for produces did pretty much exactly what it's supposed to, never once realizing that the problem was you.

When, just when did the world become about you?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So it has been, so it always will be.

You know that movie, Days of Thunder? With Tom Cruise? How when the two drivers are injured they race in the hospital corridor, and then later on in the rental cars, destroying them completely in their attempt to best each other? And in the end, how the driver and the crew boss (pit boss) race for the sheer enjoyment of racing, of competing.

This movie and others like it, many with other themes but the same underlying message go on to show how that type of rivalry, the competition, the respect, grudgingly given though it might be, that comes for and from a worthy opponent and how it can turn a dislike or disdain into a lasting friendship.

That need to best your peers seems to be at its height around me at the moment. All the sports I love to spectate are currently active to one degree or another and I'm revelling in it.

Can you guess what sports I'm avid about? I'll give you a hint, the first is considered 'big business' and much money is spent on advertising at one particular game in the US every year. It's a team game and has as many sets of rules as there are continents. There's nothing universal about it.

Not hockey (although it has its place) and certainly not baseball, because while it's an enjoyable afternoon to sit in the stands and watch a game, or lounge on the grass and cheer for family and friends it's just not...exhilarating to watch like the other sports I love.

FOOTBALL. CFL football to be exact. NFL may have the glitz and the dollars and the hype but CFL has the action. We're gearing up for the season. The pigskin is tossed, thrown for yardage; sometimes spiked hard into the limed grass in the endzone and I watch, happy, excited and somewhat smug in my knowledge of the plays and game strategy. Did you know that among spectator sports football is considered one of the hardest to understand? I simply do not get that. Football is like war. Organized, civiled war. Each team takes their turn at capturing the territory, marching the ball in concerted spurts of effort. If they succeed they get another go. If they don't they switch to the defensive and the other team marches onward, regaining the territory lost.

Sweet battle. The gridiron. Power and strength. Hulking shoulders, lithe hips, strong thighs and sadly no more huddles. Ah the huddles... can we hear an 'oh yeah' to the huddles?

Ahem... yes.. Football. One of my favourite spectator sports.

Yet, still not my favouritest. It's my blog, I'll invent words on it iffen I want to.

Next on the list show jumping. Yes, elitism at its finest. I ride. I ride Western. The closest I've ever come to jumping was pointing a hunter trained horse at a jump once by mistake and barely staying in the saddle as she sailed over it. I fancy that I understand the connection between horse and rider. It's there, between any rider and any horse but between some of the 'stars' of the equestrian ring that connection is very nearly visible to the naked eye. An adjunct to showjumping would have to be dressage. Yes, I know that some believe that watching dressage is akin to watch paint dry but I'll be plunked down in front of my tv set through the Olympics sucking up the chance to watch televised dressage and showjumping. And three day eventing for good measure. Yet, still not my most favourite of all sport.

That I reserve for *drumroll and trumpet fanfare please...*

My most favourite of sports of all.

Chuckwagon racing.

WPCA, CPCA. Kelly Sutherland, The Glass family, Ron, Tom and Jason. The checkerboard wagon. The Irish Shamrocks of Doyle Mullaney. The Bashaw Flash. The Cosgroves and their tragedy, everyone's tragedy. The sons of sons of drivers as the tradition lives on. The wry remarks of some, "I was born in a wagon, what else do I do but become an outrider?"The cries of the crowd. The way grandstands rock and tremble as hundreds of fans stomp their feet to bring the wagons home. The gravelly tones of Joe Carbury and Les McIntyre.

...more to come...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Riches

A couple of years back I worked here. I gave walking tours to grade 4 and 5 schoolchildren primarily from Calgary. High River has 3 elementary schools, and the year I did the tours there, only one class from High River came out. The lakebed was dry enough for a few years at the end of WW2 that it was used as a landing strip for pilots in training to practice take offs and landings. Now it's a carefully husbanded series of basins that serve as a natural water filtration system. (isn't it amazing what nature will do if we just let her?)

Over the years it's had a varied and sometimes tragic history. It was fun taking the kids along the shore, pointing out various birds and talking about their habits and how all the animals, birds, reptiles and insects lived together in a food chain. My favourite part though, was at the end of the walk, within site of the buses waiting to take them back to school. We'd stop at a rock, like many of the rocks surrounding the lake. We'd talk about the way the glaciers had left behind the rocks like discarded running shoes and socks as it melted back to the mountains. I'd ask them to sit quietly (not that huge a hardship, we'd just hiked 1.5 km) and close their eyes to listen to the symphony of sound. Often enough that it seemed prearranged the various birds would oblige me with a background sound of the Franklin Gulls, the occasional lone cry of the Arctic Tern and for effect, the screendoor creaking cry of the Yellow Headed Blackbird, all birds we'd spoken of on our hike. I'd ask them to listen for the sound of the wind through the grass and it was amazing to watch their faces as they picked out sound after sound.

I'd ask them to imagine the lake 50 years ago, 100 years, 300 years ago. We'd talk about the buffalo and how the last one seen in the area was seen in the mist of an early morning some time in 1952. I'm not a treehugger in the sense of living without to save the planet but I do think it's important for children (and some adults to be honest) to learn about what we're giving up for all our mod cons.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Riches on my doorstep.

I pass by this place every workday on my commute. Twice technically, but the highway is divided through town so it's only on my way home that I'm greeted by the two period planes on their stands, forever lifting from the ground, forever grounded. I've driven by it approximately 170 times, just commuting. It's a way point on our drive. It means we're nearly home, safe and sound with only the last stretch of 20 or so kms ahead of us. Often we stop for gas or at the grocery store for something for supper. The planes off to the right and to the left above the model train place an over sized flag with a Union Jack on a light blue background. I'm not sure if it's flown by the Legion, or Friends of the Air Museum or the town or a combination of the whole lot. Recently, it flew at half mast in honour as a local family mourned and celebrated the sacrifice of their son.

I'm a 'newcomer' though, so I don't know the family nor the soldier, but it made me remember every time I drove through town. Unlike many of the 'memorials' (and frankly I'm using the word very loosely there) at intersections and along various roads to mark where someone has died in a car accident, it didn't make me angry or annoyed to be reminded. It made me proud.

But enough of that.

A week or two ago, after much nagging and a chorus of "please can we go..." with an encore or twelve I reluctantly set out to drive to the city for some watersliding swimmin'ing time. For one reason and another I wended my way through town instead of following the north bound leg of the highway and so found myself just down the street from the museum.

The bomber was out for a cleaning. I stopped, much to the chagrin of the 'chorus' in the backseat (and front for that matter) and grabbed my camera to snap a few shots.

I've never gone through the museum. I've stopped in once and had a quick peek in the foyer as I asked about upcoming events but I never went back.

Here is history, carefully and lovingly preserved, right on my doorstep and I never even stop to look. Shame on me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Adler Online

Good morning, Charles. I commented on your show with regard to this letter (You might need to search for it, couldn't find a trackback). I'm not particularly articulate commenting on the radio, apparently :), but I was trying to say that ignorance isn't always in the eyes of those beheld. Sometimes it's just as much or more in the eyes of those doing the beholding. Your friend sees all this going on around him, and he passes judgement. That, in and of itself, I find interesting. Just how much does he know about small towns and the dynamics within which they run? Did he leave a small town because of these very reasons to go off to the big city and become more enlightened or did he grow up in said city to seek out the 'idyllic life of small town Canada'?

Assuming that people are uninformed or uncaring of world events because they choose to focus on their surroundings and their portion of the world is as narrowminded as he seems to feel that those around him in the small town are. Sure, small towns are cliquey, you work with the people you grew up with. Bonds and biases formed in grade school colour your actions every day. Does that make you bigoted? I suppose it might. It also might make you comfortable and content to live the life you do. People leave small towns for the cities to seek out the 'world' and often return to refind the simpler things in life and then complain because their version of that simpler life isn't what they idealized. Dogs still crap on the grass. Cats still dig in the flower bed. Idiots still throw beer cans at your mailbox. Do you really think you left all that wonderful stuff behind when you moved to country life? It's the same sort of stupidity only flavoured with country.

Didn't you see that Chevy Chase movie? Funny Farm. Nasty people abound. Regardless of where. When you're dealing with a pool of 300 people instead of 3000 the concentrations are going to be higher because Like Attracts Like after all. If a person is happy in a small town it's because that's the way they want to live. Leave your city enlightenment where it belongs, thank you very much.

I don't live in the country or a small town because I want to have a neighbour that comes over with brownies when I move in. Or because I don't want the world events intruding on my idyllic sunrise watching with a cup of steaming coffee, leaning over the railing of my deck. I live in the country because when all is said and done I don't much like people and it's easier to avoid them in a small town. And if I want intelligent converation beyond that I already have, I'll join one of the many grass root clubs that still run in small towns. Like the Rebekahs, or the Women's Institute. Or maybe the Lions/Lionettes

You wave and smile and keep driving and you fit in, in a small town. Believe it or not. No one really wants to know all your business. I've found more prying people, more do gooder types, more people who are gonna save me no what what I want, in the city than I have ever in the country. I've had people intrude upon my life in the country, but every single one of them was some city folk type who moved out to 'seek a simpler life'.

I've met 'farmers' who live their lives on the dirt of the land, who could articulate in 3 sentences what it takes some philsophers volumes to impart. Life is as simple or as complicated as you make it. But because they really don't give a good shake of their head about world events, they are labelled as ignorant and bigoted men who are nothing more than rednecks. Give me a good rednecked man any day, frankly. At least I'll know that he knows how to work for a living.

Sometimes it's not about whether it will kill a seal, or a tree some continent away, it's about keeping the neighbour's dog out of your sheep pen. And when it's about that, it's simple. It's your sheep pen. Livestock law. Dog runs livestock, dog dies. End of story.

Oh, we're past that, that's barbaric, that's inhumane, that's *quick get the paint and make a sign to wave*.


That's the reality of life.

Life doesn't leave time for nitpicking the actions of others, if you're actively living it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Found Treasures

Today I found a back up disk from 'waaaayyyyyy baaackkkk' when. I think this is from a computer that primarily ran Windows ME (millenium edition) ... badly at that. Although,I think I eventually upgraded it to 2000. In fact, now that I think about it, we still have it and it still 'works' after a fashion but it's many a reformat ago that this disk is a back up of.

On it were a number of files I'm glad I found. Some patterns I'd saved from here and there on various websites that are long gone. Some notes for stories I was writing at the time (and still to be honest lol) and a few other saved emails and such.

The following was among these files, and since at the end of it, it says to repost freely I'm doing so. If anyone knows where this is from or who wrote it, please let us all know in the comments as it deserves credit.


I went out last night, just after midnight, to make sure all the heat lamps
were working in the goat, chicken and turkey houses. The temperature was
supposed to go to zero or below. All the dogs had long gone to bed and the
night was silent. Stepping on the porch I was greeted with the sight of a
crystal clear sky and multitudes of stars. Turning on the flashlight (we
refuse to have one of those blasted dusk to dawn monstrosities that keep the
stars from shining) I made my way to the barn.

Earlier in the evening I had taken some straw to freshen the farm animal's
bedding, and had dropped a flake outside the gate that I failed to retrieve.
Walking down the drive, I saw a set of bloody paw prints pressed into the
snow, that came out of the woods and ended at the pile of straw by the gate.

Curled on the pile of straw was a dog. Medium sized. Could have been any
kind of dog. It was hard to tell in the darkness. The only thing for sure
was that it was a dark color. I put my hand on the back and felt cold ribs.

I took my gloves off and felt behind the front leg. A heart beat. Then I
heard a faint thump. The end of the tail was going up and down making a
slight impression in the snow, but the head didn't move. I saw the deep
brown eyes that seemed to say, "please don't run me off. I can't take
another step." The feet
were cracked and bleeding. I checked to make sure the heat lamps were
working and gently scooped up the frozen dog. No resistance, just the thump
of the tail. Not much weight for the size of the bundle. I made my way to
the front door.

Coming inside I laid the dog down inside the door. It never moved. Checking
to make sure everyone was still asleep, I began the search for a blanket. I
was pretty sure we had used the last dog blanket for our latest rescue.
Nothing in the closet, nothing in the dryer, nothing on the couch. I went to
the bedroom
and gently retrieved the one off the bed. Even it, was old and beginning to
fray around the edges, but it was the last one available. I folded it and
set it by the heat register closest to the furnace. Then I picked up the dog
and laid it down on top.

After midnight, on New Year's Eve, in a very rural area of Southwest
Missouri no way I could get a Vet to see this one tonight. We would have to
try tomorrow. I went to the kitchen and took a container of chicken broth
out of the fridge and popped in the microwave. I went back to the living
room and set the bowl down next to the blanket, within easy reach of the
cold nose. Another thump of the tail, was the only movement.

I reached down and put my hand under the chin, gently lifting the head. Now
inside I could see that the dog was black, at least on the parts that had
not turned gray. Almost the entire face showed the white signs of time past,
and the pupils surrounded by those dark brown eyes were blue. The ears were
that of a Lab and so was the tail which thumped every time I came near. The
body was skin and bone. There were no front teeth. The canines were worn or
broken down to nubs, and I was able to see three teeth in the back. I didn't
want to pry to see if the old dog was a male or female. It really didn't
matter anyway. I told the old dog I was going to go to bed and patted it's
head which was met by another thump of the tail.

On my way to the bedroom, I wondered how in the world the dog had gotten to
our farm. It came through the woods which were large and uninhabited. I also
wondered why here. The answer was simple. The hand of God had brought the
old dog to the right place.

It's morning now and I've been up for a few hours. The bowl of broth was
empty and the blanket was much as I had left it. No bloody paw prints on the
carpet, only on the old blanket. Sometime after I went to bed, the old dog
lapped up the chicken broth and licked the bowl clean. The blanket had been
fluffed a little and the old dog had curled into a tight ball with the nose
tucked inside the tail. When I bent down to say good morning, there was no
thump of the tail. I knew then that the old dog had crossed the Rainbow
Bridge in the night. Kneeling there in front of the old dog, I thanked God
for the one old blanket I had left and for the hand that gently guided the
old dog to Rainbow Farms. It was then
that I thought of the poem that Walt had written for us:

"Listen to the kindness, spoken softly,
Often lost behind the tears.
Place your hand upon my shoulder,
Let it take away my fears."

- --Walt Zientek

May the New Year bring you closer to the hand of God, and all the old
blankets you may need.

Permission is given to repost anywhere - maybe it'll catch a few who don't
appreciate the gift they have.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dear Protestor:

Dear Protestor:

I'm well aware of your views on [the Olympics/animal cruelty/Kyoto/globalwarming/insert current media darling cause de jour]. I'm not illiterate nor stupid so please don't assume that when I don't agree with you that it's because I don't understand the issue at hand. Or do not care enough.

I see you waving your signs, screaming like some maddened two year old throwing a tantrum and otherwise displaying your brutish behaviour; exemplifying your ignorance of the realities and true facts in so many different ways that any sympathy I may hold is quickly subsumed by the pure disgust for your disregard for the views of anyone else but you and your rabid cohorts.

Too harsh you say? Let's examine harsh. Dousing people with blood? To ruin the fur coat they are wearing. Why? So they'll go out and get another one, thereby requiring the (supposedly) inhumane slaughter of more helpless cute little minks? Ever met a mink? Talk to a farmer who's had to clean up dead fowl time after time and see how cute and helpless he finds them. Ask them how many of those chickens were destined for his own family's consumption. And releasing them to 'run free'. Yeah, there's a good idea. Turning helpless animals accustomed to the safety of cages out into the wild to die of hunger or horrendously at the paws and teeth of non-domesticated animals. Ever think about the consequences of your actions? Ever think rationally at all? Because about now, it doesn't appear that way to me.

And the lecturing me about how I could be a better resident of earth? Pullleeeassee...

Stop eating meat. Stop slaughtering animals bred purposefully for just that purpose and become vegan. Stop eating food I enjoy and thrive on? Put my children in danger of disease and illnesses that could be counteracted by eating a balanced diet?

Uh...,no. How about you just go ahead and live your life your way and stop telling me how to live mine?

Stop animal testing. Sure okay, you going to step up? Are you going to offer up your children to save the lives of thousands of others? Thought not. No, animals are not expendable but are humans? Although to see how you all wail about the cruelty to animals and turn a blind eye to the plight of people all around you living in less safety and comfort than most animals in a zoo or on a farm or heaven forbid running in a chuckwagon team. Not to mention with adequate and reliable healthcare. Given all that, I have to believe you do care more about animals than you do people.

Oh wait, you protest that too. From your home here in N. America. You protest about the actions of a country across the globe from you. Decrying the actions of people you have absolutely no clue about. But some celeb spokesperson you admired in a role in a movie or heard on the radio or wears the clothing you want to said they were bad, so here you go, jump on the bandwagon quick before it runs over your toes.

Oh, you say you're protesting for the world. You're not one of those 'crazed' protestors. You know about what you're protesting about. You have researched it and made your own decisions and you protest in an orderly fashion.

You hand out pamphlets and do your part. You recycle and you drive a responsible vehicle. Probably a hybrid. And you teach your children to not be cruel to animals.

Let's examine all of that.

Pamphlets. By popular definition, printed paper products filled with information about your cause.

Paper. Made from lumber. Lumber comes from trees. Trees work to maintain the earth. They provide wind breaks and shade for other flora. They provide shelter and food for fauna. They contribute in a large way to doing exactly what you're telling others how to do by cutting them down, running them through a pulpmill (adding all sorts of polution to the area but also creating innumerable jobs and in some instances revitalizing a community) printing them and oh yeah, handing them out. Yep... definitely doing your part with the pamphlets.

Recycling. You mean reusing things that are old and useless and making them new and usable again? Wow. Who knew? I mean that's such a novel and brilliant idea I bet no one ever thought of that before. I wonder if my grandmother knew she was doing such worldy good when she'd turn the seams on a dress. (by the way for those of you who don't know that means take it apart, resew it together again so it would show less wear not send it off to good will so you can feel good about yourself and also make room in your closets for more clothing you won't wear more than a dozen or so times before the season changes and I'm being generous here, before you send it off to good will again assauging your conscience because you're recycling AND doing a good deed) spend hours darning socks after working in her garden that she used compost on. now there's another wonderful idea. Rotting waste and using it as fertilizer. Good thing you lot came along. The earth had NO idea how to feed itself until then.

Not enough, you decry? Why not? Aren't we here to live? Some of us choose to live large and leave a footprint the size of small state on the surface of the world. Some others, do not.

While you are protesting the loss of freedom in the third world countries maybe you ought to take a good hard look at your own tyrannical attitudes towards your very neighbours. Who are you to decide what I eat, how I get to work, what I wear. Isn't that why I choose to live in a free country and not go somewhere else where my every movement will be monitored?

Didn't the US win their freedom from oppression? Didn't Canada finally squiggle away from most of it? Don't we owe it to other countries and people to have that self esteem?

Give someone something, without any strings. Something precious and particularly difficult to define; something you cherish beyond all thought, with every action you take in life. Will they cherish and husband it the way you do if it's not as hard won as your own? Somehow, I find it difficult to believe that they will. We won't even get into the people that don't want to be saved by you or anyone else.

So, dear protestor, not that I think any of you will change your ways, perhaps, you'll find an iota of truth among my sarcasm and examine your own actions and govern yourself differently. Because were I to forcefeed you this as you choose to do your causes to me I'd be exactly what I'm pointing out you are. So there shall I leave it. Whether you take anything away from reading this or not, is up to you. I've said my piece. I'll probably say it again somewhere along the way.

But one thing I guarantee you, I won't ever be caught waving a big sign and screaming about it on TV.


a reasonable female

And furthermore...

Geez Heather :) I could have just used your last paragraph (see comments for previous post) and saved myself a whole bunch of words.


Thank you for saying so succiently what I attempted to articulate.

And, thank you also for seeing through to the heart of what makes me crazy about this. It's not really about Robert Latimer and his daughter for me. Which the minute I say that, seems to mean that I'm condoning his actions and I am not. It's about the way the whole case is indicative of the mess that we call our judicial system. Full of inequities, special interest groups and the like.

So let me reiterate:

1. I don't agree with Mr. Latimer's actions. That's not my judgement to make. I can empathize about how I would feel in a similar situation and extrapolate on how I would feel and react and deal with such. Just because I don't want to immedately condemn someone to hanging doesn't mean I agree with his actions.
2. Personal decisions of this nature carry their own burdens. I know, I've made decisions in my own life for which I pay consequence on every day of my life. To my knowledge, none of those decisions have broken the law, but many of them have affected the lives of others and will continue to well beyond my time on this earth.
3. Oh how about judge not lest ye be judged?
... and the list goes on.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sometimes the news makes me nuts.

I realize that some news that I get crazed about old news that I'm just now revisiting. (or having the time to think about and research)

This for instance. Robert Latimer isn't exactly a household name to many. But to some he's become a rallying point for two very extreme sides of an issue that by it's very nature is one that most people don't even want to think about, let alone define in terms of legality, moral right and wrong and last but not least religion. Forget about compassion or intelligent, logical thought; they aren't on the table with this issue.

The short version is, Mr. Latimer was convicted of 2nd degree murder for putting his severely disabled daughter in a truck and connecting a hose from the exhaust, thereby exposing her to carbon monoxide which caused her death.

I've had several conversations about this case over the years, dating from when he was originally convicted and on through the years (12) when he's been denied parole, over and over. Disregarding the reccommendations of the jury and the ruling of the judge in his case, I might add.

Recently, I had an online conversation, and saved a few of my comments.

First of all, let me point out that my mother was a polio survivor, whose body was stunted on one side, leaving her a hunchback from age 7. Second of all, you don't know me so don't bother with the hate mail. I have my opinions, you're welcome to yours. I have a blog to air mine, get your own, if all you plan on doing is bitching at me for thinking and believing as I do. That said, if you've got an opinion that doesn't smack of raw hate for me because I have an opinion and are willing to keep the name calling and other silliness to nil, then by all means, feel free to comment. I freely admit that my beliefs about certain aspects of this are rather broad and based solely on news media reporting; but they are no less my own despite that.

I really am not sure what my biggest confusion with all of this is. I understand that Mr. Latimer broke the law, and that he was convicted of it in a court of law and must serve time as a result. Fine, yes. I believe in the law and that when a law is unjust or unfair that there are ways, legal ways, to change the law and that breaking it just because it is unfair or unjust is still an illegal act.


We're past all that. He's been convicted. He did what he did for his own reasons and has refused to admit remorse. There in, appears, to lie the rub. The parole board has repeatedly refused this man parole. Citing his lack of remorse. It is my understanding (and I could well be wrong) that the parole board here in Canada is not allowed by its mandate to require admission of guilt. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't requiring someone to admit to remorse regarding an act they are imprisioned for, an admission of guilt?

The crux of all this, is the special interest group that has taken it upon themselves to make sure this 'monster' stays incarcerated. They want to make sure that all special needs / severely disabled people are safe, you see.

Not really pertinent if you ask me. This wasn't a random act of murder. This wasn't a hate crime against a race, creed, religion or anything else. This was, and I really believe this, an act of compassion.

So yes, of course, Mr. Latimer is going to rush out the very moment he's free on parole and murder the very next handicapped person he sees. Sure.. right... He's probably sitting in his cell jonesing for his next *thrill kill*

Give me a freakin' break.

How incredibly rude of these people with their special interest groups to intrude upon his very personal decision and journey.

We vilify people daily who 'mistreat' an animal they have lived with and loved in their home for years and years and who find it difficult to do the 'right thing' and let this animal go with dignity. It's RIGHT to kill off an animal that is experiencing pain and has outlived its usefulness. It's WRONG to let them continue to suffer and how horrible these people are to put their own selfish feelings above the wellbeing of their animals.

And yet, every day, these very same people INSIST that maintaining a human being in similar circumstances is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Even when they can't speak and their eyes are pleading with you to let them go, we have to do it. It's right and it's the law.

I'm not stupid enough to think that we should just have a carte blanche on euthenasia. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Don't like your Aunt Edna and the way she smells? Off to the "doctor" she goes. Yea, not gonna happen and shouldn't happen.

I'm also not proposing that we need a law that allows for euthenasia. I'm simply saying that Robert Latimer has served his time. Let him be. He was convicted and has and is serving his time. More time by the way than most do for the same level of crime. It'll be interesting to see how much time the First Nations woman (and I mention that she's First Nations because eventually someone will so I thought I'd get there first) who shoved a young man under the C-train will serve. I'm betting maybe 5 years? I'm sure the special interest groups are already aligning.

I believe we need to stop letting special interest groups with no real connection to the situation use such very personal things as spring boards for their own agendas.

These days it seems that if you haven't got a special interest or belong to a particular minority of some sort or another, you don't really stand much of a chance.

If everyone wants so very desperately to be treated equally, perhaps the solution isn't lobbying for the right 'to be who are but still considered equal'. That by it's very definition isn't. Maybe it's time to really look at what being equal means and stop being so determined to be treated 'special'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Personal Blog History.

Since I discovered blogging as a verb ;) I've had 4 actual blogs and 4 misfires. But even before that I was intrigued by a neat little feature called News Flash on my cool HTML editor program (On a side note, I still use Coffeecup for webpages that I've thrown together for friends here and there along the way but I'm so behind in the bells and whistles of HTML that I consider myself an non entry. I do keep my CC uptodate and pull it out to play around with now and again, though) The whole idea was a remote entry posting system for your site. Everything around it was static but you could update this one area everyday if you so chose. All without rewriting the whole site.

I never did get it to work properly and probably drove my friends crazy with 'test this for me' messages but it still intrigued me.

Once I decided that I did, indeed, have something to say, I set up shop on CrimsonBlog (I'm not going to link to it because I'm annoyed that they tore down my archives) (heh, update, can't seem to find their main site even..guess everyone's archives are gone). I've always had opinions and type pretty fast :) so it wasn't tough to put down my thoughts.

Organizing them was something entirely different. My posts ranged from rants about Starbucks vs Haidabucks to nothing blips about my mood at the moment. Back to knitting, and Spiritwars. Hmm...pretty much what I do now.

But I wasn't satisfied with CrimsonBlog's interface (la don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about) so off I went to TBlog. Somehow the same thing happened there. The interface was annoying, and my archives have disappeared. That'll teach me to be cheap.

My next attempt was at LiveJournal and I've kept that one. It's separate from here for a few reasons. The main one being a subculture I consider myself a part of that I don't want to mix into here. Some will call me a coward for that, and a hypocrite and I probably am but that's me.

In between these, there were a couple of failed attempts on Wordpress. I love wordpress. The blog theme/feel/ideology was just -wrong-.

I see a lot of blogs where the posts are categorized and I've attempted to do that here. I'm not succeeding very well. I hate that I have to compartmentalize my life so. Everything I'm interested in or write about, is all of me. I'm not totally out there for everyone to see like so many others...many others that I enjoy reading by the way. I wish I could just say what I think at times but I do as I've mentioned before, self censor.

I've thought about blogging anonymously, and for the most part I do. But then, I can't claim my patterns that I post on Ravelry on my blog. I can't identify with my email posts on KnitTalk. Because I'm breaking the anonymity myself. I do know folks who blog anonymously. An online persona that has nothing to do with who they are in real life. But they've revealed themselves to friends or family themselves. And sooner or later, someone talks to the wrong person and the *secret* is out.

What's this all leading up to you, you ask? Absolutely nothing :) this would be some of the frivolity that I warned you about as I *force* myself to write, something...anything.

***** Mini RANT MOMENT ******

Today on the talk radio station they were asking 'what bugs you' and this woman called in (not me :)) and went off on a rant about the memorial sites where fatality accidents have occurred. I happen to agree with this woman but not for the same reasons she cited about them not being a good thing. She was offended that when she went for a drive she had to see where people had died. That the grief of the people maintaining (and often not maintaining) the memorials were forcing others to bear their pain.

Me, not so much, but somewhat. More to the point for me, is that they are a distraction, often at a place where due to traffic congestion, poor signage or chronically bad road conditions, one should be.. oh, PAYING ATTENTION TO THEIR DRIVING? Not gawking at some teddy bear or flower covered white cross. I mean, wow someone died here, because of inattention or bad weather or whatever... doesn't it behoove me to pay attention and drive? Not be wondering or woolgathering about the accident?

What do you think?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2nd best boss ever

I generally make it a rule to keep my work life very much away from here. There’s really no reason for anyone to know where I work, who I work with or what I happen to think about my coworkers or employer on any given day.

This isn’t any given day. Although there still isn’t any real reason (and lots of good ones why not) so we’ll just keep it pretty much general.

I’ve had a lot of bosses over the years. I’ve worked with a goodly number of people. On the people side, some I’ve liked; some I’ve not and many left no real impression whatsoever. I don’t go to work to make friends. There is exactly one person in my life that I count as a friend with whom I worked.

It’s certainly nice and comfortable to work with people who aren’t my mortal enemies but I’ve survived situations like that before. I’ve even had a couple of coworkers who took their dislike of me to the point of sabotage…shrug. At the time I thought it the height of stupidity and immaturity but now, looking back it’s more of ‘shake my head and forget about trying to understand the reasoning involved and move on’. Ah…maturity… I welcome you… I think ;).

On to the reason for my sharing moment. The ‘best boss ever’ knows who she is and why I consider her so. However, I currently work for (sadly not for too much longer…stupid company rewarding great people with promotions and all that) the ‘second best boss ever’. And only by a wee tiny little margin too… cause she is awesome and the following is only a teensy bit of why.

Last night I joined my coworkers for dinner in the city. Ah, I bet you’re saying, so what, her boss took the staff out for dinner, big whoop. Well no, actually she didn’t. In fact we paid for her dinner.

After dinner we made our way to a lovely auditorium where we were treated to a performance of Riverdance. On her $$$. Seventeen of us took up most of a row and enjoyed the show to our utmost. Still not that extraordinary you say? Well no, perhaps not. But afterwards, when we crowded around her for one last group photo it was patently obvious that she isn't just a boss to many of us. There is, looking at that picture, a loyalty, a sense of belonging to something that is ever so etheral that most don't even see it or know of its existence. But to those of us, there, in that's very real and as close to perfect that working with someone can be.

Personally she's much much more. She and I have the beginnings of what I believe is a great friendship. One that I hope will last beyond the constraints of working together and being the one for sure person either of us could tag for a chinese lunch on any given day; even if we both had it for lunch yesterday.

I'd like to make it clear that this is not a paid for spot :) She could have never taken us out to this event and I'd still feel the same. Her last day with us is approaching and the sadness is palpable.

This woman -knows- that the true definition of manager is one who manages... not bosses. One who gives others the freedom to fly, while holding the tether that keeps you on course lightly in her hand. She gives and gives of herself, her knowledge and her presence and asks only that you trust yourself, be confident in yourself as she already is and that you do your best...not for her, but for yourself. She does this so well, so seamlessly that it appears she's just a really friendly, outgoing and pleasant person when really...she's manipulating you for all she's worth. MANipulating, MANaging... hmmm.... go figure?

Truly, if I thought I could get away with naming her, I'd blaze her name across this blog in flaming letters that would leap at you from your monitor. Me knowing her and assuring you that someone like her exists is going to have to suffice for you.

I've said goodbye and whispered good riddance under my breath to more than one boss along the way. This is the first time I've dreaded someone's last day so.

Oh, and the 'best boss ever'? I'm keeping her all to myself. But isn't it cool that there's two of them and I was so very lucky to have both of them touch my life?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

So much to say, so little enthusiasm to type it in...


If there were some way I could link up my brain to a word processor while driving/working you all would have so many interesting and varied things to read about here.

I listen to talk radio while at work QR77 to be exact. Rutherford is ...okay... Sometimes I even agree with him. Now and then. Not that our views are so diametrically opposite...just that I'm all about the method of delivering the message as much as the message.

I particularly enjoy Charles Adler and he even has a blog :) AdlerOnline. Again, I don't agree totally and 100% with all of Adler's views, but he's an entertaining host, who takes a moment to insert a lightness to topics that sometimes would become very bogged down by the 'importance (or lack thereof)of the moment'.

The point is, despite all this stimulation, I've been feeling pretty dull lately. Like I have no opinion worth discussing or even hearing by others. A touch of depression or winter blues, perhaps... who knows. However it's hard to write here when I think that no one wants to know what I say.

I'm just trying to come to terms with my lack of verbal/text opinions when my brain has any number of them flying through it at any given moment.

I think it's because I'm censoring myself. I'm reluctant to say what I 'really' think lately. Lest it offend, upset, annoy or otherwise unsettle people I know, careabout, work for (not stupid enough to air my work related issues worries on that one) or with.

Here hoping that I get out of this funk...writing has always taken me from it before...let's see if making myself write works.

Look forward to a fair bit of inanity while I refind my voice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ravelry... *YAH*

It's official. I am now a member of RAVELRY It's a cool feeling. :) Sort of like hanging with the cool kids in school and not feeling like they're going to set you up for a laugh at your expense.

Ravelry is cool. It's a place to set up shop, almost like an ongoing trade show online. And if I ever get my Flickr account working over there.. a place to show off. There's wool, and knitters, there's designers, and knitters. There's instructors, and knitters. There's pictures of yarn, and knitters. There's pictures of FO's, WIP's, PIGs and the like. A world of our own, right here on the little old 'net. A place to belong.

Lest I sound like a complete dork :) I'm a knitter...and I've never had any problem knitting anywhere in public. I really don't care if it's 'uncool to knit in public', or that it's 'an old lady's hobby', although I do give a little inward snarl at the 'oh, how quaint' remarks. I've teased my teens into utter silent quivering in the backseat (ducking low so no one will see me with them) on more than one occasion by threatening to knit at their school function. And you know what? When they were onstage, or playing I was there, in the audience, sometimes knitting, sometimes not and they 'always' waved or used our version of the 'I love you' sign language from the old Sharon, Lois and Bram show... dang, with the elephant??? *googles*

I've knitted in court (in the audience mind you and only with the nodded approval of the judge), on planes, waiting in airports, waiting in line, waiting at the dr's office and even in traffic jams. I knit in front of the tv, during my lunch hour and even walking the dog. To the annoyance of my partner, I also knit in the dark at movie theatres. But only with plastic needles on socks.

Knitting has never been something I've hid or felt askance about admitting to. I'm surprised at the knitters I've found, simply by pulling out my needles in public. I've done the same thing with tatting and crochet over the years, but knitting seems to be ever so much more universal.

Like this one for instance... How to Knit a Life

I sure hope she'll pardon me for jumping onto her train but here goes:

Bust: 49.5"
Waist: 46"
Hips: 51.75"
Thigh: 30"
Upper Arm: 16"
Calf: 18.5"

Bathroom scale: 255 lbs.