Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

At least I don’t answer

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

So, my television has decided, on its own, that I’m blind and/or hard of hearing. To wit, on several channels now, I don’t have the sound that goes with the moving pictures. I have a newsreader service or closed captioning.

Took me a while to catch on (so maybe add dumb to my growing list of aliments). In fact, I thought this one channel was showing a new program that featured a narrator instead of having the characters talk. Kind of like when the older Kevin explained the action in The Wonder Years, but all of the time. I was trying to figure out if it was connected to some Canadian television grant, or a stylized “Movie of the Week”. Then I finally clued in that this was all of the time.

CBC Newsworld is perhaps the strangest one. Because they’ll be showing some atrocious footage of a war zone and the narrator voice is reading from Wingfield Follies (a play about a Canadian farmer-philosopher with the “soft” humour).
None of these options are turned on via the menu. The television downstairs runs as normal.

I’m trying to figure out what conversation I would have with the store that I purchased it from:

You want to return your tv? What’s wrong with it?

It thinks I’m blind, or maybe deaf.


It’s playing with closed captioning and sometimes with a narrator that doesn’t appear on my other television set and sometimes the narrator is telling me the action of the program and sometimes it’s just this reading program where what they’re reading doesn’t match what is being shown on television – I can see, really. And only on some channels. Not the ones I watch all of the time, but still.

Soooo, you’re hearing voices from your television set?

Um, yes. 

At the core

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear, was on Oprah today. (I was working at home and it came on, okay?)

If you’ve read the book, it’s essentially about listening to that inner voice, the fear voice, even when it doesn’t seem appropriate. He likes to comment that we’re the only animals that will deliberately override that instinct because we’re worried that people might think we aren’t “nice”.

At one point, he said the following: Men, at the core, are worried that women will laugh at them. Women, at the core, are worried that men will kill them.

Good sound bite, perhaps, but a bold statement. Melle tells me that his mother tried to kill his father when he was young, and if that’s true then I can see how something like that would colour his world view, but is it true?

My initial thought was what? Then it was really? Somehow it is easier to accept the first proposition than the second. There’s no doubt that the fact of being a woman gives you a different perspective. In my quiet moments, you might get to admit to a fear of “control”.

He also made the point that women more then men are raised to be nice. To be polite. Such that if a man addresses us, even if we don’t know him and he raises our cackles, we feel we must respond. Is this a politeness strategy? A submission strategy? Feminine wiles?

There have been times when I’ve smelled something wrong – just a person (okay, usually a man) that your body tells you is wrong. Could be in an elevator, a bar or a dark street. What do you do? Look ridiculous and walk (or run) the other way? Be a bitch and physically or verbally back him out of your space? I’ve even had the distinct impression that a guy has no idea that he’s given off the evil phermones or whatever it is that’s tweaking my radar. And sometimes the spidey sense tells me that the quickest way out of that situation is to deploy a niceness strategy (completely against what de Becker would argue, I think).

This conversation in a room full of women would immediately trigger a round of stories of various degrees of peril or fear or close calls (or, forbid, incidents of aggression and violence – 1 in 4 or maybe even 1 in 3 or even 1 in 2? I better stop looking at stats now). I can’t imagine this in a room full of guys, but then again, I can imagine it in a quiet conversation among mixed friends. Do guys have the spidey? Do they need it in the same way that women do?

Can we go from there to something like women, at the core, are afraid that men will violate them? Is that really so far from “kill”?


One of the best things about best friends

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

…who live close by is that you can visit them in your pyjamas. Yes, I went to Melle’s last night in my PJs. We enjoyed a cup of tea and discussed travel plans for France, and the hawtness that is Captain Jack and Spike, and played with Anatole the catbeast, and contemplated seeing Elton John, only because he is coming to Kitchener! (How he’s gonna fit the whole aging queen show in the Aud, I have no idea).

We didn’t get around to crafting world peace.

Release meme

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Here are the rules:

  1. The first title on this page is the name of your band.
  2. The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
  3. The third picture on this page will be your album cover.

You then take the photo and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your picture. (And be sure to give credit!)

This week’s hot pick: Palms Book State Park – nothing more than slavery … It’s kind of Dave Matthews meets Bif Naked.

image from frozenquack

Meme from Violet.

Introducting the Extensor! Get yours today!

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

My stairs to the second floor are lovely. Solid oak and curved on the return, with almost a double-height ceiling overhead. Only problem is that the walls were painted what I can describe only as “band-aid flesh”, so the time has come to paint them.

The curvy stairs, high ceilings and my stature (short) present some logistic and operational challenges. But I have triumphed with a the latest in edging technology!

Here is what I see looking up from the bottom of the stairs – very high up for me to try to reach… (and you can see some of the remaining bandaid colour to the right).

I tried one of those bendy ladders, but there’s no way to put it because the stairs are wedge-shaped as they go around. Aha, but there is sweet, sweet duct tape, and so:


the Extensor Edge Painting Device® (guaranteed to make painting easier! changeable heads to suit every need! easy-to-use and easy-to-clean!).

And here’s the Extensor in action:


Patent pending.

Ergo, scotchneat needs a scotch

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Hours spent in meetings this week: 31

I’m not sure if this is an achievement or a shameful act.


Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Trailer for the new Star Trek movie.

And there was much rejoicing…

Cantankerous, indeed

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Hard to pick my “favs”, but…

  • “Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantakerous and fussy”
  • Husky girls are… more even-tempered.
  • Hire a doctor who specializes in “female conditions” to detect any “female weaknesses”
  • They lack the “initiative” in finding work themselves, which is why they need strong supervision
  • They need numerous breaks and will work better if they have time to fix their hair and apply lipstick
  • They are sensitive to criticism.

Link from Melle

Apocalypse nowish

Monday, January 21st, 2008

I shouldn’t be watching the Discovery disaster shows, particularly not before bed.

The latest one was a “real enactment” of what would happen if a meteor actually did hit the earth, interspersed with a panel of scientists explaining how inland North America will have average temperatures of -40 below, and how fungal spores will take over during the permanent winter (months of darkness) and then a little girl in France lost her Mom in Paris and had to sleep in a barn with her Dad while a tribe in Cameroon freaked out in the caves but ultimately were more prepared for no electronics than the rest of us would be.

My immediate reaction upon watching one of these shows is to want to top up my disaster supplies. You know, get some more candles and bottle water and beans. Why beans, btw? Why are they the disaster food of choice? I mean, okay, good protein, but I can’t imagine that extra gas is a good way to make friends with rampaging strangers that may or may not allow you to sit by the car they just set on fire.

I also look around my house for likely hiding places that will accommodate water, beans, me and a grumpy cat along with various tins of cat food and a kitty litter (if you think I’m hiding out without the kitty litter, you’re nuts). Clearly, the cold storage under the stairs is a good place, cuz cement all around except for the door, so better protection against flood or fire. Except I still haven’t had time to clear out the old styrofoam in there that ‘s been collecting mold since 1959 and, so, ew! Which means I ought to put down some plastic dropsheets first, and I guess I’ll need blankets, but then I might not have room for the kitty litter, so you understand why planning is required.

Since I don’t have a wood-burning fireplace, I’m not sure how I’d situation the heat source, though I think the garage would make a nice bonfire for a little while. And as much as I love the bunnies out back, they should not venture out if I’ve gone into survival mode. I watch Bear. I know how to skin things.

Why I think I have to stay in my house. I have no idea.

Wrap it up

Monday, January 21st, 2008

This is MY saree!!


My friend just got back from India and she brought me this lovely saree. Now I need to a) get the top made, and b) learn how to wrap myself, and c) find a place to wear it.

Melle and Andrew and I have dreams of doing an Italian dinner in sarees and a kilt (for the girls and boy respectively). Melle’s is a beautiful silk in reds and golds and scrumptious threads.

We will look very festive.