Sunday, December 27, 2009

One of life's surprises.

OK, I just had to post this. The gentleman below is one of our neighbors! He and his wife are the absolute nicest people one could hope to meet. I knew he had extensive knowledge regarding geology but had NO idea he had this kind of background! His wife directed me to the website where I got this information. I sure hope I am as active as he is when I am 80+ years old!

Polar Issues Expert & Science Advisor Emeritus

Fred Roots is Science Advisor Emeritus to Environment Canada. He graduated in geological engineering at the University of British Columbia, and received his PhD in geology from Princeton University. He was senior geologist in the first international scientific study of Antarctica, the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, 1949-52: co-leader of Operation Franklin, the major study that established the petroleum potential of the Canadian arctic Islands in 1955; and leader of Operation Stikine 1956 and 1958, the first integrated geological study of the Canadian northern Cordillera. In 1958 he organized the Polar Continental Shelf Project and served as its coordinator until 1971. From 1968 he became involved in discussions of the environmental responsibilities of the Canadian government, which led to the organization of the Department of the Environment. In 1971 he was appointed Advisor, Environmental and Northern Programmes, Department of the Energy Mines and Resources, and in 1973 he became Science Advisor to the Department of the Environment, and served in that capacity until becoming Science Advisor Emeritus in 1989.

Fred has been active in a number of international and non-governmental scientific and environmental activities and researchers. He was a member of the Polar Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 1970-83 and subsequently on several of its technical committees. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the International Commission on Snow and ice, served on the Science Advisory Board of the Geophysical Institute University of Alaska 1976-88 (Chairman 1980-84). He was a founder of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as its first President (1991-94) and since 1983 has been chairman of the Northern Sciences Network of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. He is author of over 250 scientific papers and published reports on Polar, environmental and global change subjects. Dr. Roots has a mountain range in Antarctic named after him. His many awards include the Gold medal from the Royal Geographical Society.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin - The Result of Scott Walker's Milwaukee County Privatization

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin - The Result of Scott Walker's Milwaukee County Privatization

Click on the link above. This is happening where I used to live, actually where I spent 90% of my life. Sure makes me glad, once again, to be living where I am living!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home alarm advice.

I got this in an e-mail and thought it interesting enough to pass along. Seems to make sense.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night
Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.
If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.
This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this:
It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it.
It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain....
It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around.
After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that.
And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him. He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem. Please pass this on even IF you've read it before.

A joke, for a change of pace.

"The woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day.

One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come
As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, "You know what? "
"You have been with me all through the bad times. "

"When I got fired, you were there to support me."

"When my business failed, you were there."

"When I got shot, you were by my side."

"When we lost the house, you stayed right here."

"When my health started failing,
you were still by my side. You know what?"

"What dear?" She gently asked, smiling as her
heart began to fill with warmth.

"I think you're bad luck."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Am I missing out???

I am in a web surfing kinda mood tonight. Don't know why, it just happens. But not like that other thing that 'just happens'.

Anyway, it got me to thinking...I am finding folks that travel the world, move from one country to another like it's moving across town. I'm finding people, women mostly, with the most humorous writing style, sort of like stand up comedy. I want to write like that. It seems part of the style is making fun of the husband - I can do that. Misadventures of children? I have a dog and a cat that I can probably work with. I just found one woman who lives in a beach cottage by the sea in Australia and shops at IKEA. Hey, I live at the Pacific Ocean and there are THREE IKEAs, maybe four, within striking distance. See, how difficult can it be???

OK, gotta go think of some funny husband stories and see what the kids are up to.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

High end.

This house is for sale out in our area, kind of the higher end of the market. In case anyone is interested in relocating to East Sooke, British Columbia.

Here are sunsets from OUR house, Dec 1 & 2. The mountains across the water are the Olympics in Washington state. The weather has been VERY nice lately. I've heard that November tends to be the rainy/stormy month, but that does not really explain last December when we received 14+ inches of snow in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Then we had LOTS of rain and roads were flooded, so I suppose that shoots that rainy November theory all to hell.

December 1.

December 2.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Initially the forecast called for yet more rain this weekend. I was dismayed when, as if right on schedule, I awoke Saturday to yet another rainy day. And Saturday we were supposed to venture into Victoria for a special, belated birthday lunch in my honor, at a place called Sauce, that we both have taken a shining to. Plus, to make matters worse, I woke up with a headache. Probably my own fault for sleeping until 9am and not having my usual morning cup of java by 5:30am. Oh well.

As the morning wore on, and my system built up some energy, the rain started to subside and I was thinking that maybe we could make it into town afterall for that lunch. With a glance out the window to nothing more than a medium mist falling from the sky we decided to go for it, umbrellas in hand (just in case).

Victoria was lovely - cloudy and misty but nothing even close to rain. The sidewalks were not crowded at all, something that amazed us, what with it being just four weeks until Christmas, and all the store windows were dressed in their finest holiday decor. Trees aglow in LED lights, sparkly bangles hanging everywhere, smiling faces on all the store clerks - it was truly magical. Even the horse drawn carriages were decorated for Christmas!

We had our lunch at Sauce then wandered around downtown and over to The Bay for some browsing. I have never seen so many bath robes in a Mens department in my life and a couple of them I just wanted to take home and snuggle up in! The only purchase I made was at the Hallmark Gold Crown store in the mall - ornament #19 in the Classic American Cars series. I have ALL of them and refuse to be deprived of each new release! Damn the budget or where they are made! (it's a 1963 Thunderbird roadster, in case you are wondering)

On the way home we stopped at the pet supply store, GNC, Best Buy and the grocery store. A VERY busy day indeed!

Sunday dawned with the promise of sunshine and by 11am or so we were basking in the warm glow that was coming through the windows. Absolutely spectacular! We managed to get some yard work done, take the dog for a leisurely walk and test fit the snow chains for the cars. The walk was great - just a short jaunt down the road to the park entrance at East Sooke Park but totally worth it. The forest is alive with a wonderful scent you get after a rain, greenery abounds in the treetops and the forest floor that is covered in ferns. There are little waterfalls coming down from Mt Maguire and spilling into the roadside ditches with the water going under the road and continuing its' journey to the ocean when it comes out the other side. Hummingbirds have returned to our feeder and we even have some new flowers blooming at home! Heath is ready to burst into bloom as is the Mahonia. We still have quite a few shrubs in the garden that are holding onto their colorful Fall foliage (see picture below) and I saw some daffodils poking up from the ground, which has me a bit confused. The worst part of last Winter was the two weeks right before Christmas so I am holding me breath, so to speak, and anxious to see what El Nino has in store for us here on the West Coast. Fingers crossed for warmth and snow-free!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Just a quick update on the haps here in Canada.

Fall weather is upon us for sure and the cars have the dirt to prove it. Rain falls most everyday and it is a joy when it is JUST the rain and no high winds off the ocean are thrown into the mix. Even with the rain I find such joy in the colors in the garden. Leaves are falling yet some shrubs still glow with remarkable colors of fiery red, golden yellow or a lovely maroon. Most of the flowering plants are done yet the Mahonia and Heath are just getting ready for their Winter show of blooms. The moisture clings to the greenery of everything else and brings out the most vibrant shades of greens/yellows in the largest assortment of foliage I have had the pleasure of having in a garden.

I am up to date with my H1N1 vaccination and I get to go for the seasonal flu shot on my birthday! Not exactly what I'd pick to give myself but what ya gonna do. I did have some reaction to the H1N1 shot in the form of a VERY stiff neck and sore muscles, which oddly popped up two days after I got the shot and hung around for another few days. All is well now and I am back up to as close to 100% that I can get, at this age.

We managed to find money in the holiday budget for some Christmas cards this year and we knocked those out today, figuring the ones going to the US will need a bit of extra time. I still can't send to everyone I used to, with it costing $1 per card for a stamp, but the ones I miss with a card I will get with a holiday e-mail.

One of my new indulgences is Cranberry Herbal Tea, which I am really enjoying! I have never been much of a tea drinker, the flavor seems most like hot water with a bit of flavor added, but this Cranberry tea really has me excited. I usually treat myself to a steaming hot cup of it in the evening as I am watching TV. I swear it helps me sleep too as it is decaffeinated.

As I am seeing more and more Christmas images, and smelling some wonderful holiday scents, I am gearing up for some holiday baking. I did a warm up last week with chocolate chip cookies, just to kind of get into the groove, and now I am ready for the real holiday stuff! It always helps to put on some classic Christmas music too, like Lena Horne, Doris Day, etc. I grew up with those holiday compilation records of the 60's from Firestone and Goodyear dealers, some of which I still have, and am finally able to appreciate some of the music my parents listened to. Mom was a HUGE Harry Belafonte fan and his jazz record from San Francisco is wonderful. Once in a while I'll put some vinyl on the turntable and just drift off into the past and relive some great times. I know you can't bring things back but ain't nothing wrong with holding on to memories reliving things in your mind when you need a feel good moment. Below is a picture of my mother and some of her sisters, that I used a few years ago to create my own retro holiday card.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This just in!!

New guidelines now in effect to combat the spread of H1N1.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This HAS to make you feel good inside!

I just found this, and you may have seen it, but it's new to me and I had to share. I get the most incredible feeling inside when I watch this. I think it is AMAZING!

Here is the info: More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. with just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! Those 4 fantastic minutes started the 23 of march 2009, 08:00 AM. It is a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music".

Monday, November 2, 2009

They make HOW MUCH???

I found this a rather interesting article. It is a bit long but a good read, albeit a bit depressing.

How much our politicians get paid
by Rob Gerlsbeck, Canadian Business Online
Friday, October 30, 2009

During his 10 years on Parliament Hill, Pierre Pettigrew drew admiring stares for his elegant suits and swooping salt-and-pepper coiffure. But the Liberal politician didn’t just look like a million bucks. He also earned a million bucks. Actually, he did even better than that. As a cabinet minister between 1996 and 2006, he collected paycheques totalling more than $1.5 million.

Even after he lost his seat in the 2006 election, the money kept flowing in. Like all fired MPs, Pettigrew qualified for a severance package, estimated to be worth $49,000 by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. And that was just the down payment on a plush future. Three months after leaving Parliament, he celebrated his 55th birthday and could start collecting a parliamentary pension worth $76,000 a year. While it’s difficult to put an exact dollar figure on Pettigrew’s pension, it’s roughly equivalent to what a person of similar age could buy in the form of an annuity for $1.6-million.

Pettigrew’s total take from a decade in public service? Between salary, pension and benefits, the equivalent of at least $3 million.

He did absolutely nothing wrong to get that money. From all accounts, Pettigrew was hard-working, competent and scrupulously honest. He merely collected the standard pay and perks that our federal leaders have voted for themselves.

He serves as an example of what a politician can earn from a parliamentary career of reasonable, but not marathon, length. The total payoff, it turns out, is in the millions.

Surprised? Few Canadians know how well-paid our politicians are. There is a good reason for that ignorance: no one in power has a vested interest in publicizing how much they take home. Unlike politicians in the U.S. or Britain, our elected officials don’t have to publicize details of their expense accounts. Unlike U.S. senators or congressional representatives, they aren’t required to publicly disclose their approximate net worth or their sources of income. In researching this article, MoneySense asked Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton to provide us with a breakdown of how much they’re worth. Each of them declined.

Trying to research politicians’ compensation through official sources is time consuming. We spent weeks sorting through government documents to comprehend the various components of an MP’s compensation. The list begins with a six-figure salary, of course. Then there are expense accounts and a myriad of perks, such as free trips all over the world. Finally, there is the pension, a largely ignored payoff that can be worth seven figures by itself.

No matter how you add up this grab bag of goodies, it’s clear that our leaders in Ottawa have done a lot better over the past few years than the average taxpayer has. A decade ago our politicians earned salaries that were much in line with what middle-class workers take home. They now enjoy compensation packages that few of us can match. To get a sense of the widening gap between your wallet and Stephen Harper’s, join us as we take a guided tour into the personal finances of our highest elected officials.

Let’s begin on election night. If you’re a first-time candidate for Parliament, this is the evening that can change your life. Victory means that you will enter the House of Commons and help to shape the national debate. If you’re like most first-time candidates, victory also means that you will take a big jump up the income ladder.

“I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that most MPs are doing better in office than they would in their careers in private life,” says Duff Conacher, co-ordinator at Democracy Watch, a government watchdog in Ottawa. Contrary to popular opinion, most MPs are not rich corporate lawyers. They’re not wealthy executives or doctors either. Many were mid-level managers and consultants. The single most common background among our current crop of parliamentarians is the classroom. A surprising 52 MPs taught in public schools, colleges and universities. Another 21 were farmers. A dozen were journalists; nearly as many worked for unions. Then there are more unusual cases. John Cummins, a Conservative MP from British Columbia, spent over 20 years as a commercial fisherman. Malcolm Allen, a New Democrat from Ontario, was an electrician.

For most MPs, election to Parliament has meant a very nice raise. Every MP earns at least $157,731 a year. The paycheque doesn’t vary by how long you’ve occupied your seat, or by your attendance in the Commons, or by your productivity. Each MP gets the same raise every year. The increase is based on the average hikes in pay negotiated by unions in the private sector. This year the raise was supposed to be 3.3%. But with the global economy imploding and the budget sinking back into deficit, MPs decided to cut their raise to 1.5%, or about an extra $2,000 a year per elected official.

MPs boost their income if they become party whip or caucus chairman. You get an especially large bump if you’re appointed to cabinet, where each minister is paid $233,000 a year. Of course, the best-paying job of all is prime minister. Stephen Harper will earn $315,462 this year, double what backbenchers make.

It’s fair to point out — and politicians do — that our MPs, cabinet ministers and even prime minister make far less than many CEOs or even Bay Street lawyers. On the other hand, the lowliest MP earns about four times what an average Canadian takes home.

This was not always the case. Just nine years ago the base pay for an MP was $68,200, pretty much in line with what a high school teacher or police officer might earn. Since then MPs’ salaries have more than doubled. They now sit in the top 2% of income earners, on a par, if not ahead, of most physicians, lawyers and dentists.

Our elected officials defend their apparent grab for cash. They point out that MPs used to enjoy a tax-free allowance of $22,500 a year. In 2001, Parliament scrapped that allowance. To offset it, MPs boosted their salaries, from $68,200 a year to $131,400.

So, all right: the surge in politicians’ incomes over the past decade isn’t quite as bad as it appears at first glance. But however you do the math on the allowance-for-pay swap, it appears that MPs wound up getting a nice raise. And, under the new arrangement, they’re still able to stick many of the costs of office onto the taxpayer’s tab. For instance, MPs who aren’t from the Ottawa region can expense rent and utilities on their accommodations in Ottawa, as well as meals, up to $25,468 a year. Add in free train travel, as well as up to 64 free round-trip air tickets a year from their riding to Ottawa, and our elected officials are doing just fine, thank you.

But the best perk of all comes when they leave office. MPs’ pensions have often been described as “gold-plated.” A more apt description is solid platinum with diamonds on top.

To qualify for a pension, you have to serve as a member of Parliament for a mere six years. A backbencher with six years on the job who retired at the end of this year would receive an annual pension of $27,213 once he or she turns 55. Once you hit the six-year mark, your pension rises at dizzying speed. If the MP sticks around for another four years, his or her pension hits $45,355 a year. For you or me to receive an equivalent payout in retirement we would have to put $80,000 into our RRSPs each year for 10 years.

Thanks to their king-sized pensions, veteran MPs have little to worry about. The average MP who is eligible to collect a parliamentary pension takes in a very comfortable $49,985 a year. In fact, there are 70 ex-MPs who each collect more than $70,000 a year. “That’s more than a lot of people in Canada make working for a living,” fumes Kevin Gaudet, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Gaudet points out that MPs contribute only a fraction of the cost of their own pensions; most of their retirement deal is paid for by taxpayers like you and me. We contribute $3.65 for every $1 the politicians put into their own pension pot.

Over time, MPs’ pensions turn into million-dollar paydays. The National Citizens Coalition estimates that Bill Blaikie, a 58-year-old NDPer who spent 29 years in the House before quitting politics last year, will receive a total payout of more than $2.6 million by the time he turns 75. Monte Solberg, a Conservative cabinet minister, who also quit politics last year after 15 years as an MP, is only 51, so he will have to wait four more years to collect his pension. But once he does, he’ll collect $2.3 million over 20 years.

MPs’ pensions represent an extraterrestrial level of luxury, unmatched by any deal in the private sector. Not only are payouts lush for only a few years of service, but unlike private pension plans, the payments are backed by the full power of the federal government, so they are completely safe. In addition, the payouts rise in line with inflation once a retired MP hits 60, so our former elected officials have no worries about seeing the buying power of their pensions decline in years to come. The bottom line? If you can make it through six years as an MP, you never have to fret again about the stock market. “When you look at the average person today and how their RRSPs have been kicked around, these guys don’t have that problem,” says Peter Coleman, president of the National Citizens Coalition.

MPs justify their pay by pointing out the long hours and constant travel their job demands. Parliament sits only 130 days a year on average, but MPs say they enjoy little time off. When the House isn’t in session, they’re typically studying legislation, hosting backyard fundraisers or handling questions from their constituents about everything from immigration problems to unemployment insurance.

“It’s an all-consuming, 24/7 job,” says Candice Hoeppner, a Conservative from Manitoba who was first elected last fall. Hoeppner, 44, used to work as an executive assistant at an investment firm. Now she shuttles between her home in Winkler, Man., and an apartment in Ottawa. Hoeppner can expense the rent on her apartment, which she shares with a roommate. But there’s no chauffeured limousine waiting to drive her to Parliament Hill every morning. She walks to work.

A typical week for Hoeppner starts late Sunday in Winkler. Saying goodbye to her three teenage kids and husband, she drives an hour and a half to the airport in Winnipeg. Then it’s two and a half hours on a plane to Ottawa. Most weekdays she’s on Parliament Hill by 8 a.m. and home by 10 at night. In between it’s a blur of committee meetings, house duty, Question Period, reports to read and phone calls from people in her riding. She also tries to squeeze in a half hour in her office to listen to CDs in French, which she’s trying to learn. On Thursday or Friday, depending on her schedule, it’s back on the plane to Manitoba.

Many MPs follow the same grueling schedule, says Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto. “People watch snippets of Question Period on TV and they see a lot of empty seats. They think that’s it.” Wiseman doesn’t believe that MPs are overpaid. Rather, he says, they’re overworked.

He may have a point. In the 2008 election, 33 out of 304 MPs voluntarily stepped down. The high turnover suggests that politicians are not being paid so well that they want to cling to their posts until they die. Cabinet ministers, in particular, can often find better gigs in the private sector. Anne McLellan, deputy prime minister under Paul Martin, is a classic example. She now works at the law firm of Bennett Jones LLP, teaches at the University of Alberta, and sits on three corporate boards.

The transition can be tougher for backbenchers. Joe Jordan, who spent seven years as a Liberal MP from Ontario, was a community college teacher before entering politics and lost his seniority during his time away from teaching. When he was defeated in the 2004 election, he decided to stay in Ottawa and became a lobbyist. But few ex-MPs go that route. Most head back to their ridings, where many find that defeated politicians aren’t popular. “You’re like a fired employee,” says Jordan. “You’ve been kicked to the curb. The party hasn’t got a lot of use for you either. You’re no longer a bum in a chair with a vote in the House of Commons.” Fired MPs don’t leave empty-handed, however. Those too young to get a pension, are handed severance pay that’s equal to half their annual salary.

So are we paying our MPs too much or too little? In terms of similar jobs around the world, a Canadian MP’s salary sits smack in the middle. It’s more than the $100,000 or so that a British MP earns, but less than the roughly $190,000 a year that a U.S. Congressman takes in.

Perhaps the most practical test of whether we’re paying our MPs the right amount is to look at the people the pay attracts. Despite the six-figure salary, an MP’s compensation is not enough to consistently attract the best educated among us — only 66% of MPs have a university degree. Some observers think that we would improve the quality of governance if we gave the people at the very top of the political pyramid a significant hike in pay. Compared to executives in the private sector, cabinet ministers in particular are not making nearly enough, says Sean MacDonald, a professor at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. “It’s a joke,” says MacDonald, who specializes in compensation issues. “When you look at how vast a government department is, ministers are grossly underpaid.” MacDonald believes we should raise salaries to encourage more top executives to run for office.

On the other hand, the type of person who is likely to make a good MP or cabinet minister is probably not that motivated by money anyhow. Remember Pierre Pettigrew? As generous as his compensation may have seemed to many of us, he says he actually took a cut in pay to enter Parliament. Before his political career, he had been a highly paid international business consultant with the accounting firm Deloitte. He returned to the firm after leaving office, but never made up for the salary he passed up by going into politics. “I left a lot of money on the table by going into Parliament,” he says.

Pettigrew thinks that the obstacle that is stopping private-sector talent from running for office isn’t the lack of a big paycheque. It’s the lack of respect. “Here in Canada, we like government, but we don’t like members of government,” he says. In the U.S. it’s the other way around. “They’re skeptical of government, but they respect the individuals who serve.”

Fair enough. But if our MPs want respect, it’s difficult to understand why they seem so determined to arouse suspicion.

A Parliament that was serious about garnering respect could start by opening up its expense accounts to public scrutiny. KPMG, a private accounting firm, audits the account of each MP, but it is not allowed to release the results to the public. The last time the Auditor General was allowed to look at MPs’ spending was in 1991. If our politicians want to improve their reputations, they should open their books to prove they’ve got nothing to hide. A recent scandal in Britain revealed MPs to be expensing everything from moat cleaning to soft-core porn rentals. In the wake of those revelations, the silence from Canada’s Parliament is deafening.

An even bigger issue is pensions. At a time when many Canadians’ pensions are being whittled away, and the Canada Pension Plan is being fine-tuned to encourage more people to work until 70, it’s difficult to understand how MPs can continue to wallow in a system that gives them ultra-safe, inflation-protected pensions beginning at 55. “How are they going to deal with private-sector pension issues fairly when they have the most lucrative pensions of all?” asks Gaudet at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The biggest issue of all may be how MPs can maintain a sense of solidarity with ordinary Canadians. Over the past decade, MPs have seen their incomes soar and their lush pensions grow, undisturbed by market crashes or economic slowdowns. They should remember that their good fortune has not been shared by most Canadians.

Perhaps we should introduce a direct tie-in between the average person and the average elected official. The link could be something as simple as fixing MPs’ compensation at the level of the median Canadian salary, plus an inflation-adjusted $100,000 a year. Under such a system, the only way for elected officials to win a raise would be for them to improve life for the typical Canadian. That truly would be a pay-for-performance system — and a system that could give politicians the respect they crave.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recent sunsets.

The sunsets this time of the year, here on Vancouver Island, are spectacular. There is MUCH more color than during the Summer, and don't even ask about GREY Winter sunsets.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

For a friend.

A fellow blogger posted that she finally found the perfect pair of jeans! This post is for her. Enjoy. (I do)

Monday, September 28, 2009

I had to look this up...

History and Origin of Canadian Thanksgiving

In Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Northern America. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now called Newfoundland, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving. Other settlers arrived and continued these ceremonies. He was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him - Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their Indian neighbours.

After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.

During the American Revolution, Americans who remained loyal to England moved to Canada where they brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. There are many similarities between the two Thanksgivings such as the cornucopia and the pumpkin pie.

Eventually in 1879, Parliament declared November 6th a day of Thanksgiving and a national holiday. Over the years many dates were used for Thanksgiving, the most popular was the 3rd Monday in October. After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11th occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

Finally, on January 31st, 1957, Parliament proclaimed...

"A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our nieghbourhood.

I found this on a local realtor's website so thought I'd post, to give you an idea of where we live.

Sooke Neighbourhood: East Sooke

Jutting out into the Sooke Basin and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the peninsula of East Sooke is often called "Nature's Gallery".

You're never far from nature in East Sooke. Funky cabins, modest homes on large lots, relatively affordable waterfront, mountaintop estates with stunning vistas, and the largest park in the region, it's all there in East Sooke.

While some of East Sooke is part of the District of Sooke, most of it is an unincorporated area administered by the Capital Regional District, much like Otter Point.

Many people move to East Sooke to get away from the urban centres of the south Island, yet still be within a half-hour's drive to 'civilization.' East Sooke is peaceful, quiet, and beautiful.

With a long coastline, East Sooke has the most affordable waterfront properties on southern Vancouver Island. Mostly fronting on Sooke Basin, many have protected deep water access, perfect for your very own dock. Easy access to the Strait of Juan de Fuca to set out on your sailing adventure or to experience world-class salmon and halibut fishing.

Even if you're not living on the waterfront, there is plenty of public access to the water from regional parks such as Roche Cove or East Sooke Park. Launch your canoe or kayak for a peaceful paddle on the Basin or an adventurous float on the Strait.

East Sooke is very hilly and rocky, and as such a level, useable acreage is rare, but they do come up from time to time. Some of the rocky mountain-top homes have the most stunning views you'll ever see.

There is plenty of undeveloped land in East Sooke for sale, including affordable waterfront, ocean and mountain view lots. Experienced local builders are available to help turn your dream home into a reality.

One big bonus of living in East Sooke is that much of it is protected for posterity as East Sooke Regional Park. Almost all of the south and western coastline of the East Sooke peninsula is part of the park, ensuring local residents and visitors alike can experience the splendour of the coast in its natural state. Many properties border the park, with public access to this huge area at different points. There are approximately 50km of hiking trails in the park, with the 10km rugged Coast Trail, and several switch-backing mountain trails leading to gorgeous vistas. East Sooke Park is so large that even when the parking lot is full, it's not hard to "get lost" for a day and feel like you're the only one in the park.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale...

Taken through the telescope, which explains the poor quality. But, I digress...

Can ANYONE identify this make of sailboat??? It was fairly large and was moving at a pretty good clip, against the wind. I'd say 60-80 feet long? I've not been able to find any info, but then again I'm not a sailor, just a land lubber with really good taste!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Herr Family Reunion, going strong.

The Steaming Cup coffee shop in downtown Waukesha, our old hangout.

Lunch with Janet, Matt and Linda.

I've been home for a few days now, back from a quick 5-day trip to the US for a family reunion. I had the chance to see some friends and family but visits were just way too short.

Quick observations:
(oh, I was in the Milwaukee, WI area)

Road construction EVERYWHERE!!
A lot of traffic and I forgot how fast people there drive.
So many still do not use turn signals.
Shopping strip malls popping up everywhere.
Saw a lot of rural farmland turned into strip malls and industrial parks.
I realized how much I miss Target stores. (mental memo to make trips to Seattle for long weekends of shopping)
Could not believe what I was seeing on the News, with regard to the town hall meetings about healthcare reform!

I had a wonderful time at our family reunion. Some new faces showed up, finally, from a long-lost portion of the family. They are adding to the family tree and will sending me the updates.

I had lunches and dinners with friends, and I got lots of good hugs. Someone even told me my teeth were really white!

Of course I had questions about the Canadian health care system, to which I replied that so far we like it just fine. And I'm guessing that a much higher percentage of the Canadian population is insured when compared to the US. (wink)

I've settled back into my routine, which is fine with me. I even got a surprise at home when I was directed to some new additions to the garden that were acquired while I was away - Black Eyed Susans, in full bloom, in the lower yard!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Now THIS is a cruise!

All for the discounted price of $46,695.00 US.


Wed Sep 9 Vancouver, BC, Canada 5:00pm
Thu Sep 10 At Sea
Fri Sep 11 Ketchikan, AK 7:00am 5:00pm
Sat Sep 12 Tracy Arm Fjord, AK (Cruising) 7:00am 10:00am
Sat Sep 12 Juneau, AK 1:00pm 11:00pm
Sun Sep 13 Skagway, AK 7:00am 5:00pm
Mon Sep 14 Sitka, AK 8:00am 4:00pm
Tue Sep 15 Hubbard Glacier, AK (Cruising) 7:00am 11:00am
Wed Sep 16 Anchorage (Seward), AK 5:00am 6:00pm
Thu Sep 17 Kodiak, AK 8:00am 4:00pm
Fri Sep 18 At Sea
Sat Sep 19 Dutch Harbor, AK 7:00am 1:00pm
Sun Sep 20 At Sea
Mon Sep 21 Crossing the International Date Line
Tue Sep 22 At Sea
Wed Sep 23 Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, Russia 9:00am 7:00pm
Thu Sep 24 At Sea
Fri Sep 25 At Sea
Sat Sep 26 Hakodate, Japan 7:00am 4:00pm
Sun Sep 27 Sendai, Japan 9:00am 3:00pm
Mon Sep 28 Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan 8:00am
Tue Sep 29 Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan 4:00pm
Wed Sep 30 Osaka, Japan 1:00pm
Thu Oct 1 Osaka, Japan 11:00pm
Fri Oct 2 At Sea
Sat Oct 3 Nagasaki, Japan 8:00am 11:00pm
Sun Oct 4 At Sea
Mon Oct 5 Inchon, South Korea 8:00am 6:00pm
Tue Oct 6 Dalian, China Noon 6:00pm
Wed Oct 7 Beijing (Tianjin), China 7:00am
Thu Oct 8 Beijing (Tianjin), China
Fri Oct 9 Beijing (Tianjin), China 6:00pm
Sat Oct 10 At Sea
Sun Oct 11 Shanghai, China Noon
Mon Oct 12 Shanghai, China
Tue Oct 13 Shanghai, China 6:00pm
Wed Oct 14 At Sea
Thu Oct 15 At Sea
Fri Oct 16 Hong Kong, China 8:00am
Sat Oct 17 Hong Kong, China 11:00pm
Sun Oct 18 At Sea
Mon Oct 19 Hanoi (Hong Gai), Vietnam 7:00am
Tue Oct 20 Hanoi (Hong Gai), Vietnam 2:00pm
Wed Oct 21 Chan May, Vietnam 8:00am 6:00pm
Thu Oct 22 At Sea
Fri Oct 23 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 8:30am
Sat Oct 24 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 4:00pm
Sun Oct 25 At Sea
Mon Oct 26 Ko Samui, Thailand 8:00am 5:00pm
Tue Oct 27 Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand8:00am
Wed Oct 28 Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand
Thu Oct 29 Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand 4:00pm
Fri Oct 30 At Sea
Sat Oct 31 Singapore 1:00pm
Sun Nov 1 Singapore 5:00pm
Mon Nov 2 At Sea
Tue Nov 3 Semarang, Indonesia 8:00am 5:00pm
Wed Nov 4 Bali, Indonesia 6:00pm
Thu Nov 5 Bali, Indonesia 6:00pm
Fri Nov 6 At Sea
Sat Nov 7 At Sea
Sun Nov 8 At Sea
Mon Nov 9 Perth (Fremantle), Australia 8:00am 5:30pm
Tue Nov 10 Albany, Australia 2:00pm 7:00pm
Wed Nov 11 At Sea
Thu Nov 12 At Sea
Fri Nov 13 Adelaide, Australia 8:00am 11:00pm
Sat Nov 14 At Sea
Sun Nov 15 Melbourne, Australia 8:00am 8:00pm
Mon Nov 16 At Sea
Tue Nov 17 Sydney, Australia 8:00am
Wed Nov 18 Sydney, Australia
Thu Nov 19 Sydney, Australia 6:00pm
Fri Nov 20 Eden, Australia 8:00am 6:00pm
Sat Nov 21 At Sea
Sun Nov 22 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 8:00am 7:00pm
Mon Nov 23 At Sea
Tue Nov 24 At Sea
Wed Nov 25 Milford Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)
Wed Nov 25 Doubtful Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)
Wed Nov 25 Dusky Sound, New Zealand (Cruising)
Thu Nov 26 Dunedin, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Fri Nov 27 Christchurch, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Sat Nov 28 Picton, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Sun Nov 29 Wellington, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Mon Nov 30 Napier, New Zealand 8:00am 2:00pm
Tue Dec 1 Tauranga, New Zealand 8:00am 6:00pm
Wed Dec 2 Auckland, New Zealand 8:00am 11:00pm
Thu Dec 3 Bay of Islands, New Zealand 8:00am 5:00pm
Fri Dec 4 At Sea
Sat Dec 5 At Sea
Sun Dec 6 Rarotonga, Cook Islands Noon 6:00pm
Mon Dec 7 At Sea
Tue Dec 8 Bora Bora, Society Islands 7:00am 11:00pm
Wed Dec 9 Moorea, Society Islands 8:00am
Thu Dec 10 Moorea, Society Islands 6:00pm
Thu Dec 10 Papeete, Tahiti 9:00pm
Fri Dec 11 Papeete, Tahiti 2:00pm
Sat Dec 12 At Sea
Sun Dec 13 Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands 9:00am 5:00pm
Mon Dec 14 At Sea
Tue Dec 15 At Sea
Wed Dec 16 At Sea
Thu Dec 17 At Sea
Fri Dec 18 At Sea
Sat Dec 19 At Sea
Sun Dec 20 Los Angeles, CA Disembark

Sunday, July 26, 2009

SO glad I don't live in FL.

Hot off the internet today...

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities said a bullet from a gun that was accidentally dropped injured a Tampa woman sitting in a bathroom stall. Police said the bullet hit 53-year-old Janifer Bliss in the lower left leg. She was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Bliss was sitting on the toilet in a hotel bathroom when a woman in the next stall accidentally let her handgun slip out of her waist holster. The weapon discharged when it hit the ground.

Police said the gun belonged to a 56-year-old woman who has a concealed weapons permit.

The case has been referred to the State Attorney’s Office to determine if any charges will be filed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I found out that our favorite pizza place from the US, Papa Murphy's, is opening a location in Langford, BC, right where we do our grocery shopping! It will be in a new mini strip mall along with Mark's Wearhouse and Best Buy. For those of you that may not know, Papa Murphy's is a 'take and bake' establishment, whereby you phone in your order, they assemble the pizza and YOU take it home and bake it fresh in the oven. There was one 5 minutes from our old house in the states and we would usually get their large gourmet veggie pizza with white garlic sauce, instead of tomato sauce. We could get a large for $10.99 but something tells me it may be more expensive here in Canada. Hopefully not. We can't wait for them to open!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Recent happenings.

Front of the house flying the BC and Canadian flags for Canada Day

Victoria Pride parade headed for the park at Fishermans Wharf.

Parade viewers atop a restaurant, tossing blow up dolls to the crowd.

Moonrise over the forest, as seen from our deck.

New hummingbird feeder with a visitor. Can you see him??

US nuclear aircraft carrier sailing past the house.

Hiking the Galloping Goose trail in Metchosin.

Frog stuck to the outside of the sidelight at our front door. He was gone in the morning.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Yup, got new sandals. First pair in my life, not counting flip-flops when I was a kid. Kinda strange having all that air whipping around open feet, but I like it.

Victoria Pride was a bit of a letdown. Maybe I am getting too old for that scene. We did meet up with some friends and it was great to see them. And it's always nice to get into the city.

Some tomatoes are turning red! Can't wait!!!

Caught the MJ memorial. I never was a huge fan but I do like the music, not so much the newer stuff tho, and I figured this is maybe a once-in-a-lifetime event so I recorded and watched later. It was interesting.

Would love to get to the all Cadillac show in Victoria this weekend. I'm not an Escalade fan but I do like the old classics.

Took the dog for a short walk tonight and on the way up the road to the house we spied a buck in the neighbor's yard, just standing in the bushes watching us. We paused a few moments and exchanged glances, then he was off, his fuzzy antlers disappearing into the greenery.

Trying to figure out how to bring in more money.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


First bee sting in my LIFE!


Fingernails hurt from gardening. Who knew?

No sunburn after 5+ hours outside.

Maybe on my legs. (no SPF there)

Grass is brown and brittle. No rain for 5+ weeks.

Even the weeds are stressing.

Gardens look fab, with daily watering.

Hey, I didn't put the gardens in, they came with the house.

50+ tomatoes in the greenhouse.

Quite a few HOT peppers too.

Getting psyched up for Pride Sunday. Might even get new sandals on the way into town.

Visit to the States is a month away! That is coming up FAST!

Feet hurt.
Fingernails hurt.
Freshly showered and feeling relaxed.
Off to bed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Seen cruising past our house today, heading out to sea. USS John C Stennis, nuclear supercarrier.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where has the time gone???

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted on here!

We've been keeping very busy in the yard at home. We've moved a few more things around, gotten rid of some dead stuff and added more to the yard. We have at least 50 tomatoes in the greenhouse (little green ones), the hot peppers are taking off and there are a few that are almost an inch long! I transplanted the watermelon plants and we can almost stand and see them grow right before our eyes! The strawberry plants I salvaged from the front garden have given us about 10 berries (!), which are pretty small, but WOW do they taste good! I can't wait for NEXT year's crop!

We finally got off our butts and took the dog on a 5 kilometre hike Sunday, on the Galloping Goose regional trail, then SURPRISE came home and did more work in the yard!

I was watering some shrubs today (no rain to amount to anything in five weeks) and one of the hummingbirds from our yard decided to take a 'bath' in the stream of water I was projecting from the hose! I never knew they would do something like that and I just froze and stood there and watched as it hovered just above the water stream and occasionally dipped down into the water. It was very cool to watch, and I even have a witness if any of you don't believe me.

Work is just fine. We seem to be bucking the trend and are increasing readership, which is good for job security. Two people I know work for AIG in the US and I found out one is done in September and the other in November. They are a married couple and recently purchased a home so I really feel bad for the uncertainty that must be oozing into their lives.

Part of the reason I am not posting so much is that I am on Facebook and seem to spend a bit too much of my online time there. It's great for connecting with friends and family, not quite as 'teen' as My Space, and I even located a few names from my past on there.

It's been somewhat on the cool side here, aside from a few days in the low 90's a few weeks ago, but I am hopeful that with the turning of the calendar to July temps will start to rise. The weatherman said by later this week we'll be in the C20's/F70's so hope springs eternal.

All is well with our health, and with the dog and cat. I hope this finds all of you out there well also.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Recent Happenings.

Gee, it's been a while since I posted anything, something I just realized today. We've been busy with the house and yard and getting ready for guests, who are leaving Monday after a 10 day visit, so that is why I have been a bit neglectful here.

Both of us have been sick and I think we are just about done with that. I doubt it was the H1N1 virus, seems more like some kind of cold bug that is going around, so no worries on our part.
We've been working in the yard a LOT, tending to crops in the greenhouse and just general day to day things that one does to make life easy and fulfilling. I've discovered how wonderful BC grown seedless cucumbers are! They are grown mostly on the mainland, in the Fraser River Valley, by outfits that literally have acres under glass, allowing them to grow year 'round! Also grown this way are tomatoes and peppers but I have yet to try those. I am using the growers as my inspiration for producing a crop in our own greenhouse. I am looking forward to the upcoming strawberry season here on southern Vancouver Island. There are loads of farms on the Saanitch peninsula where you can either pick your own or just visit the farm stands. Working for a farming magazine is giving me access to loads of information and resources with regard to area growers and even growing our own veggies.
Our Spring is about 3-4 weeks behind schedule but this past weekend sure was weather that we really couldn't improve upon - sunny and temps around 20C/68F. Simply gorgeous! Today, Sunday, was the first day that I saw the whale watching boats off shore from the house. There were whales there but there was so much haze on the water today that all I could see through the telescope were big splashes when they would breach. Oh well.

Below are some pics from recent outings. Enjoy.

Up close and personal with one of five Llamas that belong to our friends Kenny and Anita. These critters sure are friendly and inquisitive. And they are good warning devices when Cougars are in the vicinity!

Northeast view, toward Vancouver, from the top of Mount Doug in Victoria. Spectacular views in all directions, and it is FREE!

Finnerty Gardens at the University of Victoria. No admission but you have to pay a couple of dollars to park Mon-Sat.

Exploring the new boardwalk in Sooke, BC. This is just across the harbor from us but we have to drive 25 minutes around the harbor to get there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Here I go again, dreaming of cars. Or should I say vehicles, because the Carver One is quite difficult to describe. Three wheels. Front part corners like a motorcycle while the back wheels stay planted to the pavement!

Top shot is a Fiat 500.

I'll take either one of these, but of course neither is available in Canada. Yet.


That was a close one!!!
Among all the things I am getting done today is LAUNDRY! The washer has been making funny noises for a couple of years now (don't laugh - it still works) and tonight it died. Or so I thought. I was in the next room when I sensed something not quite right. Too quiet - didn't hear the cycle finish - then heard a 'click' followed by a hummmmm. Opened the top- dead still with towels in sudsy water. Then noticed a burning smell in the area! I figured the motor finally burned out. Talked to the other half on the phone and resigned ourselves to the fact that we are appliance shopping this weekend, after I call and price shop, seeing that we are at least 30 minutes from a store. WELL, after a half hour I plugged it back in and away it went, continuing from where it had stopped. WHEW! Seems to be working fine now and burning smell is gone.

Also watered the new seedlings and plants tonight, did the dishes, made a pretty good crab pasta salad for dinner, played with the dog and watched a bit of TV. Oh yeah, was online too.

Getting psyched for lots of visitors in May - yippee!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You MUST watch this - Susan Boyle!!!

Get the tissues, click on the link below, sit back and be wowed!

In a world full of bad news and negativity please take a few moments to share in this good news and positiveness. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I wasn't.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Din din

East Coast Crab Cakes.

Mashed potatoes flavored with mayo, Parmesan and chipotle.

Steamed cauliflower.

Now, what do I make on Wednesday???

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hmmm...not sure what to say to this one.

Swedish church unveils Lego Jesus model for Easter

Sun Apr 12, 11:49 AM

A statue of Jesus Christ entirely made out of Lego in a church at Vasteras on April 12, 2009. While most Christians mark Easter with prayers and song, the Swedish church opened its mass Sunday by unveiling the life-size Lego statue, its pastor told AFP.  Photo:Jonas Ekstromer/AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - While most Christians mark Easter with prayers and song, one Swedish church opened its mass Sunday by unveiling a life-size Lego statue of Jesus Christ, its pastor told AFP.

Churchgoers had donated nearly 30,000 Lego bricks to build the 1.78 metre (5.8 foot) high statue, said Per Wilder, the pastor of the Oensta Gryta Church in Vaesteras, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) west of Stockholm.

"This work began a year and a half ago so we saw that the initiation date was fitting in well (with this year's Easter holiday)," Wilder said.

"It is a fantastic installation and it will be there as long as we think it is in a good spot," he said.

"All those I spoke with were full of praise, saying how fantastic the model looks and how much good work we put into this," Wilder said.

The model was based on Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsens's 19th century work Christus, which depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wilder said the statue would remain permanently at the church and there were no plans to sell it

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring plantings.

Gorgeous Azalea by the front door, with a contorted Witch Hazel behind it.

Unbelievably huge Lenten Rose in the shade garden at the front of the house.

Avacado tree started from a pit. If grade school kids can do it, so can I.

Front row:Green Peppers-Early California Wonder. Back row: Tomato - Sub Arctic Plenty.

Left row: Tomato-Big Beef Hybrid. Right row: Pepper-Super Chili.

We also moved one rose bush to a sunnier location and relocated two Leather Leaf Viburnum to a shadier spot. California Poppies that we planted weeks ago are finally starting to come up, now that we have had weather that is a bit warmer. I read that the plants here this Spring are about 3 to 4 weeks behind schedule.

More updates as things happen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In a lusty mood.

2010 Nissan 370Z

Mercedes Benz 250SL

Those of you that know me should not be surprised. I could Live/Sleep/Talk cars 24/7! With the warm Spring weather upon us, and winding coastal roads at our doorstep, somehow a sunroof just doesn't quite give me the full effect. If I had my druthers I would have one of these two in my garage for days like today on the Island. With most of my hair gone I don't have to worry about the wind messing anything up, just make sure I have applied the SPF 50.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Digest THIS!

The English Language!

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England ..
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?