Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Interesting Incidents

WH and I had to go in to the police station this afternoon to get a security check for him for a new position he's starting next year. Ahead of us in line at the station was an elderly couple who had come in to report an email-related fraud. It was an interesting conversation between the police officer and the gentleman, who was certain that there might be a reason for him to answer junk emails that promised him money. And the cop wouldn't let him leave without a stern lecture about answering this kind of mail. "Sir, there is no reason for these people to email you unless they think they can get money out of you. Nobody has ever emailed anybody promising free money and it not been a fraud. Please, please, PLEASE, stop answering these emails. Just stop. Because I don't want to have to write up the report when you've lost your life savings and your house. Just stop."

And the gentleman said, "Funny how you know something that I don't..."

Even when the conversation was over, you could tell that the old man didn't perfectly believe the officer, and that in all likelihood, more money would be lost before the lesson was learned.

Later this afternoon, we headed off to the local Science Centre to view the controversial Body Works exhibit, featuring plasticized real human cadavers and body parts. The exhibit was a fascinating combination of science and art, and was very moving. If the exhibit comes to your town or city, I recommend taking it in!

And tomorrow, we're off to California, so I'm on a bloggy break now! See you all in a couple of weeks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Summer Reading Friday Five

This week, then, a Summer Reading Friday Five from Songbird at the Revgals.

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not?

Yes! Not having rehearsals in the evenings and the long hours of sunlight make it especially a good time to read. Finding enough time to read is always a struggle for me, but it seems easier in the summer!

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach?

You know, I don't think I have! But I sure would like to!

3) Can you recall a favorite childhood book read in the summertime?

There is a wonderful Canadian author of children's chapter books named Bernice Thurman Hunter. I could read her books over and over and over again.

4) Do you have a favorite genre for light or relaxing reading?

A favourite genre, and a favourite author! When I'm looking for something quick and silly, I read detective novels by Robert Parker.

5) What is the next book on your reading list?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I thought this was, at the very least, an amazing piece of photography.

Three days of work to go!

I continue to face conflict between how much work I know I need to get done before we leave for California, and my strong desire not to do any of it, and just think about California.

We are keeping an eye on the wildfires in Northern California... so far we're ok, I think, though I read today that there is some smoke in the San Francisco Bay area. No active fires in Sonoma though, which is a relief. I will email the folks from our trekking company tonight just to confirm that there's no risk that we won't be able to go on our trek.

I did the pre-trip major house clean last night, at least half of it. We still have some work to do in the basement, but we want to come home to a nice clean house, so that's the goal. I have discovered that it takes me one Handel's Messiah to get the upstairs totally clean. I know that by the time Worthy is the Lamb starts, I should be putting the mop and broom away. If I'm not, I know that it's been too long since we last cleaned, or I got distracted somewhere along the way.

I talked to the Paternal Unit on the phone last night. Please have good thoughts for his wife, L, who received some worrisome test results this week and will be going in for a follow-up biopsy. And while you might be thinking thoughts of good health, perhaps one further good thought for the Eldest Brother's friend I, who is facing scary surgery too.

I hope that you're all having a good and fulfilling day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We're into Countdown Mode Folks!

Today is the first of five days of work I have remaining before I'm officially on holidays.

This is approximately how I feel about it:
The itinerary for our trip to California is starting to come together in a little bit more detail, and will include things like a trip to the San Francisco Zoo, a baseball game between the Giants and the Cubs, a tour of Alcatraz, a visit to the City Lights Bookstore, cruising the Farmer's Market in the old ferry terminal, watching the July 4th fireworks from Fisherman's Wharf, eating fantastic food and drinking lovely wine. On the 6th, we drive to Sonoma Valley and start our Trekking and Tasting tour of the valley. We trek on the 6th, 7th and 8th, and drive back to San Fran for one more evening before flying home on the 10th.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Five: Word Association

This morning we have a word association Friday Five, courtesy of Singing Owl at the Revgalblogpals.

1. rooftop
When I think rooftops, I think Italy. Rome, to be precise, and the rooftop of the hotel that Maternal Unit and I stayed in when we arrived in Rome. The rooftop had a garden, and a beautiful little sitting area, and a most spectacular view of the city. Sigh.

2. gritty
WH and I have been moving top soil this summer (he really, more than I), and gritty makes me think of how my shoes felt (and still feel) with top soil crumbs in them.

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words)
Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be alright

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

4. night
I love that moment when night falls and you realize that the only thing you have left to do that particular day is go to bed. And you crawl under the covers and relax, sometimes for the first time that day, and know that soon, you'll sleep.

5. dance
I dance while I brush my teeth. That's probably all you need to know about that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On Tiger Woods

So, he won the US Open. He hung in there for 91 holes with the surgically-repaired knee and won his 14th major, attributed by him as the best of his career.

And today there are early reports that the knee will require new surgery and he will be gone for the rest of the season. People will, I'm sure, immediately proclaim that the new surgery is a result of pushing through the Open, and that's not known yet, but it's probably a fair assumption that playing the Open didn't help the knee at all.

So the question is, was it worth it? Was playing the tournament of his life, grinding and pushing and hitting all of those must-sink putts, worth losing the rest of the season?

My guess is that for Tiger Woods, there are no regrets. He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that re-thinks a lot of decisions, or spends a lot of time second-guessing himself. He wanted to play the US Open, he wanted to win the US Open. Mission Accomplished.

And while I'll miss watching Tiger for the rest of the year, I wouldn't trade the excitement of this last weekend for more opportunities to see him in the months to come. It was, by far, the most fun I've had following a golf tournament in my entire life.

*And it was that exciting despite an entirely annoying broadcast by NBC. Just shut up and show golf shots, for crying out loud. There are posts brewing about sports broadcasts... more to come...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In which Chorus gets her first Par!

I've been golfing now for a couple of years, and this morning, I finally parred a hole for the first time. It was on the first hole I've played all year, a par 4, and I hit 5 wood, 8 iron and two putts.

Yay me!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

On Nordic Walking

*Not Actually Chorus.

Yesterday afternoon, WH and I went to a Nordic walking workshop put on by some friends of ours who own shoe stores here in Prairie City. Nordic involves two lightweigh poles by which the walker acquires a more complete upper-body workout while walking, and additionally, by which the walker receives additional support for lower backs, knees, etc. You can read more about it here.

We are trying to decide whether we will purchase Nordic poles for our trek in California, or whether we are better to buy actual trekking poles, which are a little bit heavier, and are designed more for support and less for fitness. The trek we're doing in Sonoma Valley will not be overly arduous, but there will be some elevation changes, so we're leaning towards trekking poles for that reason. Plus, the more wine we drink while we're there, the more likely we are to need "support."

But the Nordic walking is definitely something that we're interested in continuing with! I highly recommend giving it a try!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Quick Funny

I saw this today on, and thought it was worth sharing. Nothing like mean humour at the expense of a division rival:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In which Chorus laughs at herself.

I sing a lot. And I don't just mean in choir rehearsals, I mean around the house, in the shower, when I'm driving, when I'm cooking, when I'm folding the laundry... I just sing. Whatever comes to mind, and if there are no songs in my mind, then I just make something up. I

Last night, WH was out at the BBQ checking on pork and potatoes and I was in the kitchen getting ready to serve up. For some reason, unknown even to me, I was singing the last verse descant to Once in Royal David's City. And I wasn't just singing it, I was lettin' 'er rip, big time.

I had presumed that WH couldn't hear me, and I had my back to the door outside, but when I turned around, he was standing in the doorway, with a hilariously puzzled look on his face.

"Singing descants to Christmas carols, are we?"

I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe.

If we can't laugh at ourselves, then whom, eh?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Birds! and Garden!

I managed to get up this morning with enough spare time to get my new hummingbird feeder filled and hung in the backyard. It is my hope to be able to attract a pair to our backyard, but we'll see.

Our other bird feeder, hung last weekend, has been immensely popular with the various types of little brown birds that live around the place, as well as our blue jay. He is a little bit too large for the feeder, and you can always tell when he's been there because the feeder swings back and forth wildly. Usually, he can be found on the ground below, picking up what he's spilled. This feeder hangs outside our dining room window, and the chairs around the table provide a perfect viewing point for Mama Cat and Baby Cat to watch the comings and goings around the seeds.

The garden is coming along not too badly. We have had a couple of plants that have expired already, and will need to be replaced, but most everything else is growing exponentially. I need to start keeping track of what we plant successfully and what we don't, so that we can build on that success in future years. Our herbs are already taking over, and we badly need to cut some of it down before we're overrun with thyme. Anybody got any good tips about drying herbs at home?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What a lovely day...

I love days like today.

We slept in, watching old game shows on the TV in our bedroom before finally getting up about 10.

WH made waffles for breakfast.

We watched the Blue Jays game in HD before tackling a little bit of housework.

WH cleaned the bathroom, I cleaned the fridge, we got laundry going.

I made an apple crumble and WH made vanilla ice cream.

We went our for a lovely dinner.

We talked about upcoming vacation. We talked about our future. We laughed a lot today.

We're going to watch a movie before we eat our dessert.

I love days like today.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some Friday Randoms

My husband and I have recently discovered ice cream sandwiches made with mint chocolate chip ice cream in them. Awesome. Simply awesome.

We have absolutely nothing on our plate this evening or tomorrow except doing a little house cleaning and working in the yard and garden. We're bbq-ing lamb chops tonight with a little mint aioli (made with our own mint from our new herb garden).

There is very little in this world better than good high school theatre. WH and I went to see the work of one of our friend's students last night in a production of a play called Picnic. It was really very, very well done. The sets and costumes were breath-taking, and the actors did fine work with challenging roles. Whenever I see good theatre, I get the itch to find an acting outlet again. Sigh.

We are 23 days from California.

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who's Up and Who's Down

I haven't done this for a while, so today, when the sun is shining and the birds are finding our new feeder (yay!!), seemed like a good idea to touch base, once again, with who's up and who's down in the world of sports.

Who's Up? :)

1. The Detroit Red Wings

2. The NBA: Gearing up for the beginning of an absolutely dream of an NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers (and Kobe Bryant) and the Boston Celtics (and Kevin Garnett). I'm not much of a basketball fan, but this matchup has even me excited. Two great teams with great history and great leading players - who could ask for anything more? Here's hoping they live up to all the hype.

3. The MLB Draft: Or perhaps not the draft itself, but rather a touching and fitting tribute just before the draft itself begins. Each major league team will draft one surviving player from the Negro Leagues this afternoon in advance of the "real" draft, as a tribute to the many excellent ball players who never got a chance in the major leagues because of the colour of their skin. The part of me that believes that Josh Gibson was probably the greatest baseball player of all time gets all teary-eyed at the thought of it.

Neutral Ground:
I can't decide where to put the the US Open: I saw an article announcing that Tiger Woods (#1) and Phil Mickelson (#2) and Adam Scott (#3) will play together for the first two rounds of the US Open at Torrey Pines this year. While this is entirely an exciting announcement, and will, I'm sure, produce lots of intrigue and story lines and excitement, I just hope that TV stations find some time to cover other players as well, while they're following these three around the course like greyhounds after a rabbit.

Who's Down? :(

1. Hockey Night in Canada: Canadians are very attached to their hockey (duh), and more specifically, to their hockey traditions. In that spirit, I would like to say: "What the hell?"

2. The Seattle Mariners: I know I have Seattle-based bloggy friends out there... what the heck is going on over there? It's not good folks; it's not good at all.

3. I'm struggling to come up with a third one this week, so the New York Yankees, just because I can.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There are no words...

This is for my baseball-loving friend, Towanda:

Quick Post

The quotation came from an episode of Blackadder, in case you wondered!

Just a quick post today to say that by the time I came home from work yesterday, WH had finished (!) spreading the top soil. I was completely gobsmacked at how much work he got done in a single day, and more than a little grateful to have had it all done when I wasn't there!! Now we spread grass seed and then water like crazy!

I have five meetings today.


Monday, June 2, 2008

In which Chorus Identifies Irony

("It's like goldy and silvery, only made of iron." Two points to anybody who can identify where the quotation comes from, and who isn't a member of my family.)

WH and I were talking yesterday about how two or three days of dirt liftin' will do great things for toning one's muscles, but also about how much easier the task would have been had we had a Bobcat (the machine, not the kitteh) to help. Isn't funny how people will pay for gym memberships in order to get fit, but will pay extra money in order to limit the physical demands of work itself?

Humans are funny.

On a 100% unrelated note, as a lover of old game shows, I would just like to say that Regis Philbin can't hold a candle to Allen Ludden, and the new format of Password on CBS is a poor substitute for the original, which included the creepy voice-over whispering the password to the audience: "The password is ... turtle."