Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bad day

I just have to chalk it up to a bad day. We all have them, and why should I be any different?

Saturday started out rather well, everything on time. By the end of the day (like, right now) I'm tired, sore, cranky and angry.

This too will pass.

I just don't understand why people these days aren't required to think for themselves. Remember the fuss over McDonald's Restaurants and coffee?? It seems EVERYTHING is SOMEONE ELSE'S responsibility. "Common sense" doesn't exsist because sense is not common to everyone.

No doubt today will bring with it its own refreshing daylight. Until then, I'll find refuge under a blanket.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

About placement

Although I’m a few days behind in my reading, perhaps it was meant to be. This piece touched me deeply today and brought much into perspective.


Why do you scorn others?
Can it be that you are that proud?
No matter how accomplished you are,
there are people ahead of you and behind you.
All beings on the path,
All victims of the same existence,
All with body, mind and spirit.
No one is better than the next person.
Help others for all the times that you
have been ignored.
Be kind to others, for all the times that you
have been scorned.

The journey of humanity is the journey from ignorance to enlightenment.

It’s like an endless march of souls through eternity. If you are standing in an infinitely long line of souls, how can you say that your position is superior to others? When there is no head and no end to the line, it doesn’t matter what place you hold. Therefore it is foolish to look down on those standing behind. They now occupy the place where you once stood. Instead of pride, you should feel compassion. If you cannot remember this, then just think of all the people ahead of you. You aspire to their place, and you should work diligently.

There is injustice in this world, yes. But there is no need to add to it. When you see someone more advanced than you, try to learn from them. Any other feelings are superfluous.

Meditation for July 25
365 Tao
Deng Ming-Dao
Harper Collins

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I saw the sign!

These just in by email... no comment, self-explanitory I think!

...and my favourite...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turtle wine!

"The Nk'Mip believe the turtle is the symbol of perseverance and longevity. It's plastered everywhere. Even the wine cork has a the turtle on it."

Ah, to be on vacation...

Expat found Turtle wine.

I'm impressed.

Only... I wish she'd have called!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Answers to a Sixth Grade test

I come from a long line of school teachers and occasionally hear some amusing stories about students who are in the process of learning.

Last night I received a list of responses by grade 6 students to a test given in the States. I'll share a few of them over the next little while, but here are some that caught my eye:

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the MarxBrothers

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Fransis Drake Circumsized the world with a 100-foot clipper.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CAT TAILS 4: Conehead, Drainhead

It seems like a never-ending saga.

Poor D.J.

Back in June we discovered an abscess in his forehead. It was drained and stiched. It filled up again. It was then drained and left open to drain and heal. Over a month later (Monday) I discovered green goo gushing forth, and did it ever stink!

Yup. It was infected. Again.

Back to the vet - 4:00 PM appointment.

Stand-in doctor on duty this time. He seemed pretty confident that we should expand the area, making the inscision bigger to remove dead tissue from further back on his head. Apparently the dead tissue was housing the bacteria and fluid.

Fine. Proceed.

Admit him on Tuesday for the proceedure.

Wednesday morning, surprise, surprise it's filled up AGAIN!

In Wednesday at 4:00 PM for an assesment. Another stand-in doctor on site. (Dr. B. and Dr. S. were on holiday)
Well, the "new" doctor flipped.
"You NEVER do a proceedure like this without putting in a drain! What was he thinking!!???"
Being not a medical type, I went along with this way of thinking simply because it made sense.

"Poor Handsome must have an aweful headache! I'll give him something for the pain, but bring him back in the morning for surgery. I'll put in the proper drain and we'll take care of this."

8:00 AM this morning, back to the clinic.

3:30 PM DJ is ready to come home.

Looking a bit like something from a horror flick, he's home - happy to be home - and back to being Cone Head. Drain removal is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 PM.

This time, hopefully we're on it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

MUSIC MONDAY - Upgrading the music web site

Today I need your help. I'm setting about building a web site for my company, Monarch Music.

I'd like to know what turns you on about web sites.

-What "cool" stuff do you like to see?

-What are some of your favourite colours?

-Assuming you've never seen a DJ web site, off the top of your head, what, if it were missing, would cause you to immediately click "NEXT"?

While you're making your list, crank this one up!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Update on dancing

Anvilcloud was asking a few weeks ago about my progress with Latin dancing. First, some history. A number of months ago, Sarah and I went to a Latin dance club. I decided the thing to do was to take in the one-hour dance lesson which precedes the evening's open dancing. I remember thinking to myself "This won't be that hard... I mean, how tough can it be, really?" Forgetting, of course, that I'm a Turtle and we turtles accomplish things VERY SLOWLY. My date, on the other hand has been a competition-level dancer for years. Thankfully, the teacher in her came out that evening and helped me through some of the rough parts.

A little later on, after having visited the Latin club a few times - terrified to step foot on the floor amongst such accomplished dancers as frequent the establishment - I decided to take lessons. I signed up for an 8-week session at a school I ASSUMED was credible. Four weeks in I was extremely frustrated. I wasn't getting it. I consulted a couple people to discover that I had in fact chosen the worst school going - all about perception, prestige, marketing, money and flare.

Frustration set in and I felt almost guilty for not having consulted someone who was so obviously in the know.

I was upset. And it wasn't about the money. I was being taught something wrong. Maybe not "wrong", but extremely simplified to the point that what was confusing me about the Salsa step was the syncopation between steps 4 and 5 and 8 and 1. I was HEARING it, but wasn't told what to DO with it.

I then set about signing up at a real school. By this time, however, the Spring classes were full. Now... I'm holding out to the Fall. Hopefully this is just a brief pause in the action.

More later as it develops.

Monday, July 10, 2006

MUSIC MONDAY - It's Stampede week - A little Country!

Country music, I've discovered, is unlike any other genre going when you consider the its popularity factor. It seems most people either love it or hate it. There's not a lot of "fence sitters", that I've experienced anyway, when it comes to Country as a music format.

I remember years ago watching the movie The Blues Brothers in which there is a most memorable line delivered by Bob - prepriotor of "Bob's Country Bunker". When asked:

"What kind of music do you have here mostly?"

His reply is:

"Oh, we have BOTH kinds... Country AND Western."

Of course there are all the stereo-typical jabs at Country... like...
"What do you get when you play a Country song backwards?"
"You get your wife back, your house back, your dog back..."
"What's the common theme to all Country music?"
"My wife ran off with my best friend... and I miss him."

This week in Calgary we are celebrating the Calgary Stampede. So, I figured in the spirit of the season, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the music.

As a DJ I hear a LOT of music. Although I'm not a die-hard country kid I have grown appreciative of Country's wholesome angle. I have yet to hear a country song that requires a "RADIO EDIT" version to be deemed appropriate for an all-ages demographic.

Country 105 FM is our local country radio station. For years they've had the same format - no deviation. They've thrived, too. No one has attempted to compete in the "all Country" format, although several attempts have been made over the years at mixed-format stations. Aside from the CBC, I know of no other radio station on the FM band that has the longevity of Country 105.

Speaking of "wholesome", I did a wedding reception on Saturday night south of Calgary in Ranch country. Sure enough, Country was the format... for the most part. The song I have for you today is one I played that night. As it was playing I listened to the lyrics fairly closely. It spoke to me, so I decided to share it with you here.

THAT'D BE ALRIGHT - Alan Jackson, 2003
If money grew on hackberry trees,
If time wasn't such a luxury;
If love was lovesick over me:
That'd be alright.

If I could keep the wind in my sails,
Keep a hold of the tiger by the tail;
A half a ham sandwich in my lunch pail:
That'd be alright.

Yeah, that'd be alright.
That'd be alright.
If everybody, everywhere,
Had a lighter load to bear,
And a little bigger piece of the pie.
We'd be livin' us a pretty good life,
And that'd be alright.

Hey, go heavy on the good and light on the bad,
A hair more happy and a shade less sad.
Turn all that negative down just a tad:
That'd be alright.

If my dear ol' dog never got old,
If my family farm never got sold.
If another bad joke never got told:
That'd be alright.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tired turned cranky

A post over at Mary's touched me today. For the last number of weeks I've felt extremely overwhelmed by the pace of the world and of the things that are happening in my life.

I slept through a coffee date I had with my friends B. & L. this morning. L. called at 10:30 - woke me up. Immediately I felt very small, like I had let them down. L. sounded almost miphed. Maybe it was because I was still asleep.

Not all was lost, however. L. called again around noon. This time, waking me from an impromtu nap on the couch.

"You up yet?"

"Yes, been up for a while!!"
(all of 14 seconds, but up none the less.)

"B.'s golf was cancelled so he and I are going to Trapper's to catch the soccer game. You're welcome to join us if you wish."

"Great. I'll be there!"

I didn't figure out WHY I was sleeping in and napping today until it hit me. SATURDAY I was on-site at a Stampede Breakfast by 6:00 AM. After returning home from a wedding reception in a little town just south of Calgary, it was 2:30 AM. That was a 20.5 hour day if my math hasn't failed me. And this has been a bit of a habit for me recently.

After lunch, a drink and the game I continued on with my day - out to Chestemere in a complete rain and hail storm to collect a system rental from Friday. The Spanish Catholics were holding a retreat. Great success, and more work to come from that source, I'm sure.

S.'s post today speaks of a runner who's spirit had been broken. I'm feeling a bit like that right now - only I know what it is. B.A. wrote a song back in the 90s that stated:

"I've been down,
I've been beat.
I've been so tired I could not speak.
I've been so lost that I could not see,
I've wanted things that were out of reach."

It's accurate to say this is where I'm at right now. Everything's been a blur for about three weeks and I really can't see the effects of ANY of my efforts. Reflecting on the events of the past little while has been a challenge. There's so much going on I find it difficult to stop and take stock.

Keeping up on blogs is difficult too. I've heard this from many folks, and likely it's a summer thing.

I'm tired, and tired turns to cranky very easily.

Time for bed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More fun at the lake

When I was at Moraine Lake and Consolation Lakes (Moraine being the one on the old $20 bill, by the way...) two weeks ago I discovered this cool little picnic site by the water, but what drew me in was that it appeared to be completely wheelchair accessable. It dropped this wild idea into my brain that I now had a place to take my folks where Mom's wheelchair was no longer a "limitation"!

The long weekend was just the wrong time to even contemplate Moraine... anything close to Lake Louise or Banff would be just zooish... so... today was the day.

I'll stop yammering and share some photos... photos, by the way, made possible thanks to my generous nephew, D. who allowed Uncle David to borrow his camera! This camera has a timer on it! Very handy for the group photo you'll see at the end...

Thanks, D.!






Monday, July 03, 2006

MUSIC MONDAY - Holiday Monday in Canada

On July 1st. I was thinking about things Canadian. I went rooting through my old vinyl archives to discover just how much Canadian content I've collected without even realizing it!

Over the course of reading several blogs, I've noticed references to the stereotypical Canadian slang "Eh!". It brought to mind today's first piece from Bob and Doug McKenzie! Back in the very early 80s this album, and their TV hit "The Great White North" hit huge.

A guest appearence from none other than Geddy Lee of Rush fame sent "Take Off!" to the top of the charts.

Rick Moranis (Bob) and Dave Thomas (Doug) followed their TV and record album success with a moderately funny but fame-to-be-short-lived movie called Strange Brew. This one starts off in the "definitely a rental" category and may not even make the cut unless you're having some friends over for a Canadian Theme party or something.

Here's Take Off! from the Great White North album.

Anyone who knows me MUST know that if we're talking Canadian success stories, the obvious default - at least here at the Armchair - is going to be Bryan Adams.

I found my copy of this limited edition EP. It was the only release of Diana, (going Ga Ga over the Princess, are we??) and contains a neat medley - the Bryan Adamix

It's Only Love (w/ Tina Turner)
Fits Ya Good!


Saturday, July 01, 2006


If the boulders are moved,
Even a river will change its flow.

Except for occasional flooding, the mightiest river keeps to its bed. It flows where it finds openings between cliffs and rock. If the river is dammed, if the cliff walls are moved, if the boulders are shifted, it will flow a different course. It could even be made to flow backwards if the earth is moved far enough.

So it is with the flow of our lives. Once the fixed objects of our lives shift, our circumstances change. If we move to another city, life will change. If we marry one person over another, life will be different. If we situate our business in a good neighbourhood, life will be prosperous. If we choose a house in a good setting, life will be healthy. If we arrange our furniture properly life will be comfortable. If we eat correctly, life will be prolonged. In short, followers of Tao realize that the flow of life can be affected and to some degree consciouly manipulated simply by altering its parameters.

Life is the flow of energy. It is the air that we breathe, the force that moves the weather, the forces of all minds combined. It keeps the rivers flowing, our hearts beating and the sky blue. This flow of energy moves constantly according to the fixed points that exist at any given moment. Therefore, by manipulating the cardinal points of our lives, we can change the flow. The feedom to choose and to change belongs to us.

meditation for July 1
365 Tao
Deng Ming-Dao
Harper Collins

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.