Friday, April 28, 2006

Crazy DaVinci tie-in books

Seriously, if you have a crackpot grail theory, now is the time to write it up and get an agent! A couple more years and your window of opporunity will have closed -- it'll be as hard to get a grail book published as it is to get a low-carb diet book published now (unless you're the South Beach guy - he's still doing okay).

So here are two doozies I saw in Chapters the other day. I mean, crazy, man (I'm providing links so you can check the craziness):

Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasonry second messiah

Realm of the Ring Lords: The Myth and Magic of the Grail Quest
realm of ring lords

On that second one: Yes, that's right, he's dragging Tolkien into all of this!!!

C'mon, folks, don't miss your turn on the bandwagon! (or the gravy train, as it were)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Excellent new African junk e-mail

I revel in its heart-wrenchingness. Extra-credit: "from" e-mail is "", reply-to email is "". Delicious!!! Now excuse me, I have to go send them my bank info.

FROM:Mr.Christain Zuma


It is with heart full of hope that I write to seek your help in the content below.I am Mr.Christain Zuma the Frist Son of the late Edward Morgan Zuma Who Was Assassinated on 8th August 2002 in Harare.I have no doubt about your capacity and good will to assist me in receiving into your custody(for safety)the sum of US$5.5 Million United States Dollars (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)Willed and deposited in my late Father favour here in Europe.

During the Curent War against farmers in Zimbabwe and from the Support of our President ROBERT MUGABE to claim all the white owned farms in our country,all the white farmers were ordered to surrender their farms to his party members and his followers,My Late Father who was one of the best farmers did not support his idea to the party members invaded my father farm and burnt everything in the farm they killed my father and made away with a lot of items in my father farm.

After my father was killed,my two younger Sister and I' have no other option than to ran out of Zimbabwe because our lives were in danger.This money is currently deposited with a Finance and Security Company here in Europe.Fortunately,our family lawyer had secretly protected the " personal will" of my father and have strictly advised that the willed money be urgently moved into an overseas account of trusted foreign family friend without delay,for subsequent investment.

The government had earlier placed foreign transfer embargo on all our family members seized all known local and international outfit of our business empire.The Situation has been so terrible that we are virtually living on the assistance of well wishers and few Sympathizers of my late father.In view of this plight therefore,I expect you to be trust Worthy and kind enough to respond to this call to save my sister`s and I from a hopeless future.

I hereby agree to compensate your sincere and candid effort in this regard With 15% of the total sum when finally received in your local bank account, while 5% is mapped out for all the expensess that ocured both local and internationally.

NB: Please treat as top secret, as we are here now as Refugess/Political Asylum Seekers.

Please contact me through my email address above.
I look forward to your quick response.

Thanks and god bless you.

Yours truly,

Mr Christain Zuma
(for the family).

Oh, no, I didn't treat as "top secret"!!!!

Andy Garcia - Word to your mother

Andy Garcia is Fed Up With People Who Glorify Che Guevara
[Damn right]

Andy Garcia is urging fashion-conscious rebels to stop wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the image of Latino revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara because they remind Cubans of terrible times. The actor accepts that Guevara stands for rebellion and is seen as a hero to many, but he sees the revolutionary as a butcher who killed millions of his countrymen.

Argentine-born Guevara helped current Cuban leader Fidel Castro overthrow General Fulgencio Batista's government in a guerrilla revolution in the late 1950s. [And went on to ruthlessly murder or personally authorize the murder of thousands of Cubans -- oops, forgot to mention that.]

Garcia, who left Cuba when he was five, says, "I'd be curious to go around and ask them how much they really know about Che. Some people wearing the T-shirt don't even know his name. They know he's some sort of revolutionary, and to wear his image is cool because you feel like a revolutionary. Someone told me the other day that they asked one of these people if they were aware of all the executions that Che was a part of in Cuba and the guy said, 'Well, I don't know if that's true, as if it had been made up to discredit him.' I wish you could say it was made up because that would mean that all those people didn't die under his thumb. That's the tragedy."

"Lookit me! I'm so cool! I've got a commie bastard murderer on my t-shirt!" Man, you get one good photo taken of you, look what happens . . .

(via Relapsed)

(Of course, The Regime's cranky with Garcia b/c of this teeny little film coming out . . . did I ever mention I think Andy Garcia's the coolest? I've had such a crush on him since, oh, The Untouchables . . .)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blueprint website up (more or less)

May 1, the official launch/newsstand date for Blueprint, the new non-Martha Martha Stewart mag, is fast approaching. Website content finally went up today. Some cute stuff - here's the contents page, which gives you a good idea of what we'll actually see in the magazine. I think I'm really going to like it; I've got a subscription already, so I'll just see as we go. Just waaaaaaaaiiiiiting for the first issue to arrive up here in the Great White North.

The one irritating thing (to me) about this Blueprint mini-page is the Flash thingy on the left that, after the animation plays, turns into the menu. But, personally, I hate Flash. Offhand, I can't think of one really good use of it. And it's overused so much, it just really irritates me. It's on my list of irrational dislikes, that's all there is to it.

Just went down and checked the mailbox. No mag yet. Ugh. You know if I see this in the store before I get my copy, I will probably grab it . . . I can always resell it on eBay, or send it to my sister (that's probably a better idea - she'd enjoy it and I doubt she'd buy it in the first place). I'll just be wondering . . . I was looking at the May issue of Living itself over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it, more than some recent previous issues. But this seems more "targeted" to girls like, well, me. Which will I like better? Will it vary? Will it depend on the month and the features? Like I said, we'll just see.

blueprint large_cover
What it is.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pimm's: Don't tell me it's trendy???

Many people think that G&T's are primarily a summer drink. (Many other people don't think of G&T's at all, I know, but I try not to think about that.) Not so. They are my preferred tipple year-round, which probably comes from having grown up in the south. Now, my favorite warm-weather drink is the Pimm's Cup. So in the summer, I like to keep some lemonade mixed up in the fridge, and a bottle of Pimm's No. 1 at the ready with the liquor. Usually there's just a bit left at the end of the season, so that whenever the first warm day hits the next year, there's enough to make a few glasses before a run to the liquor store is required.

Now, Pimm's was readily available in Dallas, but I was really surprised when I moved up here to Edmonton in August 2004 and could not find it ANYWHERE!!! Hey, isn't this country part of the Commonwealth? You'd think things made in Britain would be more readily available here . . . (you'd be thinking wrong, in many cases, incidentally). Thankfully, cold weather comes quickly here . . . last summer, while we were in Vancouver visiting the in-laws, we found it at one of the state-run BC liquor stores and carried a couple of bottles back to Alberta with us. Once my husband knew what to look for, he brought back another bottle from the duty-free from a trip to England in August (had to keep some room for a bottle of Bombay Sapphire as well . . . ), and that got us through the short Edmonton summer. Riiiiiiiiiiiight at the very end of August I did find some Pimm's in the aperitifs section of one of the Liquor Depots near us, and we grabbed that . . . good thing as the fall was rather warm up here! (By Edmonton standards.)

So, I think it was Wednesday, it was nice and warm and obviously time to mix up the lemonade, get out the Pimm's, etc. Husband mentioned we obviously needed another bottle and I said, well, good luck finding any! However, I was just joking, I thought he could probably find some at the same Liquor Depot that we bought at last year. Last night he came home from a muuuuuuuch smaller little wine store down the street, that carries just a bit of liquor, with a liter bottle of gin and a bottle of Pimm's! Now, I would never have expected this place to have had it (considering how "rare" Pimm's has been here). He said they had a bunch of it, it was featured by the few "mixers" (aka aperitifs) they carry. Well, I was surprised, but I thought (how self-centered) that perhaps my VERY loud begging tour of two years ago and my very loud follow-ups last year might have perhaps borne all this fruit (I called a couple of other liquor stores as well and, sure enough, not only did they have it, they all knew what I was talking about - NOBODY knew what I was asking for two years ago . . .). But then I became a little suspicious. 'Cause, you know, the world doesn't revolve around me (how modest, I know!).

So I did a little Googling (AltaVistaing actually, since I'm cranky and boycott Google), and found out that Pimm's semi-officially became "cool" last year. Diageo bought it a few years back in a buyout of several British brands and has been "pouring" on the marketing, and last summer it appeared on Cool Hunting. Diageo marketing and a Cool Hunting appearance -- well, no wonder everyone's stocking it this year! I shudder to think that people are actually mixing up some of the ridiculous recipes that are out there on the Web with the name "Pimm's" attached, but, hey, if this makes it as easy to buy Pimm's as it is to buy Campari, I guess I'm for it.

Anyway, two years from now (three at most), it'll just be back to me (and other hard-core Pimmsies), our lemonade, and our No. 1. Until then -- Paris, Nicky, don't put too much orange twist in it, okay?

P.S. Seriously, please don't put all that crap in your drink. By all means, a little half-round of cucumber, if you've got it. But a whole pint of strawberries in the jug? Even the official website merely recommends "pieces" on the recipes page. I goggle. Really. Perhaps this Salon article from '97 is to blame. From back in the day when whatever appeared on Salon was, ipso facto, cool.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Why it's called "The Walk of Shame"

I meant to link to this awhile ago.

One-night stands immoral, say 9 in 10 women

I remember mentioning "the walk of shame" in passing to the husband not long ago. It was not a term he was familiar with (hardly surprising, since it's primarily used by women among women) and he said, "Walk of shame? I didn't know women today had any shame." Of course, he was going on how girls act in his classes, in front of . . . boys. (I told him he did not know women very well, which he was willing to admit.)

Dr Hinchcliffe said that if anything the women in their early thirties were more negative about one-night stands than those of women in their fifties.

And I'd bet women in their early twenties are even more negative than women my age . . .


Outspoken cardinal rattles Vatican on bioethics

Aka "Cardinal OKs condoms".

If only the Pope could silence some people . . .

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just a couple of questions, and a statement

I see from today's Vatican Info Service that the Holy Father is going to Poland. So I've just got a couple of questions.

1. Can I go, too? Huh? Please? I mean, Ja dowiedział się niewiele Język polski słowa i wszystek, uczyć się większa ilość jeżeli Ja ma. (Really bad attempt at Polish fuelled by the free English-Polish translator at Poltran.) Whatever I need to bring along. I've already gotten really good with proper names since I got married and became a "ski", believe me.

2. So, Wadowice. Not like Benedict wasn't going to go there on this "Catholic Highlights of Lower Poland" tour; however, I await the further announcement of any particular ceremonies relating to the venerable Servant of God Karol Wotyła, His Holiness John Paul II, a confessor of the Faith, of happy memory. Uhhh, don't have any "inside info", I'm just saying.

I'm not joking, though, I really would like to go to Poland. I thought it was a pretty cool country when I was younger, and now that I'm married to man who's half-Polish, it's even cooler (if that's possible, which it is).

(And if you said, "Kalwaria Zebrzydowska?", don't worry too much. Even my husband had it momentarily confused with Jasna Gora at Czestochowa. [And how, husband? This is Our Lady of *Calvary* - Kalwaria, right?] But if it's not "as" important as Czestochowa, then it's right up there behind it. And it's becoming *very* connected with the cult of the venerable John Paul II . . . see question 2, above . . . )

As for my statement, well, watch out for the dern secular media on this trip. I'm already seeing it in my mind's eye: "Pope, former Nazi soldier, at Auschwitz". And those are the nice headlines. I'd bet that's what he'd be called. Which would be about as accurate as calling my father-in-law, a Polish boy pressed, as so many were, into acting as a German ammunition-carrier, a "Nazi soldier". Am I wrong in reacting thus to yet-unwritten headlines? Given recent history, and the English-speaking media's proven inability to understand Catholic issues, I'd have to say . . .

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring is springing - con't

Ahhhh . . . the snow's melted up here, we've had glorious weather this week (even tho' it's overcast and a bit rainy today). But nothing will really start to bloom until after the first of May. So I was delighted to see this lovely post at Argent by the Tiber. Azaleas and, to a much lesser extent, dogwood bloom are a beautiful part of spring back in Dallas - in early to mid-March. I found myself missing it back then; I'm enjoying being reminded of it right now.

Current reading: Gardening Month by Month in Alberta
Fun facts per Environment Canada:
Average last date for killing frost in Edmonton: May 7
Growing season in Edmonton: 138 days (longest in Alberta, but still seems crazy short to someone who grew up way south of here)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

So noooooow we're playing .500 ball . . .

. . . we'll see where things are Friday . . . (Hey, I'm manic-depressive anyway, really it's the way you need to be to be a Cubs fan.)

Trio of two-fers can't bring Reds down

Monday, April 03, 2006

John Paul II, the Great, of happy memory

I did not put up an anniversary post, not because I have nothing to say, but because, as with (even more than, really) Theresa Schiavo, I have far too much to say, but my thoughts are really very inchoate at this time and I am feeling so much better (especially thanks to *someone's* intervention . . .) and now am terribly busy "restarting" my life -- I'm posting more, but I also have "less" time than before in some ways. So I will post a bit more later in the week when I have some more free time.

In the meantime, here are my favorite anniversary "quickie" posts, both from American Papist:
Moving picture from today's mass for JP2
Your Papist-Picture-of-the-Day (Tuesday, April 4th)


I'm so not making this up.

(BTW, I don't know that I've ever posted on My Favorite Band Ever, so I thought I'd just note that I still love this song - it became my fave when Pop [which I personally think is very underrated, but then Zooropa is my 3rd-favorite album, so you could say my U2-taste is, um, different] came out, and it still is. Probably b/c it's so personal for Bono. And, even if I didn't know anything about them, I think I'd still love this, my favorite U2 lyric, for the emotion, the syncopation, and that great last line:
Lookin' for a sound that's gonna drown out the world.
Lookin' for the father of my two little girls.
Got the swing, got the sway, got my straw in lemonade.
Still lookin' for the face I had before the world was made.

And if you look at the comments at the linked article, you'll see that just b/c I love U2, DOES NOT mean I love the idea of a U2charist! Oh no!!! I have no Desire for that! It would just make me ask if I could come back tomorrow . . .)

Cubbies win season opener, 16-7

Ah, yes, still in Lent but in some ways it's the season of Resurrection, as the Cubs beat the Reds in a game with football-style scores:

Open, shut case for Cubs

Oh, and WE got the President and the Commissioner! (Well, okay, maybe they were more there for Cincy, but still.) Nyaaaah!

Whatever you think of his politics, the Prez defintely knows how to talk to his opposite number in Cubs Nation:

Bush greeted Cubs manager Dusty Baker and said, "This is the year, right?"

Chicago Cubs, playing 1.000 ball! ;^)

Tim Hortons & black humour - a Canadian taste tradition

In the beginning, there was the Timbit (click, then scroll down to "Timbit" under "Food"). Now, many are noting the "Fruit Explosion" muffin.

All I'm saying to the Tim's product dev people is: Use discretion. You don't realize the power you have!

Spring has sprung -- 13 Celsius

Or 55 Fahrenheit. That's the temperature right now here in Edmonton, under a beautiful, sunny blue sky, as the last remnants of snow melt away. (In open spaces, anyway - it'll remain in dark corners for a few weeks yet.) An absolutely glorious day.

Check the Edmonton-Environment Canada link at left for current Edmonton conditions, whenever you need to know . . .

Explosion at Tronna Tim's: Is nothing sacred?

One man dead in apparent explosion at Toronto Tim Hortons store

It's hard to explain to Americans just how Canadian Tim's is - if apple pie is all-American, then Tim's is defintely all-Canadian. Even if you "don't like their donuts" - it's a bit of a national debate, but everyone knows how they feel about Tim's, Tim's donuts, Tim's coffee ("double-double" just got into the Canadian Oxford Dictionary). . . . They've used "True Patriot Love" (a quote from the national anthem) as an advertising slogan, for pete's sake, and a Tim's is being sent to Afghanistan, at the request of the Canadian equivalent of the American Head of the Joint Chiefs, to help fuel the Canadian soldiers there. So -- you can imagine how people were reacting when this story was breaking.

If a serious act of terrorism is committed in the near future on Canadian soil, the reality of it would have a hard time topping this -- how could you do that to a Tim's, you dirty bastard??? -- It almost seems custom-made to rile your honest Johnny Canadian.

Of course, it could be a stockholder or trader disgruntled about his options performance so far . . .

(No, not really, from what I understand things are going well there.)

I like this quote from the police spokesguy who was there giving bites for the media yesterday:

"He's not a strap-on, al Qaeda bomber guy," Toronto Police Staff Sgt. Don Cole said Sunday evening. "It sounds to me like a guy who either wanted to do a torch job or commit suicide."

Yeah, maybe. But he's dead and you didn't get to ask him, as far as I can see from the story, so how do I know you're not just trying to make sure people in the gun-violence-freaked-out-GTA don't stampede or something?

For contrast, here's what the chief of the less-politicized FD said:

Chief Blair described the incident at Yonge and Bloor as a fire, not a bombing. He refused to specify whether it was believed to be deliberate or accidental, but said police were not looking for suspects.

"It appears that there has been a very hot and intense fire in an enclosed area within the washroom," he said.

Blair declined to speculate on the cause of the fire.

"Until we determine precisely what happened in that cubicle and what caused those flames that took that man's life, I really can't speculate," he said.

I guess that's all I'm saying: It's one thing to say "No comment", "I can't talk about that right now", or "Until we have more hard information, I just can't speculate". But for the politicized police department to say, right away, oh yah, nope, not terrorism, no problems here in Toronto, no just your usual cranky guy in a Tim's with a can of gas, you know, well, it might be true and in that case it ought to be reassuring but, after New York, Madrid, London, London, and some of the the crazy crap that's gone on in cities like Stockholm and Amsterdam but has not been very widely reported in the English-language press, to be honest a bit of "We really have no comment until we've looked at the situation a little more closely" would have been a better idea. For a few hours.

Minor point: If you want to know why right-wingers like me get all cranky about "media bias", take a look at this fine sentence from the totally unbiased CTV: A coroner is performing an autopsy on the body of the victim today. Victim? Hey, until we know more, why not try the more neutral "deceased"? It's journalism, not rocket science, you know?

Reax at just about any Canadian or Can-Con blogger.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Eastertime in Canada

Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and good old Mr. Bun himself, you can get anywhere. Your hollow chocolate hockey player, not so much.

choc hockey player
Note: Cherry flavour optional.

"Scalia-gesture you, Bubba."

A. Nonymouse, a fellow comboxer at CAEI, came up with this phrase. I think that it's far too good to allow it to languish, so I'm adding it to my lexicon, and obviously hoping it will spread further:

"Scalia-gesture you, Bubba."
My nomination for the St. Blog's™ Official Insult©. For when you just can't keep it inside, but you don't want to sin against charity any more than necessary. Especially if you're part-Southern-Italian, or, like me, half-Irish and all red-head. Perhaps to be accompanied with a teeny flick of the index finger from the chin, instead of the entire back of the hand.

Of course, the Justice said that gesture doesn't totally mean what everyone thinks it means (and cast members of "The Sopranos" are not experts on Italian hand gestures simply by virtue of being cast members of "The Sopranos"!) . . . I dunno about that but I think I'll trust him over a Boston newspaperwoman.

Yeaaaaaah . . . so I've been working on my TPS cover sheets . . .

. . . they need more flair . . .

I finally got a copy of the Special Edition of Office Space. Oh . . . you know what I'm talkin' about. It was everything that I thought it could be. I hope you've gotten your copy . . . you did get the memo, right?

Seriously, I kept putting off buying a copy back home because I couldn't just find a widescreen version, though there was always a full-screen version hanging around at Target for $9.99. (I hate full-screen movies.) But buying DVDs never has been a big priority for me, so . . . but I just laughed and laughed today. Oh, it hurts.

"Soooooooo . . . "
"'PC Load Letter'? What the f**k does that mean?"
"You know, the Nazis had pieces of flair that they made the Jews wear."
"Mr. Samir Naga . . . Naga . . . Naga . . . not gonna work here anymore, anyway."
"I'm a free man and I haven't had a conjugal visit in six months."
"The ratio of people to cake is too big."
"Ahhhhhh . . . "
"You see, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."
"Soooooo, can I get you gentlemen something more to drink? Or maybe something to nibble on? Some pizza shooters, shrimp poppers, or extreme fajitas?"
"That may be, but at least I never slept with Lumbergh."
"Two chicks at the same time, man."
"Yeaaaaaaaah . . . "
"Minimum-security prison is no picnic. I had a client in there once. He said the trick is to kick someone's ass the first day, or become somebody's bitch. Then everything will be all right."
"I wouldn't exactly say I've been missing it, Bob."
"I could set the building on fire."
"Ummmmmm . . . "
"I love kung fu."
"Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays!"
And of course,
"Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler . . ."

"Tío Tomás"

A neologism I'm adding to the immigration debate (for all I know it could already be in use, but if not, I'm taking credit). Not that more fuel needs to be thrown on this fire, but this occured to me and I just bet some pro-open-borders people would think of some people with certain surnames this way. Personally, if I was Hispanic and certain people called me this, it would be an honor . . .

"Tío Tomás" n. One who, while of an Hispanic background or origin, takes a position perceived to be antithetical to mainstream "Hispanic" interests. "I thought he was a decent hombre, but he turned out to be a real Tío Tomás."
[Deriv. Spanish translation of "Uncle Tom" - see current African-American usage.]

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Carroll Recants - Duh!

So can all my right-wing homies chill now? Please? And maybe themselves apologize to Miss Carroll? I'll say to her now: Sorry I half-believed that stuff myself, I'm glad you're safe and free.

Carroll Disavows Statements Against U.S.

. . . "During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me I would be released if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. So I agreed," she said in a statement read by her editor in Boston.

"Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not."

Best April Fool's: WordPattrn

Dom Bettinelli had a good one (and I'm still trying to figure out if this is one - at this point, don't think so). Lots of others. But this is the best:

WordPress and Textpattern have merged!

Dean Allen, creator of Textpattern, and Matthew Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, have signed a historic agreement to merge the two failed projects into a new weblog application named WordPattern.

Important Update, 3pm
WordPattern has been acquired by Flickr, and is now known as WordPattrn.

Important Update, 4pm
WordPattrn has been acquired by Yahoo!, and has changed its name to WordPattrn!.

Our groundbreaking, no-nonsense approach of creating a fast and lean CMSMS (CMS management system) is unparalleled and will fulfill the need of every user out there – we won’t be content with anything less.

"Ralph's World" - The Beginning of the End

Yeah, no, really.

(Y' know, I prediced 55-60% the other day after seeing how the wind was blowing, but it's still a shock to see the results. Note to politicians: This is why you always want to LEAVE ON TOP, if possible -- and it was more than possible for Ralph.)

Candace (who's as happy to see him go as anyone, at this point) has an appreciation.

UPDATE: Preston Manning? Hey, I'm a fan, but -- ? We'll see. (You know Jim Dinning can't be liking that.)