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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obama is President - So What?

I've been musing over the inauguration, with all of its pomp and circumstance. I am afraid I am left to conclude - so what? Ah, but you say - Here is the first black American President. If I were an American I would be ashamed it had taken so long to elect an individual based on character rather than skin colour. And, in fact, I'm not entirely sure he has been elected based on character or perceived ability. As often happens in social dynamics, the pendulum swings too far and the prize is actually muddied in the attempt to achieve it.

But he is so full of charisma. He will make a good leader. Fantastic. Hitler was highly charismatic. So were Princess Diana and Pierre Trudeau. Their records of leadership are highly varied. True, charisma tends to make people want to follow you and fall into line with your plans, but it also has a disturbing tendency to make people forget to think on their own, often with disastrous results.

He will fix our economy. He has turned communities around and has incredible plans for the United States. Maybe yes, maybe no. The economy is pretty close to rock bottom. There isn't a whole lot of other direction to go, but up. Pretty much the same as the communities he helped to rebuild. People were desperate for change and he offered them solutions that they wholeheartedly worked with and goals they strove towards in a unified fashion. They had no other choice, really.

He will repair the image of my great country and help return it to its former glory as a superpower. Perhaps temporarily, at best. US policies on everything from health care to the treatment of its war veterans cannot be erased overnight. And, in this economy, it is unlikely it will be. Osama bin Laden did not send his bombs into the World Trade Centre on a whim. There has been a long, simmering hatred of the US that didn't start eight years ago. It culminated 8 years ago and continues to this day.

The 'official' version of history is likely to be very kind to the 44th president. It will have to be. Any other opinion would be considered racially motivated and pooh-poohed to the fringe of memory. So be it. Only time will tell, though history will not entirely accurately portray it, what kind of president Mr. Obama will be. 1. 2.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Let's Hear it for Little Tikes Toys!

For Christmas this year, we bought our daughter a Little Tikes Cook 'n Learn Interactive Kitchen It was absolutely fabulous and a real steal at only $30. We picked it up at a Wal-mart in Windsor when they were renovating, long before we moved. We put it together before the big morning, only to find a part broke as we were assembling it. It was not a crucial part, and so the toy was presented without it. Both kids loved it and have spent numerous hours preparing countless specialties for dolls, bears, grandparents, and house guests, as well as mom and dad. When my husband called the company about a replacement part, they asked if we still had the receipt. He, giving me more credit than I really deserved said 'Sure!'. Having bought it 4 months earlier, before The Big Move, I no longer own it. Another call was met with a 'no problem'. Well, earlier this week, the replacement part arrived, via courier, completely free of charge. Not only did they send us the little knobby thing we had broken, they sent an entire set of replacement parts. Handles, kitchen taps, food, bowls, and cutlery. I am amazed by this company. In a day and age when companies are routinely cheaping out and skimping, Little Tikes has really stayed on top of their game. 1. 2.
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OK, this seems to be a bit much

I heard the most absurd thing earlier this week. The upcoming presidential inauguration will likely garner more attention than any White House to-do has since the Kennedys were sworn in. This comes as no surprise. What does surprise, shock, and sadden me, however, is that you can actually register the dress you are wearing. Yes, that's right. You can avoid the life-ending social faux pas of sporting the same frock as someone else by posting your dress on the website Unbelievable. Are we that juvenile? That shallow? Who cares? I somehow doubt anyone else will show up wearing Mrs. Obama's outfit, most there will have spent exorbitant amounts of money on custom gowns. Really, are we in high school again? Is this really amount the same thing as our senior prom? And in this economy, wouldn't it be refreshing to find that someone else has been frugal with their pocket book and purchased off the rack?

Perhaps this is why women don't rule the world yet. We haven't found the right shoes to go with our power outfit... 1. 2.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A new hobby

So, in the past couple of days, we have definitely put our new extended health care benefits to the test. All human members of our household are now on antibiotics of one form or another, and Goose is also on an inhaler. Sleep and rest would be beneficial, if said antibiotics did not cause my son to have nightmares. Some day soon, I swear, we will sleep again.

So, having nothing else to occupy my time, I have decided to take up some sewing again. Some of it has always been out of necessity. Jason has a 36" inseam. Have you ever tried to find pants in such a size? Most likely not, or there would be more of it available. Living in Windsor, we could usually find them in the US. Apparently, Canadian companies have decided that all lumberjacks are short and stumpy. Computer programmers, too, I guess. So, I need to make pyjama pants for him. The only fabric I have in reserve features semi-fluorescent mini M&M's candies. While this may be in fashion somewhere for someone, I am reassured it is not something my husband is looking for. So, off to Len's Mill Store I go. Truly, I could stay there for hours. Rows upon rows of beautiful fabric; shelves lined with a wide assortment of goodies; interesting bits of clothing I cannot imagine anyone really wearing. Nonetheless, I found the perfect bit of fabric. A heavy piece of Toronto Maple Leaf flannelette. As the last bit on the roll, I receive 15% off. I'll have to let you all know how it turns out. And if they are are available to wearing before next winter...

Update: Here they are! 1. 2.
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Fine Start to the Day

So, last night started out pretty promising, but just got consistently worse. At about 4 am, Chong came to roost with us, completely restless, totally awake. Repeated attempts by both parents to get her to go to sleep or back to her own bed failed. At 4:30, the road grader came through to clear the streets, thus setting the decorative plates above our bed rattling and a illiciting a chorus of 'What's that?' from Chong. And then, at 5, our Japanese neighbours started up their snowblower. It would be one thing if it was a normally operating machine. It is not. The couple bought it after they arrived, just over 2 years ago, so the problem isn't that it's old. Nor is it a particularly behemoth that set my teeth rattling. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I have expertly narrowed the problem down to one of two things. First, they are mixing the fuel, a big no-no in today's machines, but very popular in older models. Or, they are giving it way too much fuel period. Either way, it sounds like a small jet plane with the hiccups and smells like tanker spill. Nothing like walking out your door to a smell reminiscent of the Valdez oil tanker. 1. 2.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If I slept so well, why am I so tired?

HALLELUJAH! The child slept through the night. Actually, both of them did. It's a minor miracle. A full 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. My body, obviously unaccustomed to such inactivity, has repaid me with a stiff neck and upper back.

Today was the day, the end of the Christmas decorations. I had also decided to condense. Ha! So much styrofoam. My attempts to be a good citizen were also foiled by our recycling rules: Nothing larger than the size of a Blue Box. Who are we kidding? I could fill 6 of those and recycling day isn't until Monday night again. So please, for just this one week, forgive my mountain of black plastic.

Cheech and Chong are obviously feeling pretty good. They have promoted the chaos theory all day, except when they napped and I have my doubts that they powers were still not at work. Chong's medication appears to have kicked in. When I picked up the 'script from the pharmacy, I was forced to wait while the pharmacist filed paperwork, blew her nose, and otherwise occupied herself with everything but me. When she finally came over, she offered this helpful tidbit "OK, administer the amoxicillin three times a day. That would be once in the morning, once at noon, and again at night." You have no idea, after having toted two toddlers through the Ontario health care system, how impressed I was to have waited to hear THAT.

I also discovered, this evening, that I have been our hot water heater rental bill to the wrong account. Go figure. I somehow had saved our old account, from over 5 years ago, in our bank's on-line bill payment system. So, when I finally talked to the very helpful customer service lady at Reliance today, she laughed. I didn't dare ask if this happens often. Perhaps her sense of humour comes from sharing the same name. I'm hoping I will never know. 1. 2.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

So, it would appear our almost 2 year old daughter has started coming between us. For about the last four nights, she has ended up (or even started out), sleeping and not sleeping between us. She has come down with a nasty cold and ear infection. This leaves her making all sorts of sleep disrupting noises and leaving all manner of liquid deposits in our bed. The doctor at the clinic gave us some antibiotics yesterday and I'm hoping we are now starting down the road to recovery. We turned our mattress this morning, hoping it will help us get a better night's sleep. I am not entirely convinced that this is our problem, but we'll see.

I am thinking Poohy is feeling somewhat better. She did manage to give Sir Winston a yogourt facial this morning. She also ate some of it. I guess there was a bit of a trade off there.

Mac and cheese is baking in the oven. Ironing is done. House doesn't entirely look like a toddler bomb went off in here. Not bad.

Peeling carrots has become much safer for I, the Queen of the Knife Cuts. I received this cool gizmo called a Palm Peeler for Christmas. Very nifty, keeps my fingers well away from the blade - an exceptionally good thing. I now find it is available in avocado green. I may need to 'invest' in a second one, just in case... 1. 2.
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