Monday, October 31, 2011

Zombies Among Us?

A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ...Image via Wikipedia

Up until last year I didn't know much about Zombies. 

I knew they were dead people who chased live people but I didn't know why.

So when the movie 'Zombieland' came out and it was billed as a comedy, I talked anther retired teacher into going to see it with me. 

I figured that I would become knowledgeable about the zombie phenomena and have a good laugh at the same time.


 "I Love Lucy" reruns are funny.

Zombieland is not.

However I did learn why zombies chase humans, (they eat people), so on one weird and sick  level, it could have been classified as a learning experience.

 Not one I intended to repeat.

 However while browsing through Tumblr the other day I happened to see an article that asked whether zombies could ever really exist.

This is where you may want to stop reading.

Still here?

Okay, don't say I didn't warn you.

The science guy whose blog I follow, replied to the question as to whether zombies could ever really exist by saying that while dead bodies cannot be reanimated

it is theoretically possible that one day the rabies virus might jump to a flu virus.


That's the same evil virus that killed Ol' Yeller, my baby boomer friends.

Science Guy went on to explain that if that happened, rabies would start being passed from person to person by coughing, sneezing, etc., just like the regular flu.

Which would lead to many dying, contagious,  violent, brain-inflamed, zombie-like people lurching among us tearing us limb from limb and spreading the new plague.


Another reason to get the flu shot and avoid raccoons.

Happy Hallowe'en!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Like Father, Like Daughter, Oddly

My father called it good old fashioned Canadian ingenuity.

As a matter of fact, he gave me the impression that Canadian Ingenuity was exactly what won World war II.

Oh sure the Yanks and the Brits had ingenuity but according to Dad, theirs wasn't like real CANADIAN ingenuity.

Recently my brothers and I have had the sad and difficult job of going through Dad's things.

We've marvelled at what he kept.  Like most people who lived through the Great Depression, he never threw anything away.

Nothing was ever too small or too broken that it might not find a use somewhere else. 

Over the years I learned to be careful what I told Dad I needed because Canadian Ingenuity is a double edged sword.

It can also be spelled O-D-D.

For example he didn't understand why someone might not want a dining room chair with one leg refashioned out of an old hockey stick.  

And the oddness of Canadian ingenuity is exactly what I thought I would never embrace. 

I didn't realize how insidious it is.

How it creeps up on a person.

You see, a few days ago I bumped into one of my neighbours when we were out walking our dogs. 

She was wearing the most beautiful pair of rubber rain boots.

"Oh thanks," she said when I told her how nice they looked. "They cost me $100 but they are worth it!"

Up until that moment I had been quite pleased with the ingenious solution that I had found to the problem of being caught in the rain.

So i must tell you, it was with a heavy heart that I looked down at my own feet.

I was standing next to a woman in rubber boots that cost $1oo and I was wearing a pair of unused doggie poo bags over my shoes.


I guess I really am my father's daughter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

TheTale of Roland the Cougar

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if you'd done things differently?

I'm not talking about big events like dropping out of high school and taking up a life of crime instead of becoming the lawyer your mom always wanted you to be, I'm talking about little things.

For example, today I decided to take Flynn the dog for a walk in the North Pelham Ball Park but for some reason about half way there I changed my mind. 
I pulled into a driveway , turned around and headed for the Roland Road entrance to Short Hill Provincial Park.

As soon as Flynn got out of the car she went into doggie high alert.

Mindful of our spooky experience in the park a few months ago when I thought we saw Niagara's mysterious and carnivorous big cat, I froze too.

And I must tell you that my blood turned to ice when we heard its cry.

Then I thought about what I had just heard.

"Jeesh," I said to Flynn the dog,  "I expected cougars to sound a bit more ferocious."

Nevertheless, we remained watchful and, indeed, It wasn't long till the beast showed itself.

Flynn rushed in for the kill and was rewarded with a loud purr and face rub.

The little 'cougar' was an unneutered male about 12 months old. 

He was wet, hungry and lonely.

He followed us for quite a way crying the whole time.

Eventually we turned back because I was afraid his meowing would bring a fox or coyote and that would be the end of him.
Or the cougar and that would be the end of us.

Flynn and I rushed home.

I knew I couldn't keep him, having four cats already so I phoned the Humane Society and told them I was going to go back and try to find him.

It wasn't very hard to locate the little fella. 

He was sitting in the rain in the parking lot crying. 

I set down some food and the cat carrier.

The rest of the story is the hard part.

I had to leave 'Roland' the pretend cougar at the Welland Humane Society. 

If you would like to adopt him, the Welland Humane Society is off Prince Charles Drive. It is on the left as you head south to Port Colbourne. Watch for the yellow sign.

You'll know you are close when you see all of the wonderful volunteers out walking the homeless dogs.


I'd like to think there was a reason I turned around and went to Short Hills today.

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Friday, October 14, 2011


NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 3:  Wall Street protest...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The movement against corporate greed that started on Wall Street in New York City has come to Canada. 

Toronto and Vancouver are both bracing for massive protests on Saturday.


 Do we have the right to be criticizing the people at the top? 

The 1%.

The people who control most of the world's wealth.

After all, the guys who run the world's big corporations worked hard to get where they are.

Spent money on an education, spent long hours working their way up.

They deserve what they have. 


It depends on whether you believe there is anyone on this earth who deserves to be making
$16,826 an hour.

That's  what Michael Duke, the CEO of Wal Mart makes.*

$16,826 an hour.

 So what do you make?

*I found the salary info on Yellow Dog Granny's blog and looked up his salary.  He made $23 million during 2007.  Couldn't find anything more recent but I doubt his income has dropped. Thanks to YDG for doing the math on that one!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Looking For A Green Warrior

Mike Schreiner, 2009Image via Wikipedia

I'm not displeased with the results* of the Ontario election.

I feel most comfortable when one or the other of the old parties is in power with a slight majority and the NDP has enough clout to keep them in line.

It appeals to my quest for balance.

And it works.

Or it did

until the NDP became a little too mainstream.  A little too comfortable in their own skins to be the scrappy fighters they used to be.

 So the Green Party seemed a good place to park my vote.

I like its social justice platform and the federal leader, Elizabeth May, is a dragon slayer.

The problem is that the Provincial Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner, doesn't come across as someone with a hunger for change.

He looks like a really, really nice Liberal backbencher. 

Even his sad post election message to his supporters about watching the sun rise that morning bothered me.

The Ontario Green Party needs a warrior not a flower child.

 *Liberals are one seat short of a monority, Conservatives are the Official Opposition, NDP gained seats, Greens elected no one.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fear of Aluminum Warrior Robots

Terminals for making join between aluminium an...Image via Wikipedia

"The problem with aluminum wiring is that heat causes the wires to swell. 

Then the electricity arcs from one place to another, finds a curtain, lights it on fire and burns your house down. 

You can stick some copper stuff in there and maybe fix it ...

Half the people in Port Dalhousie have aluminum wiring so don't worry about it."

That might not be exactly what the home inspector told  me yesterday after he found aluminum wiring in the tiny little townhouse that I was about to buy, but it is what I heard.

He definitely said something about swelling aluminum wires, arcing electricity, fixing it with copper and the foolhardiness of the people in Port Dalhousie.

My mind filled in the rest.

And I must say, telling me not to worry about it is like telling me that giant warrior robots from a galaxy not far enough away have landed but it's okay because they're one street over.  


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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Cost of an Executioner

The breaking wheel was used during the Middle ...Image via Wikipedia

Last year I posted a list of ten things that I hoped to  hear or read about during my lifetime.

This last week-end, one of the things on my list came true.

Because he is Canadian and we do not have the death penalty, he wasn't executed.

 Protected during his incarceration, he wasn't  murdered by another inmate. 

He died of natural causes.

As natural as cancer can be, I suppose.

The child torturer/rapist/murderer is gone. 

The tormentor of the families of his victims is gone.

Long years of incarceration should have been a terrible punishment for him, but by all accounts he thrived in prison.

And that isn't right.

But I'm grateful to be living in a country where the state does not have the right to execute any of its citizens.

If the cost to us is the continued presence of psychopaths like Clifford Olson in our penal system 

so be it.

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