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wmtc: last day and home

We spent our last day in Oregon poking around downtown Ashland, looking at scarves and jewelry and used books. We don’t shop much when we travel, but there were a few things I was looking for on this trip, and I found them all. We also picked up this v… . . . → Read More: wmtc: last day and home

wmtc: random observations on southern oregon, great kitchens, family love, and absent eagles

This morning we woke up at 3:45 a.m., packed up the car with binoculars, cameras, sandwiches, and coffee, and drove two hours in the dark. According to our guidebook and a few websites, we were heading towards an opportunity to see dozens of bald eagle… . . . → Read More: wmtc: random observations on southern oregon, great kitchens, family love, and absent eagles

wmtc: the rest of the trip

This is the view from my brother and sister-in-law’s new home in Oregon. Last year B+SIL retired, pull up stakes, sold their home in New Jersey, and moved to the other side of the country. One of their adult children and partner – and now their first g… . . . → Read More: wmtc: the rest of the trip

wmtc: leaving vancouver: in which we discover the scary truth about canadian passports

This was an eventful day! We started at the Acme Cafe, for another BOGO breakfast. The food is great even without the discount. But a free goat cheese-portobello-sun dried tomato fritata, with potatoes and toast? Yes, please!The Acme Cafe is a few buil… . . . → Read More: wmtc: leaving vancouver: in which we discover the scary truth about canadian passports

wmtc: vancouver, day four

Our last day in Vancouver was a full one. It included a library, great art, a meet-up with an activist-friend… and noodles!I didn’t want another breakfast at the hotel, so we poked around a bit online and found something nearby. This place didn’t ope… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day four

wmtc: vancouver, day three

Another beautiful day here, sunny with a few clouds and a high of 10 or 11 C. Vancouverites are all exclaiming about three consecutive days without rain.We got an early start with the train to a bus to Stanley Park. On the way to the bus, I was intrigu… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day three

wmtc: vancouver, day two

On Tuesday morning after breakfast we were finally able to see the pups on the webcam, so the day started out right.After a quick breakfast in the hotel, we bought day passes for transit – Vancouver’s new Compass Card – and set out for the Granville Is… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day two

wmtc: vancouver, day one

We forgot to pack Allan’s netbook and my little Bluetooth keyboard for my tablet isn’t working, so this is going to be interesting. And annoying! But I can’t travel without writing, so here goes. We landed in Vancouver mid-day on Monday. A super friend… . . . → Read More: wmtc: vancouver, day one

wmtc: off to vancouver

I struggle to find time to write even a small fraction of what I’d like to post here. But there’s one thing I’ll always write about: my travels. And there are never enough of them.This morning we are flying to Vancouver, our first time there. A few day… . . . → Read More: wmtc: off to vancouver

wmtc: the great weed of 2016: the results are in

Goodbye.A while back, I announced that Allan and I were going to try weeding our books and CD collection. A few months passed until we could find the time, but we’ve done it. Seven boxes of books and three boxes of CDs will be leaving our lives.Last Se… . . . → Read More: wmtc: the great weed of 2016: the results are in

wmtc: in which the death of a rock legend makes me think about how our world has changed

When this came out, I hung the cover on my bedroom wall. Sharing memories of David Bowie, as so many of us were after his too-early death this week, led me to think a lot about the world I lived in when I was a big Bowie fan.My world thenI saw Bow… . . . → Read More: wmtc: in which the death of a rock legend makes me think about how our world has changed

A Writer's Mind: Lilian Nattel Live: 2016 in Abstract

On New Year’s Eve around midnight, my two girls and I stuck our heads out the window that’s missing a screen so we could watch the fireworks, and then someone had the idea of taking pictures of the city from

. . . → Read More: A Writer’s Mind: Lilian Nattel Live: 2016 in Abstract

Dead Wild Roses: Fun with Daylight Saving Time

I used to be indifferent to falling back. The extra hour of sleep on the one day is nice but whatever. The choice of driving to work in the dark, or driving home in the dark, isn’t that material to me, and once December comes, it’s in the dark both ways regardless of Daylight time […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Fun with Daylight Saving Time

Dead Wild Roses: Makeup is so much bullshit

I (almost) never wear makeup to work. A whole lot of it is that I simply can’t be arsed, but it’s also a specifically political decision: men don’t have to, so why should I. I recognize that, as a knowledge worker who’s valued for my brainz, I’m honestly privileged not to have to focus on my […] . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Makeup is so much bullshit

Dead Wild Roses: Abominations in Clown Barf

Almost every knitter or crocheter’s taste in yarn goes through a similar evolution as their skill progresses. When you’re just starting, everything takes forever, so thick yarns seem like a good idea – yay, fewer stitches makes more fabric! And you buy yarn based on how pretty the ball looks, without much concept of what it might look like once it’s worked up. Low-end yarn manufacturers, I’m sure, are aware of n00b yarn buyers’ purchasing habits, and pander accordingly. Which is why the yarn aisle at Michael’s is full of stuff like this:

What on earth could go wrong? I mean, (Read more…)

wmtc: my inner teenager decorates my office

Every time I have moved – many, many moves, more than I care to think about, over many decades – I have carefully removed from bulletin boards and walls dozens of buttons, cartoons, photos, quotes, and postcard images that seemed to define my life. I have saved almost all of these in shoe boxes, file folders, and manila envelopes, those then layered in plastic tubs that now live in our apartment storage. They don’t take up a lot of space, and as old as they are, when I have occasion to look through them, I never feel that I can (Read more…)

wmtc: a gray rug, a black kong, a happy white dog

We need to get rugs or carpet runners for Tala; she’s slipping on the wood floors when she and Diego play. But with one heavy shedder and one heavy drooler, we’re not too keen on buying nice rugs. While looking for something else at Ikea, we found a rug they were promoting: $17! They’re not bad looking, either.

I put the rug down, Tala immediately ran down the hall, retrieved her squishy bone toy from my office, ran back, and settled in for a chew. She saw that rug and she knew exactly what she wanted.

For $17 each, we (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Home Decoration, Arbourist and Intransigentia style

Back in 2012, Arb and I got married, bought a house, and adopted a dog, all within the space of three months. When we took possession of the house, there really wasn’t time to paint. Which was a shame, because the previous owners had done the place in a very tasteful, marketable, beigey earth-tone scheme. It was so not us. Last week, we made our beach-head against beige, and redid the bedroom! Before, it was a sickly grey-green colour:

Originally, I wanted to change it to a soft, greyish lavender.

Arb vetoed that: “We’re not going to all that work, (Read more…)

wmtc: the great weed of 2015?

You will not be surprised to learn that Allan and I own a lot of books. And CDs. And even LPs! Many, many hundreds of each. We have culled our collection a bit over the years, out of necessity, but living in houses for the past 10 years, we expanded again without much thought. Now here we are in an apartment. It’s a large apartment, to be sure, but we no longer have extra rooms where we can stash as much stuff as we like. And neither of us wants to fill up every inch of wall and floor space (Read more…)

Terahertz: The Big Bang Theory is ruining science

When The Big Bang Theory first premiered, I watched it with a lot of hope.

It had science script checkers and sought to bring the nerdy culture of physics into the mainstream. My wife (then girlfriend) and I started watching it while we were both undergrads – me in engineering physics and she in physics. While it’s predominantly male cast and token ditzy blonde was problematic from the start, it was relatable for us and our friends. Even if none of us were a Leonard, Sheldon, Raj, or Howard, we saw bits of each of those characters in each of (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The Intransigent CPAP Evangelist

Do you snore? Get tested for sleep apnea.

I (used to) snore. Loudly. One time, when I fell asleep before Arb, he took his phone and recorded me snoring, then played it back in my ear until it woke me up. It was ghastly.

I also used to be incredibly tired all the time, and just about never woke up feeling like I’d gotten enough sleep. Most days I felt like I needed a nap, but then the nap wasn’t awfully helpful either. I assumed it was either the remaining depression symptom that my meds just couldn’t help, or else (Read more…)

wmtc: sunrise from the 19th floor

19th floor, central Mississauga, facing east. For locals, this is from the corner of Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe.

You can see a bit of Lake Ontario on the right.

Toronto is not that close. I’m zooming in. Here’s the actual foreground.

wmtc: in which we (re)adjust to apartment life

On August 30, 2015, we marked 10 years of life in Canada.

On August 31, we moved from our rented house to a high-rise rental apartment, likely our last move for a very long time.

The move itself was an absolute nightmare, a Murphy’s Law Spectacular. I don’t even want to bore you with the details. It just sucked.

My mom is here for her annual visit, which does not suck, and in fact is very wonderful.


The dogs are doing well, a bit better day by day. The move was extremely stressful on Tala, involving four trips in (Read more…)

wmtc: in which i help a skunk and it kind of says thank you

My apologies to wmtc readers who saw this on Facebook, but this story must be recorded on this blog!

Yesterday morning the dogs were barking at the back door, really going nuts, and not settling down. Checking to see what was going on, I got quite a surprise. A skunk with a container stuck on its head was running in circles, frantically trying to get the thing off. What to do?? I wanted to help it, but I’m not keen on getting skunked! Our dogs have been sprayed many times over the years; our suburban landscape is full of skunks.

(Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: On Blame – Another RSA Short by Dr. Brené Brown

This sorta stuff is what makes or breaks relationships. Have you ever caught yourself doing the actions they just mentioned in a video like this? I just did.

Let me tell you a story, but first watch the video .


Pretty high on the useful emotional educational chart if you ask me. But back to my promised anecdote.

This happened not even a week ago – I do my blogging on the weekends, and schedule a week’s worth of posts in a batch – so really this happened today, but in the past when you, gentle readers, (Read more…)