Mom’s Garden

These are higher resolution pictures than on the other posts, and you may need to refresh the page to load them all.


Just wanted to give an idea of where I get my gardening interest.

My grandmother had pretty much an entire green body, never mind just the thumb.

My Mom has continued that and both my sister and I – despite hating gardening as teenagers – are both involved in gardening now.

street view of the rock installation on the boulevard

The dirt project that we completed was nothing compared to my Mom’s – we had a mere 2 dumptruck loads of dirt, while my Mom had 4 and half.

They did a lot of rock sifting the hard way and my sister turned the grassy boulevard into this rock art representation of a river, using different sized rocks and using some leafy plants.

rock river detail

They recently added this neat fence with chicks n hens in front and columbines in behind with the rose circle just beyond …

fence with chicks n hens border

the strawberry garden

Making a tiered bed for the strawberries and defining the levels with river rocks makes a stunning and tasty garden addition.

strawberry fields forever!

pink dogwood next door

and then the colours of spring in flowery glory – bleeding hearts, tulips and more!


stunning colours

the multi colour tulips and a back lit by sun white one

sun kissed

a flowering shrub

bleeding hearts

making the hydro box pretty

rose circle with the dirt still to do behind

tree with hostas

the dog in the backyard

Inventions and Userability

Things that someone should invent:

– an alarm clock that releases smells like coffee, bacon, and other morning scents to get people moving

– car key fobs that not only lock/unlock, but also are beepers that alert you when your car alarm is going off

– a steering wheel with sensors that check your heat, sweat and heart rate and if it determines that are you too angry to drive, gives you a two minute warning to pull over because the car is going to shut off if you’re driving – or not start if you’re trying to – sort of an increase in the breathalyzer thing that lets you start your car to ensure you’re not drunk.

Userability Designs

Being able to use anything should be simple and not require reading a manual or having to think too hard about it.

– keys cut on both sides, so it doesn’t matter which way you put it in.

– digital camera that don’t take pictures unless the memory card is in it – and the lens cap is off.

Children die while the G8 fiddles

This blog is a response to:

Canada’s conservative government again reveals their plan to control private morality and women – and they are using the current G8 conference to do so – starting with non-Canadian women.

In Canada, abortion is a medical proceedure covered by our universal health care: A Brief History of Abortion in Canada

  • Prior to 1969, abortion was illegal and punishable by life in prison to any participants
  • After 1969, abortion was legal in hospitals and with the approval of a 3 person panel if the women’s health was in peril – health being undefined.
  • In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada declared the abortion section of the Criminal Code to be in violation of s.7 of the Charter of Rights.

Since then, there’s been no abortion legislation.

Canada cast their eyes south to see how the public screamfest over the issue has divided that country and we collectively seemed to have sucked up our view as “Well, I wouldn’t do it, but it’s not really for me to say for others.”

Canada has a small population of US-lite style abortion opponents that any politician who raises abortion as a platform plank is pretty much guaranteed to lose the election.

Which is why politicians tread lightly around issues of rights. Which is why they don’t make bold statements – even PM Harper when he promised to revisit the recently passed gay marriage laws, didn’t oppose it as hard when trying to repeal it as when he tried to prevent it passing.

In Canada, we are loath to take away rights or diminish them, even when we don’t agree with them. And mostly, we don’t like politicians taking away rights – and PM Harper’s attempt to do so, I think did a lot to make people realize that gays and lesbians weren’t being treated fairly and the public opposition to gay marriage went down.

Much like the public opinion on abortion in Canada is increasingly that it’s a private matter which is impolite to discuss in public.

But PM Harper’s out of the blue stance on abortion in this context, throws into a harsher light earlier actions.

One of PM Harper’s first actions when becoming PM was to remove “Equality” from the Department of Status of Women.

While this doesn’t take away the Charter guarantee of equality – which is actually a right that is supreme to all other rights in th charter – it is a symbolic erosion, but also a practical one. The upshot means that the Department can’t give funding to women’s organization who’s main focus is to actually achieve practical equality.

It is not palatable to lose rights dramatically – but it’s that frog in the pot situation – quick heat and it jumps out, slow rising heat and the increasing temperature becomes the new normal – until it’s too late to jump out and there’s just frog soup.

If Canada is to be a world leader and example of human rights and dignity, we cannot have one set of rights for people in Canada and insist on a lessor set for people outside of Canada.

As an aside, our inside Canada is far from fair or equal as long as Native Canadians live under different legislation and on reservations where they aren’t allowed to own property individually – which means no collateral so limited participation in Canada’s economy.

International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda, who, incidentally, was the minister of Status of Women at the time it was mostly dismantled in mandate, offices and staff by PM Harper, said at the current G8 conference, “We’re not debating abortion, we’re clarifying family planning.”

To which I say, how can you family plan while being denied access to means to limit family size?

Abortion may be necessary in a variety of scenarios, it makes no sense for Canada who includes abortion as an option to be the lead nation demanding it not be an option for other countries.

It is not the case that in most countries that women are free to chose sexual partners – women are subjected to violence, rape and threats of death. Often sanctioned by governments or militaries in the use of rape camps filled with the women of the conquered people.

Canada’s reality is far removed from most other nations, and we cannot act like other countries are where Canada is in rights or safety on the streets. We have to help the other countries to get there.

Is this the next step in PM Harper and this conservatives to try to roll back the clock in Canada to their idealized 1950’s? You know, the one where there was no Elvis to turn girls onto sex.

As for NDP MP Megan Leslie – yes, children are dying in the tens of thousands as the G8 fiddles.
There have been many studies that link poverty, abortion and social injustice. We are never going to achieve a reduction of world poverty until women legally have control over their own reproduction and access to safe services to carry out their wishes.

That means sexual education, contraceptives, enforced anti-rape laws, enforced equality rights and yes, abortion on demand regardless of the reason.

“Empowering girls is key to breaking the vicious circle of ill-health and violence. It should be at the center of all actions targeted towards the elimination of violence against women and girls.”

UN’s International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition, 2006 Statement

Women who are equal, who have the ability to limit their family size, who can participate in the economy – will not have to engage in a stragety of having a large number of children in the hopes that a smaller number will survive to adulthood. Women will be able to have the 2 children who would have survived and put all her resources into them, rather than spreading those same resources over 6 to 8 children, who will all suffer and be sickly.

Empowerment includes reproductive control, education, access to contraceptives, to safe abortion, to legal protections and rights.

Additional Sources:

Unsafe abortion persists as a serious health problem for women. It is rooted in poverty, social inequity, and denial of women’s basic human rights. As experience from Latin America and other regions demonstrates, obstetrician-gynecologists can be leaders in supporting reproductive rights and access to safe abortion, through their professional societies and also by way of their roles as providers, academicians, and advocates. Ob-gyns are often most effective when working in partnership with women’s organizations, lawyers, and other stakeholders.

Pirate Party of Canada

Started in 2009, the Pirate Party of Canada strives to reform Canadian information laws to meet the needs of the new century.

We are in favour of:

  • Copyright reform
  • Reform of the patents system
  • Better respect for privacy
  • Net neutrality
  • Open government
  • Digital sovereignty
Which of course doesn’t mean you’re also not one of these pirates


“Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes,”

Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi

Get out there, show your cleavage!

a selection of Boobquake t-shirts

BEIRUT (AP)— A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,”

More boobquake t-shirts

Seriously, this was filed under “weird news” – this isn’t WEIRD NEWS – this is freaky, these people have influence over others and yes they seriously thing this is true 5 alarm bell news.

Weird news. This should be in the editorial page to say why religion needs to end

Here’s me at a fancy dress party – the theme was Film Noir, my pal Robyn is a femme fatale and I went as the noisy landlandy – in a bright pink cammie, blue housedress, tiger headscarf and putple fuzzy slippers

that's me in the blue house dress and pink cammie - the noisy landlady

I dunno about cleavage, but going out in pajamas to a fancy dress party is pretty immodest

See the boobquake on Facebook

and read more:

on Blag Hag

On atheist expression

Buythese featured and other BOOBQUAKE 2010 T-shirts here

Geek Brownies

All Edges brownie pan!

This excellent pan can be purchased here.

It’s a heavy pan that makes perfect chewy brownies every time.

Deep Chocolate Brownies

Melt in a saucepan – stirring frequently:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup dark dutch cocoa

In a medium bowl:

4 eggs that you’ve beaten until frothy.

Without mixing, pour into the frothy eggs:

2 cups sugar

1 and 1/2 cups flour – (all purpose or cake)

1/4 nuts – I hate walnuts, so I used almonds

1/4 tsp salt

Over top of all this, pour your chocolatey butter and then mix.

Bake at 350 degrees F or 180 C for about 30 mins or until the edges pull away from the sides.

You can frost, drizzle chocolate or butterscotch or your favorite topping.

I made the brownies a la mode with Cheesecake ice cream:

Deep chocolate almond brownie with cheesecake ice cream