Saturday, June 28, 2014

Got a Pre-teen daughter?

Consider this....

Say What?

My French is no where near as good as I want it to be.... and the French people I talk with are bailing because its summer (and unlike here, they actually take vacation).  Ugh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Handling It

If you agree to watch a neighbor's animal menagerie while they're away, you do.

The fish, no problem.

The cat, a quick scoop for input, one for output, done.

The dog.... the incontinent dog..... makes you contemplate if it's ever okay to have an animal killed because it's become inconvenient.   As well as making it very unlikely that we will ever get one.

Where's the Lysol?

Monday, June 23, 2014


Apparently, if you call French people at 630 in the morning, their time, they will still be asleep.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


At the airport waiting to put my daughter on the flight to France, thinking about the French baggage handlers strike, and the disorganization of the woman who is responsible for this trip. I'm sure that someday this will be a funny story, but right now, I'm nervous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I'm not a fan of 'good news' articles, since they're often smarmy.

This one isn't.


I see where the British intelligence agencies say that they can legally intercept communications made on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.  I have to admit, seeing whats going on in Iraq, that hotbed of death, makes me think well, okay, I guess its needed.  And I've never been a fair of the classic Those who would give up.....quote. Still, this attitude scares me.  I see it here, too, with those liars and sneaks at the NSA.  (We're not spying on Americans.  Well, okay, we are, but not intentionally.  Well, okay, yeah, but we throw the unneeded stuff away.  Well, okay, we don't exactly throw it away....) 

Short of donating to the Democrats, which I do, or to radical organizations, which I don't (and I include the ACLU in that; they do good, but they aren't very focused) -- I don't see what I can do.  I'm not one for marching on government offices, either, which is probably just the way they like it.

Obama's really depressing me, I'll tell you that. He's starting to make Bush look good.  And I feel the gorge rising in my throat when I think that.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nervous Much?

For the first time, my daughter is driving alone from our home down to DC and into the city.  Where will you park? I figure I'll just find a place. Do you have cash? I figured I would just use credit cards.

Whoo, boy.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Apparently, 20 is not old enough to realize that you don't paint while wearing a new shirt.  Or blame your parents when the paint won't come out. Or flip your phone onto the carpetted floor in disgust and not expect to hear about it from said parents.

Maybe we DO do too much for her.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Selective Hearing

My daughter is going out with a friend, just as I returned from getting groceries.  You need money? I asked.  She said Yeah.  Okay, I replied, bring up the rest of the groceries and I'll give you some money.

Guess which part of that sentence she remembered?

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


It turns out that Ottawa is not as dismal as I thought.  Don't pick the Marriott on Kent Street; its quite nice, but the neighborhood is barren because the hotel is deep in Government Row.  Find a hotel instead in the area of William and George streets, near the ByWard Market.  Though I did like it when the clerk at the hotel's Starbucks complimented me on my French (pretty good for Pennsylvania, she said after asking where I was from, and while that could be a sly snideness, I took it as geez, you're not as bad as I'd have assumed). That was nice.

The people are quite nice,  too,  particularly if you are fortunate enough to get to watch them doing some activities that they've never heard of here where I live, such as learning to fight with swords, and maybe a bit of martial arts. These was a fun group of deadly serious people, and I liked them. I also liked the woman who pumped gas for us and was eager to tell us that she had ridden a motorcycle from Ottawa to Nashville.  I told her that she was tougher than me. The gas prices seem absurdly low until you remember that they're per liter, and there are about 3.8 liters per gallon.

If you're driving, how to tell when you've crossed from Ontario into Quebec?  The red/yellow/green traffic lights are vertical in Ontario, horizontal in Quebec. And watch out, I mean really, for bicycles.  They're everywhere. So are Tim Horton's, which we fell in love with.

Rideau Canal is delightful.

The Canadian War Museum is amazing.  I had no idea Canada had been in so many wars, or how involved they were with us, back in 1776.  The bottom floor is absolutely crammed with tracked and wheeled vehicles of all kinds, mostly tanks and APCs.  It looked like the NRA Dream Parking Lot. I told the friendly guide my one tank story, and he was nice enough to laugh.  He also told me that I could buy some of the tanks (gun disabled totally) for only about $150,000.  I had to pass, though getting it through Customs might have been fun.

The Museum of Fine Art is a striking building, much more interesting to me than the contents (though my daughter was intrigued by the fifteen foot high leaning naked man, neither of us could figure out what it was trying to say,  let alone understand the single cable going diagonally across one otherwise barren room, or the elevated basketball court with symmetrical holes punched in it, or the room with music stands that had blank sheet music on them.  But we both liked the airplane with the boulder smashing it.  We felt that it said something.  Which was take the train.)

For beauty, look outside. The area around Ottawa is freaking gorgeous.