Friday, June 29, 2007

Cat People, Dog People

For sometime now, it has been my theory that there are dog people and there are cat people. You will be forgiven for thinking that I am about to enter the dreaded pet zone, for I am not. (Personally, and for the record, I like both: have a cat but really like dogs too.) No, it's simply that I find it useful to think of people as being more like dogs or more like cats. It's the temperament thing that I am onto here.

Here's just one example of a difference that we all know between the two animals. You open the door for your cat, he sits and stares and takes his time over his decision, and you never know what it will be. Nor does he. You open a door for your dog and she bounds out full steam ahead, possibly yipping and yapping but certainly wagging her tail furiously and eager to explore with vigour and enthusiasm.

Well, don't you think that people tend to be one way or t'other too? When we arrived in Vancouver Cuppa was acting very dog-like. She was immediately stimulated by the new sights and sounds, remarking on the size of the hedges, the beauty of the blooms, the gargantuan trees, and the greenness of the vegetation. Soon, she was taking pictures. She'd look to her right and snap a photo; same thing to the left. Look, snap; look, snap. Pant, pant; wag, wag.

Meanwhile, ole cat-like AC was warily regarding his new surroundings. "Hmmm ... what do I think of this? What about that? Do I like it or not ... hmmm? Well, I just don't know. I just wish that doggie person over there would just settle down a bit and give me time to assess. I need to chill, y'know. Let me lick my paws and wash for awhile and let things soak in. Good grief lady, we'll be here for weeks, do you have to wear out your camera in the first half hour?"

And that's how it goes, especially in a new situation. She wags her metaphorical tail with gusto, while I find a quiet corner in which to lick, wash and observe.

It was even a little bit that way being with The Girls. Everyone and every couple has a different style of being in this world, and it took the old guy just a little while to lock into and be comfortable with their way. Of course, I did: just had to get used to their ways.

As you well know, we are really speaking of extroverts and introverts, but the pet analogy really helps me. I think it works well. It's a dog of a world out there, but we pussy cats have our strengths ... and can be very affectionate and purr right in your ear.

Which are you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

From Sweats to Sweat

What a treat to have my laptop open on my own desk and to be sitting in my good, old back-friendly chair. We got in late last night, but I was too stunned to do anything but hie to bed. But that was after a visit with the kids and the dear Smudge who was perhaps not quite herself after enduring a myriad of two-month inoculations yesterday.

In a not unexpected twist of irony, we woke up to absolutely beautiful weather in Vancouver yesterday and were able to see the mountains more clearly than ever before. That was after three solid weeks of cloud and rain, or so it seemed. But there wasn't much time to enjoy them. We headed to the airport at nine o'clock PDT (after an atrocious breakfast out, I might add), and didn't pull into the kids' place until until almost eleven o'clock EDT.

And was it ever steamy here!! Temperatures reached into the 90s — very humid 90s too. After three weeks of it barely being warm enough to remove jackets, I was soon peeling off my clothes in a frenzy. There was no tease to that strip, let me tell ya.

So yes, we went from sweats to sweat in a very short period of time. But it's still great to be home, at my own desk, with a company-starved cat by my side.

Cross-posted to Rambling and Roving, and if you haven't been there for a while, you'll find a few updates that are more pictures than words.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Vancouver Videos

Happy Father's Day Hat Dance

Two videos below. They are both from Stanley Park, the first of a violinist and a bit of an overview, and the second of a raccoon that visited us at our supper in the park.

The Vancouver Aquarium

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Over There

If you've arrived shortly after this was posted, we're on our way to Canada's West Coast for three weeks. If you've take awhile to land here, we're might already there by now. Yes, depending on your hour, we are or will be visiting the A-team in Vancouver and heading to some other destinations from there, maybe Tofino or wherever the winds choose to port us.

But ... wherever that is, we won't be posting about our exploits on this blog. We've created a blog especially for this and other trips and called it Rambling and Roving, and we've located it here on WordPress. Why not Blogger? No particular reason except I might as well learn another system. If I ever get around to hosting my own blog on my own webspace, I will likely use WordPress software, so I thought that I might as well use this opportunity to get my feet wet.

Except for the next three weeks, however, this space will still be my primary blogging space, just as Brown Betty Brew will likely remain as Cuppa's venue. In the meantime, would you please head over to Rambling and Roving and say hello. For those who don't wish to track yet another blog, I will post reminders of updates here.

One thing I might add: WordPress allows us to post extra pages, so in addition to the profile, I have also posted a tab called About This Blog. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Final Hugs and Songs


We fly tomorrow, so we're trying to store up Smudge-time. Yesterday, after some fussiness, guess whose shoulder she finally decided to sleep on? Of course, I've always been adept at causing females to yawn in total boredom. It's a gift.

Below is another video clip that should embarrass me but doesn't. Let's face it, I have no shame. As soon as Thesha put the music on, the baby quieted down and got ready for the dance. Naturally, I joined in as best I could, but you might be able to tell that Maw has learned the song by heart since Smudge entered the world. I wonder how that came about?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hockey Night in Canada ...

... or my history of hockey fanaticism with an unadmirable television and admirable friends and their families, not to mention the cutest and youngest fan of them all

On Saturday night we watched the hockey playoff game at the kids' place. Although it was a choice yesterday, it brought to mind the many times that I was more or less forced to do watch hockey elsewhere when I was a kid. It has to do with TV troubles — we always seemed to have 'em.

We bought our first TV, an Admiral, and not a very admirable Admiral as it turned out in 1957 (I think). We may have been the last family on the block to get one of dem new-fangled devices; nevertheless, I was quite ecstatic to finally be on the tube. I may have it all wrong, but I think that b&w cost more than $200 way back then. If so, that was rather a large sum in those days — no wonder poor us were the last to own one. Even if I am wrong about the price, the point still stands that televisions were very expensive then compared to now. And then, they never worked worth a darn: especially not our Admiral and especially not at playoff time.

Over the years, the disrepair of the unadmirable Admiral forced me to watch hockey playoffs at my friends' houses: Nelson's in Montreal, Stuart's in Mississauga, and Ron's in Weston. All bring back fond memories, but 1967 at Ron's place is the biggest story of all.

1967 was Canada's centennial year and the last year of the original six, so it seemed pretty darn important for me to witness my glorious Montreal Canadians once again defeat Ron's vile Toronto Maple Leafs. The general consensus was that my Habs were almost a shoe-in to defeat Team Vile. But they didn't! Great goaltending stole the series for the Leafs.

It was just as well really because Ron really went the extra mile, or hundred miles as it turned out, to make it possible for me to watch the series. He would drive the fifteen miles from Weston to Cooksville to pick me up and then take me home after the game. He was a good friend, and we were young, and it seemed like an realistic price to pay for Canadian kids to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs. He deserved to see his team win, and he didn't even rub salt in the wounds — not too very deeply anyway.

Ah the memories. Hockey with the Potters of Montreal, the Martins of Mississauga, and the Andersons of Weston (part of Toronto). It is now that I realize how fortunate I was to be saddled with such unadmirable Admiral for lo those many years. How much better it was to share good times with good friends and and their good families. I was very fortunate indeed.

I was pretty fortunate on Saturday evening too — watching with my favourite Smudge and youngest and cutest Senators fan.

Cheering the Sens

Be Careful Out There

A recent segment of Oprah dealt with two pretty tragic stories: families who had been left bereft of loved ones after mishaps involving automobiles. The one dealt with drunk driving and the other with a very unfortunate mishap. In short, a grandmother backed her vehicle over her grandson, crushing the life out of him. The circumstances were that a lot was going on with other children also involved, and she simply lost track of that one boy. She couldn't forgive herself, but this post isn't about that.

It's about the fact that I could have easily hit a couple of people when I was backing out of my own driveway just a few days ago. You know the deal. When you get into your vehicle the coast is clear. You check your mirror but see nothing, and you put the car in gear. Fortunately, a second check alerted me, but it could have been bad.

Me? When I'm out walking and see a car about to reverse out of a driveway, I always stop until I am assured that I have been seen. We speak of defensive driving, but we also need to practise defensive walking, for on that same Oprah show, they showed numerous children (was it 63?) sitting right behind a vehicle about to reverse. Every single, last one of them was in the blind spot!

Sure, in a perfect world, no driver would ever make a mistake, but errors do occur — frequently! Why would any pedestrian with a partial brain assume that the driver will always do the right thing? Don't most people drive at some time or other? Aren't they aware of the sighting difficulties and the fact that mistakes are made, and when they're made don't they know that cars are just a tad bigger than people and that it's the pedestrians who will be hurt?

This incident really got my goat, especially considering that one of the pedestrians was an adult and the other was at least old enough to be taught better. I simply don't understand. A little common sense and prudence goes a long way, and it doesn't cost more than a few seconds here and there to exercise a a modicum of care. Would someone really feel better when lying maimed in a hospital bed to know that it was the driver's fault? Well, it was ... but not entirely in this guy's humble little opinion.

So ... that's my little rant for the day.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I was reading some blog or other about the Madeleine McCann kidnapping the other day. I can't refer you to the blog because it wasn't one of my usual haunts; I linked there from one of my usual haunts — but I can't remember which one (yes, I'm doing really well, thank you). In case you don't recall the event, here is a brief summary from Wikipedia.

Madeleine disappeared from the apartment where the family was staying on the evening of 3 May. At the time, her parents had put Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings to bed, and were dining 100 yards away with friends at a restaurant near the Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club. Kate and Gerry McCann reported to the police that they were taking turns checking on their children and that at approximately 21:00 Western European Summer Time Gerry checked on the children and they were all fine. At around 21:45 the couple returned from the restaurant to find an empty bed and the apartment door and window wide open ...

Poor parents: they made a bad decision, and their lives will never be the same because of it. We've all done dumb things; fortunately we haven't all been made to endure harsh consequences. When Althegal was very young, and her mother was away for the day, I did a worse thing than leaving her unattended for a few minutes.

The exact details are murky now, but the gist of it is that she was out playing with her friend. She was only three or four years old, and I wasn't paying enough attention — not nearly enough! I'm pretty sure that I checked on her early on in the afternoon, and I recall her also wandering in and out from time to time. She and friend were doing well on our quiet and safe street. TG that it was just that — quiet and safe.

I lost track of just how long it had been since she last checked in or since I had last bothered to check on her. Mom came home, and very soon after the phone rang, and a kindly lady told Cuppa that Althegal was at her place, a number of blocks over — on a busier street. She and her friend had wandered off, but friend had returned home without her.

Well, TG for kind ladies and for safe returns and for "all's well that ends well," but when I think think of what coulda happened, I get a little queasy all over again. Phew!