Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This is so true, it borders on not being funny at all.

We had friends visit from the States this past week. Here are some highlights. We had a very good time visitng. We are gearing up for more friends to visit this weekend. More video to follow, of course.

This next video is in response to Diane not having anyone to smoke with here in Canada.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Jimmy Carter came down hard on the Iraq war.“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” he said. “But that’s been a radical departure from all previous administration policies.”
Carter, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized Bush for having “zero peace talks” in Israel. Carter also said the administration “abandoned or directly refuted” every negotiated nuclear arms agreement, as well as environmental efforts by other presidents.Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone.“The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion,” Carter said. “As a traditional Baptist, I’ve always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one.”
Douglas Brinkley, a Tulane University presidential historian and Carter biographer, described Carter’s comments as unprecedented. “This is the most forceful denunciation President Carter has ever made about an American president,” Brinkley said. “When you call somebody the worst president, that’s volatile. Those are fighting words.”
Carter also lashed out Saturday at British prime minister Tony Blair. Asked how he would judge Blair’s support of Bush, the former president said: “Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient.”“And I think the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Taking a bath last night, I looked out the window and spotted this visitor to the yard.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gay moms just as good -- if not better -- for kids: study
Jack Aubry, CanWest News ServicePublished: Monday, May 07, 2007

OTTAWA -- Parenting by same-sex families is just as good -- if not slightly better -- for children than heterosexual parenting, a study for the federal Justice Department has concluded.
Commissioned by the former Liberal government in 2003 at the height of the same-sex marriage debate, the study was not released until recently when its main author, Paul Hastings of Concordia University in Montreal, obtained it by making a request using the Access to Information Act.
Hastings, with the assistance of research students, reached his conclusion after reviewing existing research relating to the impact on children of being raised in different types of families.
The report says the vast majority of studies show that children living with two mothers are as socially competent as children living with a mother and father.
"A few studies suggest that children with two lesbian mothers may have marginally better social competence than children in 'traditional nuclear' families, even fewer studies show the opposite, and most studies fail to find any differences," says the 74-page study, which cost $25,000 to produce. The paper refers to about 100 studies on parenting.
It reported that most of the available research on gay parents is on lesbian mothers. It says there is still too little research, especially about gay male parents, to reach any final conclusions.
Hastings speculated that the study was quietly shelved by the Justice Department after Stephen Harper's Conservative government came into power in 2006.
He noted that the Conservatives upheld their election promise to review the issue of same-sex marriage when a government motion focusing on the definition of "marriage" was defeated in the House of Commons in December.
Briefing notes prepared for government ministers for possible use during question period sessions in Parliament and in response to reporters' questions, obtained by CanWest News Services via an Access to Information request, reveal the department seeming to distance itself from the research paper by stating that it represents the opinions of the study's author "and not those of the department."
Virginia West, who is raising Rowan, a two-year-old boy, with her partner, Cheryl Reid, in Toronto, said the study confirms what she already knew.
But she said she is pleased it was commissioned by the federal government,
"No, I am not surprised that the study's release has been delayed," she said.
"The fact that it was done at all is great, and the fact that it is coming out is great. I think if we were living in the United States, it would not have even been done."


Thursday, May 03, 2007

There have been a lot of markers in our progress toward becoming residents of Canada. First we became landed, and then we received our PR cards. Registering our vehicles and getting drivers licenses’ were very important steps. Diane getting a job was a huge hurdle that we successfully crossed. I think today, one of the most important milestones for me has occurred. Diane and I got our library cards! I had a wonderful time talking to the Circulation staff about everything from Millennium to differences in loan periods between Las Vegas and Victoria. We used the self check and it was very nice. Not like the white elephant we had in Vegas, if it was not out of service, it definitely was not convenient (you could not check out any magnetic material that could be erased or any material in locking cases). Today was a completely enjoyable experience.

Yesterday, I assembled our new barbeque grill. The box was so heavy we had to carry it piece by piece to the back deck where it now lives. In between the hail storm and the rain, I assembled most of it in the kitchen and then rolled it outside for the final touches. We are still amazed that there are no ordinances in this city against having a grill on a deck with either a floor or overhang above. We are learning new things about our new home daily.

Diane and I took a field trip into the city on public transportation to visit her new job. The bus is the only real sensible way to go. Petrol prices are not the only consideration, but traffic and the price of parking prompted this decision. It was really quite easy and fun. We looked around the bus and noticed that no one looked scary. No one was talking to themselves or someone invisible beside them. No one had urinated on themselves. I never once felt that I needed to clutch my belongings under my arm and wear a ‘Don’t fuck with me’ expression. People were generally kind, helpful and interested in our accents. Taking a bus in several metropolitan cities that shall remain nameless in the US would have guaranteed at least one of those experiences.

As I write this, Diane is downstairs watching the Vancouver Canucks play on T.V. Yes, hockey, my American friends has sucked her in. She even looked at jerseys today. She could not find one that would fit, but she was looking.
Our friends Heather and Darren got married in a secret ceremony. We are going to a reception for them next weekend. We wish them good wishes in their new life as husband & wife.