I am now a Bachelor!

No, not that kind of bachelor. My dance card is still full. (Sorry, interested party(ies).)

In the Spring of 2001, I completed my last courses and, prior to leaving my university and entering the workforce to work off the debt I’d accumulated, I applied to graduate. I thought I had all my core prerequisites under control, and I assumed that I would be sent a diploma sometime thereafter.

As it turns out, I had actually flubbed one of the prerequisites. In order to complete my Bachelor of Arts (major English, minor Sociology) degree, one of the prereqs was that I had six credit hours in a language other than English. And I did — I had 3 hrs in French, and 3 hrs in German. The syllabus neglected to mention that they had to be in the same language.
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Ram Truck Superb Owl Farmer Wrongness

Jodi Thibeault is a skeptic, a feminist, an atheist, and most importantly, a human being. Her vocation is ass-kickery; her hobby is vineyard management.

This is so so so wrong and so many people are sighing and crying about it.

Here’s the text:

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say,’Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.” So God made a farmer.

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

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Pet turtle digs in and lives 30 years in family’s junk room

Red-footed tortoise on some junk

Manuela on some junk
Photograph by: Perla Rodrigues , TV Globo

While I’m slightly skeptical about the “just so” nature of this story, it’s still an adorable story, and I don’t see any aspects of it that make it particularly implausible. Apparently, a pet turtle (technically a tortoise, but turtles are turtles, I have it on good authority!) got lost in a junk room and, thirty years later, while the dad’s kids were going through his stuff after he died, they discovered the turtle had made a nice little home for itself next to a turntable and survived several decades on, probably, termites.

“At that moment I was white and did not believe,” explains Almeida.

Crawling around in a box with an old record player was Manuela, a red-footed tortoise the family had written off as lost back in 1982.

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Back from vacation. Need a vacation.

I’d been trying to maintain a post-a-day schedule for a few weeks now despite trying to suck the marrow out of a precious oasis of respite from a job that has, as late, challenged me to exceed what even I thought myself capable. I am back home now. My wife and I arrived home at 1:30am to a house with no food, short one bag.

While in Minneapolis, a mouse attacked our luggage and we decided to get new luggage rather than try to force one more trip out of the already haggard container which had to that point lasted almost ten years. All of the clothing was intact, though it all had to be washed; the bag was discarded. The bag we got to replace it attempted to take a diversion to Quebec and was apparently left in Chicago rather than following us all the way back to Halifax. We haven’t gotten it back yet. We’ve been told to call them for updates; the updates via the automated system presently say they’re “searching” for it. The number we were given to talk to a human landed at a voice mail box. Tomorrow, if our bags aren’t returned, we will be quite… put out.

And our car wouldn’t start today. Dead battery. Not just dead, DEAD dead. The money pit of a car had been sputtering during the summer and we’d suspected the alternator; the only piece of good news was that the battery had simply succumbed to the winter, and it wasn’t something more serious.

It was a lovely vacation with food, people, fun, happiness and love. It’s sometimes rough, I suppose, to switch back to home life mode and focus on the good things, ignoring the bad. Might take a few days. Bleh.

In which I grow a pair … of ovaries

It’s been possibly two years since I last did a guest post for my dear husband. I think it was a drunken rant. You’ll just have to pretend this one is drunken too as I forgot to drink.

After running some errands for work today, my boss and I decided to take a quick detour through the local Tim Horton’s drive-thru for coffee. This particular drive-thru has recently been upgraded to have two lanes for ordering which merge into one lane to approach the pick-up window. As we are nearing the ordering pillar and I roll down my window I am vaguely aware of some yelling coming from somewhere behind us but my brain isn’t really focused on it as I’m currently engaged in the long standing coffee ritual of “Don’t worry I’ve got it.” “Really? You don’t have to, I have some money.” “Really, no worries, it’s my treat.” “Look I’ve got change right here!” “No, really, it’s ok I have my card, don’t worry about it.” “Oh, ok, well thanks! Medium double-double then!”(c’mon, you’ve all done it). My boss on the other hand, free to look around at the new set up while I order listens to a large amount of ruckus coming from the other lane.

As I finish confirming my order I hear some of the yelling and it seems to be something involving traffic. I also hear my boss say “Get a load of this guy!” So I hesitate before pulling through to the merging lane because I suspect this guy is going to fly right through without looking. My suspicions are confirmed and he pulls through with his large, beat up looking, old, red SUV of some sort and stops extremely close to the car in front of him. As I cautiously approach behind him I can see him leaning out of his window, smoking and yelling incoherently at the car in front. [Read more…]

Turtle chases tomato

Here I am on Labour Day (that’s right, check that extra U!), slaving away at some code rather than playing on the blogosphere. I mean, sure, it’s FUN to program, but I’m still neglecting my blogoduties. So, here’s some squee filler.

You should also check out PZ’s excellent analysis of the scientific evidence for how turtles evolved their shells. It’s both informative and well-illustrated, and the illustration of the turtle fetus kinda makes me go “awww”.

Fossil Gears, by Flying Trilobite

Last week, Jodi and I hosted Glendon Mellow (a.k.a The Flying Trilobite) and his lovely family for an all-too-brief night right before the end of their road trip through the Maritimes. I was more than willing to put them up just for a chance to reunite with Glendon and to meet Michelle, their adorable son, and their nephew Christian, but they saw fit to gift us with this great piece of shale art as a thank-you.

Trilobite fossil painting, with clockwork gears, on shale

It was still wet in spots when he presented it to us. A personal gift like this means a hell of a lot to me. It will get a prominent place in our office, once it’s re-done. (The office is kind of in shambles at the moment.)

Thank you, Glendon. You know you didn’t have to.

My cat Molly

Look. This is going to be a mushy post. About a cat. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, and especially don’t comment. I’m not particularly interested in your disapproval right now.

About eight years ago, I was living in Toronto in the basement of the mother of my boss. My roommate at the time had a cat, Casey, a big bruiser of a tom, but rescued another — a kitten she found at a shelter, who as it turns out was the runt of her litter.
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