70 Orbits! – July 3, 2023

It was science that got me here but it was a total mystery how it happened so fast. On July 3, 2023, I celebrated 70 orbits around the Sun. 70!! How did that even happen? Today I’m on my way to 71, so I thought it would be a good time to tell all about my special day last Monday.

Eileen picked up the cake at 10 am… wait a minute… cake?! I had a birthday cake for the very first time since I was sixteen! And there was a party to go along with that most beautiful chocolate cake. It was a coffee and cake party at 3 pm. A party? How does this magic even happen?

A couple of weeks ago we decided to go for it, to have a party to celebrate 70 orbits and, imho, just to have a party. Eileen said go and there were several things to get done, not only on the day of the party but also before the big day. We booked the Belmont Club, a common space shared among the condo owners on the street. I made an invitation and mailed it out to those on our shortlist, in other words, our new neighbours and my computer buddies. I had a well-laid plan to post the invitation to friends on Facebook (where most of my friends live) but we struggled over the soundness of that idea, well Eileen struggled and I waited until the last minute when there was no time to do anything let alone posting on FB.

Babka House supplied two cakes. One upon which to blow out the candles and one for my guests to eat. They were delicious. We decorated the club with fresh flowers and Dollar Store balloons. We had loads of coffee from Tim Hortons and seven different types of tea from our private stash. Also on the big table were a fruit tray and a veggie platter, candies and Janet’s most perfect ginger snap cookies. Chapmans Tahitian Vanilla ice cream came out of the freezer. Yum. Wasn’t that a party!

And a week before the party Eileen suggested it might be a good idea to develop a slide show with some of my ancient pictures. Challenge accepted. After a week of doing nothing else, I think I came up with something rather good. Very likely this project was as much for me as it was for my partygoers, but I think they enjoyed it too. If you feel like having a look here it is. Just a thought… get a cup of coffee because the video is 15 minutes long. https://codyg.ca/images/video/70orbits.mp4

The music playlist looked like this:

Time – The Alan Parsons Project

Lovers in A Dangerous Time – Barenaked Ladies

The Long and Winding Road – The Beatles

The Fool On the Hill – The Beatles

Don’t Let It Show – The Alan Parsons Project

In My Life – The Beatles

Trains and Boats and Planes – Billy J Kramer

Nowhere to Run – Martha Reeves

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying – Gerry & the Pacemakers

She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles

Nightshift – The Commodores

Cats in the Cradle – Harry Chapin

Carry On – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Nowhere Man – The Beatles

Hotel California – Eagles

Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin

My Back Pages – The Byrds

Do You Wanna Dance – The Mamas and Papas

Runnin’ Blue – The Doors

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

Bitter Green – Gordon Lightfoot

Runaway – Del Shannon

Cherish – Kool and the Gang

Pussywillows, Cat-Tails – Gordon Lightfoot

You Make Me – Leo Sayer

The Logical Song – Supertramp

New Kid in Town – Eagles

Carefree Highway – Gordon Lightfoot

A Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel

Mambo Italiano – Bette Midler

From a Window- Billy J Kramer

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

The Lady in Red – Chris de Burgh

Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Penny Lane – Beatles

Private Dancer – Tina Turner

Heart of Glass – Blondie

Tangled Up In Blue – Bob Dylan

Thank You – ABBA

Phantasmagoria – Curved Air

All Through the Night – Cyndi Lauper

Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Didn’t I – The Delfonics

Fantasy – Earth, Wind and Fire

Rocket Man – Elton John

Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

Songbird – Fleetwood Mac

Bitter Green – Gordon Lightfoot

Summertime – Janis Joplin

Watching the Wheels – John Lennon

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

Eli’s Comin- Laura Nyro

Stoney End – Laura Nyro

So Long, Marianne – Leonard Cohen

Dance Me Til the End of Time – Leonard Cohen

You’ll Never Know – Lou Rawls

Nowhere to Hide – Martha Reeves

The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

Homeward – Simon & Garfunkel

Land Ho – Supertramp

I Saw the Light – Todd Rundgren

Moondance – Van Morrison

Nightshift – The Commodores

Tears of a Clown – The Miracles

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer

Year End …

We are finishing up the Christmas tree tonight and installing more lights everywhere. It’s the best part of the season. This human is very wary of the dark.

Catch Up … and Vancouver Bound

We are quite settled in Langford, in Belmont Market. This place has a walkability score of 200%. Honestly, you name it and it’s within a 10-minute walk. The exceptions are a good computer store and an art supply store. We love our new condo, it’s just the right size with tons of storage and a view of trees and the Galloping Goose Trail.

So far, we have survived the Covid-Thing. But we are still masking.

E has retired! Yea! It’s fabulous to have our relationship on a full-time basis.

I’m off to Vancouver tomorrow. I seem to have some kind of functional neurological disorder … at least that is what may be the issue. In order to come to a positive diagnosis, many, many tests must be done. So, I’m off to the hospital at UBC for two weeks as an inpatient. If someone else is cooking the meals and doing the dishes, I’m just going to sit back, enjoy the personal attention and be hopeful that sooner or later what is wrong with me can be fixed. Or at least have a name.

Stay tuned.

2020 … Wasn’t that a year!

Dear Eddie…

As for here… 2020 was supposed to be a fabulous year. I had been studying Italian for years and had a solo two-month trip planned to Italy, including a gorgeous studio apartment in Florence for a month. I was taking a couple of European history classes at UVIC last fall and winter. The plan was I was going to fly to Rome on April 6. Everything was arranged and paid for, including Easter Monday breakfast with the Pope (lol) and my annual pass to the Uffici in Florence. My bag was packed. I was still hoping and wishing all would be well at the end of March. Then KLM canceled my flight and AirB&B canceled my studio. I’m still grieving that loss. Unfortunately, the year from hell didn’t end there.

Long story … probably not short. Days after viewing the solar eclipse in totality, in Lincoln City, Oregon, in August 2017, I started experiencing a sound and vibration thing, occasionally. I thought it was the laundry room beneath us in the hotel, then it was the neighbour’s hot tub, then it was the new heat pump system installed in the church on the hill behind our house. Then maybe it was the city’s water main, or maybe BCHydro had something to do with it. I experienced it in our house and in our yard and on the driveway. It was weird but it was still sporadic until September of 2019. It had been off for a couple of days, in fact, I had told Eileen that it had sounded sick before it went off. Then, on September 9th, it came back on with a vengeance. So much so that I had run out of my house because I thought the house was going to fall down. Weird, eh? The real problem was when this thing ramped up I would get nauseous, dizzy, and walk into walls.

By this time I was heavily into my trip planning and studying at UVIC. So, I spent most of my time in the library and finding excuses to stay at friend’s houses. My GP had never heard of such a thing, but she was going to get me some psychiatric help. I had a cat scan on January 3rd. My brain is totally fine, even quite exceptional, said the neurologist. Anyways, I was ready to try anything and if it was in my head then “let’s get it out of there.” I started an anti-psychotic and started seeing a very nice doctor. Of course, nothing changed. By now we had decided to sell our house and I had moved into an apartment in Langford, still part of Greater Victoria, but what we call the Westshore. So, I’m prepping for Italy, prepping to sell the house, going to school every day of the week, and living on my own. Eileen wasn’t going to move to the apartment until the house was on the market sometime mid February. Then I was told I had breast cancer. Sheesh.

So instead of going to Italy on the 6th of April, on the 8th, I was in a deserted hospital (because now it was a total lockdown and only “emergency” surgeries were happening) having surgery. The surgery wasn’t so bad, they only took a part of my right breast. But a few days later I got the news that the margins were not clear and I would need more treatment. Normally, it would be radiation, but I have something called Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome and the radiation would not only fry my skin but likely fry my lungs. So that treatment was ruled out. I was told that if I did nothing I would have a 30% chance of recurrence in the next 10 years. Honestly, I was good with those odds, but no one else was. They wanted to take the whole breast. They could do reconstruction they said! I had less than 6 months to figure it out. Well, Eddie, the fakest thing I’ve ever done is wear some lipstick and mascara, I just didn’t see myself with foobs (fake boobs) and even worse I didn’t see myself with just one boob. If they wanted one they needed to take both. That was a struggle against the patriarchy, which I eventually won.

By the time May had ended, we had sold our house (and downsized all our stuff) and now we were living in a small apartment. By the time June came around, we had purchased a much more spacious and brand new condo. So, basically, we moved twice last spring.

My surgery was on September 8. Eileen, a senior school science teacher, had been working from home since the original lockdown in March, now schools were open but she took six weeks off to look after me. The “disturbance” was far more subtle here. I was talking with a very nice psychiatrist from the cancer society. I came off the anti-psychotics as they were doing nothing and he suggested an anti-depressant. There was CBD work, more counseling, lots of talking, but the sound and the vibration remain.

I didn’t feel so great for a few weeks after the surgery. I barely got out of bed as there wasn’t any place to go. I quickly became addicted to the news, to CNN and MSNBC, to the entire election story…. except for when Trump was saying anything, then I had to switch channels or close my eyes. Egads, what a mess. So… besides keeping an eye on our neighbours to the south, who mostly seemed to want to give up their democracy and install Trump as King/Dictator, I was healing and not doing too much.

But it isn’t over yet. On the night of November 3rd I was all ready to watch the election results when I had some horrendous pain when I tried to breathe. I seriously couldn’t breathe. Eileen called 911 and within minutes the fire department and two teams of paramedics were standing in our condo … all dressed like covid-19 aliens. They started giving me oxygen and I started to feel better. Then they gave me fentanyl and packed me up for a trip to the hospital. I spent 24 hours in emerg, then three days in a ward. Cause: I had a shower of blood clots in both lungs. IOW, had it not been for 911 and the speed for which I was given oxygen, I likely would not have been here to write this story.

I’m still recovering, and on blood thinners for another 3 months, but it gets better every day. They said the pulmonary embolism was provoked by the surgery in September, so chances are good I’ll be fine. But there will be more tests, yada yada.

Oh ya, the pandemic. All I really want to do I go hang out in Starbucks, or go back to the library at UVIC.

So that was my 2020. As I said, the plan was to have a fabulous 2020. Best laid plans…. Now I just look for a little fabulous in each day, twinkly lights, yummy food, a walk, an exercise class, sunshine, hummingbirds. We had 30cm of snow here on the weekend. It was so pretty and so rare. Now it’s just about all melted and soon the spring flowers will start to pop.

I’m still involved in web stuff. https://cozyhost.ca My social life revolves around a group of awesome engineers and others who like to fiddle with raspberry pi and different controllers, networking and coding. We used to meet in person at least four times a month, now we meet using jitsi or zoom and have a social thing via jitsi on Friday nights. https://vicpimakers.ca

Eileen retires this year. She was going to retire last year, but when the pandemic and cancer and moving happened, we decided maybe one more year working wouldn’t be the worst thing. Last spring everything seemed so strange that sticking with the status quo looked good. Anyways, June will be the end of it, at least at SMUS, and we will be free to travel… when we can travel. The plan is a trip to Yellowknife then Kugluktuk, Nunavut. We also want to take the ferry from Prince Rupert to Skagway then rent a car and drive to Whitehorse. That will complete our Canadian geocaching challenge. Then a trip through the southern states. We geocached 30 states in 2014, but Mingo Kansas was the furthest south we got. Finally, a trip to Hawaii will complete the USA challenge. I had some European geocaching in mind…. oh well.

Do take care of yourself and those loved ones, Eddie. Stay tuned.

Throwback Thursday

I found this image today in a box I hadn’t looked into since before the move before last. Almost 12 years ago I packed up this box full of art supplies I rarely used. Today, while trying to decrease the amount of stuff in my life I found this image. Mom and I in March 2004. Miss her.

Mom and Cody

4th time lucky?

This week was the third time I have had to cancel a trip to Italy! Covid-19, ugh. My heart and thoughts to everyone who is struggling. Let’s all sing from the windows and clap from the doors! Stay safe.  Stai al sicuro.


Wow! 2020 already. Time flies, fast, really fast. When I was 15 my imagination was convinced that by 2020 I would be in a fabulous retirement home… out amid the rings of Saturn. And we haven’t even been back to the Moon! Perhaps too much greed and too much poverty and too little adventuring has our humanity stuck in a rut.

I’m going to Italy this year. No more wishing and hoping because now the flight and hotels are booked and not only am I counting sleeps …. I leave in less than 2,000 hours.

In Memory

Joesph William Cousineau
17 November, 1955 – 17 February , 2019

I am very shocked and very sad to share this news of the sudden death, by fire, of my old friend and lover, Joe Cousineau. He was born in Tofino, BC and he died on February 17, in his cabin near Tofino, BC. Joe was a one of a kind human who lived life according to his own songs. Not many understood Joe, but many would find the warmth in his heart and the stories in his head, just as I did.

He sailed the seas of Barkley Sound, Clayoquot Sound, Nootka Sound and all the way to Haida Gwaii. He was the best boatman, ie: I always felt safe, as much as one can on those challenging seas. Indeed, he was born with sea legs and it was Joe’s love of the sea which encouraged me to get my own sailing Skippers ticket.

I have so many amazing memories of our time together in the Pinkerton Islands of Barkley Sound, on the float house he built. There was one trip, we had been floating and stormbound in the back of Barkley Sound for weeks, in a cold and dark February. One day the sea seemed calmed enough, at least from our perspective, to head to town. So the tugboat Moe was fired up and we cast off.

However, on the other side of Hand Island, the sea was not so calm and even though it was my suggestion, there was no turning back. The swells were approaching from every direction. It seemed to me that the entire Pacific Ocean was piling and roiling on that shallow rock beneath us, as we headed past Beg Island and into Ucluelet Harbor.

Those swells, the thumps of them ending in green water cascading over the wheelhouse, on that stunning midwinter day. I was trying not to get too scared-sick while being awed by the beauty of it all.

And Joe, he was singing.

I don’t ever remember Joe being a singer, but on that day he was belting out every Christmas carol he could remember. About halfway across the passage, we noticed the hawser, a tow rope, had fallen off the stern and was going to sink, then wrap itself around the prop. Joe was finessing that wheel, and singing those songs, and by osmosis was encouraging me to hang on with my eyelashes, and wrangle that wayward hawser back onto the deck. What team work!

Oh memorable moments, one loves those which can be told over and over for decades.

When on the water, Joe would always get the destination. He was the one who was the most adept with those swells and those rocks and that fog and that rain. I would have gone anywhere with him, as long as it was on water.

And who could forget the time, at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, where Joe and I were the invited partiers onto a big and beautiful multi-story converted tugboat. Just before docking, we learned the engine had now gone haywire and we were about to ram into the event jetty not 100 meters away. When all else fails, the skipper let Joe have at the engine and, of course, Joe stopped that ship. It was a moment that saved not just a gorgeous ship, but likely the lives of those onboard and on the docks.

Image: He was at the wheel of the Moe, doing what Joe did best and what Joe loved to do. He was an ocean swell whisperer. Where Joe went, the swells, that would scare-sick anyone else, would lie flat for his passing. He was one awesome boatman.

I would have more pictures, except a few days after we met, Joe left my camera on the beach at 52 Steps. The tide came in and the tide went out. He found the camera, about 300 meters from where he had left it. It was a day’s search, and it was that day I fell for the guy, and damn the camera.

Although it has been a decade since I last saw Joe, and more than two decades since we hung out together, He will always have a special place in my heart and mind. If I thought he could hear me, my last words for him … “Go gentle on yourself, Joe.”

Thank you Eydee and Anamarjia for seeking me out at this sad time. I know he loved you very much and to have him gone now is a big hurt. Big hugs all round.

Obituary : by Anamarjia

Media: hashilthsa

#JoeCousineau #vancouverisland #tofino #ucluelet #clayoquot #barkleysound #WoodenBoatFestival

Watercolor Haze

Until today, I had a secret.

Since last September my response to a  right-wing surge in western/eastern culture, brought on by years of 911 leading to theofacism,  is to play with watercolor paint.  My goal is 10,000 hours.  So, at three hours a day, this will take 3,333.3 days or just over 9 years.  Today, my artly skills and expectations are still very low.  Politics is still troubling.  Am I sharing my production?  Probably not, not unless we share some tea first.  

Yet, even art is about politics.

Dear Justin Trudeau … It’s not all about the jobs.  It’s about the law too.  It’s about social and environmental justice.   How do you even know it’s the 21st century? Certainly not by dirty pipeline expansions. 

If jobs are required in northern Alberta, how about developing the resource in situ?  How is it sustainable to ship the dirty mess across the globe and then ship it back as finished?  It certainly isn’t sustainable for the whales of the Salish Sea. It isn’t sustainable for the tourism industry that in part relies on a pristine coastal environment. 

Justin, I just don’t get you anymore.  How does a perfectly rational, 21st century feminist, Pinker reader, privileged with kids, son of PET, start thinking that bigger pipelines and bigger tankers are a good idea?  How does that even happen in your head in 2018?

In anycase, it’s not too late for you to get on the justice side of history. Just do it, Justin.  Save the whales. 

C Gregory
Victoria, BC

Eclipse 2017

If you just got here … it’s almost time… and what is time anyway?

Stay tuned.

from post.google.com Aug 18 2017


Women in Ads 1

secret ad
What bothers me about this ad?

What bothers me about this ad?  Certainly, the words precarious and dangerous come to mind,  but why would a woman be depicted in this fashion, in this place? As in what’s up with her fashion? Or why is she wearing that,  and why should I care?

Life and oppression can be serious … so, imho, dressed in the clothes of the last 50’s and made up like drag queens, (maybe not this one, but there are many) … how does this fashion imply serious? Where is the struggle? Personally, I wouldn’t be seen hanging off a cliff in this outfit.  

I was watching the Women in the World Summit a while back … all those women on stage … the ones in dresses/skirts, most of them, were constantly pulling at their hems. Seriously, every second or two there was another woman in the panel pulling at the hem of her skirt. Is that is a kind of feminist power dressing in the 21st century?  If so, I’m going back to go playing my ukulele.   😉

Maya Plisetskaya Dances Ballet Documentary 1964

In 1964, two years after I danced with the Bolshoi and danced on stage with Maya Plisetskaya, this 1 hr 12 min documentary was made. Though today the ballet style looks almost ancient, in the day she was groundbreakingly awesome. I had a thing about her broken wrist lines, but what do I know? 😉

Maya was born on November 20, 1925. She died at age 89 on May 2, 2015. 

The Day I Was Almost Eaten by a Shark, and The Day the Dinosaurs Died

ECORD Expedition 364 - 2016
IODP, International Ocean Discovery Program, ECORD Expedition 364, Apr-May 2016

If the rock that hit the Earth 66 million years ago had been just a little later, or a little earlier, we might not be here talking about it.  

“They illustrate what happened in the seconds and hours after the impact, revealing that had the huge asteroid struck the Earth a moment earlier, or later, the destruction might not have been total for the dinosaurs. And if they still roamed the world, we humans may never have come to rule the planet.” — BBC Two — The Day the Dinosaurs Died


I was once almost eaten by a shark in the warm waters off Chicxulub. It was 1972 and I was on holiday in Mexico. We were spending a week in the Yucatan.  After leaving Merida our concierge, driver, cook, and friend took us to his mother-in-law’s summer home on the beaches of Chicxulub.  My spanish is not good and I thought we had rented the little cabin/hut in the back of the beach front property. “No, no esa cosa pequeña … esa casa grande!”

 It was awesome. The sand, the art, the cool tiles, the warm sea … and it seemed that we had it all to ourselves.   After a few days of our fabulous holiday, my partner had to go into town about the car rental, but despite the warnings I’d heard about swimming with a partner, I couldn’t stay out of the ocean and I went into those waves anyways. I’m splashing around about 100 feet off shore when I noticed a small boy on the beach, jumping up and down, waving, and yelling at me …  “hola!”  “What’s that you’re saying?”  I swam back to shore but he ran away, up the beach, toward the nearby small town of Chicxulub.  

My partner and I regularly walked into Chicxulub in the evening, where we ate street food and soaked up the ambiance.   That night, as we walked along the beach, we could see there was quite a happening on the town dock,  boats and trucks, lots of people, lights and action.  It wasn’t long before we were at the scene and had it figured out.  They were hauling a huge dead shark onto the dock.   This was no baby shark. It was gianormous.  Indeed I’m convinced it was the inspiration for the movie “Jaws” which was released only a few years later.   When people talked about the movie I thought, that was nothing! You should have seen the monster we saw in Chicxulub!  

Anyways, we left the dock and walked the short distance to a large restaurant we had planned to eat at on our last day in the Yucatan.  We enter, and who is the first person I see?  The boy who was on the beach that morning!   He seemed really happy to see me and soon his Dad was ushering us to a table where he handed us a couple of menus.  And there, on the menu, was the word the boy had been yelling at me that afternoon.  Hola! tiburón! tiburón! tiburón! “


Then, in 1980, the father-and-son team of scientists Luis and Walter Alvarez, suggested the hypothesis that the mass extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by the impact of a large asteroid hitting Earth.  And last year, ECORD, the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, launched an expedition to drill core from the crater peak of that event.   Here is the web page.


Here is the flyer. 

Expedition 364 flyer
Expedition 364 flyer

Happy birthday Stella! 9 Years… WoW

Stella la bella
Stella la bella

Wow … where does the time go? These days Stella is starting to take things a little easier. Actually, she has been a real laze about for a couple of years. I’ve read that dogs like to sleep 20 hours a day and Stella likes to follow that rule. In the morning she may or may not get up to say good morning and pass around a stuffy and voice her wwooooowwwooos, check out her food bowl, have a pee… but, the excitement doesn’t last, and soon she will have built a nest on the bed and she is good there until noon. Here’s to another orbit lovely Stella! Find more images in Stella’s Gallery here.

Duolingo – 1200 Streak Days

Might you think I'm obsessed?  What's really going on is the number 1234. 😉  

What started me on Duolingo was an attempt to learn more about music theory, which of course led to a geocache.  Then Samantha Cristoforetti flew to space.  Then a dream of a trip to Italy, on hold for now,  and a love of learning something new,  keeps growing those days, months and years of some  10 - 300 xps per day.   Here's to 1200!!

1200 day duolingo streak
1200 day duolingo streak

Hello world! (again)

On April 11, 2017, I began the processes of switching out my old RavenNuke CMS ver 2.5.1 (circa 2007-2017) on codyg.ca, for a brand new WordPress 4.7.3, with a 2017 theme. The surprising thing was that the old CMS had lasted this long, but I wasn’t using it much, as I had gone over to FB by 2009.  I loved the procedural php that was from those days of old!  So there it was.  However, this year has become a WP banner year for me and I have instantiated more than a half dozen new sites since Christmas.  I’m on a roll.

Over the next few weeks, I will massage the old tables into new tables. I will add old and new content, fix styles, and create some new galleries.  I will finesse.  For your part, when revisiting a page, depending on your browser settings, do make full use of your refresh button. After the rebuild is complete the plan is to test a few homegrown plugins and integrate my posts on both FB and my own blog.  Stay tuned.

And, as always, I give candy for bug identifications.

Hugs all round,

Catherin (Cody) Gregory

Getting There

Another journey…

I’m trying to get healthier and even succeeding, thanks to Eileen and Sparkpeople.com, and now my new “Fitbit”. For me, for today, healthy means dropping weight and feeling stronger.  At my age it’s not so easy anymore, but it is possible. For the past six months, I’m eating less and healthier, and getting more regular activity, like cardio and strength training and I’m sticking to it. I’m not going to give up.
Continue reading “Getting There”

Guy Laliberte

Poetic Social Mission

Moving Stars and Earth for Water event is a World premiere artistic event which will be presented via Live Webcast on ONE DROP’s website (http://www.onedrop.org) on October 9, at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (That’s 5:00 p.m. PDT)guy laliberte

After a year training and paying the $35 million ticket price, Guy Laliberte, first Canadian Space Tourist and Founder/CEO of Cirque du Soleil, launched from Baikonur to the Internationl Space Station on September 30.  He arrived at ISS today, October 30, for two weeks aboard the orbiting station.

Guy’s blog… http://www.onedrop.org/en/mission_space/guy_laliberte_space/ 

Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/ONE.DROP.Foundation

The murder of Stephanie Rengel

stephanie rengel
Stephanie Rengel

Originally Posted: Jan 6,  2008.    Yet another senseless murder of a young girl took place in Toronto.  Perpetrators and motives will eventually be discovered … I think we can safely assume the values of our human-ness, our frailness,  our hopes and peace were all missing from the street on which she was murdered on New Years Day, 2008.  
Posted: Mar 20, 2009. _ Stephanie’s murderers were two: … the puppet master and the puppet.



Days of the Theocracy


First they fight abortion,
Birth control is next,
Then comes sex if you're not married,
Finally, out goes sex.
Put the prayers back in the schools,
Install parochiaid,
Allow for corporal punishment,
And then you've got it made!

We're going back, back
To the good old days,
When men were really men
And women knew their place;
Back, back a couple of centuries,
And welcome back the days
Of the theocracy!

The family is so holy
There must be no divorce.
And if a wife is not content,
She must adjust, of course.
And if he's forced to beat her
It's all for her own good;
She must know what her limits are
As any woman should!


The next to go is daycare,
It's all a commie plot!
What could be more fulfilling
Than a child, wanted or not?
The woman's work is housework--
God wanted it that way!
A salaried job degrades her, since
She never works for pay!


They teach us woman's lot
Is love, honor and obey,
And while their crusty notions
Seem like jokes to us today.
They're sitting in the Capitol,
They're voting on our lives;
If we don't stop them soon
Our freedom will not long survive!

No going back, back
to the bad old days,
When men were really masters
And women were their slaves;
Let's go ahead, ahead
For future centuries
And build a world that's based
On true democracy.
And build a world that's based on true equality.
-- Kristin Lems. (c) 1979 Keline Ding Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission. Special courtesy Kristin Lems from her album "In the Out Door," included in "My Thoughts Are Free." For more on Kristin Lems, visit kristinlems.com.

Kristin Lems

US Politics – Virtue out of ignorance

An excellent observation….

The Triumph Of Ignorance

By George Monbiot

29 October, 2008

How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind’s closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist?(1)

Continue reading “US Politics – Virtue out of ignorance”

Crazy Taliban Kill Shirley

Published: Thursday, August 14    Victoria Times-Colonist 2008
Shirley Case
Shirley Case

Shirley Case with the International Rescue Committee was one of four aid workers killed in Afghanistan.

VICTORIA – Shirley Case, one of three foreign aid workers killed this week in Afghanistan, is being mourned by the people who knew her during her years in Victoria.

Case, a 30-year-old woman from Williams Lake, B.C., attended the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University. In 2000, she completed an undergraduate degree in leisure-service administration at UVic, then earned a master’s degree in human security and peace-building at Royal Roads in 2005.


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Stella Arrives Home

Cody, Stella and litter mates
Cody, Stella and litter mates
Eileen and Stella
Eileen and Stella
Stella at home
Stella at home Day 1

After a wonderful visit with Gail and Stella’s litter mates, we headed back to Victoria.  Eileen and I couldn’t stop smiling, we were hyper-excited.  Stella?  She didn’t mind the trip at all. After settling immediately, she slept.  When we got home she had some play time, some dinner, some doggie do time and after an eventful day settled into her crate for a mostly uneventful night. Welcome to our lives Stella.  We love you.  See Stella’s gallery here.

100 Years of Space Rock: The Tunguska Impact

Tunguska Event
Tunguska Event

June 27, 2008 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory info@jpl.nasa.gov

100 Years of Space Rock: The Tunguska Impact
At around 7:17 on the morning of June 30, 1908, a man based at the trading post at Vanavara in Siberia is sitting on his front porch. In a moment, 40 miles from the center of an immense blast of unknown origin, he will be hurled from his chair and the heat will be so intense he will feel as though his shirt is on fire. The man at the trading post, and others in a largely uninhabited region of Siberia, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, are to be accidental eyewitnesses to cosmological history.


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Emergency List / with Pets

emergency preparedness for pets
for pets

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. On the west coast, we think about earthquakes.  When preparing for the big one, don't forget the needs of your pet!  With our Stella on the way, we have re-evaluated our emergency supply list.  Read more to see the entire list.


On Vancouver Island, we are mainly concerned with earthquakes.Always fill your gas tank when it is half empty. After an earthquake, gas station swill either be closed or the gas will be for emergency vehicles. Keep a bag of supplies near your bed. If you are awakened in the middle of the night and told to evacuate, you can grab your bag and your animals and go.Suggestions:
• Heavy gloves and shoes (for broken glass)
• A flashlight and batteries (always store batteries in a sealed plastic bag)
• 5 gallon containers and add four drops of chlorinated bleach for every gallon of water, then change the water every six months).Water - fill an empty 2 litre bottle from the tap (Keep lots more stored outside in
• Food - both for people and pets • Waterproof matches and candles
• great to keep warm & dry (enough for people and animals)Orange garbage bags & silver emergency blankets — these are highly visible &
• One week’s worth of your medication & any your animals require
• Leashes — your pets should always be wearing collars with tags
• vaccination records, driver’s license, birth certificate etc.Laminated copies of important papers such as your pet’s registration papers,
• Quarters for pay phones and small bills for miscellaneous expenses
• Extra keys to your vehicle(s) and your home
• A first aid kit & instructions with supplies for you and your animals
• a place to stay for you and your pets. A list of phone numbers of out-of-town friends and relatives that could provide
• Extra supplies to be kept in a safe location outside (wheeled garbage cans are ideal)Photos of your animals in case they get lost, pen & paper for signs
• Radio and batteries
• Tarps and rope
• A crowbar, hammer, nails, axe, folding shovel
• More food for the animals (canned is best as it lasts longest) & a can opener
• Blankets, towels and extra clothing for people and animals
• Contact a neighbour or friend who could evacuate your animals for you if you aren’t home. For more information on emergency preparedness contact your local municipal hall.
• Crates for each dog

Bob MacGregor – Favourite Uncle Dies

It’s been annus horribulus.  My favourite uncle, Bob MacGregor, died and I’m heartbroken.  I will always remember him as the most generous, most fun and most caring person.  His death shocked our family and we will miss him terribly.

This picture was taken during our visit to Toronto in July 2007.  We spent three days with Uncle Bob.  He was amazing.

Read more – CBC Obit

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Women In Philosophy

Aspasia’s role in history (c. 400bc Greece) provides crucial insight to the understanding of the women of ancient Greece. Very little is known about women from her time period. One scholar stated that, “To ask questions about Aspasia’s life is to ask questions about half of humanity.”– Wikipedia

Although males have historically predominated in philosophy, following are some examples of works by or about female philosophers of note:



Also See Women in Philosophy Gallery at Ed Coletti’s P3

Aline Gregory Wainwright – My Mother – Obituary

Aline Margaret Gregory Wainwright (nee MacGregor)WAINWRIGHT, Aline Gregory (nee MacGregor)
Born September 3, 1930 – Died April 9, 2008
Aline left us peacefully, at Hospice Niagara after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

Well remembered for her dedicated work as an active feminist, she was  a co-founder of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women  in Canada.  She was a member of Women for Political Action and in the  1972 federal election was a candidate in Rosedale Riding in Toronto.   In 1975 she played a prominent role in organizing the first World’s  International Women’s Year Conference held in Mexico City, and in 1977, was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

Born in Toronto in 1930, Aline is predeceased by parents Alexander and Catherine MacGregor, by sister Catherine (Kitty) Mann, and by brothers  John and Howard MacGregor.  She is survived by husband John  Wainwright, by brother Robert (Bob) MacGregor of Toronto, by daughters Catherin (Cody) Gregory of Victoria, B.C. and Deanne (Dedee) Gregory of  Burnaby, B.C., by step-children John Wainwright of Edmonton, Deborah   Jarvis of Grimsby and Jane Wainwright of Grimsby, and by grandson  Garnet Clare of Whistler, B.C. 

She will be deeply missed by family  and friends.

An announcement will be forthcoming about an open house to celebrate Aline’s life at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club,  70 Westchester Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Hospice Niagara would be gratefully appreciated.

See her story here. 

Aqsa Parvez Killed

We are all responsible!

Aqsa Parvez
Aqsa Parvez

This time, not in Afghanistan or Iran or Pakistan but in the Canadian city of Toronto, a sixteen-year-old girl has become a victim of religious prejudice, veil, political Islam, and the compromise with it of the Western governments. This time, the killer is a father who kept pressurizing the neck of his daughter Aghsa (Aqsa Parvez) until the very last minute of her life.

We are all responsible for it.

How long are we going to witness thousands of women and children become victims of stoning to death, mutilation, burning, self-burning, and getting thrown off the balconies? For how long are we going to remain accustomed to this violence that has taken over us and our societies?

US Election Year

It’s a good thing to find one’s inner bigot…then one can enlighten it.

Perhaps humans are hard-wired for fear? It would explain the vicarious hero/god thing.  It’s all so anti-humanistic.

“The anti-immigration issue that’s now sweeping the country in my view is no different than the movements that swept the country in the past. You look back at the Chinese Exclusionary Act, or the Know-Nothing movement — these were movements that encouraged Americans to fear foreigners, to fear something that is different, and to stop immigration.”

Rudy Giuliani in 1996


Moving On

From: www.thedailystar.com

The time has come to move past religion

“Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.” – Ambrose Bierce, ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’

Most people thought Nietzsche was crazy before his time, 125 years ago, when his Madman ran through the village, lantern in hand, declaring that God was dead.

Well, if that diagnosis of the human enterprise was accurate _ and it was _ then it is just as applicable today as our endeavors persist in a world of our own making, despite our divine declarations to the contrary.

Continue reading “Moving On”

One Woman’s Journey

My journey to Humanism

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Betty Nassaka is the founder president of the Ugandan Humanist Effort to Save Women (UHESWO) which is affiliated to IHEU member organization UHASSO. In this personal account she writes about how she developed a critical and independent mind in a country where religion and tradition dominate and rarely give women the opportunity to grow.

What my Parents Taught Me

I grew up in a family that worships both God and gods. My father was killed in the war of liberation; my stepfather, who was a traditional healer, went to church with my mother on Sundays.

After noticing that most of my stepfather’s clients were victims of AIDS, I asked him one day why most of his clients would eventually die? He responded by asking me if he was God to be able to save their lives. On another occasion I questioned my mother on why she was going to church, and yet prayed to other gods too? She responded by asking if anyone was forcing me to go to church or to a shrine.

My parents were insensitive to my need to know and to understand. Whenever I asked them a question, I was
rewarded by another question. So, I stopped asking them and, instead, started on the path of thinking for myself and looking for logical answers to the questions I had.

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Christopher Hitchens

Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259or mrahner@seattletimes.com Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company  

“He is a firm believer, all right: That religion is evil, and that, perhaps on the eighth day, man created … By Mark Rahner Seattle Times staff reporter Christopher Hitchens’ omnipresence does not in itself refute God’s existence. But it is evidence that his pugnacious best-seller, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” (Twelve, $24.99), has struck a chord. I played devil’s advocate with the contrarian Vanity Fair columnist and busy TV pundit before his manifestation – uh, appearance, at Town Hall Seattle Thursday.
Keep on reading!

Dawkins on virtue

“What worries me about nice archbishops is that they make the world safe for the extremists. They have taught us that faith is a virtue. A virtue, unfortunately, that allows mad people to justify flying planes into buildings in the name of Allah.”  — Dawkins