Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Regarding the Recent Non-Action on this Blog...

Term papers. Enuff said.
PS. I get my life
back this weekend :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Case of the Re-Appearing Handprints

Or “The Ongoing Saga of Renovative Disasters”

You might remember my earlier mention of the chaotic state of my room. I’ve been working hard to remove all traces of it; first came the scraping and scrubbing, then puttying up the –teethmarks??— and sanding. Finally, though, I had it all prepped and ready to prime. Well, those ghastly handprints keep reappearing!
Next step: super heavy-duty toxin-loaded oil-based primer :DA "friend" getting caught up in the spirit of the room... (no fears, this is not primer/fume induced)

Zwolle, Pennies and Dutchness

Here's a little bit of history and a good shot of Dutch character... My mother was born in Zwolle, Netherlands. As such, she would be known as a "Blauwvinger", or Bluefinger, a legend that stretches back to time immemorable...

Once upon a time, Zwolle found itself in the mortifyingly awkward and thoroughly un-Dutch position of being cash-strapped. Their only recourse was to sell their beautiful church bells to the nearby (and rival) town of Kampen... and then the haggling began. Many days, words and curses later, a deal was arrived at: Kampen would purchase the bells at a steep price, but would be able to decide what the method of payment would be.
The payment arrived soon after, in wagonfulls of pennies! Zwolle was thoroughly humiliated, disgusted and (predictably) suspicious. They counted every last penny. The copper oxide from the pennies made their hands blue, hence the name "Blauwvinger."

Truly an honourable heritage ;)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Catch-22 of Democracy

“In politics, the question seldom arises to do the ideal right. The best that is generally to be expected is to attain a certain object, and for the accomplishment of this object, many things have been done which are questionable, and… could not be approved of.” Wilfrid Laurier

Poor Laurier; he was a puppet, longing to go one place but maneuvered elsewhere by a determined people. He’s known as a compulsive compromiser, and compromise he did; usually at the expense of his principles. But how different is he from every other Canadian prime minister? In fact, how different is he than any democratically-elected politician?
Imagine, if you will, that the rare specimen, the principled politician, comes to power. He will soon be forced into a horrible dilemma; should he act according to his principles or according to the symbolic contract he signed onto? For “pure” democracy, that is, rule of the people by the people, demands that he follow popular opinion. Now, either road he chooses will be unprincipled.
Now, throw media and politics into the mix, and democracy quickly degenerates into a boiling cauldron of licentiousness, repression and tyranny (by majority or lobbyists, depending upon the degree of liberalism.) You see, democracy is doomed from its very start because it rests upon a flawed foundation; the supremacy of human reason. Hence, the need for a limited democracy, one that rests upon a biblically-based constitution.
--And now maybe I should get back to what this term paper is really about :)--

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Rest of the Story...

Lest you all think of me as a great philanthropist, let me give you the ulterior motive for going down to SC; to see Curt, Jen and Phillip :) Phillip could be a trip in himself; he's such a character! He's in the mimic stage right now; if you're brushing your teethe, he's sure to be too; if you're shaving, doing pushups... driving (yes, driving! this little boy drives both toy and real cars!) Now I was going to do a post entirely devoted to Phillip, but Chrissy has done an admirable job of that. And I was going to post some pictures, but my capable sister-in-law has done that :) The blogging world is getting delightfully crowded with friends :)

This is Jen, me and a charming Southern gentleman we met in downtown Greenville. He was a bit chilly and had a steely manner, but they tell me he is a monumental figure down there ;) Actually, SC is known for its wonderful warmth and friendliness, and the reputation is well-merited. It may (hopefully!) be a result of the Christian tradition there; churches there are as common as our Tim Hortons! They even have minor traffic jams on Sundays and Wednesday nights.
What does this picture remind you of? Naturally, I thought of Tolkein's Old Man Willow. Way too predictable though; Curt knew I was going to say that before I did :)
And a memorable evening at the park --unfortunately the camera card was quickly filled :S
Many thanks for your hospitality, Curt and Jen! The delicious meals, wonderful company, and evenings of fun won't be forgotten :)