Monday, September 30, 2013

Bok. Bok. Bok. BOK!

Recipe for Backyard Chicken Casserole:

1 carcass of a retired laying hen
250 mL tears of empathetic hipsters

Place both in a crockpot for 8 hours. 

Serve hot on a bed of greens from your local CSA box.

• • • • • • 

Until I read this article, I was unaware that urban hipsters were not killing their backyard hens once they ceased laying eggs. Call me naive, but I figured that a person who was willing to step (however shallowly) into the world of animal husbandry would quickly lose all their romantic, juvenile notions about animals. How wrong I was. Hipsters are surrendering their hens to the SPCA, and chicken refuges.

Before you buy hens, my hipster friend, consider the entire life span of the birds. Don't limit your research to spending hours on pinterest looking at funky hen houses or chicken coops for your backyard. Think about the shit. Literally. Know that your birds are not going to conveniently pass away of natural causes seconds after they lay one final egg for your consumption.

I'm tempted to place this ad on Kijiji:
Need to find a new home for your old, non-productive laying hens? I will take them. No judgement. No questions.  I will welcome them into my own private chicken refuge, aka my belly. 
However, I am lazy and allergic to bird feathers. This is why I don't have urban chickens in the first place. I'd feel slightly ashamed to make this confession except I'm too busy judging these damn hipsters. They are making my whole generation look bad.

The original chicken-loving hipster.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fogo in the Fall.

Clear cuts are really beautiful. The boys and I continue to walk Fogo through the one at the top of our street. It's been amazing to watch the reforestation process firsthand. 

• • • • • • • •

Things I think about before I fall asleep at night:
"Did I lock the front door? Probably. What does it matter -- I live in low-crime area. "
"Why did I stay up so late?"
"I would definitely prefer to hang out in Quark's bar. Actually it would be Quark's bar, then 10-Forward, then the mess hall on 1701-A, and lastly Neelix's."

Things I think about when I wake up in the morning:
"UGH -- this bite guard is really gross. Where's my water glass?"
"Shut up, marimba, you are the most annoyingly chirpy alarm tone."
"Oh thank god, Mr Wrath brewed coffee."

Obviously Kate Winslet is a better mother than I:
My children are my whole life. Any mother knows that – the second your child is born, they become the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you think about at night.
Huh. She's on her third husband. Do you suppose there's a connection?

I am a better mother (and wife) than Shona Sibary, however:
So why have I decided to make Dolly start school even though she still requires a dummy for comfort and wears nappies every night? The answer's simple. After 14 years of fitting my writing career around my brood's needs, I've had enough. The main reason she's going to school is because, shamefully, it makes my life a hell of a lot easier. I know this makes me sound heartless. Even I'm surprised at my behaviour. Especially because the entire reason we decided to have Dolly was so that I could give up work and savour every precious moment with one last child.

Shona Sibary also drugs her children on planesdoubts and tests her husband's love, questions statutory rape lawsslut-shames her 14 year old,  thinks her well-used uterus is superior to Samanth Brick's pretty face, and uses the tv as a nanny. Every single article is illustrated with photos of her four children. Including the one about their family's dire financial state. People judge mommy-bloggers for broadcasting their personal lives into the public sphere for profit. Sibary is worse than any mommy-blogger I've ever read.

• • • • • • • •

Should we be upset when professionals decide dogs trained to be weapons are unfit to be "rescued" and integrated into human society as companion animals?

I say no.

• • • • • • • • 

I love Star Trek. Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard is one of my favourite characters. I will always cherish the memory of that time I mistook Stewart for an angry indigent person

However, I am not one of the people gushing about his recent marriage. It's his third. He's 73. His newest bride is 35. If his track record is any indication they will have a beautiful marriage. For the next five years. Then he'll trade her in for a newer, younger version. Like when he left his first wife for the actress who played Vash on TNG. Like when he left Wendy Neuss for Lisa Dillon.

Picard would never do that to Beverly. NEVER.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Warp Speed Wednesdays: The Final Murderous Frontier.

It's Wednesday! Time for my weekly attempt to indoctrinate my blog readers into my beloved Trek Fandom.

This week's entry is the last in a series exploring the overlap between Star Trek actors and Murder, She Wrote actors. True story: when I started this I thought I could do it in a single post. Maybe two. If I pushed it: three.  HAHAHAHA. I was so naive. Ideally I'd collate all these posts into a master list with the actors listed alphabetically for ease of use, but...well, that sounds far too time consuming. Also I don't think there's a great deal of call for such a database. Though I wish there was.

To date I have blogged about the casting connections between Murder, She Wrote and the Original Series, The Next Generation (here and here), Deep Space Nine, VoyagerFionnula FlanaganCharlie Brill, plus I half-assed it through credits for Enterprise.  If you plan to read the whole series, begin with the post that started it all

Which brings us to the movie credits.

René Auberjonois:
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country -- Colonel West

His other ST and MSW credits are mentioned in the  post dedicated to MSW and DS9.

Bibi Besch:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan --  Carol Marcus
MSW: Murder by Twos -- Imogene Shaughnessy
MSW: A Very Good Year for Murder -- Fiona Gambini 

Beau Billingslea:

Star Trek Into Darkness -- Captain Abbot
MSW:  Three Strikes, You're Out -- Kel Murray

Robin Curtis:

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock -- Lt. Saavik 
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- Lt. Saavik 
Other ST and MSW credits were noted way back in June.

Rosanna DeSoto's credits were blogged here.

Robert Ellenstein
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- Federation Council President
TNG Haven  -- Steven Miller
MSW:  Dead Heat  --  Mr. P

Gregg Henry 
Star Trek: Insurrection -- Gallatin
MSW: Broadway Malady (13 January 1985) - Barry Bristol  
MSW: Death Stalks the Big Top: Part 1 -- Sheriff Lynn Childs  
MSW: Death Stalks the Big Top: Part 2  -- Sheriff Lynn Childs  
MSW: The Taxman Cometh  --  Richard Wellstood  
MSW: The Big Kill  --  Carl Ward  
MSW: Crimson Harvest  -- Lars Anderson  
MSW: Mrs. Parker's Revenge --  Mark Reisner  

Robert Hooks
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock -- Admiral Morrow
MSW: The Scent of Murder -- Kendall Ames
MSW:  Christopher Bundy - Died on Sunday -- Everett Charles Jensen 

Michael Horton was mentioned previously.

Thomas Kopache's MSW and ST credits are found here

Alice Krige:
Star Trek: First Contact -- Borg Queen
VOY: Endgame --The Borg Queen
MSW: Murder in the Afternoon -- Nita Cochran

Scott Lawrence:
Star Trek Into Darkness -- U.S.S. Vengeance Officer
MSW: Steal Me a Story -- Assistant Director

Lawrence Luckinbill
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier -- Sybok
MSWDear Deadly  -- John Galloway
MSWLone Witness  --  Lt. Steve Warren
MSWMurder Through the Looking Glass  --  Sgt. Cooper
MSWA Lady in the Lake --  Howard Crane

John Miranda
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- 2nd Garbageman
MSW:  Murder in the Afternoon  --  Prop Man
MSW: Murder at the Oasis  -- Gus

George Murdock:
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier -- God [but not really. He was an angry alien pretending to be God.]
TNGThe Best of Both Worlds: Part 2 -- Admiral J. P. Hanson
TNGThe Best of Both Worlds: Part 1 -- Admiral J. P. Hanson
MSWMurder in the Afternoon -- Officer Kaplan

Scott McGinnis:
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock -- Mr. Adventure [this is the actual credit on, because "Transporter operator that Uhura forces into a closet at phaser point" was too cumbersome]
MSW: Bite the Big Apple -- Scott Freelander

Stephanie Niznik:
Star Trek: Insurrection -- Perim
ENT: Rogue Planet  -- The Wraith
MSW: Home Care -- Dorie Saunders

Brock Peters: We all love him, right? He was so wonderful in "To Kill A Mockingbird."
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home -- Admiral Cartwright
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country -- Admiral Cartwright
DS9: Homefront  -- Joseph Sisko  
DS9: Paradise Lost  --  Joseph Sisko  
DS9: A Time to Stand  --  Joseph Sisko  
DS9: Far Beyond the Stars  --  Joseph Sisko / Preacher  
DS9: Image in the Sand  --  Joseph Sisko  
DS9: Shadows and Symbols  --  Joseph Sisko  
MSWTrial by Error  -- Thornton Bentley

Joseph Ruskin
Star Trek: Insurrection -- Son'a Officer #3
ENTBroken Bow: Part 1 --  Suliban Doctor
VOY: Gravity -- Vulcan Master
DS9: Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places --Tumek
DS9: Improbable Cause -- Informant
DS9: The House of Quark -- Tumek
MSW: J.B.. as in Jailbird   -- Ivanov

John Schuck
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country -- Klingon Ambassador
VOYMuse  --  Chorus #2
ENT: Divergence  --  Antaak
ENT: Affliction  --  Antaak
MSW: Stage Struck  --  Chief Merton P. Drock
MSW: We're Off to Kill the Wizard  --  Capt. Davis

William Morgan Sheppard's MSW and ST credits are found here

John Vargas:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- Jedda
VOY:  Concerning Flight -- Tau
MSW: South by Southwest  -- Guzman

David Warner
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier -- St. John Talbot
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country -- Chancellor Gorkon
TNG: Chain of Command: Part 2  --  Gul Madred
TNGChain of Command: Part 1  --  Gul Madred
MSW: A Death in Hong Kong  --  Insp. McLaughlin
MSW: The Szechuan Dragon  --  Justin Hunnicut

Paul Winfield:
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan -- Terrell
TNG:  Darmok -- Captain Dathon
MSW: Tough Guys Don't Die -- Det. Lt. Starkey

Anthony Zerbe: For me he will always be the crotchy boss on 'Young Riders.'
Star Trek: Insurrection -- Dougherty 
MSW: Murder of the Month Club -- Matt Matthews

• • • • • • • • • • • 

In case you are now inspired to watch some old episodes of Murder, She Wrote on Canadian netflix, I have sad news. They've pulled the series.

But most of the Star Trek movies are still there, as is The Next Generation. But don't delay! Who knows when they too will go *poof*!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In sickness and health.

I'm feeling pretty good considering I slept very poorly on Monday night. After spending the day in the Big City at a homeschooling function, we returned home late and had a later supper. Then 50% of the humans went to bed. The other 50% were:

• Klaxon (disclaimer: this is not his real name), who was suffering from gastro-intestinal issues.
• Me, who was ministering to Klaxon in his time of need.

Actually I was performing double duty. The night before at 2AM, Fogo The Stupid (disclaimer: this is not her real name, but should be) started whining at the backdoor. So Mr Wrath let her out thinking she was ill. Nope. She was in fine form. Translation: she bolted into the dark night in the midst of a rainstorm. At 7 AM I found her lingering in our backyard with a horned skull (already denuded of flesh) which I theorized she'd stolen from the neighbour's yard. For those of you who are urban, I should explain that it's very common and totally acceptable for rural people (usually of the hunter persuasion) to use skulls and horns as object d'art in their gardens. I try not to judge these people. I prefer to save my scorn for the guy in my town who has a black lawn jockey in his front yard. That guy's a racist, tacky asshole.

But back to Fogo the Skull Eater. I only lured her into the house by standing in the open back door and showing her that the cats were eating one of her beef bones. Even then she came in reluctantly because she knew it was a trap. It was. "Look, Fogo, Ezri is eating your beef bone. Nom nom nom. That's right.  Do you want Ezri to eat the entire bone? No? Well maybe you should come in. Yes. You are a good girl. Oh, you're all wet. That's okay. Mommy loves you  when smell like a pile of -- (I grabbed her collar) CRATE! CRATE! NOW! YOU, HELL HOUND!"

Despite the fact that Mr Wrath had lost precious sleep trying to retrieve Fogo the Awful, we went ahead with the road trip. Everything went as planned except that we had to make numerous stops for Lil' Miss Garbage Guts (disclaimer: this is her new name. Tomorrow I am calling the vet and having her records updated to reflect this change) who we soon learned had gorged herself on the contents of our compost bin. In particular: mouldy bread, carrots and coffee grounds. Yes, because Fogo the Hyper needed a caffeine buzz.

Fogo was still sick last night when Klaxon (still NOT his real name) started to feel sick. So I slept on the chesterfield. I let her outside periodically, making sure she was tethered to a stake. But mostly I dealt with Klaxon. He was slightly more appreciative of my efforts than the damn dog. Probably because Klaxon is a very clever human, who knows not to steal skulls.

Or black lawn jockeys.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Fogo. Futon Love.

Fogo is now allowed up on the living room sofa. This is a big step.  But her behaviour has improved greatly during the last year and the upstairs sofa is looking pretty rough. Hence the change. Also she's long since claimed the playroom futon as a cherished nap spot.  In the evenings when we hang out in the living room watching television, she would sneak down to her futon. The companionship of her family was not enough to compensate for the indignity of sleeping on the floor. I found this infuriating.

All of this is back story to this photo I snapped recently:

Fogo had very carefully climbed up on the chesterfield, take pains not to step on Ezri. Ezri was not thrilled to discover that she had to share her throne with something that is six times larger.

Everything went okay for about 10 minutes. Both fell asleep. Then Fogo got a little too comfortable. And Ezri got a face full of dog anus.

A few seconds after this, Fogo wagged her tail, and smacked Ezri across the face. 

It was hours before Ezri ventured out from under my bed, where she'd fled to nurse her ego and plot Fogo's eventual downfall. 

Or so I assume. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mop Job.

Back in July, this came across my pinterest feed:

Actually, it popped up several times. Was the universe -- or my pin-friends -- trying to send me a message that my house was a tip? Yes, I decided and saved the pin to my desktop, printed off a copy and stuck it to my fridge door. A perusal of my pinterest account indicates that I didn't actually pin it, so I have no idea who originated it.  This is unfortunate, because the creator deserves the credit for helping me finally getting -- and most importantly: keeping -- my house clean.

I am not a clutter bug. I like to have all the horizontal surfaces in my house naked. I find it stressful to have stacks or piles lying about. I throw out, recycle or donate a lot of stuff. The downsides of my willingness to purge are:
- I have a HUGE Oscar the Grouch style trash can in my kitchen that I regularly fill.
- The illusion of order lends itself to an aura of tidiness about my house, but doesn't necessarily translate into cleanliness.

Enter the schedule above.

"Do you wipe the bathroom counters EVERY day?" Zarf asked yesterday. He'd only just spotted the schedule on the fridge, even though it's printed on bright orange paper and there is nothing else hung there. My answer: No, because I honestly don't care about bathroom counters. Baby steps. I am making baby steps toward being a clean freak.

I have made a few amendments. I don't make beds, just my own. The boys have to make their beds if they want to earn computer time. Emptying the dishwasher is also a boy-completed task. I clean out the kitty litter every night. Laundry is really a daily chore.  On Mondays I do the bedrooms, since I'm not entirely sure what "deep vacuum" means in a house without carpet. On that day, beds are stripped and piles (rage inducing piles!) of books, clothes and toys are sorted and returned to their appropriate shelves or bins.

It's been kind of costly becoming neater.

I bought a Swiffer duster and a sweeper. I owned a sweeper when it first came out in Canada, but I have no idea where it wound up. I probably chucked it on a whim after realizing that those disposable clothes are not cheap. Enter pin-spiration round 2: sewing reusable, washable alternatives. I have made five different variations and don't like any. I'm beginning to suspect all are over-engineered. A scrap of jersey knit fabric from an old t-shirt does the trick as well as anything.

My green clean mojo only goes so far. I'm not fucking around with homemade vinegar, baking soda, seltzer, and elbow grease concoctions. Better living through chemistry, as my husband always says. Quicker cleaning, too. Ergo, I have bought many types of cleaning chemical & ruined at least two pairs of pants. Stupid, bleach. 

My mop had to be replaced. This was sad because I love my mop. I bought it in 1999 the first day we owned our first house. It was made in Italy. The mop, that is. The house was made in northern British Columbia. After 14 years -- washing the floors is something I did regularly even pre-cleaning calendar -- it was giving out. The metal shaft was bent & it would sometimes come apart in my hands. The head was wobbly due to long, hard use. When it comes to that mop, I have been a busy beaver1After looking for months, this week I finally found a new model of that brand. YAY!

I want to stress: it is made in Italy. I feel this mitigates my mop love. ITALIAN. See:

Squizzo Panno Giallo. Let's say it all together: Squizzo Panno Giallo! According to my computer's translation app, this means "Squizzo Yellow Cloth." Oh, Italian language, you make everything sound so sexy. Including the phrase "triple action" which when translated into Italian is "triple action." 

There was also a window Squizzo window squeegee (or "seccatoio della finestra" as the sexy Italians like to say) at the store. So I bought it too. My Wednesdays are going to rock from now on. 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 -- I dedicate this and the previous sentences to Beck and Nicole. They have filthy minds. But very clean homes.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Current impediments to spontaneous sex in the House of Wrath:

1. night guard for my TMJ,

2. bone pillow for my hip alignment,

3. cuddly cat who sleeps on my husband's feet,

4. whiny dog who sleeps in a crate down the hall and thinks the sound of humans moving around is an indicator of impending freedom,

5. children, one of whom habitually falls asleep at midnight,

6. bedroom door that doesn't lock, 

and the most recent addition:

7. night splint for my plantars fasciitis. 

Getting old is sexy.