Thursday, December 20, 2012

Public Displays of Affliction

Of the many vices in our society and calls for legalization, I find myself leaning more towards supporting legalized marijuana and prostitution.

I may risk the appearance of blowing smoke with my opinions of both.  Please, just hold your breath and consider the following before exhaling with anonymous tirades.  Perhaps this will appeal to shared sensibilities. 

Let's consider the subject of legalized prostitution and red light districts.

What would be the harm if some cities created a Red Light District where the willing can enjoy titillating displays, seek out satisfaction for their sexual urges and fetishes with other consenting adults?  One benefit would be that willing sex trade workers would be assured a safer environment.  Another would be strict health codes and standards. 

I am far from being a prude.  We are human.  We are biological creatures with basic instincts and desires still wired into our complex brain.  Some humans have evolved with higher intelligence, compassion and respect.  Some are discreet in expressing their fetishes, perhaps giving more value and enhancing the pleasures they bring.  

Those of us with a firm, Christian upbringing may remember, "Judge not lest ye be judged".  We cannot deny the fact that these tendencies and attractions exist.  People who want to experience them know where to look.  Some of us just don't want them flaunted in our faces when we tour our neighbourhoods or have to pass by local businesses if we work in the area.  The response of, "Just don't look at it then, you nutter." doesn't fly well with me. 

"Take it inside."

What if parents passing by with their children don't want them to be exposed to images of kink and affliction?   Some claim that the encounter will initiate a healthy conversation between parent and child.  Seriously?  What about some of those billboards we drive by? What about our impressionable youth?  How will their developing brains filter and interpret these images

Call me a prude but aren't some of these displays better suited for a different type of business district?  Decent folk could once again walk city streets, feeling assured their values and sensibilities are not being assaulted by retailers who claim that their window displays are harmless, fun and reflect the standards of the surrounding GLBT neighbourhood. 

Call me naive but if I belonged to a group that struggled for decades to earn recognition, equality and respect from the straight and narrows, I would rather promote creativity, innovation
and yes - brotherly love in my shop windows.

God rest ye merry gentlemen!  Let nothing you dismayEven local strippers are getting in the charitable, cheeky spirit to gather toys for tots this Christmas.  Some folk argue that it doesn't matter HOW the toys are obtained as long as it's for a good cause. 

With all the nonsensical debates going on these days and recent loss of innocence, things could be worse.  There could be more harmful objects and objectifications advertised in our street level retail windows.  Amen.

I admire the brave few who express their concerns and contact the appropriate parties in a professional manner.    Unfortunately, due to the ability for anonymous posts on our wonderful Internet, these vocal few have to endure personal attacks, distorted arguments and character assassinations from anonymous cowards and individuals whipped into a frenzy of support for the offending retailer.

Is it time for sensible citizens stand up, to come forward and educate, illuminate our society?  One may even be tempted to rent a shop window or carry around a soapbox

If that were so, would people stop, look and listen or would they complain that some nutter is assaulting their sensibilities on the street? 

Now you may exhale. 

Naughty me.  I forgot to mention that anonymous comments on my blog are not allowedI do not consent to offensive, harmful behaviour or speech.  


Monday, December 3, 2012

SharePoint, SharePint and that Irreverent Pub

At a social gathering after a professional event this past weekend, I visited an Ottawa pub for the first time.  No, this wasn't the first time I visited a pub; it was the first time I had visited a certain one called "Pub Italia".  

I was in shock and awe due to the decor.  It was colourful, eye-catching and slightly irreverent towards the Catholic church, monks and saints. Holy mother of ...! 

Since I was in a pub, I followed cue to order a beer as recommended by the waitress.  I felt intimidated when I saw the hefty Beer Bible.  My distress was calmed by an order of deep fried zucchini sticks which I shared with my ride.  

When I became overwhelmed with the loud chatter and joyful noise, I pulled out my trusty Canon PowerShot and took a few pictures.  One batch was taken on my way back from the ladies room.

The Year of the Rabbit - a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness contains many a reference to the Roman Catholic Church.  One of the main characters is an Italian-Canadian priest.  The other is his biological daughter.
 Got your interest? 

The pub visit was an interesting social experience yet a little too noisy for my liking.  Thanks to the guys who offered to buy the first round!

I look forward to more gatherings with SharePoint professionals but in a quieter venue. 

I also look forward to some quiet moments with family and friends over the next few weeks.  You will have to drop by again or subscribe if you want to learn about the next life adventure. 

If you're looking for something interesting to read or a thoughtful gift, drop by the domain for my pretentious novel, The Year of the Rabbit.  Thanks to the flexibility of publishing with Smashwords, I get to let you set the purchase price. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Harmony in Space

This is not a blog post about outer space or science fiction.  It's about using a 5,000 year-old practice to improve harmony in one's living space, one's little corner of this beautiful planet.

Many years ago, under the influence of my respect for ancient practices, I picked up a book about Feng Shui.  It provided some well-illustrated explanations of the proper placement of objects in one's home, landscape or work place.  Since I didn't have much control over my personal and shared living space at the time, the book went onto the shelves.

I now have better control over the placement of furniture, art and books in my abode, the shared living space and my bedroom.  Of course, having cats somewhat influences where you put things too.


As a welcome distraction on a Saturday, I attended a two-part workshop on Feng Shui, hosted by one of the East Winds stores in Ottawa.  I brought my colourful book but didn't need to open it because participants were given handouts with charts, illustrations and instructions. We also had the opportunity to ask questions of our instructor as she patiently walked us through the content and made suggestions based on our floor plans.

One important thing I learned was that one should not have a washroom directly facing or above the entrance to the home.  

The instructor and fellow participants had a good laugh when I explained the dilemma of our kitty litter box that resides in the front hall closet due to limited space anywhere else in the petit apartment.  Yes, a cat box counts as a toilet sooo, I proceeded to re-locate it after I arrived home last night.  I also moved a few paintings and plants plus hung some pretty, colourful crystals.  

No, I am not superstitious at all.  

I also found ways to counteract the influence of bathroom walls and not to let wealth or health get flushed down a toilet.  Holy sh*t!  I should talk to the landlord about that run-on toilet in the master suite..

No, I am not superstitious at all.  

During the workshop,  I also learned that one should not approach the practice of Feng Shui with fear.  It is based on an ancient practice and is not a cult or religion 

I figured that 5,000 year-old i-Ching book was still being read and referred to for a reason.  Of course, as with many ancient teachings, there are different schools of thought and experts that criticize other experts or teachers.  Sigh... 

The main reasons I attended this workshop were to help maintain harmony in our little home and to provide a clean, loving space that will support the educational and career aspirations of its residents.
The cats weren't too impressed with my moving things around - especially their litter box.  Judging from the smell I encountered in one of the other rooms this morning, I know they found it. 

As for old, outdated spiritual texts, I feel that some have outlived their purpose for setting a moral compass.  Yes, I think the human mind and civilizations have evolved enough to know it isn't right to hit your wife, your child; to stone homosexuals or to perpetuate a spiral of revenge by justifying an eye for an eye and dragging humanity into a cycle of blind violence. 

That's all I have to say about that.  

One comfort with moving stuff around was that my much-loved Tree of Life print would counteract the flushing away of energy now that it is moved to another wall

The birds are still facing in the correct directions as indicated in ancient Egyptian texts. 

No, I am not superstitious at all.

If you like my writing style, you will enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit - A Novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  It contains influences from my love of ancient civilizations and respect for some well-lived practices. 

Thanks for dropping by, for visiting my quaint little space in this world.  




Sunday, November 11, 2012

De-stress with pets

I am a strong believer in the health benefits of having pets.  

When choosing a pet, I think it is important to consider the possible impact on one's income, food resources - and the planet.  

Our special boy needs special food to prevent complications with his plumbing.  He and miss boss kitty have their checkups at least once a year.  That's about all I'm willing to dish out.  

I feel for the pets stranded due to the storms in the east coast of the USA and the stress it is causing their displaced humans

Provided there is enough food, water and litter space, you can leave cats alone in the apartment for a couple of days without worrying about them getting into the garbage, pooping on the floor or taking over your bedroom.  Until... 

Mental Health benefits:
Impact of pets on the planet:
I don't think cats have as much impact on the environment as dogs.  They likely have more impact than birds - but are not as noisy.  I'd feel bad about keeping something in a cage anyway. 

Cats provide companionship, comfort and soon become members of your family.  They also provide opportunities for impromptu entertainment and creativity.

They also provide distractions and practice when you have just purchased a new cameraPurr-mit me to lure you to recent blog posts about photogenic cats and deep blonde ponderings on what do cats think about.   What's another five minutes of your busy, busy day? 

Snuggles isn't sure about that Tree of Life print.  Perhaps he thinks I am taunting him with those birdsWho knows if he can even see two dimensional figures anyway.   You can read more about my cherished tree-themed print in this other blog post

Thanks for dropping by.  

Excuse me so I can perform a daily meditation, guilt-free thanks to a pricey but flushable cat litter.   

Be sure to visit the domain for my bittersweet novel about fate, family and forgiveness.  One of the characters is a cat. 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

We are star dust

Every day I am reminded that each of us humans has so much potential for good deeds in this world.  

I am also reminded that each of us is just a spec of dust within the grand scheme of things in this beautiful, mysterious universe.  We are connected.  We are star dust.  We are golden.

No, I haven't been smoking anything or taking mind altering drugs... It's the weekend and I'm procrastinating on housework.  

I find weekends or vacations are great times for reflection and deep blonde thoughts. While on vacation this month, I visited family members up north. Well, Sudbury is as north as we have migrated. 

Armed with my new digital camera, I took plenty of photographs on the bumpy flight up, during the enjoyable visit with a geriatric cat, her humans and on a excursion to Science North.

Science North Sudbury Ontario
Science North, Sudbury

I was educated and amused by the exhibits of rock, bones and pooh.  


Goofing it up with Mr. Bones.  We're all the same inside.

pooh samples at science north
Pooh samples.  Everybody poops.

I was amazed by the Hubble 3D IMAX movie.  

I sat in the theatre with my family and other viewers.  While wearing 3D glasses (and likely looking a bit goofy), I watched, agape as we followed the astronauts in their shuttle launches, earthly orbits and on their space walks.  

With the aid of a deep, wide space lens on the Hubble telescope and some computer animation, I travelled millions of light years and floated into a star nursery to witness what astronomers believe looks like the birth of new stars.

That is deep - and far out.  

Thanks for joining me on this little trip.  If you like my writing style, you may want to read The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness.