I wish I could take a picture of how they smell,
they smell even better than they look!
Thank you Chris!
"I am not opposed to her getting a vote, I would like her to come back through committee so she can testify what took place, factually ... her legal views on same-sex marriage and her ability and willingness to be impartial."
-- Sen. Sam Brownback
"Hi Sarah, this is Sue and Kara..."
"Sarah! Why aren't you answering your phone, Bizzle!?"
"... give us a call, bye!"
-- Sue and Kara
"Hello. This is Mr. Answering Machine. I am Levin. I am calling to leave you a message that says 'hahahahaha, Ha!'. Yow! I've got Sue with me. Listen to her: "Last night I had my old job's Christmas party too. It started off with some finger foods at Bridges, then we all went to play a few games of pool. Afterwards most of us went to the Longbranch. I was a little nervous walking in the door. As far as I know cowboys and transsexuals don't really mix, but the first cowboy I saw was my cousin. I haven't seen him in years so I wasn't sure what to do. He was just walking out the door as we were walking in, so I decided to just let him go and save the awkward reunion for a later date. Instead of going along with my plan however, he looked me right in the eye and said a friendly hello and asked how I have been.
"That's her! That's Chino:"
"That's her too! She said 'hi!'. Call me back please! Arh! Ow! Yuh!"
-- Caspers, Suepy and Kara
From Friday's Globe and Mail
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declared the contentious issue of same-sex marriage to be permanently closed.
After a Conservative motion calling on the government to restore the traditional definition of marriage was defeated yesterday by a resounding 175 to 123, Mr. Harper said he will not bring the matter back before Parliament.
"I don't see reopening this question in the future," he told reporters who asked whether same-sex marriage would return to the table if the Conservatives won a majority government.
Nor does he intend to introduce a "defence of religions" act to allow public officials, such as justices of the peace, to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.
"If there ever were a time in the future where fundamental freedoms were threatened, of course the government would respond to protect them," said the Prime Minister, who voted for the motion. "The government has no plans at this time."
The declared end of the same-sex marriage debate brought comfort to those who have been fighting for such unions. But social conservatives who have supported Mr. Harper's government said they felt betrayed by his decision to quit their fight; some said it will come back to haunt the party in the next election campaign.
"I am afraid that the Conservative Party feels that they can take social conservatives for granted in this country," said Joseph Ben Ami, executive director of the Institute for Canadian Values.
"Mr. Harper and the Conservatives are going to have to explain, I think, what people in our constituency are going to perceive as a certain lack of leadership surrounding this question in the last few days."
Social conservatives are not likely to turn to the Liberals, said Mr. Ben Ami, but they can stay home on voting day.
The loss of those voters was likely weighed by the Prime Minister in recent days. But Conservative sources have said it was his plan to dispose of the issue so he could make a more moderate pitch to middle-class voters and diffuse attempts by the Liberal Party to paint him as a socially right-wing ideologue.
The vote yesterday, which fulfilled a Conservative election promise, marked the sixth time since 2003 that the House of Commons has decided in favour of same-sex marriage.
Eight provinces and Yukon, meanwhile, have declared that excluding gays and lesbians from marriage is a violation of equality rights.
The Liberals and Conservatives both allowed their members to vote according to their consciences. Thirteen Liberals voted for the motion aimed at ending homosexual marital unions and 13 Conservatives, including six cabinet ministers, turned it down.
Joe Comuzzi, who gave up his cabinet seat last year because he refused to vote for the Liberal government's same-sex marriage law, voted against the Conservative motion yesterday.
One of those ministers was Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, who previously had voted against expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
"For me, this was just a practical matter," he explained after the motion was defeated. "It's been debated in the House.
It's been considered by the provinces, by the courts, and I think it's time to move on," Mr. MacKay said.
Even Justice Minister Vic Toews, who has been one of his party's most vocal opponents of homosexual marriage, said there is no appetite for returning to the issue in the future.
"I don't think there's any intentions of reopening it. There's been no commitment in that respect and I don't see any prospects in that respect," Mr. Toews said.
Laurie Aaron, a spokesman for Canadians for Equal Marriage, breathed a sigh of relief when he learned that Mr. Harper had abandoned the fight.
"I think really Mr. Harper had no choice," said Mr. Aaron, who pointed out that the Commons rejected the motion yesterday by an even greater margin than the vote passing the same-sex marriage act last year.
"It's quite clear that there is a growing consensus among Canadians that equal marriage is here to stay," the group spokesman said.
Nova Scotia MP Gerald Keddy, one of the few Conservatives who last year voted in favour of the bill that redefined marriage to include gays and lesbians, said he firmly believes this is the last time the matter will come before Parliament.
But Mr. Keddy, who has been targeted for political attack by groups that object to his pro-same-sex stand, said those battles may not be over.
"I expect there will be a bit of that that will go on," he said.
"But we will march ahead and we will cross that bridge when we come to it," Mr. Keddy said.
And the opponents of same-sex marriage made it clear yesterday that they will continue to fight.
Former London, Ont., MP Pat O'Brien, who quit the Liberal caucus in 2005 over the party's support of homosexual marriage, said he and others who share his views have a number of options.
The democratic strategy is to elect people who share the same values, he said. "We saw some pretty high-profile candidates defeated in the last election because of their stand in favour of same-sex marriage. We didn't get as many successes as we wanted in the last election, but this is far too serious an issue to give up so lightly."
OTTAWA, Canada (CNN) -- Canada's House of Commons Thursday soundly rejected a motion from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider the country's 2005 law allowing gay men and lesbians to marry.
Harper's motion -- which would not have directly repealed the law but called on Parliament to reopen debate on the contentious issue -- was defeated by a vote of 123-175, with most opposition lawmakers and even some members of Harper's Conservative Party voting no.
During the campaign leading up to his election in January, Harper promised to introduce a motion to revisit the same-sex marriage law, which he opposed when it was approved last year. He said at the time that if the motion was defeated, the issue would be settled.
Former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin pushed the law through Parliament after a series of court rulings legalized same-sex marriage across most of the country. More than 12,000 marriage licenses have been issued to gay and lesbian couples in Canada, according to Canadians for Equal Marriage, a group that supports same-sex marriage.
Harper's motion faced an uphill battle because, while Conservatives are the largest party in the House of Commons, they do not hold a majority, and all three of the other parties opposed reopening the same-sex marriage debate.
View the actual webpage: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/americas/12/07/canada.samesex/index.html
"...press Shift 5," Sarah says and she hears a bunch of key-clacking sounds, "I hear a lot of typing, what are you doing?"
In an irritated and impatient tone the customer says, "I am typing out 'shift five'! But I can't find the 'v'."
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_v._Virginia )
I had a great sleep. I went to bed at 9:30 and except for one support call I slept all the way through the night - I also slept all the way through the snow. I woke up this morning to hear wind howling so I peeked outside to see what it looked like and all I saw was white.
We didn't get much, but what we did get must have melted for a while and then froze by morning. The roads were not just icy, they were ice.
We are pretty good at driving in snow and ice around here, but the first snow always makes us cautious. Even if we do have traction there is something about the first snow that brings out the good driver in all of us. This morning every one out on the road was driving on pure ice, and so we were all on our best behaviour - you have never seen such perfectly ordered lanes, people let people merge, everyone signalled, I saw several people waving their thank you's and you're welcome's and certainly nobody was speeding. All in all there were no problems that I could see - except that we were driving so slow my speedometer couldn't actually measure my speed.
* Lord of the Flies, Page 9
He hesitated for a moment, then spoke again. "What's your name?"
The fat boy waited to be asked his name in turn, but this proffer of acquaintance was not made; the fair boy called Ralph smiled vaguel, stood up, and began to make his way once more toward the lagoon. The fat boy hung stead at his shoulder.
"I expect there's a lot more of us scattered about. You haven't seen any others, have you?"
Ralph shook his head and increased his speed. Then he tripped over a branch and came down with a crash. The fat boy stood by him, breathing hard.
"My auntie told me not to run," he explained, "on account of my asthma."
"That's right. Can't catch my breath. I was the only boy in our school what had asthma." said the fat boy with a touch of pride. "And I've been wearing specs since I was three!"
I grabbed a roll of aluminum foil and pulled off a 3 foot strip. I waited until none of the hornets were looking at me and then I slammed the lid down on the cup and covered the straw hole with foil. I flipped the cup over and after I wrapped more foil all around it I jammed it upside-down into the larger cup from today's slurpee. Somehow I did all this with one hand, as I frantically waved my other arm around in the air to shoo away any escapees. I finished by bunching up all the remaining foil into an impenetrable mass in the open end of the new cup. I didn't see any get free, and it looked like the foil prison was secure, but I didn't feel safe yet - I was afraid the hornets could chew their way out. I grabbed a couple plastic safeway bags as additional chew-buffers and tied them both around the package. Only then did I run my makeshift hornet coffin down to the dumpster.
Even now as I write this I still don't feel safe. I didn't actually do a head count at any point. For all I know not all the hornets were in the slurpee cup before I put the lid on it. If there are still some in the apartment I haven't seen them, but maybe that's how they want it. Maybe I am not supposed to see them. Maybe they want me to think they are all gone. That's why I am writing this blog article on my laptop in the living room - because I am worried a few of them escaped, and are maybe in my room...
Waiting for me...
* I called them hornets, but I guess they are called Yellowjackets. My grandparents always called them Yellowjackets, but I always assumed that was just a colloquialism.