I washed my car. It rained.

I finally got my new Mazda 5 about 10 days ago.  I just finished washing it about an hour ago.  And now?  Now it’s raining.  Thunder storming actually.  It took me about an hour to wash the car.  Big sigh.  Now I remember why I don’t normally elect to spend my time washing a vehicle.  Inevitably, it will rain and get dirty again.

 The Mazda rocks.  Gas mileage is okay so far, given that I’ve only used one tank of fuel so far and by all accounts, the car still needs to be broken in.  My wishlist for a new and improved 5 would include the following:

  • one touch up windows (not just one touch down that it comes with)
  • one touch close sunroof (not just one touch open that it comes with)
  • multiple CD deck (which I believe is an option, just not one we opted for)

And that’s about it.  I’m perfectly happy with everything else.  Oh wait.  The cup holders – they hold regular size cups just fine.  However, we’re a family of Nalgene water bottle-carriers and all of our bottles are larger than normal cups.  So none of our water bottles fit in the cup holders.  Which again, is okay.  Unless your water bottle leaks when it’s tilted on it’s side.  Or if the cap isn’t on tightly.  Which mine wasn’t the other day.  Which resulted in my cup holders being full of water, but ironically, not full of any cups.

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Live Earth – the brilliant idea of a record exec to boost sales?

Some time ago I started a draft post on climate change.  I eventually abandoned it because I thought that climate change was so omnipresent in our lives, if you didn’t know about it, you must live in the desert or arctic region — someplace devoid of media coverage.

Well, it seems that someone somewhere thought that a few people were missing the message and some guy I’ve never heard of before now named Kevin Wall got together with Al Gore and voila – Live Earth.

I’ve been tuning in randomly to the show today and I have a few thoughts…

a) Where is all the money for the ticket sales going?  I’ve searched high and low on the net for an answer to this question and have still to find an answer.

b) Are the musicians being paid for this gig?  Surely they aren’t.  Right?  Right?  It’s a charity gig, right?  Probably not.

c) How much energy is each show using?  I read that the event is carbon neutral (strangely enough, I couldn’t find that info on the main site – I had to find it on Wikipedia…) here, however, frankly, I don’t buy into it.  More of my thoughts on carbon credits in a later post.  I did manage to tune in to see Metallica perform in London.  Then about 2 hours later Metallica was performing in Hamburg.  Germany.  Not exactly a car ride away.  Yes, I’m trying to say that the band and it’s crew jumped on their plane and flew from one country to another (creating how much co2???) to perform at a Save-the-Planet-Our-World-Is-In-Trouble-Because-Of-Climate-Change concert.  Makes no sense to me.

d) How much extra energy is being used by people all over the world, tuning in their tvs and streaming video on their computers, to watch this event?  I have to admit we spent more time in front of the TV today just because of this event, than we normally would on a Saturday.  Extra energy used on our part.  How’s that for being green?

The more that I think about this, the more I’m convinced that some record exec (or maybe even 2 of them) got together and decided they needed to do something REALLY big to give record sales a boost.  Let’s remind people of all of the great musical acts we have out there and maybe, just maybe, they’ll download a few extra tracks today or skip out to pick up a CD.

Or how about this for a conspiracy theory…Save Our Selves (SOS – the company that Kevin Wall founded with Al Gore) is going to turn themselves into a brand.  And a seal of approval for consumers.  My prediction (I’ve never wanted to be wrong so badly before in my life…okay – maybe there was one other time regarding childbirth…) is that SOS will start building themselves up as a brand and you’ll soon be able to buy clothing/everything with the SOS stamp of approval on it.  [/insert booming made for radio voice here] “If you see the SOS tag on the product, you’ll know that the product meets X% of a Green Rating and is safe to purchase without any guilt” or “When you purchase products bearing the SOS tag, you know that product was manufactured and brought to market with minimal carbon emissions in the process.” [/end booming made for radio voice here].

And every single one of those products bearing the SOS tag will have paid a licensing fee to SOS for use of their seal of approval. 

Where does the money go?  How rich do the rich need to be?  Please, someone, tell me I’m mis-informed.  Tell me for a fact (and substantiate the information with references) that this money is going to develop alternative sources of energy or it’s going towards more windfarms or to make the price of solar panels realistic for the average Jane to buy so she can take her own house off the energy grid.  Please, please, please…

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Passover – only 4 questions?

I may have mentioned that Passover is one of the more interesting holidays for our family to celebrate.  We’re currently at Day 6 out of 8 days and our household is full of questions, and a small rebellion is brewing, plotting to make french toast for dinner tonight.

So – here are a few of the questions that have been bounced about in the past 24 hours.  There are far more than the usual 4 questions that anyone who celebrates this holiday is familiar with.  These questions are written with a bit of sarcasm in places and a little bit of snark in others (hey, I haven’t had bread for 6 days, what do you think you would be like?) but they are not meant to belittle the religion (or any other).  They are meant to make you think.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  And if you choose to disregard all of this and say “I just do it because it keeps me in touch with my faith” than that’s as good a reason as any.  I guess…🙂

Wheat is banned, right?  Why is matzah made with wheat?  How can they do that and still follow the rules?  And don’t give me any crap about “well the Rabbis blessed it so it’s okay”.  And don’t give me any crap about “well, the process is carefully supervised and water only touches wheat for less than 18 minutes so no leavening takes place” because then I’ll ask you this – so what?  They’re still using wheat.  Why is it banned?  And who came up with 18 minutes?  We know that 18 is chai (good luck) but what’s the connection there?  What science tells you that after 18 minutes, leavening begins?  And based on what I know about food science, it’s not leavening you’re worried about – it should be gluten formation.  Flour and water won’t rise unless you add a leavening agent to it – trust me.  All you end up with is glue.  Remember?  You made it in elementary school.

You may counter this with, “it’s not really wheat, spelt, oats, barley and rye that are banned – it’s their leavened products that are, based on the fact that they came in contact with water for longer than 18 minutes” and I’m still going to ask, what does this have to do with bread?  The basic story (emphasis on story) is that the Jews didn’t have time to let their bread rise.  They had to get outta town in a hurry.  So then why is pasta and cereal not allowed.  And you’ll counter with the whole 18 mins to make it deal and we’ll go around and around.

If the whole idea is that Jews didn’t have any bread, why are kitniyot banned (legumes – peas, corn)?  What does corn on the cob have to do with bread?

Rather than make this holiday a punitive one (ie. removing something from one’s diet), why not insist that matzah be served and eaten at every meal?  That would remind us far more of the desert crossing than eliminating bread, which we don’t eat at every meal anyway.

How come Sephardic Jews can eat rice but Ashkenazi can’t?  What – you didn’t all cross the desert at some point and so only some of you can eat rice?

So, rice, beans, peas, corn, legumes are all banned because flour can be made with them and their flours may be confused with one of the 5 banned grain flours.  What?  Are we living in the stoneage here?  In these modern times of food labelling (a novel concept) shouldn’t these be allowed for all Jews?

Did you know that Easter gets its name from Passover/Pesach? 

Have to give up something for 8 days, eh?  What’s that called – Jewish Lent?

Search for the Afikomen?  Isn’t that like an easter egg hunt only instead of finding chocolate, you find matzah and get money from your Jewish parents/grandparents?

What’s up with Matzo balls?  They have to be cooked for 20 minutes and the go into soup (a primarily water-based liquid).  So you’ve taken matzah and made it chametz (forbidden) by putting it into soup?  If not, why?

If you can’t eat pasta and pancakes, how come they sell Kosher for Passover (KFP) pancake mix and pasta?

Why do they make KFP toilet paper, coke/diet coke, honey and other products that you just know didn’t come in contact with any leavening agents?  How much of a business is Passover, anyway?  Who sets the rules?  Rabbis.  Rabbinical interpretation of the rules differs from community to community.  Who sets the standards that KFP products must meet? Rabbis.  So, Rabbis set the rules and then interpret them for the community and to help meet the standards they set out, they work with businesses (get paid by businesses?) to oversee production and give out their stamp of approval.

 Why are there so many ways to spell matza/matzah/matzo/matzoh?  It’s enough to drive a spelling fanatic crazy.

Sources: How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household by Blu Greenberg, 1983, Simon and Schuster Inc.; Wikipedia “Easter”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter

Historical Proof: To date, there are no official Egyptian archeological findings that specifically corroborate the Torah narrative of the Exodus.  There are minor hints to major upheavals which could refer to the Plagues. However, ancient Egypt had a history of erasing major defeats and devastation from their records which makes a significant find unlikely.

Source: http://www.everythingjewish.com/Pesach/Pesach_Origins.htm

Proof the exodus occured: http://s8int.com/article-exodus.html

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Psycho-babble

I’ve just discovered that 41 year old women who have pictures of glittery Disney princesses, Clay Aiken shirtless and Christ being nailed to the cross, all on their myspace (together, that is – all of this was on one woman’s myspace) freak the shit out of me.  So much psychoanalysis, so little time.

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An Inconvenient Truth

I’m fairly certain that if you haven’t heard about climate change you either live under a rock or somewhere there isn’t any access to television/newspaper/radio/internet. 

Assuming, since you’re reading this, that you at least have access to the internet,  then you have heard of Climate Change (the new branding for Global Warming) and most likely, you have heard about the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”. 

I finally sat down the other day to watch it and I will agree that it does make you want to run out and cut your green house gas emissions as much as you can.  The visuals are quite stimulating,m re-enforcing that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.  I would go so far as to say 2000 or more in some cases.

Check out the movie.  I think, due to its content and message, that it should be free so if you aren’t inclined to spend the coin it costs to rent it, go here, click on “full movie” and watch it free of charge.  Thor and I have recently discovered this site and we’ve watched a number of movies with mixed results.  Some take forever to load and if they’ve stopped loading, then the movie just quits and you have to wait.  I did watch An Inconvenient Truth via this site without an issues at all though so I hope your experience is the same as mine.  The shows/movies are just provided via streaming video so if you have to exit the movie, you’ll have to start at the beginning the next time you log on – it won’t remember where you left off.

If you want more information about the movie, visit www.climatecrisis.net

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Well, at least when they die, you don’t have to go far to flush them…

Introducing “The Fish-n-Flush” toilet by AquaOne.

“A whimsical potty that turns your toilet into a nautical wonderland”

fishtanktoilet.jpg

This was in a magazine I just received today, along with this beauty:

the Peter Potty: a stand up urinal for home use.

peterpotty.jpg

At the end of the day, other than the benefit of having a nearby burial water for dead fish, I only see extra cleaning (toilet+tank+urinal).  That and lots of excuses for missing the toilet when peeing (“I turned around to watch the fish”) and staying in the bathroom for hours on end.  I wonder what would happen if you put one of those blue pucks in the toilet/fish tank….mutant fish?  Probably nothing as exciting as that.  Just dead bluey-orangey (green even?) fish.

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Being a Stay At Home Goddess: The Darker Side

I love my children.  Thor and I made the conscious decision for me to quit work and stay home with our children.  You get one shot at this and we thought (and still do think) it was the right decision to make.

Having said that, there are some pitfalls to being a stay at home goddess.

  • No sick days.  I have a crappy head cold right now and all I want to do is dive into some decongestant and sleep it off for 12 hours.  That’s just not happening with a 4 year old here.
  • I think about food more than I want to.  I prepare approximately 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.  You do the math.  That’s not including snacks and trying to account for the fact that sometimes the offspring prepare their own breakfast.  Unless I don’t want cereal and milk all over the table and floor.  Then I prepare breakfast too.  I’m kidding (half-kidding anyway)! Thor Jr is an accomplished cereal/milk pourer.  Little Athena on the other hand, likes to coat the table in Raisin Bran.  According to her, it’s easier to pick out the raisins that way.  Smart cookie, that one is.
  • Isolation.  In our diverse neighbourhood, a majority of the stay at home caregivers are grandparents who don’t speak English.  Add that to the fact that once you have kids you become busy all the time and it’s hard for schedules to mesh with other goddesses’.

That’s all I can think of for now.  My sinuses are preventing brilliant thoughts from forming so this is as good as it gets today.

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