Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Monday, June 30, 2008

Biting the Apple

Going For a Mac Instead

Perhaps a year and a half ago... maybe even two years ago I decided I was going to somehow get a new computer. I wanted a notebook - laptop - computer. My reasoning was that I wanted to be able to work on my writing whether I was at home here at my Gnomestead Apartment or at the Parental Homestead across the river. I also wanted the option to work at the museum where I volunteer at or the library. I also do some web management and have been known to do some other computer work where it would be handy to actually be able to show people stuff in their own home rather than scribble it on paper for them and then translate it to computer at home to then print off and show at home.

So I had reason to get a notebook computer. This decision was perhaps a greater one than for most as I am on a small fixed income with a bit of addition from those few outside jobs I mentioned - those jobs are not under the table. I considered going to a company like Dell or MDG to buy the computer on credit. They say that they will extend credit to almost anyone and talk about "a buck a day" on at least one of their advertisement themes. I did talk to a friend about it and she suggested that I instead wait and put the money aside and that a larger down payment might mean smaller payments or lower interest so I started adding a bit of money each month to the money I already had saved up. I had saved up a fair amount for a DVD player-recorder-re-recorder for my computer and I added to that sum for the new computer would have that built in. I looked to save up for a notebook which would have that and priced out the lower priced ones that would suite me.

After all I already had a functioning desktop model, I could wait and save money. I then got a bonus for some work I was already doing that added to my fixed income. I put half of that to savings. The savings for the computer could also be emergency money for... emergencies.

I realized that perhaps I might be able to get a nicer computer and started looking at tablet computers before I remembered discussions I had with my cousin about the Apple Mac. I knew about it of course. I have been around computers from before there were personal computers. But my cousin talked about things like how robust the Apple was in regards to things like viruses. My good friend's husband bought a Mac Power Book before they went to Japan and they liked it enough that when they came back, they bought an Apple desktop computer system.

I looked at the prices on the MacBooks - the entry level 13" ones - and compared the new OSX Leopard operating system with the new Windows Vista and with the Intel MacBooks being able to actually run Windows XP or Vista if I wanted as well as Leopard, I was sold. Eventually I had the money and the courage to spend it!

I bought the MacBook. (image to left - image from Apple Canada) It really seems to fit what I wanted. I am not sure if I should have gone for the 160 Gb hard drive instead of the 120 Gb one that I got, but I realized that I could get a 250 - 500 Gb external hard drive for the $200 price difference between the two models. I think if there was a choice in the stores locally I might have gone for the black one rather than the white one, but only the much more expensive 15 inch ones were available in the black.

I found it easy to move over to using the Apple and OSX Leopard after using Windows 98 and Windows XP. Granted I learned about computers in a rather organic manner. I grew up with them. I started learning on machines where you used punched cards with your program punched into them one line per card and fed into a card reader by a technician and graduated to using terminals both on campus or via modem with acoustic-couplers - you literally rested the telephone handset into a cradle with a speaker and microphone to connect the modem to the phone line. Directly connected modems were not common. Luckily at the time nearly all handsets were the same. Later the personal computers came out. Radio Shack's TRS-80, Apple II's, and Commodore Pets followed the earlier kits of Altair 80-80's and their like. then the Commodore VIC20 and Commodore 64 and... eventually the Compac, and other machines running CPM and then cam MSDOS and the IBM and IBM clones. I can't forget the Texas Instruments computers and Hewlett Packard ones as well. The XT and others ended up taking a large chunk of the market from the Mac, Amiga, and the Atari which ran on Motorola processors. Eventually, at least in America it was the PCs and the Macs that were left.

With learning the various operating systems as they were introduced and the various keyboards and other control devices - I used GUI's similar to windows using a Joystick because mice were very expensive and not something one casually bought when you were just getting used to a new system like GEOS. So I learned how to switch from one thing to another with minimal instruction. Perhaps that made transition easier?

On the other hand... I am mostly using EXACTLY the same software I use on my desktop PC for most of my usage with the exception of some new software I am learning. For instance, I am writing this blog entry using the ScribeFire Application for the Mozilla Firefox Browser here on my MacBook. It is identical in appearance, function, and capability to the same software that I use on my Windows XP Desktop computer. The biggest differences are that the screen is a bit difference in proportion and that the keyboard feels different and does not have a numeric keypad. I do have a mouse for the MacBook, but choose to use the trackpad by choice. If I were to shift down two screens and activate "Remote Desktop Connection" I would be able to access my PC via my wireless network and router and could run Firefox on my PC using my MacBook keyboard, trackpad, and monitor and there would be no difference.

For most of my office type work I use Open Office on the PC - it is a good alternative to the MS - Office line of software and even has some advantages. It is one of those pieces of software that you can pay for essentially by donation and it is worthy of donating to. I use Open Office on my PC and there is a variation for my Intel Mac called NeoOffice which is nearly 100% identical to the Windows version.

That takes care of 90% of my usage.

The other 10%... Well I am not 100% converted. I still use my old faithful venerable copy of "Adobe Online" on my Windows XP box - but I use it via Remote Desktop Connection from my MacBook so it feels like it is running there and I can use it anywhere in my apartment. I could experiment with accessing it via the internet, but so far... haven't felt too compelling a need for that possible security weakness. I still could install Windows XP or Vista on the MacBook. But I don't know about taking up room from my 120 Gb internal hard drive... that was where I was contemplating whether that decision to chose it over the 160 Gb drive was wise or not springs from. However if I get the right external drive... I would install Windows XP on it and then either used the built in "boot camp" utility in Leopard to boot up as a Windows computer or one of the available for purchase programs that would let me run Windows XP concurently while running Leopard. Then I could run the few programs I go back to the PC for.

I think I shall get back to this subject later and tell you more about the transition to working on an Apple. It isn't all apple blossums like some might lead you to believe.

~ Darrell.

DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Friday, June 27, 2008

Benthic, I'm Sure

I Don't Think It's Pikachu?

They say that the surface area of either Mars or the Moon is greater than that of the Land-surface of the Earth. Whether it is Mars or the Moon is of little consequence here, but it points out something - the Earth is much bigger than the Moon or Mars in total surface area, but most of it is covered by the very thing we consider a prime requirement for life when we search for life out there in space.

The life we know most about clings to the skin of the surface of the world - even considering the tallest of trees or life creeping the deepest into caves or the earth. There is a vast amount of the earth that lays beneath the surface of the ocean even if we only consider the surface area. But consider this - the ocean is deep and creatures of the deep can live throughout the entire volume of the ocean, not just the top surface or the bottom.

Here is a quote from a collection of images from the dark depths of the oceans. The passage comes from "Animals in the depths of the sea (26 photo) / Biology / Science ReaDigg.COM":

On dry land, most organisms are confined to the surface, or at most to altitudes of a hundred meters—the height of the tallest trees. In the oceans, though, living space has both vertical and horizontal dimensions: with an average depth of 3800 meters, the oceans offer 99% of the space on Earth where life can develop. And the deep sea, which has been immersed in total darkness since the dawn of time, occupies 85% of ocean space, forming the planet’s largest habitat. Yet these depths abound with mystery. The deep sea is mostly uncharted—only about 5 percent of the seafloor has been mapped with any reasonable degree of detail—and we know very little about the creatures that call it home. Current estimates about the number of species yet to be found vary between ten and thirty million. The deep sea no longer has anything to prove; it is without doubt Earth’s largest reservoir of life.

It does make me wonder about the thin skin of life living on the surface of the Earth and what the total effect of rising oceans might be.

True changes might effect the deepest depths, but there is so very much variation of life in the depths that much might be survived even as it has in the past through total globe encompassing ice ages. (Not the less all inclusive ones most people know about which mankind survived and which todays shrinking glaciers are remnants of.) Of course that doesn't help mankind too much other than knowing life might survive in some form or another on the Earth even if we leave this mortal coil.

The life in this light-less world is pretty incredible and barely within our wildest dreams. Some seem to nearly mimic some dreams... or fiction in any case. Is it live or is it Pokemon? This one sure is reminiscent of Pikiachu. (image to right - image from Wikipedia) The critter in the picture to the left is a "Dumbo Octopus" - Grimpoteuthis (image to the left - image from and can be found in that collection of photos that the quotation above was from. There are a whole bunch of images on that site... they count 26 in their page title. I chose one of the cuter ones.

I do think we have to be better stewards of the environment and take care of our home, or our home might take care of us leaving others to come up from the depths to replenish the Earth. But I also think that with the weird and wonderful wildlife way below the waves we might have to really be careful on what we ascribe to habitable planets in our searches for life.

They say that at one time the earth - after life had developed already - had gone through an intense climatic change where there was runaway cooling and the whole of the surface of the earth was covered with a continuous sheet of ice. Yet, life survived in the oceans. The current theories are that Europa, (image to right - image from Wikipedia) the sixth moon of Jupiter, might have a water ocean beneath its icy crust kept liquid by tidal heating. Perhaps it is not unlike the ocean under the ice of that icy Earth of one time.

Of course life would have had to get its foothold and of course there would be less solar energy - though perhaps thermal and chemical energy might suffice... but it does leave room for thought and imagination.

Look at some of those undersea creatures of our own dark ocean environment and realize that even with our own technology we have hardly dabbled our toes into the depths. Look what we have seen so far and then use your imagination.

~ Darrell


Image of Moon used with permission from Image*After.

DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Whoosh Zoom - Sonic Boom

Whoosh Zoom - The Jets On the Plane Go Sonic Boom

While not a great fan of war, I always have been interested in planes and ships and that includes military vehicles. Perhaps it is a holdover from childhood and loving things that were fast or big? I was facinated by airliners too and would have loved a collection of airliners as a child as well as military jets. I wasn't so interested in propeller aircraft as a child and in fact biplanes and planes with radial engines bothered me.

I had a number of models of jets including fighters and bombers. One of my favouritemodels was of the AVRO Arrow which probably came out at a time when the plane might actually have still been being designed or not long after the plan was scrapped. That was a pretty spectacular plane that might which might be serviceable even to current times it was so far advanced. Design features for it went into the Space Shuttle. Another model that was interesting was of the Hustler Supersonic Bomber. When I got older I had models of the F5 Freedom Fighter in the CF-5 variant the RCAF flew, the F104 Starfighter, and the SR71 Blackbird.

I was fascinated by tanks and military ships, though never really had any models of them. In part it was the evolution of them and the complexity of the systems involved. For tanks it was the "go anywhere" ability that drew me as a child.

Still I feel awkward with being interested in the military hardware while being against war. I believe first most in non violent solutions and feel that too often these are not sought with too much bravado being involved. But at the same time I support the soldiers who are representing our country and defending it. I feel for them and the families and friend they leave behind and recognize the dangers involved. I have even written to lonely servicemen who were feeling lonely for home and the pressures and dangers they were facing.

There are problems with an interest in planes, tanks, and ships. They are hard to go to see as a child unless you live the same place where those planes, tanks, and ships live other than occasional air shows. Making models can be a problem too. Even a few models take up a large amount of room. I would have loved to had bunches of models but there were no places to put them. Now of course I was not a simple typical collector as I would have wanted to play with the models as toys as well.

I wanted the models with the retracting landing gear, rotating turrets, rotating propellers, sliding cockpits, moving treads, and folding wings... of course some on tanks and some on planes and some on ships.

What I did do was read books and dream. Mom and Dad bought me the "Above And Beyond: The Encyclopedia of Aviation and Space Sciences" (image on left - image from Wikipedia) which had lots of space and plane stuff in it. Mine was the first 1968 edition, there was at least one later edition. Later I bought some books on tanks and ships.

Still books with pictures were very pricey.

There is some satisfaction with collecting the lead figures used for "war games". Actually they are pewter and not pure lead - though they are not recommended for young children. It is possible to collect many vehicles in a small volume with a set of utility drawers or a case. But there is not a lot of detail really beyond the three dimensional shape of the figure. Still, not only is it possible to collect the figure, but you can research and paint them and you can do some modification of them and if you are a bit handy you can actually make your own.

Making your own is handy for the rarer ones. "Above and Beyond" can be handy for that. You can carve or mould your plane out of wax or even Plasticine and then create a rubber mould using that. Then you can melt your own pewter on a camp stove on the picnic table or in the workshop and cast your own figure and even trade them with friends because once you have made a mould for your figure you can easily cast others. Since you created the original and the mould I figure nobody can fault you for doing so as long as you didn't use someone else's figure for a master.

Flight simulators and simulator games like tank combat ones brought other directions that one could take with an avid interest in this technology. It could be pricey still, but it was more and more like you were actually able to try out the cockpit or bridge of these craft. I never was so big on games unfortunately so I really didn't have the game machines to run them on. My computers were what were optimal for doing things like writing or simple graphics not high speed high action gaming - and then gaming moved back from computers to dedicated game machines where they started.

The Internet and World Wide Web opened new worlds of opportunity. At first perhaps it might have been a bit of a hunt for information on aircraft, tanks, or ships - but later not only could you find reams of photos, but also specifications, plans, diagrams, and even 3D virtual models.

The 3D virtual models are very interesting and the artists doing them do some very impressive work. I don't know so much about the models though because they are the realm of artists who are creating 2D artwork using the models and what models I have seen are available for sale through various agencies. Even then I wonder how big they are - how much hard drive space they take up. Then there is organizing the collection and figuring out what to collect...

Still I am considering a collection of 3D virtual models... Now the shelf space - I mean hard drive space...

~ Darrell


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Of Course It Is Only a Scale Model...

Of Course It Is Only a Scale Model... and it's Green

The Joy of Plasticine!

Perhaps even more hours than I spent playing with my LEGO I played with my Plasticine! (image on right from Mastermind I am not sure if I discovered the incredible stuff in Kindergarten - that is for five-year-olds here in much of Canada, and was not yet mandatory when I was five in Alberta - or if I discovered it earlier. I am fairly certain it was in Kindergarten for I didn't have it at home... yet!

What we had at kindergarten for the most part was all coloured a strange sort of grey colour. The colour really didn't matter to me and at the time I didn't know that Plasticine, or modelling clay, came in different colours. I just thought it was incredible stuff that you could roll into lon snakes and make stuff out of. Perhaps much time was spent making balls and snakes and flat disks. But I also progressed to making basket or bowl shapes and the like. They were not huge sit on the shelf sorts of things, but just small kid things that you might be able to make with a quarter to half a cup of the clay... perhaps even a whole cup! I did wonder how you could make the stuff harden like the clay they made stuff on TV. I also knew that a few of the TV shows I watched use "clay" for the puppets. There was "Davy and Goliath" (image on right) and "Gumby and Pokey" (image on left) though the latter came later.

Mom made some modelling dough stuff at home for Sunday School out of salt and flour, but that just wasn't the same and it was so very salty and didn't mold right. I think my cousins had "Play Dough" but that smelled like a sort of candy-dessert that I really didn't care for and it really didn't feel right either. I sometimes discovered that I had some of the marvellous Plasticine in my pockets when I got home from Kindergarten and began collecting it at home until I actually had enough to play with at home. It wasn't anything done on purpose, mind you. Just one of those things that happens when five-year-olds play.

Eventually I discovered that Plasticine came in different colours and that the grey stuff of the Kindergarten play time was grey because it was a mixture of all the colours at once. I still did not mind because I really could not understand how a person might create something with modelling clay and still keep the colours separate. I am not sure if it was Mom or me who eventually bought the green Plasticine I got at home? I think maybe in time - and perhaps bathwater - the grey stuff got too yucky to keep. So from then on everything I made was with slightly higher quality green modelling clay. The monochromatic pallet did not bother me at all and I was always fond of green even when blue was my favourite colour.

I did get "Silly-Putty" (image on right) which I thought was rather fun, but silly because it wouldn't hold a form. It did have the ability to bounce and it could transfer "funny pages" or news print images to itself. It also could either stretch or crack like glass depending on how you handled it. You did have to be careful where you kept it because it sort of flowed like a liquid - albeit slowly. It became like a protoplasmic friend to my GI-Joe. I also got something called "Goop" - I think - which was a powder you mixed with water which became something like Silly-Putty but because you could have a larger amount you could blow a large bubble with it. Rather than the flesh coloured Silly-Putty, the Goop was a really dark reddish purple. I am not sure what became of it, but it was even runnier than the Silly-Putty. (It wasn't the "Plasti-Goop" used in Mattel's Thing-Maker and it isn't the Slime Kids have today.. though might be related to the later. Probably some sort of starch or algenate product.

The Silly-Putty and Goop could never hold a candle to the Plasticine though.

Later I used the Plasticine-modelling clay to make a mould for a paper maché mask. I discovered a new, more adult use for the Plasticine and thought about what I might make with it that I might make moulds of. I couldn't quite figure out the whole thing yet, but I went from fooling around to trying to make specific objects with it.

I loved making dinosaurs out of it and I also made submarines and space ships with it. It was much more flexible than the LEGO ever was for that, but the flexibility and pliability of the modelling clay was also a problem. Later I discovered that I could use a combination of body heat or a short while in the freezer to change the modelling consistancy of the clay. I also started to gather a few different tools for carving and forming the clay.

In the meantime, what led me to gathering up tools was my experience with using actual potter's clay. We had pottery in school and they taught us how to model and mold and sculpt that. I even learned a bit about throwing pots on a wheel and slabbing the clay in preperation for use. What I knew from my years with Plasticine did transfer a bit to the potter's clay though you don't stretch potter's clay like you do Plasticine.

For a while I made "Star Wars" and "Battlestar Galactica" type space ships for fun and tried my hand at making them consistantly enough so that I could make a handful of the same ship even if not actually copying any of the ships from the shows. I learned that to save clay I could mould the clay around other objects like marbles or pieces of wood. I could thus save on clay, but I also learned that these would act as "armatures" for more fragile areas.

With my experiences with Plasticine I learned a lot about working with three dimensional form. I actually realize that I can work in 3 dimensions better with two in artwork. My sculpting and carving is good for the amount of actual practical time I can put into it. I can also take a lump of clay and model it into whatever form I want and can imagine or see. If I see a cartoon character on TV or in a book, I can fairly quickly make it up with Plasticine and probably could as easily do it in other mouldable materials. It would only take some more work to do so with something needing carving and sculpting.

I still have yet to trasfer those skills to actual 3D work on the computer even though I can visualize what I need for my 2D working.

I do plan on doing more, making models with the Plasticine, or perhaps in wax or soap and then with rubber, alginate, plaster of paris, or perhaps paper mache make a mould of it so I can cast more permanent models or figures from plaster, ceramic, pewter, wax, or whatever.

I really still do love to have some Plasticine on hand to work with. I would like to collect some good and simple and easy to make in the kitchen recipes for things like Plasticine so I can make my own at home in colours and with the qualities I desire. For instance ones that will air harden and ones that won't, some that might harden in the oven. And ways to make it whatever colour I wish or be paintable or decorateable however I wish.

Still the neat thing is simply creating! Fun even if it is only in green...

~ Darrell

WiseGEEK - What is Plasticine? -o- Plasticine - Wikipedia -o-
Home Plasticine Video - metacafe (Not really Plasticine, but that salt and flour modelling dough) -o- The - View Topic - can clay be oiled again??? my oil based clay = drying out (Some Plasticine Recipes are on this page.)


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Hare, Toad, Moth

Rabbit, Frog, Butterfly

I can remember a time when the distinctions between Rabbit and Hare - Frog and Toad - Butterfly and Moth were of extreme importance. I think there were a few others too, but they are forgotten in the mists of my memory.

Do you remember? Rabbits had long ears while Hares had short ones. I am not sure if Rabbits had longer feet or not? Toads were found more on land and didn't have as big webbed feet as frogs and also would have warts. Butterflies rested with their wings standing upwards and had plain antennae while moths would rest with their wings flat down and had fringed antennae. I recall now a fourth set, Turtles had webbed feet for swimming while tortoises had feet for walking on land and were more terrestrial.

These distinctions came - I think - from elementary school (Grade school for some, not sure what the first grades of school are called in all English speaking countries. Grammar School?) and I think it was in "science" or the science content of those early years to get us thinking of the differences between animals.

What got me thinking about it has nothing to do with animals at all actually but rather fruit, or berries to be exact. I remember the day that my Grandma asked me to go downstairs to the cellar and get a jar of strawberries. I was happy to do so and it was neat to go down to the cellar. It wasn't a dug out earth walled cellar but had smooth concrete floor and walls and nice wood partitions for the pantry/cellar area where the canned goods were stored. At the time they still did a lot of canning. I guess a hold back from the days before most houses had electricity and electric fridges and freezers. My Grandparents on Dad's side were Mennonites and so they might not have had electricity quite as early as some... though I think they were pretty progressive.

Anyway I went down to get the canned strawberries - wondering why canned foods were always in jars - and looked at all the pickles, tomatoes, tomato sauces, beets, sausages (Yes, they canned sausages, and knew how to do so safely.), peaches, pears, and so many other things... and spotted the canned berries right beside the couple types of cherries and the whole canned crab apples. I noted another shelf of the red berries on the shelf below as well.

When I got upstairs with the jar, Grandma asked if she had asked me to get raspberries by mistake because that is what I had brought up. I was confused. "Aren't they the same thing?" I asked Grandma, and then she was confused. She told me that you could tell the difference because strawberries had the seeds on the outside. I noted that, though didn't quite understand because the round bumps on the outside of the raspberries looked a lot like seed as well to me. I told Grandma I would try to remember.

I can't remember if I went back down for the strawberries or if we had raspberries instead or if someone else went and got them. I really didn't know the difference or that they were two different fruits. I was somewhere in that nebulous area of age between 4 and 6 where it can be hard to tell when some things happened. At that age I had never seen where berries came from. I knew they grew on plants, but all the berries I had ever seen growing on plants were like the little red or white once that you aren't supposed to eat... well and the choke cherries on the choke cherry tree. But we were afraid to eat them. We meaning me and my friends. I guess that comes from being city kids even though we had a huge garden. Probably average sized by farm standards, but huge by city standards.

Anyway, I got thinking today about the strawberries and raspberries and how although you can see the seeds easily on the outside of the strawberry, they never seem to be a problem. But the seeds of the raspberry (Also blackberry, salmon berry and all their kin.) are out of sight but can really be felt between the teeth and get stuck between them. That even goes for in the yogurt I was getting at the time today.

I wonder if the difference between dog and fox or wolf was a part of that school thing?.

~ Darrell


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let Go of my LEGO! - Childhood Pass Times

Let Go of My LEGO!

Favourite Childhood Toys.

I used to spend hours playing on my own when I was little. I guess I was a bit of a loner as a child. I did like to play with other kids, but often found myself quietly playing on my own in the living room or in my bedroom. I had this wonderful toy I got for Christmas one year. It was my second set of bricks and could do so much more it seemed than my first set of plastic bricks which seemed only good for building walls and buildings. This new set had a fun name - LEGO!

The modern style bricks were actually first patented in January 1958 - 50 years ago - but " took another five years to find exactly the right material for it."* I guess this means, since I was born in June 1958, that I must have had one of the first sets of the modern LEGO. Not meaning a first edition or anything collector worthy - rather meaning that I had the opportunity to be one of the first kids to be playing with the toy and enjoying it. I feel rather privileged.

Now the set I had, had three bricks with holes for wheels and six wheels with tires. (The rubber tires did not fair very well for they were indeed nice and chewy and I was a tactile kid.) It also had an odd piece which would act as a flexible trailer hitch. The set also had a window block and a window door block. These were in addition to a number of transparent plastic versions of the regular LEGO blocks.

I think the set was a moderately large one and was intended to be very general. It had pieces to build both houses and vehicles. I did build wheeled vehicles with it, but not too many houses or buildings. What I did tend to build with it was submarines and space ships!

I thought the wheels made excellent space motor propulsion things... not like some sort of space wheel to drive on, but like some sort of energy emitter so they faced to the rear of the spacecraft. You have to remember that the original "Star Trek" and "Lost in Space" were on television. I also thought they made good ultra scientific submarine motor propulsors like they used on "Stingray" the Supermarionation show. I also didn't keep things strictly to the LEGO bricks. I would add whatever seemed like it would fit which might include marbles and bits and pieces from broken ball point pens like springs and the bits inside the pen tops that made the nib go in and out. (I also learned a lot about how the mechanics of pens worked.) It was good to have a box of buttons and bits to include in my LEGO bricks.

That included small figures from other toys. The set of LEGO I had didn't have any LEGO figures in it. I am not sure that LEGO included them yet. So I took figures from other toys of mine. I liked the "army men" that were in general poses like seated for in a jeep or plane and I had figures that never seemed to get into model planes as well. They all were crew for my subs and space ships. One of my favourites was my "little blue man" I think actually I had a few so I called them my "little blue men". It gives me a giggle when I see the "Blue Men Group" performing because they look like my "little blue men" come to life.

I could while away the hours with both building and playing with the models I made with the LEGO.

My imagination would soar to the stars or plunge to the ocean depths - of course my companions were things like National Geographic's articles on undersea exploration and habitats and similar articles on space exploration. Perhaps it was play like that which has lead me in part to where I am with a good education and crisp mind ready to imagine most anything? I know if I have children, they will have toys they can make toys with. That includes a box of buttons and stuff... well taking care that they are old enough not to choke on the wee bits.

~ Darrell

BTW You can find a page for LEGOLAND and as well as the site there is a LEGO Shop. I found a page about a collection of all the LEGO sets ever made too in The Lego Secret Vault - someone should let them know they are using the trademark name wrong.


*Lego - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I have read this in other sources as well.

PS This post is in Red because most of my Lego Blocks were Red with a few specialty ones that were Transparent, White, or Blue and one or two that were Yellow.

DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Way To Go Sport

Is It Really Sporting?

Have you ever wondered just what a "sport" is? Of course I am not meaning the breeding term where "sport" essentially refers to a spontaneous mutation. This comes I guess from where they have added things like "Texas hold'em Poker" to the Sports Channel. Granted, just because something is shown on a sports channel doesn't mean that it is a "sport". I imagine they can show anything within whatever regulations they operate under. I know that children's networks have specific guidelines they have to fit within

Is something a sport because there is competition? Poker might fit in as a sport as it is a competition. Likewise solitary activities like jogging might be considered a sport as one is in a way competing with oneself to if not improve one's time, to improve one's health. Fishing might be considered a contest between man an fish.

But then... what about people who are trying to get better grades than anyone else in school? I don't know that sport can be equated with competition or contest.

What makes something a "sport" and something not a "sport"?

If it is activity, then how much activity makes it a sport rather than a game? So we have sports, activities, competitions, games, and contests. I think that there are many places where these things include each other or cross over and wonder perhaps if the definition might be more that of exclusion rather than inclusion? I imagine too rather than simply say "activity" I should be saying "physical activity" or "mental activity" might be complicating issues.

I do think that really you can't completely equate game and sport - nor could you equate them with activity or competition. I think that there is a lot of debate and disagreement as to what would be considered a sport and often it would be the participants or avid followers of the "activity". ("activity" rather than "physical activity" here) Some people might feel upset if competitive hotdog eating were not considered a sport while others would be upset if hunting were considered a sport.

Where does a person draw the line... I guess it is a bit personal.

I think there is a lot to do with whether you watch or do too.

I am not so big on watching sports. I enjoyed playing a little bit of soccer and hockey when I was young. I played a touch of football and softball too. I did win a few trophies on a civic level for curling. I also enjoyed golfing, but only with my Dad and it wasn't really a matter of competition rather than challenge. I was rather fond of the idea of tournament fighting in the SCA with armour and rattan tourney swords, but that isn't a sport most have heard of.

I still feel dubious about poker being called a "sport" though no matter how much the players might squirm and sweat..

~ Darrell

PS a formal definition of "sport" is: an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Friday, June 20, 2008

If You Go Into The Woods Today - Urban Jungle

Urban Jungle - or Forest Anyway

Yesterday morning I was almost in for a bit of a surprise! I think I have mentioned that hear from the Old Gnomestead in Port Moody Centre I can see Bald Eagles soaring while I am sitting in the comfort of my living room or bedroom-office. I can also see the occasional coyote on a quiet very early morning and can walk to the inlet to see harbour seals swimming or sunning themselves on log booms. If I can see eagles and coyotes seen from here in my suite in this three story apartment building I needn't mention the squirrels, raccoons, seagulls, pigeons, crows, and occasional raven need I?

However yesterday morning I just missed seeing another visitor to our neighbourhood! A juvenile black bear. At least I am told it was probably a juvenile by my apartment mate who sometimes has odd views on how big or small things are that she sees. Definitely a black bear however as this morning they were putting up signs to let people know that bears were prowling the neighbourhood and reinforcing the bylaws already in place which prohibit garbage being brought to the curb on garbage day before 7am and encouraging wise composting practices which would not attract bears into your yard.

I'd think it prudent to keep dogs and cats named Hotdog, Burger, Peanuts, Popcorn, Crackerjack, Wiener, and Picnic indoors and safe from these refugee Yogis and Booboo bears who might be on the lookout for pet takeout. I guess it would be wise to be wary even with the occasional coyotes and racoon who sneak about.

Now if you don't know it, I do not live in some small logging or mining town in the deep woods. Nor do I live in a community like Beautiful Banff, Alberta nestled in Banff National Park with its mountains, forests, hostsprings and so forth and wildlife galore that perhaps are no longer to be found much in the Continental US lower 48. (They were the only 48 when I was born, but that is another story.) Port Moody is a part of Metro Vancouver which has a combined population which I believe is over 2 million and if not is nearly 2 million. It could be between 2 and 3 million depending how far up the Fraser Valley you go. But even between 1 and 2 million it is a fairly large metropolitan area. Metro Vancouver is Canada's 3rd largest city for that matter.

We do live on the edge of wilderness. I guess in a sense on the edge of two wildernesses if you consider the ocean a great wilderness on it's own. There is virgin forest north of the city with wild tracts running south towards Seattle as well. There is also open farmland opening to the east and beyond that mountain and wild forest. I have heard there is a pack of wolves who have moved in to areas at the far end of one of the lakes that nearly come into contact with Metro Vancouver - yes wolves, not coyotes or wild dogs, but wolves. I believe they are timber wolves or grey wolves. They haven't been seen in the area for quite a while and it isn't a matter of them being "reintroduced" from elsewhere through the action of preservationists. Probably just beyond one of the mountains I see out my window there might be grizzly bears and of course deer, elk, moose, fox, bobcat, mountain lion and you name it... If they exist, there are likely sasquatch-Bigfoot out there too for the area is know to have had sightings.

I'll have to keep my eyes open over the coming days. The fellow putting up the sign about the bears said the the bears are probably living in the wilderness area in the slopes above our neighbourhood. If I can cox some more pictures out of my ancient digital camera - so ancient it only talks via serial cable and I don't think I can get it to talk to my MacBook - I'll see if I can catch a picture of the black bear - from the safety of my balcony of course.

It won't be a picture of a grizzly bear of course, but I am content with it just being a black bear walking down my lane.

~ Darrell


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Belgnorman's 500th Birthday

Preparing for Belgnorman the Gnome's 500th Birthday!

I know! I'll be coming out with an article Later! But for now I am preparing for the Gnome's Birthday Celebrations. They'll be going on until at least the 22nd or 23rd, but hey, you only turn 500 once in a lifetime or two! (Not that the next article will be waiting until after the 23rd. Probably later today - the 19th. My Grandma would have been 101 today! Happy Birthday Grandma!)

~ Darrell


Howdy Again!

What is in a day? Yesterday I had my 50th birthday and really nothing much has changed other than a number on some paperwork when I fill it out. Though there is a feeling of change especially because we put a bit of emphasis on the Decade-Centennial-Millennial system. I have just crossed in the the second half of my first hundred years. Perhaps I am strange in fully intending to see my 100th birthday and in fact seeing it possibly in better health than I am in today.

I figure a number of my ails will be dealt with and I am working to improve my physical shape, albeit slowly. I am heading once more to my high school graduation weight and I think I actually am at least a half inch taller than I was then. We shall see. I didn't quite make it for my 50th birthday.

I did have an enjoyable birthday, though my family get-together is still to come tomorrow. I spent yesterday with one of my best friends and her 20 month old daughter. That was a kinda cool way to spend my 50th. It really was nice when she grabbed my hand because she wanted me to escort her from the restaurant while she waved "bye bye" to everyone and even bowed to the Korean hosts. (Many of her Mom's students are Korean so her Mom figured she picked up the habit of bowing at certain times from them.) I even babysat her for a while that evening. Babysitting a toddler isn't too bad a way to spend your birthday if you don't normally have the chance to do something like that. She's like a niece to me and I hardly ever get a chance to see her.

Anyway I am tagging this on to the end of 63a because I figured 63 was really just a teaser for it and I don't want to mess up the count. I'll include a note in one of today's post directing people to the now edited posting.

~ Darrell

PS 63b was added June 20th at 3:50pm PDT


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beautiful Bridges

Bridges Bridging More Than Just Gaps

I was web surfing a bit today and using StumbleUpon when I came upon this great page with pictures of Amazing Bridges from Around the World. I recognize many of the bridges but many of them are new to me and the pictures are just awesome.

Sometimes we just have to stop and smell the roses. It is worthwhile just to look at beautiful pictures taken of things some of us might take for granted. Some of these bridges, like the Capilano Suspension Bridge (image to right) - which is local to me - are specifically intended to be there to be appreciated or at least there for the appreciation of the beauty of their surroundings.

There are other bridges that are marvelous and special for historical and archeological value as well as aesthetics. The Amazing Bridges from Around the World page has bridges like those and all sort of other amazing bridge images as well. The place where I might fault the page with is that there are no captions to go with the images and along with captions credits for the photos.

There are gems like these to be found around the web and they are - I believe - really in the form of blogs, though being used for special purposes. Another I perused today was of the 10 Tallest Waterfalls On Earth (image to right)and was also a great collection of waterfalls, some familiar and others unfamiliar all illustrated by great photos.

Probably I won't see most of these places, but I can dream and I can look at the pictures others have taken. I can even go to some places both near and far and take my own pictures to share with others and it is much, much easier to share what I see and hear today than ever before... of course there is also so very much more to go through so in a sense even as the World is growing smaller... it is also growing larger by leaps and bounds. We might need more bridges

~ Darrell.


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Monday, June 16, 2008

Toot Toot - Make Way!

Make Way - Make Way!

Wow those electric bikes are neat! A fairly inexpensive one might cost $750 (CDN) and it would have a range of 30-40 km carrying around 91 kg at up to 25 km/h. (200lbs at 16 mph). You can charge it in 6-8 hours (6-8 hours ;-) ) for pennies and you can pedal to assist the range and enhance the performance. I was taking specs off of one sold by Daymak. It is their "Paris" model (on the left). That is a very bicycle looking electric bike. You could possibly put its 40-43 kg weight on one of our transit bus bike racks and take it with you on board public transit to extend its useful range - especially useful if there is a freeway bridge between you and destination even if it is well within your 30 km range. I am pretty sure there'd be little problem taking it onto our automated light rail tranport - SkyTrain - considering it is electric and little different in that aspect from an electric scooter or wheelchair.

They have ones that look more like Vespas and other scooters as well which I am a bit more intrigued by. The Smart E-Bike (on the right) is one I really like the looks of. The Smart E-Bike has the advantage of not only looking smarter, but it also has a braking system that puts energy back into the battery so that when you are coming to a stop at a traffic light or cruising down a hill you are not only saving power you are regaining some. There are trade-offs of course - the battery alone weighs 26 kg. I suspect there might be greater problems with getting permission to put the E-Bike on the bike rack of the public transit bus. It might still be possible to take it onto the SkyTrain, but there might be problems with that since it looks so much like its cousin, the gas powered Motor Scooter. It does travel a bit fster at 32 km/h (20 mph) and has a larger range of 80-100 km (50-60mi) so there is less need to drag it onto public transit... but still it wouldn't be allowed on a freeway and would you really want to be on it on a freeway?

Which brings me to the point of this all.

I was nearly run down this afternoon by someone walking their mountain bike down the apartment hallway. While they weren't riding it, between their elbows and the wide handlebars, there wasn't a lot of room for passing. That is what got me thinking, just where do alternate methods of transportation belong in our cities?

I frequently commute to and from the museum I volunteer at on foot. I walk the kilometre to and from it walking along the sidewalks and over an overpass that crosses the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline. The overpass is a bit older and so the sidewalks perhaps are not as wide as current ones tend to be, so when someone comes down it on bike or skateboard it can be a bit of a squeeze. It is an issue too if someone is running, pushing a stroller, using a mobility scooter, wheelchair, or even a walker. There is a need for people to be able to get from point-A to point-B and that means particularly people with strollers, baby carriages, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs. But there is also a need for ways for people on bicycles to travel safely and more of a need for folks with things like skateboards and roller blades because people are actually using these as modes of transportation.

Some of these things have had to play with cars for years. Many cities have had laws forbidding cyclists from using bikes on sidewalks with exceptions only for paperboys making deliveries and for small children's bikes. Many cities had bans on skateboards from both road and sidewalk to the consternation of boarders over the decades. It seems to me that a lot of those laws are not being enforced now or at least don't seem to be. I am often nearly forced to stand aside when I am crossing that railway overpass for cyclists, skateboarders, roller bladers, and runners. On wider sidewalks it is not so much an issue though some of the quicker traffic on the sidewalk don't seem to realize that they really don't fit in. As a driver I know how difficult it is to make allowances for someone coming down the sidewalk at roadway speeds. You can yield to a pedestrian easily enough, but you don't have time enough to yield to a hurtling bike or boarder. There are reasons why hedges and obsticals like them have to be a certain distance away from the corner. That is so you can see the quicker moving cars approaching. Slower moving pedestrians you don't need quite so much room to see so it is okay for bushes and such to be a bit closer to the sidewalk than the street.

So, where do alternate forms of transportation belong?

Many cities are putting together special bike routes to divide bikes from cars and some walking paths are being split to separate cycles from pedestrians. I think that in the natural order of things boarders and bladers have opted for the cycle side of things and strollers and carriages are on the pedestrian side. Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters stick on the pedestrian side, though I have noted that some scooter users run their scooters in high gear which gives them a very high speed and they seem to expect special treatment on the sidewalk with everyone jumping to the side as they approach.

How many strata will future roads have? Today we have road and sidewalk with perhaps a sidewalk on both sides a parking lane on both sides with 2+ lanes of traffic. In future... two lanes for cycles might be added? Would boarders be welcome? What about electric bikes? What about low powered electric scooters? Some areas allow low power electric cars, essentially golf cart sorts of vehicles modified for street use with proper headlights and tail lights.

What about the Segway PT (on the left) and those two wheeled Razer scooters (on the right) and Razor Electric Scooters (on the right - green) and relatives of the earlier foot powered ones? (on the left - red) I imagine that some of the pedal powered vehicles like recumbent bikes would travel in bike lanes.

There are many forms of alternate transportation, but I think we shall have to think of just where they will fit in. I wonder if there is room for horse drawn chariots in this world? Make Way!

~ Darrell


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Grumpy Old Man - A Few Moments of Quiet

Soundly Silent

How long since it was actually quiet around you? I mean quiet without the hum of a computer fan or furnace; without the sound of someone opening or slamming a door; without the sound of a car or plane; without the sound of people yelling or talking; without a cell phone or telephone ringing; without TV or music playing - how long has it been since you were alone with your thoughts? I am sitting here on a moderately quiet morning in a small city and while keeping in mind I am feeling a bit sensitive to noise, I am noticing that it just really isn't that quiet a morning and I wonder when the last time I was in a truly quiet situation?

I think that for most of us, even the times that we consider quiet, there really is a cacophony of sound. Many of us chose to blanket ourselves in other noises to insulate ourselves from it whether it is with music or the background noise of TV or radio talkshow. I sometimes wonder if I am no longer suited to the city, have wondered if I am not suited to suite living in an apartment.

I know that it is not quiet in the country either, at least now or for a long while. If you live in a agricultural area there are different sounds and I have seen that played up on some comedy movies where people have moved ot the country for peace and quiet only to discover farm tractors, chain saws, trucks, highway and rural road traffic along with all the bleats, moos, whinnies (but not poohs). Getting into the other rural areas and you are more likely to hear the chain saws and wood clearing and cutting equipment as well as other machinery in the bush. Even if you do get farther away it seems there are always cars, boats, trains, or plains. Perhaps the quieter it gets the more our ears search for annoying sounds? That was a theory I would go by. Though I did read an interesting article about "The Last Quiet Place" which talks about the efforts of Gordon Hempton to have a spot in Washington's Olympic Peninsula declared as protected as one of the last actual quiet places in, there being perhaps just 3 in Washington state and a dozen in the lower 48 states. I wouldn't have a clue how that relates to Canada with our slightly larger open spaces.

Gordon Hempton records those sounds-of-nature CD's and defines a "silent place" as one where you can experience regular intervals of at least fifteen minutes where no man-made sounds can be heard. He mentions where ambient noise can be as low as 23.5 decibels "the volume of a pine nut dropping onto damp moss twenty feet away."

Now I don't mind some noise and welcome some. But sometimes it seems that one doesn't stop before the next begins. One person powerwashing, another starts using an air wrench on his car, the next cranks up the base on their stereo, then someone starts yelling... or was that last one me? I understand the need to get things done, but with everything, weekdays people work and work needs to get done, then Saturday comes and work needs to get done that you can't do weekdays because you are working, and then Sunday comes and... well Sunday just isn't important to many people anymore so there is no day of rest then either. So there simply is no morning when you can get away from hammering, sawing, mowing, or someone who has decided his little econocar has to sound like a 1964 freightliner! I can't wait 'til the day they start selling special sound systems for hybrid cars which create motor noises to make them sound like 70's muscle cars without mufflers.

...well that last one was an idea of mine actually. Not for hybrid cars, but because I was so frustrated with the loud cars and I wanted a car that was totally quiet, but had instead large speakers and a special effects sound system on board so that I could pump out whatever vehicle sound I wanted from model-T to airliner at take-off and do that ant next to full volume. So when someone with overloud muffler on car or bike, or overloud music pulled up beside me at a light I could flip the knob to 747 and take off.

Still, a morning like this morning... one neighbour power washing her deck (a lower floor apartment below my bedroom window), other neighbours who for some reason can't shut a door or cabinet or toolbox but have to slam it, then several "bikes", and many folk who simply have to slam their tool boxes and barbecues shut instead of close them.

I could just turn up my music to drown out the noises like others do, but it gives me a headache to turn my music up louder than the volume I like to listen to it at. I am also not comfortable with earplugs. Perhaps I can learn to live with hearphone type sound blockers? I have never found them very good at blocking sound, just deadening it in an aggravating way. Maybe I should have made this another of my "Grumpy Old Man" articles? I just didn't want to seem so grumpy. I guess I shall...

~ Darrell


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

If You Go Into the Woods Today...

What Pet Would You Want to Bring Home?

There are many reasons to pick a pet. Now I have had a few - while living with Mom and Dad - and they included a handful of types of critters though the ones I had longest and have fondest memories of were our dogs. True they were family pets, but I considered at least two of them "mine" even while they were also Mom's and Dad's and Sis's*.

I did have 3... or 4 hamsters, 3 gerbils, a small painted turtle, calico gold fish, comet goldfish, three wild salamanders, a rabbit, and 4 dogs. I was pre-adolescent for most of them except the gerbils and two of the dogs. I think I had two of the hamsters when I was a young teen. I loved the early Habitrail sets almost like having a train set expanding my layouts of tube and cages.

Still I was closer to our last two dogs - the relationship I had with them felt a bit more like a family one. I did care for the other pets but it was different with these two.

We did go to a breeder for our last dog, my Sister was looking for a small poodle cross - maltese-poodle or maltepoo - and wanted a puppy and she found one at a nearby breeder who mostly bred pure bred miniature poodles. We ended up bringing home a pure bred miniature poodle that day, though had no interest in a show dog. Previously we had a golden lab that I am not sure where my Dad got from, a corgi that was a stray, and a Pekinese-chihuahua cross that Dad got from a business acquaintance.

I've watched a lot of the pet segments on the Noon News Hour on Global TV seeing all the cats, dogs, rabbits and even a few other critters they bring in from the SPCA. A lot of them are older animals which are well trained and behaved and some have a few health problems and might need special care.

I am not sure about when or if I'll get a dog while I am single and living on my own, but if I were to, I would consider getting one from the SPCA rather than a breeder. I think I would still like a younger dog, but... I likely would want to bring them all home with me. That is one reason I don't want to volunteer at an animal shelter.

I can understand some reasons for wanting pure bred dogs and other animals. One of the biggest has to do with knowing some idea of how large the dog will grow and having some idea of temperament. Some breeds are naturally more energetic and that has to be planned for and others really need to be put to work or some sorts of tasks or they will drive you batty while they try to herd you, the children and the furniture around the house. Some breeds are also better at coping with strangers coming and going or with children while others are one family or one person dogs. Some breeds also do not shed and have nearly no oder at all. Their coat has less oder to it than human hair does. These things are important if you have to worry about allergies or if you want a dog but are worried about "doggy oder". Some of these things can be harder to predict with a mixed breed dog - especially of unknown or very mixed parentage.

But there can be a lot of love in a three legged terrier cross or a shepherd-lab cross from the SPCA, other humane society or Animal Rescue group. There are even some rescue groups that specialize in certain breeds.

There are many dogs for adoption at the SPCA and for that matter many cats, rabbits and other animals. They are a bit careful about who they adopt to. They want to make sure that the animal will be taken care of and not be coming back due to lack of commitment or because the strata-complex or apartment manager does not allow pets. Pets are long term commitments after all which is why the term "adoption" is used. It might seem a bit more work than you expect and they do charge a fee for adopting animals, but they do have to in part support themselves and also figure that if you can not afford the adoption fee, perhaps you can not really afford the actual expenses behind owning a pet.

I think I might for the near future be contenting myself with my 4 dracaena-dragon trees. Perhaps they don't return a lot of love, but they don't require a lot of love and they have survived in my care for over a dozen years and move while living in my living room.

~ Darrell.

*Miss Grammar lifts her graceful head and must interject - normally I would figure that to make a word ending with "s" possessive you would place the apostrophe "'" after the "s" so it would be "Sis'" - isn't "Sis" a conctraction of "Sister" and should actually already be written as "Sis'" with an apostrophe? So you would create the possessive as if it ended in "er". Well at least that is my take on 'er from my wee experience in writing.


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Are You My Mommy?

Are You My Mom?

'Twas simple back when families at least seemed simpler. One Mom, One Dad, perhaps two sets of Grandparents, and between 1 and a dozen kids. Well, maybe the dozen kids might not be so simple... and of course between none and and 2 dozen uncles and aunts and between none and 144 cousins...... double that. up to 4 dozen aunts and uncles and 288 first cousins. That is assuming a maximum family size of 12. But I figure even in a time of large families you could halve that to 24 uncles and aunts and 144 cousins... now that is a lot still... ...and none of the cousins marrying yet...

And, not taking into account the slightly rarer then divorce and remarriage or widowhood or widowerhood and remarriage...

Which gets me onto the subject... Many families make a distinction on what they call their maternal and paternal sets of grandparents. Some of us got away with Gramma and Grampa for both sets because they lived a thousand miles apart and we could say Gramma and Grampa from Calgary and Gramma and Grampa from Manitoba. We also said Grandma and Grandpa as well when we got older. (Meaning my Sister and I.)

I know other families and Ompas and Nannas and all sorts of other things and I am sure that many were based on their family ethnic background and I am all for that as foreign as they might sound to my ears.

But there now are more and more families where parents have split up for many reasons and remarried or just taken up house together with or without adopting children and with bringing children with or not...

A friend had her Mom and her "Pseudo-Dad" as well as her Dad and "Pseudo-Mom". Though I mostly heard her refer to her Dad's wife.

Still there is the term StepMother and StepFather for such situation. Also Adopted Father and Adopted Mother. With that we have added Birth Mother so I guess with that Birth Father... though more often I hear "Deadbeat Dad"... not saying that all non-custodial Fathers don't support their children. It is just what I hear so often...

Along with Birth Mother is Biological Mother. I think the two terms have been used synonymously for a long time as has Genetic Mother. I think for now I might get away from referring to the paternal line.

When children are given up for adoption normally they just refer to the adopting Mother as "Mother" and the Mother who gave up the child as the "Birth Mother".

Things are still very pre 70's so far really...

But then up steps "in-vitro fertilization" - not to mention sperm donors.

So there can be the Mother who carries the baby to term and the Mother who raises the baby to childhood. There can be a different Mother who takes over raising the child with a second marriage sometime in the child's childhood. That would be the Surrogote Mother and Mother with the Step Mother afterwards. But then the egg might be donated by another woman, the Genetic Mother. Would the Surrogote Mother be the Biological Mother or would the Genetic Mother be the Biological Mother?

Anyhow the child would have the Genetic Mother/BiologicalMother (egg donar), Surrogate Mother/Birth Mother (womb mother/gestational mother), and then the more traditional Mother/Adoptive Mother (diaper changing, bottle feeding mother). That would be followed by the StepMother/2nd Adoptive Mother. Wow... the second Sunday in May could get very confusing if everyone stayed in contact.

I figured I would stay away from Fathers... even though Father's day is just a couple days away...

...or maybe they are simpler... Genetic Father/Biological Father (sperm donar) traditional Father (diaper changing, bottle feeding) non-custodial Father, Step Father.

I was thinking of the more complicated situation since there still is the traditional Mother who provides egg, womb, cuddling and breast feeding and bringing up as well as the Father who provides sperm, prenatal support, and cuddling and bringing up too.

No way am I getting into Cousins!

~ Darrell

PS I have one Loving Mother and one Loving Father - had two Loving Grandfathers and two Loving Grandmothers. Tomorrow might be Fathers' Day, but I'll add right here:

H A P P Y - F A T H E R S ' - D A Y !

To all you Fathers and Fathers-to-be out there!


DailyStrength - Free Online Support Groups