Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wildlife Rescue needs your support

A good friend of mine wrote me this morning:

"Dear Suzanne,

Here is the link to the e-campaign to reinstate a progressive wildlife rehab response in Ontario.

Please forward to any friends you think might help.
We hope to bury McGuinty and Ramsay in email.

Thanks very much..."

Part of the hope is to take steps to help remove Wildlife Rehabilitation from the administrative control of the OMNR where there is a conflict of interest and establish a Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee which will allow for public input and review of policies and regulations affecting wildlife rehabilitation.

As it is now, the work I did a couple of years ago (helping raise orphan baby squirrels) was illegal. I'm not usually a law-breaker. But, according to the rules that are in operation right now, the squirrels that were orphaned in downtown Ottawa, should've been left to die naturally on a sidewalk. It is "Nature's Way" to have their mother killed by a car, and for baby squirrels to starve to death.

Well, Nature didn't intend for cars to interfere in the normal cycle of squirrel-dom, so brave volunteers exist to take the law into their own hands. Without this network, you would see orphaned skunks, raccoons, squirrels all over the place in town, looking for food and getting run over themselves by the traffic in our modern world.

It only takes a minute to fill out the petition, a little longer if you would like to write to your MPs. It's worth it! Don't keep volunteers who truly love animals from doing their jobs and being hauled to jail. Change the rules and regs for the better--and help animals ultimately live longer, happier lives in the wild where they belong.

Cheers & thanks!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chocolate Chip (Quizzes) Cookies

I've been enjoying my sojourn so far. It's been nice having time to catch up on things that I've put off indefinitely, like cleaning, reading, cooking and sleeping in. Man, is it still sleeping in if you wake up at 8am? I guess so, compared to rolling out of bed at 5:15am! Yikes :-)

I made cookies for the the first time in forever; from the Harrowsmith Cookbook. Check it out.. (these are not low-fat, but could probably be adapted.)

Harrowsmith Cookbook's Choc. Chip Cookies

You will need:
1 cup of butter (or margarine)
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (any kind will do)
12 oz. choc. chips

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease, oil or spray non-stick spray on a couple of cookie sheets. Spread wax paper on the counter for your bounty (or get out a couple of wire cooling racks.)

Cream butter and sugars together into a gooey mass, then add eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients in order listed and mix well. Fold in nuts & choc. chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets with 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 8 - 10 min. depending on how big your cookies are. Should make about 6 dozen (but I've never been able to make more than about 4.)


Now, adapt the recipe!
For a lower calorie treat, try the following changes. Warning; I haven't tried these, so no guarantees!

Lite Cookies

1/2 cup margarine (or olive oil) & 1/2 cup of 50% fruit jam.
1 cup brown "sugar" Splenda
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
4 egg whites, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup fine corn meal.
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup mini choc. chips or carob chips. (Or omit chips altogether.)

Cream together margarine and jam into goo, while adding Splenda, molasses and honey. Add beaten egg whites and vanilla. Next, sift together whole wheat flour, oats and corn meal, along with baking powder and salt. Mix altogether. Fold in chopped almonds and mini choc. chips (if using.)

Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Cook for 8-10 min. in a preheated 375 degree oven. Remove cookies to cooling racks and store in air-tight containers.
Makes approx 6 dozen.

Good luck!
Let me know if this turns out.

In addition to baking, I have indulged in making a few Quizzes at Quiz Heaven. It's been fun learning how online quizzes are constructed; there are 3 kinds: Generator Quizzes, Regular Quizzes and Percentage Quizzes. For an explanation of the differences in each, check out Quiz Heaven and try writing your own.

My Fun Time-Wasting Quizzes
Are you a Slob Beyond Redemption? (Generator)
The Danger of living vicariously through your pets..(Regular)
Lonelineless Quiz (Percentage)
What Lord of the Rings Female Character are you most like? (Regular)

PS--Here's a fun Quiz actually; anyone know the significance of the pic I posted? I haven't had a contest in awhile, so first correct answer wins a PRIZE! My last winner was Jay who guessed that my Pome contained my email address. She won exciting magnets with which to adorn her fridge. Maybe it'll be YOU next time!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Somewhere over the Rainbow

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow"
Music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

I keep pinching myself, and realize it's not a dream, or a poppy-induced hallucination, or even (occasionally) a psychotic episode. I'm free. A limited pass, acknowledged, but for the time being (May 14 - July 6th) my personal leave from Stats is in place, signed in triplicate by various people (some of whom I have not met) and approved.

56 days.

Why do I feel as if they will fly by as quickly as any weekend, a mimeographed blur of sweet May winds, balmy 22 degree C. temperatures, cheap hops in bottles, dandelions bobbing egg-yolk heads as I trip and waltz over cracked asphalt. It will flit like rods in blurry video-images. It will dash and gaily blurt beep! beep! even as I spin and blink bewildered Wiley Eyes.

Until I learn to Stop Time. Or bend and fold time like a balky empty cardboard box, flexing in trembling arms, collapsing into a resisting accordion. Now You Will Slow Down For Me. My days will slow down. I order this; command that trickling minutes be transformed into piles and piles of seconds; bumping one another and asking why the line won't move?

My Spring's end, my Summer's beginning. My sweet, silent, time of memory, reflection, beauty, freedom and art. A mere trickle of days gathered like precious fallen leaves in supplicant's folded hands, ever grateful for specks of time.

So; what happened?

I got an offer I couldn't refuse to do some freelance animation, something I haven't done in a few years. Of course, I spent some time trying to figure out what the hell to do. As usual, most of my rumination and self-induced stress pushed me in several directions at once. But, for once, I didn't wait for the easy road to unfold like a squeezed up cellophane ball. I said: Self, if you let this baby slide by, then you're not allowed to complain about Stats ever again. Got it? You'll have to march in grey jumpsuited delirium until you drop dead or retire and you wont' be allowed to whine about it.

Actually I think Clay said that and I agreed soberly.

I'm currently helping my friend Nick work on Storyboards for Nelvana's animated show Wayside, based on the popular kid's books by Louis Sachar. Nick roughs the boards and I get to clean them up. And it is SO GOOD to be drawing again; it is like when you have dealt with having pain for so long (like an irksome toothache) that it's second nature and then suddenly, it's gone. Gone. And you bite down on a carrot and it doesn't send a nail of pain puncturing your frontal lobe. Drawing = no pain. Wow.

I didn't know I could get leave from a job. Correction; a gov't job. But, yes, you can apply and you can go and do whatever the heck it is you need to do(maternity, going to school, traveling in the Alps, becoming a joint Producer and/or Owner of a failing animation company... ehhh...) and come back to your job. I think all I have to pay back is my pension. Man! Any other job from my past the answer you'd get to a proposition of a need for some time off would be: "Sure, enjoy your time off.. Don't come back." (Followed by the waving of a cheery pink slip.)

So, I will report more when there is more to report. I have been negligent of my poor Blogs, sorry. I got sucked into Facebook :-O I will post a funny drawing I manipulated for a Facebook Group called the Super Hero Secret Identity Network. (S.H.S.I.N.) Usually I can do better PhotoShop drawings, but for some reason my colour is really off. I probably have screwed up a setting on it or something!

Oh, and the intro pic at the top of the post is a drawing I made for the Care2 site's Suicide Intervention group, started by my friend Heidi Thomson. Check it out if you are feeling blue and need to talk.

Cheers all!

I Dominate evil-doers with my patented Brom-inator cudgel. It runs off a car battery. YAY!