Monday, July 14, 2008

Danger Danger!


There’s a new technology out and it’s not the Iphone. It’s a refrigerator that will order your groceries for you.
Okay, I’m a bit skeptical here. How does it know what you’re eating? I’m betting you have to tell it.
That’s all okay if you like the extra work, but what it should be doing is scanning you to see what exactly you’re eating. I mean, I have a teenaged boy. With lots of friends. I rarely have enough milk in the house and sugary cereals are an endangered species here. And I know my son. He’ll be opening this new fridge door and saying to it, "I’m taking a carrot now. We have only three left."
Meanwhile, he’s helping himself to the last half of pie. And I mean a whole half. That's good writing, isn't it?) I’d be inundated with carrots before the week’s out, if this fridge believes my son and calls in an order of carrots to the local Co-op. Talk about naive.
What the refrigerator should do is scan the kid using one of those beams we see on Star Trek and then yell out in a loud voice, or better still, announce it on an in-house PA, "You are not taking a carrot. You are eating all the pie. Back away from the refrigerator. I say again, back away from the refrigerator."
Or wave its arms around yelling, "Danger, Will Robinson, danger! All the pie is being eaten! Danger! Danger!" Then grab the offending teenaged boy (because it’s not necessarily going to be my own), and hold on until an adult can come and pry the pie out of his hands.
You know, this could work for dieters, too. You simply program into the fridge what you should eat and it simply won’t let you reach for pie, but rather grab you with those flex hose pipe arms and not let go. Why, you could work up a nice cardio routine fighting it off, and speed and agility too, trying to get the pie out of the fridge before it grabbed you.
Of course, your teenaged boy and his friends would consider the whole food grab a challenge. They do, after all, have a computer game experience, like one of those death matches with the evil minions of planet Thrombosis.
Or they could just reprogram the fridge.
You’d catch on pretty quickly though, when you opened the fridge for supper’s nutritious salad and it said something cheeky to you like, "Enter password within five seconds or this refrigerator will self-destruct."
Oh, yes, self-replenishing refrigerators are fine, but those scientists should be working on getting teenagers to eat three meals a day, all nutritious, with no snacking. Now, that’s technology worth buying.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Whale of a moment


We're usually too busy to go driving around, and with the price of gas, it happens even more rarely. But when a dead fin whale washed up on shore about an hour's drive from us, we had to see it.
And this one's not that big for them, but you can see the sheer size of it.
What you can't enjoy was the smell.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What else can happen?

(This post can also be seen at http://loveinspiredauthors.blogspot.com/)
Twenty-four hours can hold an awful lot
This time yesterday, I was deep in my writing. I had to get some synopses done for my editor and was determined to do just that.
But we’d planned some fun activities for later. Being Canada Day, we were going to take in the fireworks in the nearest town, but at supper, I finally had some down time and watched the news.
A whale had died and been washed in with the tide, down in Slacks Cove, near Rockport, New Brunswick. Since this wasn’t far from us, we decided to check it out.
So did half the town, too. It was big, but by far, the smell was more intimidating. I touched it, and found it smooth, rubbery, and very cold. It had been a bit battered after it had died, and I tried to identify it. A small fin whale or a sei whale, maybe. I’m not up on my whales, I’m afraid. But there didn’t appear to be anything I could see that may have killed it. Perhaps, we can hope, it was just old age.
It’s amazing to see how the tide had washed it in. At 12 metres long, it would take some doing, a testament to the power of the sea. Which was now returning. Time to leave.
Then of course, came the fireworks we’d looked forward to seeing all day. My hubby had packed some snacks for us, and when we got there, we stayed in our car until dark. And until we discovered my son, being the one in the far back seat and closest to the cooler, had eaten the huge chocolate bar his dad had slipped into the cooler for later. So all we had was water and popcorn. Good for the diet I had put us both on, I suppose. The fireworks were wonderful and we even got out of the parking lot without delay.
Then we came home to find we’d left the garage door open, and four stray kittens had decided to make it home for the night. I didn’t want them in there, so my daughter and I had to chase them out. Not an easy task. Corralling kittens in a messy garage is much like trying to hold a child who wants to be put down. Simply impossible and not unlike the fireworks we’d just seen. We did our best and thinking the kittens were gone, closed it up and went inside. I did, however, peek out to see the kittens chasing one of those huge lunar moths. Unfortunately for the moth, the mum caught it and dashed off. She returned a few minutes later licking her lips. I'd seen enough, so I went to bed.
This morning, after my husband and my daughter had left for work, I saw two of the kittens curled up in the middle of the driveway. Feeling compassion, I mixed up a slurry of warm cat food, kibble, and homemade unsalted chicken broth, and took it out to them.
And the gang of regular adult cats came running to help these little darlings eat the food. Feeling a bit piqued, I glanced around.
And saw a gopher. Not a big one, but one curious enough to waddle out from under the trailer. It wasn’t until I heard the neighbor start up his lawn tractor that I realized that it was the one from under his shed, and he’d been temporarily evicted. I guess it wasn’t my delicious concoction of mixed cat foods that lured him out.
My morning of housework wasn’t happening, and wasn’t soon to happen, as I walked past the garage, and heard a faint meowing.
I opened the door and discovered yet another kitten inside. One I was sure I’d chased out last night. And as one would expect, he wasn’t ready to escape out the door yet. Under the pile of junk in the corner was much safer. I refuse to feed it. I don’t want it to become comfortable in my garage. I put garbage out there, and don’t want to clean that up every morning. I’d have to wait for my son to rise in order to get even attempt to get this one out.
But look what had happened to us in the last day. A trip to see, and smell, a whale up close, fireworks, in town and in our garage, and one curious, not to mention miffed gopher. We’d seen it all.
What on earth could today bring?