So this morning apparently bad people attacked twitter, and because I’m a twitter addict I noticed.

I dropped in to ello.co but didn’t see anyone there.

I wanted to pick up some notebooks for my little company so I shopped for some, not on Amazon in an effort to support other online retailers…my MD was out with the car so I couldn’t shop locally (if there’s even a local retailer who would have anything I was interested in buying at a price I could afford, which I doubt–nothing against the local retailers but there just aren’t that many; I’m not keen on spending money at WalMart). Anyway I found someone with some cute Moleskine notebooks on clearance, and went to buy them, and PayPal is down.

Went back to ello and they’re down, now, too.

Domain Name System?

Do not share

Do not shop


I added a new link category there on the right, internet meta. I will add links to my web infrastructure providers.

Starting with hover.com, where I have been registering my various domains for several years now. They’re very straightforward and it’s easy to see which domains need renewing right meow. They don’t have the very lowest prices, but they do have access to a lot of domain extensions you might not have known existed! so if you have an idea for a company or a site, it’s a great place to work with. The link above and on the side is related to my account, so if you do go and sign up with them, I will get a $2 credit, which would pay for…less than 5% of my annual domain registration charges, so it’s not a lot but hey every little bit helps 🙂 I think I registered my first domain maybe 15 years ago? and hover is the place I have settled in, after trying 3 or 4 places, and also trying to do it through my hosting service.

Here’s a tip: don’t register your domain with your hosting service. If (when) your relationship turns sour or the prices go up or you hear enough horrible things about the company CEO to make you vomit and vow never to give them your money again, it can be really tricky to move your domain somewhere else unless you set it up just so and plan ahead. If you keep all your registrations in one place, you also have less chance of forgetting about one (oops) and/or needing to attend to one after you’ve moved or changed email providers and lost access to the email address or phone number on file. (Yes, all these things have happened to me.)

Anyway, I can recommend hover, they are totally easy to use and clear. They’ll help you if you need help figuring out all that DNS whatnot for your domain, too.

9/11: the most terrible moment of our age?

I saw this posted on facebook, from an Australian news site, that had a bunch of pictures of 9/11 and posited it as the most terrible moment of our age.

I remember 9/11, and how it felt to hear the morning rock DJs in Vancouver on my clock radio, talking about this event that was clearly outside of their usual, as I woke up, and trying to understand what they were talking about, then going to the computer briefly, and then the TV. I *think* I saw the second plane hit, live? but I’m not sure. Everything was replayed continuously and I at this point can’t recall how early I woke up. I know I saw the towers come down. I was late for work and then basically spent my day going from news site to news site, trying to find out more information.

It was shocking, it was horrific, and I guess we all wondered if it was the first of a series of attacks on North America. What’s going to happen next? The first place I lived when my mum and I moved to the US in the 1970s was Mount Vernon, 26 minutes by train from the City, and even though I hadn’t been back since I think 1986, visiting with a friend from Queens, I felt a connection to NYC as I imagine most people who have spent time there do. So even though I didn’t have any friends living or working downtown at that time, it still felt personal. The volume of images and commentary, and the fact the US media is largely based in NYC meant that we had access to so much more than would have been the case if it had happened in, say, Saskatoon, but really that’s the whole point, isn’t it.

I am the cynic who commented at the start of the first Gulf War that they timed it so Peter Jennings could announce it to the country on the ABC evening news, 6:30 pm Eastern. We used to watch while we ate dinner; we were living in Philadelphia at the time. I also somewhat by memory and mostly by reading all the spy novels I could get my hands on, was pretty aware of the terrorism–bombings and kidnappings, mostly–that were common in Europe and the UK during the 60s and 70s. North America had been inexplicably spared much of this, or at least what there was was on a relatively small scale, and scattered around. Patty Hearst, that truck bomb under the WTC, the Oklahoma City bombing. I read a lot of Tom Clancy, too, and I imagine I was not the only one who would have had second thoughts at that point about going to a stadium for a big sporting event.

9/11 was awful enough to get me to set foot in a church, for a mass, despite my absolute contempt for the Catholic Church and their policies in the face of AIDS. I left the back of the full-to-bursting church before the priest finished his sermon, as he decided it was appropriate to condemn abortion in the middle of it.

It was definitely a before and after moment, and there have been tangible changes to all of our lives as a result.

In a way, though, I think the most terrible moment of our age was the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003. The invasion of Afghanistan was relatively straightforward, there was a clear connection to the attacks, and there was an enemy we could name. But Iraq…I was living in Canada, and we were just aghast at the whole idea. Peace demonstrations in the US were being shut down with rubber bullets, tear gas, wooden projectiles. There were demonstrations all over the world, including in Canada, and literally hundreds of thousands of people bothered to march in protest. I don’t think the US news carried much of this. They were busy showing Colin Powell lying to the UN, George Bush lying to the US, Tony Blair lying to the British.

That misbegotten, profit-driven, shit-show has led to unknowable numbers of dead and injured, and a slowly spreading pool of coups, destruction, and terror that has directly affected whole regions, as well as creating literally millions of refugees trying to escape American bombs dropped by Americans and by our doughty allies, and by those pesky Russians, on top of the home-grown religious terrorists whose bountiful arms are largely courtesy of shortsighted US policy and action, and whose funding is courtesy of Putin. Refugees that many Americans want as little part of as possible, which is really just doubly chilling.

9/11 was the pivot point. The moment the terrorists returned the serve in a game going back decades but which to that point had been contested almost exclusively “over there.” But when you have whole cities in Syria destroyed, whole cities in Iraq destroyed, whole cities in Afghanistan destroyed, thousands tortured, imprisoned and killed over the past 15 years, hundreds of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean while attempting to reach a safe haven, hundreds of thousands of refugees in appalling camps in Jordan and elsewhere, we are really spoiled for choice for “most terrible moment” of the 21st century.

Vote! but not for a politician…

for me!

Edited to add: direct link

You may have noticed that I like to cook…I also like to watch cooking shows on TV :p

Chopped is one of my favourites and they’re having this Chopped at Home Challenge with Sargento Cheese. At first I thought, “Oh well, I don’t have any recipes of my own really, what would I put? it has to be original.” And then I thought of the amazing polenta I made with pimento cheese (and I used shredded cheese in that), and I thought, in the words of Chef Tony Minichiello, “Why the hell not?!”

So I made up this plate to the Chopped specifications (use pork tenderloin, Sargento Shredded 4-State Cheddar, broccoli and grape or cherry tomatoes; feature grilling), and I sent it in. In the unlikely event that I win, I will get to go to NYC and be in a little Chopped thing with some other home cooks, and I think that would be so fun! so I’m asking you to vote! five times every day! or whatever. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage to people with huge facebook friend lists and such, but it’s worth a shot!

So please go to the Food Network, and admire my Pork Tenderloin, Zesty Quick Pickles & Pimento Cheese Polenta (my super yum dish), and then vote for it! five times a day! then tell your friends! 😀

Thank you kindly!

Pork Tenderloin, Zesty Quick Pickles & Pimento Cheese Polenta

Pork Tenderloin, Zesty Quick Pickles & Pimento Cheese Polenta

On rape, and getting drunk, and judges.

So you have presumably heard of the case of the young woman who attended a party, got drunk, blacked out, and was assaulted by a hitherto-squeaky-clean Stanford student, on the ground behind a dumpster (so romantic!).

She wrote and presented to the court a victim impact statement that has gone viral, as they say, outlining what happened, and stating some of the physical and emotional results of the assault, which will no doubt continue to affect her for the rest of her life.

The perpetrator’s father wrote a completely risible and tone-deaf letter to the court requesting leniency for his precious baby, saying that the son’s “20 minutes of action” with this woman have already had such terrible impacts on his life, including losing his swimming scholarship, that going to jail wouldn’t serve any purpose. It becomes apparent where the son learned his concepts of right and wrong, cause and effect, and appropriate behaviour.


They blame the victim for being so drunk she can’t remember what happened, or that (Brock Turner claims) she consented.

Setting aside the fact that the “consent” of a drunk person, if it was actually given, is invalid on its face, what kind of person thinks that it’s OK to have “20 minutes of action” on the ground behind a dumpster with a person who is drunk/passed out? (The witnesses who chased and captured Brock Turner at the time of the rape did so because the person he was lying on top of wasn’t moving in any way and appeared to have passed out.)

How does being drunk at the time you commit a crime make it OK, as his father seems to believe? if you have a car accident while driving drunk, do we consider that OK? If you were drunk when you stabbed someone who was drunk or passed out, would we just write it off and let you lecture highschool kids on the dangers of alcohol and say “Oh, that’s OK! you were drunk, it doesn’t count!”? how is that any different than committing three felony sexual assaults on someone who was drunk/passed out?


And then we get to the sentencing. Brock Turner was convicted of three felonies:

1. Assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman;
2. Sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and
3. Sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.

The judge, Aaron Persky: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.”

The prosecutor recommended 6 years (that is, less than half of the maximum of 14) in state prison. The judge thought 6 months in county jail would be more appropriate. It seems that the severe impact of being raped pales in comparison to severe impacts on rapists, who we don’t, apparently, want to suffer too much. Brock Turner is apparently going to appeal his conviction, apparently agreeing with his dad that he shouldn’t have to face any consequences at all.


While I am the first person to agree that getting blackout drunk is a bad thing, and something one should strive to avoid for any number of reasons, I don’t in any way think that anyone who does so deserves any horrible thing that happens to them. The consequences of getting blackout drunk should probably include…having a horrible hangover, being ashamed, and working on exercising more self-control in future. They should not include being assaulted by some punk who thinks just because you’re drunk you agree to anything he cares to do to you. They should not include having to go through the physical examinations and probing. They should not include hours of police questioning. They should not include being blamed for what another human being decided to do to you while you were unable to verbally or physically defend yourself. They should not include the misery of a trial where the roles of “victim” and “assailant” are poorly defined. And they definitely should not include having your suffering and the violation of your person and your rights being considered immaterial to the judge gently sentencing your rapist.

Happy Anniversary

So today is my parents’ wedding anniversary. I’m a bad daughter, because I don’t recall exactly which one. Somewhere in the high 30s, I’m thinking.

I was reminded of this fact when writing a cheque (not working means I hardly notice things like dates anymore).

My dad called me earlier to tell me he was calling the ambulance to take Mummy down to the hospital in Kamloops; he can’t carry her to the car to drive her. This has happened before: she is on antibiotics and her response to this given all of her rheumatoid arthritis meds is basically nonstop diarrhea, which eventually dehydrates and weakens her to the point where she’s incoherent. Her sleep schedule is so erratic that you can’t blame my dad for not noticing until it’s dire, because normally if it seems that she’s sleeping, that’s a good thing and he won’t wake her.

Anyway. Waiting for an update. Last time this happened, it was quite bad and I didn’t realize until it was over…he’s under orders to let me know if I can help at all (not working means I don’t really have a pressing need to be one place over another).

Update: After 5 days in hospital, she was released and all is well.

Anger is an energy

And I’m so heartbroken, and so angry, at this church shooting.

My twitter feed has a litany of the horror and irony of the situation...evil white men in the USA are never called “terrorists” no matter how terroristic their actions are…evil white men in the USA, having committed mass murder, are often captured alive by law enforcement in the same breath that innocent black men, and children, in the USA, are casually murdered by law enforcement, and seldom brought to task, let alone justice, for it (South Carolina being a recent rare exception to this rule, and indicting an erstwhile LEO in a recent unjustified shooting).

The incessant systemic racism in North America, which blames the victims for not being 100% perfect, as though certified perfection is a requirement in order to be treated like a human being. What were the dire, murder-worthy faults of these churchgoers, at bible study on a weeknight? do tell.

The bitter bitter irony of politicians in South Carolina, speaking literally under a Confederate flag at half-staff, claiming not to understand how or why anyone would do such a thing.

The predictable pro-gun reaction that wants MOAR GUNS even in churches to be able to shoot the shooters. YES! MOAR GUNS! MORE DEATH! why the fuck not.

She works hard for the money;

And, chances are if she’s working in a kitchen, she has to deal with a shit-ton of sexual harassment on top of the usual sexist shit that permeates so much of our lives.

There was a piece in the Star yesterday about a report brought before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging wanton sexual harassment in a Toronto restaurant. This followed a piece in Maisonneuve last year (neither of which I was aware of before a twitter pal mentioned it this morning, btw).

I watch a lot of cooking shows like Chopped and Top Chef, Canadian and American, and they all seem to strive to include women chefs. Often the women chefs will mention that it’s hard out there for a woman in the industry; to the point that it becomes a bit tiresome, frankly, and I really want the people to just compete and win on their skills and merits, not because they’re one sex or the other. But reading these two pieces made my jaw just drop. I mean I’m used to a level of sexism, although my workplace is pretty good. But you really can’t avoid it. But the harassment! the touching! I would personally find it hard not to start removing digits from offending hands, if I were standing there with a knife. And I realize that would not end well, but that would be my instinct. What kind of (sons, brothers, fathers) assholes A. do this; and/or  B. see it happen and do nothing about it? It’s unbelievable, although I totally believe it. I do trust that none of my restauranting friends runs a kitchen like this, but I’ll bet all of them have seen one or a thousand of them.

But talk about a toxic work environment!

Anyway. Jen Agg of The Black Hoof in Toronto (also author, also evidently quite well-known in T dot although I know basically nothing about T dot, so), came abruptly to my attention this morning, and may I just say that she rocks? She is running with the momentum of the Star piece and talking about making a conference about sexual harassment in the kitchen workplace happen. I encourage you to follow her on Twitter (@theblackhoof) and see if there’s any way you can help, oh esteemed friends of mine who are writers/restaurateurs/chefs/persons of influence, because holy fuck, nobody should have to face a workplace that fills them with dread every day.

Update: Eater is talking about it, too. I hope there will be more attention and participation by some big names, because this deserves it. The twitter hashtag for the conference (to be held in September) is #KitchenBitches.