Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Odd Little Family

NOTE:  I originally posted this on No Hands But Ours (NHBO), but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to NHBO.  Sorry if it is a repeat for some.

Happy Mothers Day!  Um, okay, maybe that's a little late, but this is really the first time I've had to post since Mothers Day.
ComicCon 2012 - what better way to say "Thanks Mom!"
I hope Mothers Day was great for everyone... lots of flowers, and chocolate, and other such things.  Our Mothers Day, well, it was... different.

This year, ComicCon came to town.  For the first time ever.  So naturally, it happened to fall on Mothers Day. And what better way to celebrate Mothers Day, than with a trip to a conference center filled to capacity with Star Trek Red Shirts, Halo Master Chiefs, Sailor Moons, smelly middle aged men in Captain Americas with their bellies hanging out, Captain Canuck (our Canadian knock off version of Captain America, except instead of catching bad guys, he just randomly apologizes to people and gives them Tim Hortons Coffee and bacon), and the obligatory various of Princess Leiahs, both Slave Girl/Gold Bikini* and Ambassador Leiah.  There were Zombies, Aliens, Vampires, even some normal looking people... but not many.
The girls and Sailor Moom
Apparently, there ARE MANY BETTER ways to celebrate Mothers Day.

Huh.  Who knew?

You would think a Mom would have enjoyed ComicCon.  :-)
While waiting to take this picture, many "middle aged smelly men kept pushing the girls out of line to get their pictures taken"
I mean, my Wife dose happen to like Super Hero Movies, Firefly, and Star Trek.  And she DID want to go to ComicCon.  She brought it up in the first place.  I mean, we saw some Moms there, who were obviously dragged there by their children or husbands.  And good on 'em for going!
Bobba Fet and a prisoner
There were younger couples there, some obviously on a date.  Some guy dressed up as the Bountry Hunter Bobba Fet from StarWars...  The girl, wearing a nice outfit, obviously missing the meaning of ComicCon, and looked as if she was ready for a night on the town.  This was a very different kind of date.

There were even some Dads, who were dressed up, one in particular who was dressed up as Captain America.  His daughter standing beside him was trying to cover her face in shame.

But I loved seeing one (single?) Mom, who was sitting on the floor with her two young boys.  Both boys were jacked up, and dressed up in costumes.  The Mom looked tired, but was smiling and encouraging her boys to have a fun time.  I'm sure she brought them after much begging and pleading on their parts.  And good on that Mom, who embraced what her boys liked, helped them get dressed up and take them out for an afternoon of comic books.
Head Crab from the Half Life video game
See Mom's are amazing.  I don't think the girlfriend really wanted to be there... judging by her body language, I don't think Bobba Fet was going to get a 2nd date.  Even the daughter of Captain America, who probably used to chase her father around the house asking for hugs and kisses, seemed to want to run away from him now.  But the Mom's there, well, they seemed to enjoy it... at least some of them... because they saw their 35 year old husband get to meet Jayne from Firefly!!!  Err, I mean, they got to see their children have a great time geeking out with fellow comic book and Sci-Fy fans, and in typical Mom fashion, managed to put the happiness of their family before their own, and find some measure of enjoyment in it.
Anikin and Obi Wan, how predictable
I guess every family is a little odd.  I know ours is.  Mothers Day at ComicCon seemed to work for us.  Is it for everyone?  Nah.  But it works for us.

I'm glad our family is a little odd... because I think, normal is boring.  :-)  If I wanted normal, I would not have had 5 beautiful children... I think that's just crazy.
Apparently, Bing would not take his eyes off Wolverene
What other Mom's get treated to breakfast in bed, home made cards, flowers, chocolate, and then get to meet Captain Jack Sparrow in the afternoon?  Are we a different family?  Maybe.  Is it because of adoption, faith, country we live in... or just because we're all a little crazy.  I think it's probably the crazy.
Meeting Captain Jack - I think Miss G is actually blushing in the picture
I guess part of growing up is finding out what Family really means to you.  And ain't no backpacking 'round Europe gonna help that.  But you find what family is to you, however it looks, and love the family you are given.  Single Mom, Single Dad, Step Mother/Father, Step Sister/Brother, Adopted... maybe there is no normal family anymore, except for a family build with love (sadly, that is not as normal as it should be).

When my children are 30 years old, and in professional counselling, that poor psychiatrist will never be able to figure out the root cause of my children's "issues"...

... but that psychiatrist will be able to identify many many many different ways our children felt loved, and accepted in this odd little family, no matter how different (or crazy) everyone is.

* = Despite my pleading, the boys did NOT want to get their picture taken with Slave Girl Leiah.  *siiiigh*  Maybe next year.  Next year.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Still DIDN'T Eat Your Skittles!

About two years ago, I posted this:

And oddly enough, it is one of the most read articles here on the Blog... oh, wait, I just checked the stats, it IS the most read article on my blog.  Why is that?!?

Maybe it is worth giving a bit of an update on the whole "trust" issue.

Miss G:  DAD!  DAD!  DAD!
Me:  What baby?  What's wrong?
Miss G:  DID YOU eat my CHOCOLATE?!?!
Bing:  CHOCOLATE!!!!
Me:  No, I did NOT eat your Chocolate.
Miss G:  Because my chocolate is... gone!
Me:  Oh no, I bet your Mom ate it.
Bing:  No chocolate?
Miss G:  Mom, did you eat my Chocolate?!
Wife:  Um, yes.
Miss G:  WHAT?!  WHY?!
Wife:  You hadn't eaten it yet.  So I ate it.  You know if there is chocolate in the house, that I will eat it.
Miss G:  But I just got it.
Wife:  You had it for 2 weeks.  If you can't eat it in two weeks... tough...
Me:  See, I didn't eat your chocolate.
Bing:  Yes Chocolate?
Me:  Miss G, why don't you ask Mom who ate your cake?  The cake I got you on our Date Night.
Miss G:  *GASP*  No no no, Mom would not eat my cake...
*awkward silence*
Miss G:  Mom, did YOU eat my cake?
Wife:  Ummmm, yes.  But you left it in the fridge!
Miss G:  Where else was I supposed to put it!
Wife:  You have to HIDE it from me!
Bing:  No Chocolate?
BigD:  Oh, are we talking about the time you ate Dad's chocolate?
Wife:  Hey, he wasn't eating them!
Me:  No one told me they were mine!  I thought they were the boys.  Since when do people buy ME chocolate.
Wife:  Look, it's very simple, if there is chocolate in the house, I will eat it if I can find it.  You all have been warned.
Me:  I think the important thing to take from all this, is that it is you MOTHER who eats your candies.  Not me.
Kids:  Yes Daddy.
Me:  Which means, I did not eat your Skittles.
Kids:  You TOTALLY ate our Skittles!

So now, the children trust neither of us.  I guess you really can't make/force people to trust you.  Maybe in a few more years, they will learn to trust us more... or at least how to hide thier chocolate better.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ottawa: Dow’s Lake - Walk the Wall

Ottawa: Dow’s Lake

Each year, International China Concern (ICC) organises a walk-a-thon called Walk the Wall. The walk is 10km long and participants from all over the world sign up, get sponsors and walk, raising money for the many abandoned and disabled children in China.
Walk the Wall raises the necessary funds to give life to hundreds of children and adults with disabilities by providing full-time care. ICC works to end abandonment by providing supports to families with disabled children, proving that there are ways to keep families together.
I think that's a pretty cool fundraiser.  I know I can walk, so I'm gonna look at getting signed up, and asking for donations!  This is a pretty new event to Ottawa - so lets start letting friends/family know about it now... see if we can have more people walking than those people out there in Vancouver.  Yes, Braided Tresses and family, I'm looking at you.  :-)

NOTE:  The links provided are for 2011's walk... I'm still waiting on the details for the 2012 walk, but will keep you all posted.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"He's adopted"

Recently my wife and I actually went out on a date.  Amazing, I know.
We went to see the Avengers movie, and if you've seen it, you probably know where I'm going with this...
And no, its not going to be about Scarlett Johansson in her Black Widow costume.

image from

There is a part where the Avengers are talking about Loki, the bad guy.
His brother Thor, is trying to defend Loki's actions...
The joke is at the expense of Loki, the film's villain and adopted son of the god, Odin. Loki's brother Thor defends him to fellow Avenger Black Widow, who then points out that Loki’s “killed 80 people in two days.” Thor then replies, “he’s adopted.”
You can read more about it here, it is where I got the above quote from.

I think the more interesting part, is at the bottom of the site listed above there is a voting option to say if the joke was out of line.  Over 96% of the respondents responded that "No, people are too sensitive", while only a mere 3% voted "Yes, it insulted adoptees and adoptive parents".

My feelings are mixed on this.  I mean, yes, the adopted child is the bad guy in this movie.  However, in almost every other movie I've watched over the past 35 years the bad guys were NOT adopted.

So should the non-adoptive people be complaining that biological children are shown as bad guys...?

Hmmmm, but getting back to what I found interesting... the results of the voting.

The question posed was "Yes, it insulted adoptees and adoptive parents" or "No, people are too sensitive"... I feel that if the bad guy were of a visible minority group, the voting would have been very different.  People would see the question as more of a racial discrimination issue, and maybe would have voted differently.

But still, only 3% voted it was offensive?!  C'mon.

Replace "adopted" with "black" and see how well it goes over...
The joke is at the expense of Loki, the film's villain and he is black. Loki's brother Thor defends him to fellow Avenger Black Widow, who then points out that Loki’s “killed 80 people in two days.” Thor then replies, “he’s black.”
If that sounds wrong, then it is probably because it IS wrong... regardless of "black", "adopted", "mentally delayed", "geek" or anything else.  How about Thor just owning the fact that his brother Loki is a massive jerk who wants to enslave all of humanity?

Oddly enough, the Hulk gets a free pass... even though everyone in the movie is afraid of him and is very intentional NOT to upset him because he has a habit of destroying cities.  But then by Avengers-Logic... the Hulk wasn't adopted.

*siiiigh*  If you can't say anything nice...

Friday, May 4, 2012


A new event to add to the Yeti's Cultural Calendar.  I don't know much about this show, but someone passed me the info and said it was in support of the performers, who have various special needs (I'm still not comfy with the term "China Disabled People's" that the organizers use).

I love one of their actors bio page, where she talks about loosing her hearing and becoming a dancer.  She has a quote on there:
To all of us, some things are given, some things are withheld, over which sometimes we have no choice. But one can always choose one‘s outlook on life, and look more on the positive side, and face life’s disappointments with a cheerful and grateful heart.
 Tai Lihua
In Turkey
March 18th, 2003

More information can be found on their website: 

They will be in Ottawa on October 14th - information is below from the Chinese Community Life Ottawa group, but I'm sure the NAC would have information on it as well... Oh look!  They DO have information posted:

More information:

The Canada-China Cultural Development Association proudly presents:
My Dream



Net proceeds will go to support
Easter Seals and The Disabled Troupe


Thursday, May 3, 2012

The BarBQ

Inside of my barbq - burner in the middle, heat shield rusted to dust
 I love my  BarBQ .  It's getting kind of old.  Kind of rusty.
But still, it's my BarBQ.
I really enjoy cooking outside, some nice steak, or burgers... mmmmm... yummy!
But recently, my BarBQ has been giving me all sorts of problem...

Me:  Alright, I'll be outside cooking the burgers.
BigD:  Can I come and watch?
Me:  Sure, c'mon.
BigD:  Hey Dad...
Me:  Yea?
BigD:  Is it bad that flames are shooting out of the bottom of the barbq?
Me:  Nah, I'm sure its fine.
BigD:  Oh.
Me:  Why?
BigD:  Well, it's just that there are a lot of flames.
Me:  Ummmm, how many flames?
BigD:  A lot.
* looks under the barbq *
BigD:  Is that bad?
Me:  Yup, that is bad.
BigD:  Is it touching the gas tank?
Me:  Yup.
BigD:  Is it going to explode?
Me:  I hope not.  Hey babe, we can broil burgers in the over right?

I open the lid of the barbq, and notice a big pillar of flames churning out through the middle of the barbq.
No heat or flames on the sides... just a single, big column of fire in the middle.

Digging the old burner out of the rubble...

I would liken it to how God led the Israelites through the desert with a pillar of smoke during the day, and a column of fire during the night.

So for about two years, I've been barbq-ing on this barbq of mine.  I'd actually gotten quite good at it.  I would always have to be rotating food in and out of the flames, because the only place it would cook would be right over the middle... you know, where the column of fire was.  So I had this beautiful ballet going on as I rotate food close to the flame, then farther out to move raw-er food in closer...

I guess if I were to overlay what I was doing with my barbq with psychological jargon, I was developing a coping mechanism.  And it worked well.  I had barbq-ed some very tasty burgers and steaks using my coping mechanism.  But deep down inside, I knew I was falling short for what I had been created to cook.

I knew there was a better way.  I knew I could have more even flame.  :-)  As I walked the isles of Wal-Mart, looking at the Broil-King BarBQs, I thought to myself "Oh I could be a better cook if only I had that BarBQ, if only I wasn't saddled with this horrific column of fire rusted out barbq."

It served me well, but I think it's time for a new one

I didn't want a Webber gril, I wasn't asking for an expensive Napoleon barbq... I just wanted my barbq to be, well, not broken.

Realizing that I was not going to be able to afford a new barbq, I started looking at replacement burners.  I figured my burner was the problem, but I never thought it would be as bad as it was...

After taking the BarBQ apart, and replacing the burner with a new one, I was over joyed to cook burgers that night for friends!  I didn't have to resort to my ballet of rotating food, my coping mechanism, I could sit back, enjoy the barbq-ing and once again was filled with the contentment of having a nice flame to cook my food on.

My children have coping  mechanisms, maybe they are so good at using these that I fail to notice them sometimes.  But when something goes wrong, and you get to peek under the grill and see the burner and see just how broken and hurting they are at times... well... I wish it was as easy to fix a broken soul than it is a barbq burner.
Old burner, beside the new one
It breaks my heart too, because I'm sure they know that they are just coping at times.  I'm sure they know that they can be, and want to be in a better emotional state.

Recently, we had made the decision to take Ping out of Kindergarten.  There were just too many times where she was coping, and not really growing.  We didn't want her to get labeled as a bully, or mean, or broken... so the Wife is going to be home schooling her for the rest of the year, and we will see about Grade 1 next September.

These are never easy decisions, and one can only help that by doing so, we've grabbed a new burner off the shelf, and are heading to the check out in an attempt to help fix her barbq.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box

Warning:  This is a bit of a "soap box" type post - something pretty close to my heart, and not really the typical "Yeti Funny (or at least what I think is funny)" readers may be used to.  IF you are looking for something funny, I suggest the 168 Super Market post, or a related story of Why I'm Nervous to Fly...  If you are ready for a bit of a challenge, then read on... read on.

Recently I was having coffee with some co-workers, when the subject switched to Doctors, and our Public Medical services in Canada.  In Canada, every citizen gets free access to Health Care.  So we don't "pay" Doctors when we have to go see them... there are some costs involved, like if you want a Private Room at the hospital, or elective surgeries, etc.

But because it is "free", it is also... slow.  To see a specialist could take months, or years in some cases.  So the conversation quickly turned into a bitter rant of how inadequate our free health care is in Canada.

However, what I pointed out was that we have GREAT health care in Canada.  For example, you can get a FREE X-Ray, Mammogram AND Colonoscopy very quickly!  Just go to the Airport and try to board an airplane, while carrying a tube of 1/2 used toothpaste!

How the TSA agents manage to X-Ray hundreds of people an hour, when my Doctor's Hospital take 42 minutes to x-ray my sons chest when he can't breath, is beyond me.  Good job TSA X-Ray technicians!  Maybe we should just sit some medical students behind the X-Ray machine with the TSA agent, and they can do simple diagnostics while we are trying to get though security... 
If you feel you need a cardiovascular work out, maybe you've put on a couple pounds over the winter?  No need to hire a personal trainer... just tell the TSA security guard that you have an explosive device in your shoe... and start running.

Yes sir, if you want good medical care, just head to the airport.  It is *way* more efficient than the outdated Hospital system still used by the majority of Canadians.

But then this got me thinking, where else can find examples of organizations doing things better than the organizations which should be doing the things gooder...  huh?

Okay, Elections Canada!  Here in Canada, we get dismal voter turn out for elections.

Lets forget the fact that the vast majority of the world don't get the privilege to vote, lets forget the fact that the riots this past year were stemming from frustrated citizens who don't get to have a say in how the government treats its people, lets just forget all that, and take the right to vote so flippantly that only about 47 ~ 69% of the people actually VOTE... (and that was a GREAT year for voter turn out, one of the highest on record).
How do we fix this problem?  Simple!  Have the Beer Companies promote the event, and have the Credit Card companies handle the voter registration!  With Labatts or Molson promoting the event, you know the advertisements on TV are going to draw people in (especially the ever so important 18 to 34 year old crowd, who are the hardest to reach by politicians), it will be advertised EVERYWHERE and the actual voting booths will be rocking with loud party music, ring-girls holding big placard signs with the voting station names, and it will be THE event of the year!  Heck, the political parties could probably sell ring side seats to the event...

The credit card companies, bless their little hearts, seem to find me every time I move, in no time at all!  I move to a new house, and within 2 weeks, I have a credit card bill in the mail.  However, the Voter registry held by the Canadian Government still has me living at an address I have not lived at for over 6 years.  Even though I've filled out the "I've MOVED" card every stinking year for the past 6 years, they *STILL* get it wrong!

Yes sir... there are ways to do things "Well", and there are ways to do things "Not Well".

We have an estimated 140+million orphans in the world today.  Are we doing things "Well" in trying to help solve the orphan crisis...