Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Scanning the stacks

I try to run my eyes over sections of the library book collections whenever I am walking around during a break.
When I spotted this shelf of books, I knew I had finally found an answer to all the questions that I have had about our neighbor to the north.

"Understanding Canada"!!!

Best of all...apparently a reader could gain a full understanding of the country by reading a mere 621 pages.

Wouldn't this book be just the thing to get a handle on all things Canada?

Apparently the monograph has had its readers.
(Make that reader, singular).
Isn't that sad?
Of course I was glad to know that there was nothing new to learn about Canada after 1984.
I like a country where nothing much changes over time.
I opened one of the other books on the shelf, a thinner book, and turned to the chapter on Canadian daily life.

(Major apologies for the sideways way of this cell phone shot photo).

It probably is important to grasp the concept that the most popular pastime in the evening for Canadians is watching television.

Hmmm...I need to see a break down of population segments within the survey to figure out if that is a true statement across the board.

Knowing how food oriented my few Canadian acquaintance are, I turned to the chapter on food; curious to know if it is an obsession shared across the vast country, or if food is a fetish focus of only a few.

Apparently posing a question about a national food will likely generate "a long thoughtful pause" from a typical Canadian.

Shoot...I know the answer to that question: 


Every Canadian blogger writes about wiener roasts.

I still don't understand that fascination and the book about Understanding Canada didn't even have the word "wiener" in the index.

Paska, drinking beer with breakfast, why they use "eh?" at the end of a sentence and are so often able to take six weeks of vacation a year: Those were the key "Understanding Canada" questions that I felt were left totally unaddressed within the 621 pages of the book and all the other smaller books as well.

Secretive bunch up north, aren't they?
Makes me wonder what else about themselves that they are not willing to discuss.

Monday, November 07, 2011

The times, they are a'changing....

My Utah based grandcats Meowsie and Cheeto are not looking like grandbaby cats anymore.
No...they are all grown up now and are starting to look more like two elderly uncles.
(Or perhaps the old geezers on Sesame Street, you know the two I am talking about?)

When asked if I would like to come along on a crib shopping trip, I said yes of course.
Crib shopping turned into stroller/car seat shopping instead.
Jeff and Rachel had recently visited a city based friend with a new baby and had gotten to experience the challenges of navigating a stroller up stairs and down curbs and such.
Jeff noted that that experience had teed him up to watch stroller wielding parents in airports.
He noted which stroller models served as back breaking time intensive devices, and which seemed to provide parents effortless modes of baby transportation.

Based on those observations, he had already decided he wanted a three wheeled device with large blow up tires.
In fact, he had already decided that a steering a stroller should be similar to another familiar driving experience.
When he found this model, it was a "Eureka!" moment.
As Jeff put it: "This one is more like my golf cart".
(Jeff golfs a lot as part of his career; he is definitely not a weekend duffer on the golf course. The boy knows the finer points of golf cart selection for optimal golfing enjoyment).

He also noted that the more traditional baby buggies made him feel like he was back in preschool playing with toy dolls. 

I totally understood that. 

I felt the same way thirty three years ago when I was test driving strollers and buggies and such. It was such a sensory flash back to myself as a five year old that I could barely wrap my brain around the fact that I was now all grown up and yet still engaged in the same activity.

While the modern strollers lack a certain degree of charm, they do offer enhanced mobility, easy folding and even provide a jack for an ipod.
The pop out car seat/baby carrier had a unique triangle handle hold.  Oh it was SO much more comfortable to tote than the design I was stuck struggling with all those years ago.
(Just to try to see how it would really feel, three purses were tossed into the seat. The carrier still felt "right" arm wise.  That cinched the deal).

At home, the entire piece of equipment slid out of the box, and two wheels were popped on in a jiffy.
If you look closely you will see that the "jiffy-ness" was being tested with the couple's current wee one.

Poor Cheeto.
Oh, poor POOR Cheeto and Meowsie.
Life as you have known it is SO all about to change.
And this change is only the first of many to come.