I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
So, as I said recently, we have new additions to the family. Here are some photos of them and a few short videos. We did screw up on what sex some of the little beasties are. Since they are going to be spayed/neutered, we don’t know if it makes that much difference to change the names, and well, a lot of the time, cats just don’t give a damn what their human-given names are. 🙂 Athena is a male, and Leo is a girl. The rest of the kittens are males, so Harley, Jason and Apollo are okay names for them. We’ll probably call Leo Matilda now, taking a riff from “The Professional”. Athena is so sweet looking with that little black nose, I can’t imagine him as a tomcat, so Athena might just stick.
Jason is the stripy one. The black one is Tez (Tezcaltipoca) who isn’t sure about this whole kitten thing. Harley is off to the left.
Aggie (Agamemnon) is the big grey and white cat. The darker stripy one is Apollo, the lighter one, Matilda and the white and stripy is Harley.
This is again with Aggie, Harley, Apollo, Matilda and Athena.
Hera, aka MommaCat, is recovering from her spaying operation. Unbeknownst to us she was still in heat, though the trilling and wiggling around had stopped. That makes the operation a little more difficult but she is doing well.
Two weeks ago, we ventured up to Toronto for a vacation. Things had a bit of a rocky start since the airline ceased to be going out of our local airport, and we had to travel to Philly to get on it. It, of course, took longer to get to the airport than it took for the actual flight. I love flying, I freakin’ hate airports. The TSA lines weren’t bad though, and we got up to Toronto in the morning.
After navigating the rail line from the airport to Toronto and then the subway to our hotel, we finally got ensconced in our room. When ever we can, we stay at a Kimpton Hotel, since they are always nice, and they have nicely liberal policies, including taking pets. The St. George was, as usual, in a mid 20th C mid rise building and we were on the 7th floor. The room was about twice the size of the one we stayed in when we stayed at a Kimpton in Boston. And speaking of Boston, it felt like it was about that expensive in Toronto, but with a good exchang
l was near the University of Toronto, and this was definitely a college bar but very nice, and I liked the seating in it. The first time we went, it was great customer service. The second time, there was no customer service, so your mileage may vary.
That evening, we went out to find the reason we ended up in Toronto. I had read about a “nerd” bar, the Storm Crow Tavern that is located out in Vancouver. We were prepared to fly out there to go to it but then found out that they were going to open a location in Toronto, the Storm Crow Manor. It’s a couple of streets back from Yonge Street, which is the main entertainment/LGBT area of Toronto. I do need to show you the baby changing station:
They have very good food and drink. The décor is very much for the happy nerd in me. I’m not much of a photographer, so just go out to the link and look around. They were working on their outdoor area when we were there, which is complete now (I think.) You can also follow them on Facebook to see what they are doing. We went there three times during the 4 days we were there.
I got “Romulan Ale” as you can see. and here’s a video of it bubbling.
The next day we walked down to the CN Tower, a ridiculously high observation installation, about a fifth of a mile high. That’s it standing above the skyline. We were going to go up in it but the line was ridiculous and it was hot. So we proceeded across the street to the Steam Whistle Brewery, which had just opened a German-style biergarten. They had a very good pilsner, and I had a radler (beer and grapefruit soda) made with it, and my husband had just the beer. He also had the chicken schnitzel and I had beef tartar. It was a little over mustardy for me, but good, well chopped rather than ground.
We chose to walk up Yonge Street on the way back to the hotel. And there we found a Tokyo Smoke, another reason we went to Toronto. We partook some very low dose capsules. I’ve tried weed before but never had much of a reaction to it. This wasn’t much of a reaction either but it does seem to make it easer to think about things creatively and to get rid of the anxiety that you aren’t doing something “right” when doing art, writing, etc. The folks at the store were very professional and helpful. I really hope that PA gets recreational weed soon. The day was ended at Storm Crow again.
For Wednesday, I had made an appointment at a spa in the city, Hammam. It had advertised that it did Turkish baths and massages. My husband hadn’t had a professional massage before so I thought we’d both enjoy it. We had seen Turkish baths on various shows, most notably Tony Bourdain’s travel show, and wanted to try one. After wrapping up with towels, we spend some time in the steam room, a lovely tiled area with benches. It was HOT, but they had cold wet washcloths in a refrigerator right outside, so I took one and breathed through it while the sweat streamed off me. Then the bath attendents took us into a room with a large heated stone table where we laid down and were sluiced by hot and cold water, body temperature soap suds as well as being well scrubbed with what felt like 80 grit sand paper, but in a good way. After the bath, we were taken to another room for the massages. I got a full body massage and my husband got just the upper body since he’s a computer guy and, being tall, hunches over his desk all of the time. I’d definitely recommend it, even if it was a little pricy. But you only live once, eh?
After the spa, we wanted to get some dim sum, so we walked into Chinatown. We ended up at the Sky Dragon restaurant in a small multistory mall. I think we were the only Caucasian folks there, and we had absolutely no idea what we were eating, but it was tasty. There were several sets of dumplings, I could recognize the shu mai, and then we had a deep fried thing that seemed to be something like a crab cake, but rather shaggy on the outside. These were brought around in cards by elderly Chinese ladies, who were amused with us.
The next day we knew it was going to be rainy all day. We were just up the street from the Royal Ontario Museum, so we saved that for the rainy day. When we were there they had two special exhibitions, one for Indian treasures and the other paintings from the age of Rembrandt. The Indian show had caparisons for elephants and horses, clothing, canopies and jewels. The painting exhibit was beautiful, and I found I could appreciate it more since I’ve been dabbling with painting myself. One painter, I think it’s was Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, struck me as having what I would consider modern sensibilities. (an example of his work).
Finally, for dinner that evening, we again overcame our shyness and anxiety and went to a Japanese barbeque place right across from our hotel. It was called Gyubee, and seems to be a small chain up in Canada. Like the dim sum place, we really had no idea what we were doing, but it was fun grilling thinly sliced meats and vegetables on the gas grill in the center of the table. We had pork belly, brisket, marinated short rib, asparagus and mushrooms. For desert they had these great popsicles, Melona, and we had the mango ones.
We had idly known that the Toronto Raptors were playing in the NBA finals. Being not interested in sports in the least, we really didn’t pay attention. But that night, I woke up to hear all sorts of hooting and screaming. The celebration was on, and we could hear them seven stories up. And we were a couple of miles from the real craziness down at the arena by the CN Tower.
All in all, a good vacation, though every time I come home, I vow to never leave again. My anxiety chews me up on vacations. Hope you enjoyed reading!
Ray Comfort, well-known creationist and ark failure, is sick. He has a kidney issue. His followers sent out the following plea: “Please pray for Ray. He has been battling excruciating kidney stone pain for well over a week (see the video he made a week ago). He has been to the hospital five times over the last few days (and witnessed to many along the way). He is having an unplanned surgery today. We’d be grateful for your prayers for a successful surgery, perfect health, pain entirely eliminated, and of course, many to come to Christ. Romans 8:28.” That last verse is part of the verses that Calvinists cite when claiming predestination is true “28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Trust me, kidney problems are not fun, and a god that requires someone to suffer from them is just a ass. Of course, Ray’s minions don’t like the rest of that claim in Romans since it shows that their claims of free will are false, if one believes the nonsense of the bible.
So, he’s in a hospital getting surgery. No church elders with oil and prayer, no magical healing from any baptized believer in Jesus Christ as savior, no miracles at all, just good old human hard work and knowledge.
This is no surprise from these hypocrites and liars. The Pope doesn’t go to Lourdes for healing, he goes to the hospital. And Ray is just as believing as the Pope e.g. not at all. He knows better than to trust prayer or his god’s “will” for him. Ah, but they constantly tell their believers that prayers will be answered, just like the bible claims, that this god will take care of its worshippers like the birds of the air and lilies of the field. Well, I guess that’s why you see dead birds constantly since this god is incompetent and/or imaginary.
Of course many Christians will claim that their god “gave” medicine to humans. Which means that this sad little god evidently had a real hate on for those who dared be born before he deigned to “give” antibiotics, anesthesia, chemotherapy, gamma knives, dialysis, insulin, psychiatric drugs, etc to humans.
How many millions did this god intentionally kill by screwing around like that? The Christian answer is “we can’t understand god…until we want to claim we can.”
When I discuss religion here, it is usually about claims that theists make based on their respective religions. In most cases, those claims and religions get their details from what are deemed “holy books”. These can be anything from how the universe came to be, to how one should eat, or how one should treat other people, etc.
Many theists want to start with a presupposition, that their holy book is true. What they forget is that to everyone else but a believer, it is a set of claims.
The Department of Communication at University of Pittsburgh has a great explanation of how claims, reasons and evidence works. Claims aren’t evidence of themselves like the theist presupposition requires. They can be evidence that people did indeed believe such things, but they are not evidence that the events happened or the beings existed.
This morning I read The Friendly Atheist’s (aka Hemat Mehta) post on Patheos: “WA Lawmaker Attends Fundraiser for Liberty, a Proposed 51st State for Christians” Of course these idiots think that they can just take other people’s land, up in the northwest US and that the US Constitution will allow this. That won’t happen. Now, perhaps they can just go Alabama since Christians have been trying to make that a theocracy repeatedly. But they of course don’t want a coastal state since it’s hot, going to suffer from the climate change they deny, and will get nailed by hurricanes that they always claim come because of someone else’s “sin”.
We’ve seen nonsense like this before with the founder of Domino’s Pizza, Tom Monaghan, (one of the rabid Catholics with Opus Dei) wanting a Catholic town. He did get it, calle Ave Maria, Florida. Ah, only in Florida. The Wikipedia article says this about it “Ave Maria has a severe mosquito problem and has been sprayed more than 30 times via airplane with pesticides by the Collier Mosquito Control District in 2015 with organophosphates and pyrethroids, making it the most sprayed area in Southwest Florida.” Seems they have their own version of the ten plagues.
For the war bit, I read an opinion piece in my local Sunday paper by Chistine Flowers. You’ve seen her name on this blog before because she is a Roman Catholic apologist, who does get upset when the truth is told about her ignorant religion. She’s at it again, with her op-ed piece “With new abortion legislation, America is on the right track”. This is what she claims right off “’ I’m here to dispense with the niceties of “can’t we all get along?” No, we can’t. The fight for the right to life is a war.”
Oh my, how silly. Ms. Flowers certainly wants a war, doesn’t she? Alas, she’s declaring war against the United States of America, the vast majority who doesn’t agree with her religious ignorance and demands for a theocracy. Poor Ms. Flowers, she has declared that unless she gets her way, no exceptions for abortion and her theocratic nonsense in place, she’ll become John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. Now, it seems either Ms. Flowers isn’t so pro life since she seems to be so ignorant about John Brown, because the truth of that particular story is that John Brown was an incompetent man who got people killed and failed at what he claimed he was trying to do.
Ms. Flowers is “relieved” that men are taking away health care choice from women who dare to disagree with Ms. Flowers. She has no problem with laws being made with ignorance of basic medicine, having no problem with nonsense like claims that ectopic pregnancies can be “fixed” as the claims in the Ohio legislation. She goes on to lie about Rep, Brian Sims being “aggressive” to anti-choice protestors (an “older white woman and three teenagers” as Ms. Flowers strangely specifies) when he said this “”Shame on you. What you’re doing here is disgusting. This is wrong. You have no business being out here,” and you can watch it here: https://www.pscp.tv/BrianSimsPA/1BRJjvOnrzwJw Hmmm, compare this to accusations of murder and false information that Ms. Flowers advocates to be told to women who choose to get an abortion and the murders of people that anti-choice have been doing for years, bombing clinics, and putting up lists of doctors to be killed, etc. It seems that yet again, Ms Flowers gets offended to have the truth be shown about her religion and her attempts to control people because of it. It isn’t very flattering to be shown to be wanting the same sharia law that Ms. Flowers and other conservatives keep trying to lie about being used by Muslims in the United States.
Ms. Flowers goes on to laud that some of our conservative Christian legislators here in PA decided to show how wonderful they are by voting on a bill called The Downs Syndrome Protection Act, that they invented to try to claim that abortions were doing done left and right for fetus’s with downs syndrome. They of course forget to mention that Downs Syndome is not the media version of the happy child that is affected by a mild form. Down’s Syndrome can manifest many ways, and not all parents can handle children with this syndrome. She also forgets that the Republicans in the legislature of PA have consistently voted to cut help to mental health and medical support for those afflicted by such problems. It takes a lot of hypocrisy to try to use people with Down’s Syndrome to try to legislate your religion in to law.
Ms. Flowers is happy that Alabama has passed a bad on abortion that will force rape victims to keep the pregnancy forced on them by violence and a child to keep the pregnancy forced on them by a relative. “And that brings me to Wednesday when the Alabama legislature passed their own abortion ban which makes no exception for rape or incest.
Alabama State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who sponsored the bill, characterized the legislation as a necessary government intervention to protect human rights. “When God creates the miracle of life inside a woman’s womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life,” Chambliss said.”
What a pathetic human being, Ms. Flowers is, for all of her claims of being “pro-life” but intentionally wanting to force a woman to risk her life because Ms. Flowers thinks her god wants it this way.
Despite her claims that the “pro-life” movement should be more than “pro-birth, Ms. Flowers doesn’t care as long as she gets her way, and she’s threatening to go to “war” for it. Hmmm, who else has said that? Ah yes, the fighters who want an Islamic Caliphate, to control people by their hate-filled and ignorant religion who murdered people who didn’t agree with them. Well, Christine, the folks who are in ISIS want to tell you how much they approve of you. Just put in a burka and you’ll be all set.