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Showing posts from October, 2010

It's Not That Impressive

It doesn't matter what sort of restaurant you go to: the chic one with glass everywhere and the vague impression that the interior designer might have had a short but meaningful fling with slight, well-manicured Japanese man; those BBQ places that aren't really so much BBQ as they are the end product of some highly efficient de-graded beef and chemical food delivery process that would put Mussolini's railway to shame; a small cafe at some long abandoned highway town where the main ingredient in all the food, even the fruit bowl (especially the fruit bowl) is pork fat; one of those chipper new 'hip' restaurants that's just a front for one of those older restaurant chains that you could have sworn had given up the ghost to marching progress and the vagaries of the every changing and fickle North American palate; Dennys. It really doesn't matter. There's always a cadre of servers who have, through choice or fate, made that job their life. For good. And

Herculean Achievements And Other Small Miracles Part II

I'm not sure where the obsession with trains comes from, but it seems to be universal for kids of a certain age. Thus we have Thomas The Train Engine and Chugginton and those wooden train tracks sold by everyone from Ikea to Toys R Us. Then there are the other incarnations, train rides in shopping centres on small electric carts kitted out to look like 19th-century steam engines, outdoor gasoline-powered mini-trains manned by former engineers and those who have taken their hobby far too seriously. You don't notice it until you have a little boy or girl who goes absolutely ballistic at the first sign of anything that goes on a track. It's the Blue Car Syndrome with multi-ton uni-directional transport vehicles. Owlet is fairly far past it, but Owl Jr. is deep in the throes of this near pathological mental disability. On the merest hint of one, he drops whatever he was doing (invariably, playing with a small train) and shouts out "CHOO CHOO!", then looks around to

Herculean Achievements And Other Small Miracles Part I

So, I knew it was coming. The Payback. After carousing in NYC with my fellow nerds for a few days, it was only fair that Mrs. Owl get a chance away from the kids, in Vegas. Yes, Vegas. It's lucky for me that both of us have the gambling habits of a Siberian ermine in hibernation, that is, none at all. Or it's lucky that she's hid her gambling addiction and the second mortgage we are now carrying. Either way, you know, I'm a happy camper. She went down with some of her fellow mommy friends and they had a grand old time in heat that made NYC seem like a spacious Frigidaire. Killing heat. The kind of heat that's too hot for sand . But hey, who am I to judge if her idea of a good time is to gawp at the living proof, the soaring edifices proclaiming that often-repeated but rarely heeded motto "The House Always Wins"? By all accounts she had a good time and whatnot and I haven't noticed any undue garnishing of my wages, so it was a success. But enough