Monday, September 24, 2012

Though I Know I'll Never Lose Affection...

Hi all....

I have never quite understood remaining friends with ex-significant others.  It seems insulting to say to someone "you are good enough to be friends, but not a permanent lover."  If being taken as a permanent lover is most personal form of acceptance, it stands to reason that being spurned as a permanent lover is the most personal form of rejection.

For you married folks, the presence of a former significant other means that a spouse must live in the shadow of someone who might have been 'the one' in different circumstances.  It is not fair to the spouse.  One of our responsibilities when we marry to make sure that our spouses know not only that they are the platinum standard of intimate relationships, but also that they are the only standard of intimate relationships.

And the title of this is from "In My Life," by the Beatles, although it has been covered by Judy Collins and by Bette Midler, among others.  Like many things, I have come to appreciate that song more and more as I get a little older.  The memories of relationships past are part of who we are.  That is okay.  "But these memories (should) lose their meanings, when I (we) think of love as something new."

Have a good evening all.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Licensing of Cyclists

Hi all...

Apparently, there was an article in today's Star.  The article reports  that a growing number of people around the city believe that cyclists should be licensed.  People think that such licensing will make the average cyclist more responsive to the law of the road.  I agree and disagree over licensing.

Where do I disagree?  The extant laws of the road include bicycles.  Enforce them.  The reason people pay any attention to the laws of the road is that there is a reasonable possibility of being caught.  Increase that possibility.  People will respond.

While there is thought that to increase infrastructure requires money, who better to pay it than those who will benefit the most?  I agree wholeheartedly.  I will happily have my taxes go to that infrastructure, provided that I no longer have to pay for city roads with my taxes.  I do not really drive.  Beyond that, bicycle lanes do not suffer from the slings and arrows of outrageous numbers of vehicles the way a road does.

Where do I agree?  When we lived in Honolulu, there was a law on the books requiring all to register their bicycles.  There is a sticker from the City on Honolulu on Jesse's bicycle even as we speak.  That allows the city to keep track of how many bicycles are actually on the road, and to build the infrastructure to accommodate them.  As well, if the bicycle is ever stolen, there is already a description of the bicycle with the police.  This was a one-time registration.

One of the hot issues downtown has been the couriers.  They ride downtown like bats out of hell.  Here, a different set of laws should be in order.  That set of laws requires all couriers to wear clothing identifying the company for which they work.  It requires them to produce proof that their bicycles have had service within the last year.  It holds their employers accountable for their actions.

That would go a long way.  I am a licensed driver.  I do not need anything more than that.

Ride carefully folks, and remember to wear a helmet.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Cooking for the Holidays

Top of the evening everyone...

Prior to every holiday, Jennifer and I pull out the cookbooks to make menus.  It takes hooouuuurrrrss.  She constantly complains that I am of little help.  I try to fake it to the best of my ability, but she is right.

This evening, she asked me to bring her a cookbook.  I brought her "Olives and Honey."  It is a kosher vegetarian cookbook, featuring foods from just about everywhere.  The author is Gil Marks.  He is both a rabbi and a chef.

We always have challenges.  For Rosh HaShanah, my parents are coming up.  They are peschatarian (fish-eating vegetarians).  I do not do dairy so well.  Keren is not a huge fan of fish.

Given those restrictions, what would you like to eat if you were coming to my house?

You just read that correctly.  I am offering all of you a once-in-a-year chance to suggest what Jennifer and I should serve for the holidays.  We have over 100 cookbooks.  Do not be bashful.

I am NOT cooking for Yom Kippur.

Good night.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Whine of the Engine

Hi all...

Last December, the Gorman family traveled to New Jersey.  We were in a sedan.  Sedans seat five people.  It is no fun though to be that fifth person.  It was a good little car, but it seemed not to grow as the kids did.  The last couple of trips had been rough.  People were cranky. 

As we got into the car, I told everyone that we each had to pick a whine.  If someone had a complaint, it had to be versed in that whine.  Everyone else had to follow up immediately with his/her own whine.  You could not change your particular whine without consent of the other folks in the car.  I do not remember all the whines.  Jesse's was "we need a bigger car."

We got a bigger car.  I love mini-vans.  They have space.

We did it again for our last trip.  My whine was "we should have left two hours ago."  Jennifer's was "I hate kids."  Keren would then say "Gavi and Jesse are annoying me."  Jesse's was "I am only allowed to have one complaint."  Gavi's was "I have a nosebleed."

It made all of the complaining very funny.

Have a good day.


The Final Insult

Top of the afternoon all...

As many of you know, Jennifer and I have been applying for permanent residence here in Canada.  This process started more than three years ago.  Our application has finally been approved.  Please allow me to recount some of the fun details.

Our initial application disappeared.  Are you all aware of the rule in physics that matter cannot be created or destroyed?  It is nonsense.  Our permanent residence package proves that matter can in fact be destroyed.

We had to submit a new application.  By this point, the law had changed.  Jennifer and I had to prove that we could speak either English or French with some degree of proficiency.  That's right everyone.  Two people, born, raised, and educated in the United States, with multiple degrees from multiple institutions of higher learning, had to prove proficiency in English.  We had to prove our proficiency to people whose English was not on our level.  They had no clue why we were there.  C'est magnifique!!

Then we got word that all was proceeding, and that we had to get our immigration physicals.  We did.  Ottawa lost the results.  I had to contact both my lawyer and my representative in Parliament to get them located.  At least we did not have to do them a second time.  Throughout, Immigration Canada's website informed all who wanted to know that the average processing time for this application was 15 months.

Ottawa did whatever it had to do in order to approve the package.  Ottawa then forwarded the package to the consulate in Buffalo for final processing in May.  The consulate in Buffalo closed in June.  Our package was sent back to Ottawa for the final processing.  With all that had happened up until this point, I told Jennifer that I was certain the package had fallen off the truck.

In the meantime, we decided to refinance our mortgage.  Rates have dropped precipitously over the last several months.  The bank told us that we would not be able to do so until we had permanent status.

Ottawa forwarded our package to the consulate in Detroit.  We received an e-mail with instructions on what to do next.  This e-mail came on the first day of our ten-day vacation in New Jersey, with a time limit of 30 days.  It included requirements for passport-size pictures, according to specifications set out on the weblink.  The problem is that the weblink specifically said that the size was not that of a passport picture.  That gave us another delay while we figured out the right size for the pictures.  I am glad that we did not have to retake them.  It would have been another $80.

So today, I was fishing around on Immigration Canada's website for more information.  They have updated the processing times.  Now, instead of requiring 15 months to process a permanent residence package, Immigration Canada has streamlined it to 48 business days.

You may now all laugh.