Monday, 30 May 2011


Teri & I At The NYC (National Yacht Club) In Toronto

This Saturday was Sailpast at the yacht club I joined this summer. I have started to attend classes twice a week but so far they have all been in a classroom. This was the first real event I tried to attend. I didn't get to go out on boat to truly experience Sailpast, which is a hilariously formal tradition and I am told the only time the club buys into the occasionally pretentious aspects of sailing.

The Sailpast tradition began at the first Yacht Club which was formed at Cowes in England nearly 200 years ago. The membership was primarily aristocratic and many were familiar with social graces, naval practice and tradition.

The actual “review of the fleet” was introduced as a continuation of the naval habit of having Admirals (and/or Royalty) review the fleet on special occasions. Protocol demanded that a flagship be anchored with the Admiral and staff on the quarterdeck to receive and return the salute. Vessels sailed past, dipping their colours in salute, and with their captain also saluting with the ship’s company standing at attention.

The National Yacht Club tradition is almost identical, except that the salute is received by the Commodore instead of the Admiral. Tradition dictates that all club members participate in the Sailpast, on their own or on another member’s yacht. Participants are to dress formally in white and navy, though men can wear beige pants. Good manners require that a member unable to participate will send his/her regrets to the Commodore.

A few weeks ago I had received a formal invitation in the mail inviting me to the event, which actually did say at the bottom that if I couldn't attend I should inform the Commodore. (Yes, the club has a Commodore and a number of Vice-Commodores.) I decided I should attend, it sounded very fun and even if I wasn't going to be on a boat it would be nice to visit. I brought Teri along and we had a drink and walked along the docks. If you closely at the picture above my tongue does appear to be sticking out, I have no idea why, but this one was better than the other we took where I was talking. Looking forward to lots of sailing this summer!!

Found It

Item Lost: House keys
Time Lost: A few days ago
Last Place I Remember: On the coffee table
Place Found: In the back seat of the car, found by the guy cleaning (detailing) it

Friday, 27 May 2011

Learn To Swim

This is a precursor to my Life Jacket Rant that I will be posting soon.

I feel very strongly about water safety and I don't take time spent on, in, or near water lightly. I believe that it is a parent's responsibility to ensure that their children can swim. They need to do everything they can to prepare children for the water and help them become as strong a swimmer as possible - this means putting them in swimming lessons. If for some reason they can't afford swimming lessons or they aren't available, then parents should work extremely hard themselves to teach their children to swim.

Teaching children to swim and be comfortable in the water is up there with reading for me. (In Canada it is nice if parents spend a bit of time trying to teach children to skate but I feel like this is not a responsibility or duty since skating is not an essential skill, however reading and swimming are.) Canada is surrounded by 3 oceans, the exact number of lakes in Canada is unknown but there are tons, lots of people have swimming pools, communities have public pools, and many family trips involve water of some kind. Water is a part of our culture and it is dangerous.

A friend posted the article below on facebook and I couldn't believe how much I didn't know about drowning. It is a much more serious problem, in terms of number of deaths, than I had thought and I had no idea what it 'looked like.'

Read: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning
by Mario Vittone

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Oh Bolton

I have been watching this movie constantly for the past few weeks, like multiple times daily. I showed it to JennB on our road trip and she loved it and joined me with the multiple viewings. However, I also showed it to my mom who was bored before it was half over, so I guess it isn't to everyone's taste. (Though Micheal Bolton is surprisingly good looking for someone who is almost 60.)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


I had my birthday yesterday. I am not 27. (Feeling very old!!) Steph put up a picture of me and wrote a very nice message over on her blog. See it HERE. Last night I spent the evening with Kristen, who took me out for dinner at Red Lobster. All of my friends contacted me through phone, or text, or facebook; I felt very loved. Which led to me saying repeatedly: Why can't every day be my birthday?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Out Of It

Sorry that the posts have become a little sparse. According to Google Analytics I'm still getting some visitors, and usually I pride myself in getting posts up pretty regularly. A combination of school ending, trips to the US, time at the cottage, and being majorly depressed have all contributed to less posts on Always Standing. However, I have some planned.

So, stay tuned for:
-a summery of my amazing trip to America with JennB
-pictures of the 100 year old book that I wrote my last paper on
-my final marks from this semester
-updates on sailing as I prepare for the racing season
-a music video that I have been playing multiple times daily
-general summer awesomeness!

Monday, 16 May 2011


To pay tribute to my childhood road trips, JennB and I are counting things as we drive around the US. It actually just sort of happened, since we were noticing things and then decided to count them. JennB is counting signs for 'Adult' stores, the prevalence of which is very dependent on which state we are in. I am counting religion related signs and billboards. Right now I'm winning - Religion over Sex!

The best religious based sign so far was the huge black billboard that had large white letters saying, "IF YOU DIED TODAY, WHERE WOULD YOU SPEND ETERNITY?" The 'E' of eternity was filled in with red. We were a little surprised at this sign and started to talk about how the red ''E" must symbolise hell. Then a few miles down the highway, an obviously connected billboard (it was designed the same way) appeared which read "HELL IS REAL." The "H" this time was filled in with red. There was stunned silence in the car for a little while - just at the complete lack of subtly.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Only In The USA

Just a quick word from my road trip with JennB in The States. While driving yesterday, we saw a normal van which had a large bumper sticker on the back that said, Cation: Alpaca Aboard. Then as we drove past it, there was literally an Alpaca in the back. It was like a family style van!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Weird Inspiration

Been up for most of the night and have had the following song stuck in my head: Fanfare/Don't Dream It, Be It which is the fourteenth song in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, it is at the end and for the most part Frank (played by Tim Curry in the movie) is singing while swimming in a pool wearing lingerie.

Don't Dream It, Be It

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Cats And Graphs

There has been so many politics related posts on Always Standing lately, and this one isn't even related to Canada. It is about the referendum in the UK to move from the "first-past-the-post" (FPTP or plurality) electoral system and replace it with the "alternative vote" (AV) electoral system. The referendum was held this past week and it didn't pass so they are staying with FPTP.

Now I barely understanding either systems, though at one point I had a pretty good handle FPTP. In 2007, Ontario had a very similar referendum and I remember researching it diligently and voting. The electoral reform referendum wanted to move Ontario from the FPTP electoral system it had and instead use a "mixed member proportional representation" (MMP) system. It too did not pass and we are also still using FPTP.

Want to understand the AV system better? Not that it would make much sense to since it isn't very relevant for Canadian politics. How about watching this video for the cute cats though!!

Wow, this is also the second post on Always Standing that connected politics to cats. What are the odds?

Friday, 6 May 2011

Elevated Terror Alert

--- from email

World Terrorism Alert Levels
by John Cleese

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Hittin' And Some Kittens

Looking for something to like about Stephen Harper? He likes cats! I have known this for a while since they always show him with cats and kittens. Note the following photos:What always bothered me was that it didn't seem to be a consistent cat. Are these just photo-op cats? In fact it is much better than that, according to the official Prime Minister of Canada - Stephen Harper website:
The Harpers are proud to support and participate in the Ottawa Humane Society’s Foster Program, which provides temporary homes for pets in the community who are not yet ready for adoption. The program fosters out animals with mild health or behaviour issues who need individual care and nurturing to help them recover before they are adopted by new, loving foster families. Laureen and Stephen have been foster parents to many cats during the past year. At any given time, the Harpers have provided foster care to numerous cats at their Ottawa home.
However, Harper's love of cats and support of the Humane Society may not be enough to compensate for his policies, legislation, and budget choices. Especially after reading the information on the site Shit Harper Did, which is full of - true - things that are not so great about his leadership and politics. Pissed off? Well, you can 'Smack Him' on this site - Smack Stephen Harper, which is oddly cathodic. However, I find it sad that they choose to use a kitty picture. I like that he likes cats.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

You're Killing Me!!

Maybe it's brain chemicals
Maybe it's Glee

Maybe it's this paper
Maybe it's the Harper Majority

Maybe it's the lack of sleep
Maybe it's my MRP

Maybe it's my program
Maybe it's a deficiency of Vitamin B

But, man, it is all just killing me.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Do It!!

It is election day, Canada. Go Vote!! The thing that pisses me off most about Canadian politics is our poor voter turnout. Don't be so disenfranchised that you let today pass you by without taking the time to go to the polls. For me it really is beyond a right and a responsibility, it is your duty to vote!

(And of course: Don't even think about even talking to me about politics if you don't vote, let alone complain about politics.)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Amp Your Vote

Wondering who vote for tomorrow? Check out this web site:

Project Democracy - Amp Your Vote

More than 60 percent of Canadians do not support Harper and his government's contempt for democracy. Yet, he could win a majority with as little as 35 percent of the popular vote.
Project Democracy is a tool to help you determine if there is a way to "amp up" your vote and stop a Harper majority. By using a riding by riding election prediction model based on the most up to date public opinion polls, we can tell you which Party is best positioned to defeat the Conservative in your riding.