Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Back in Ottawa now, and trying to get everything taken care of in time for our trip to Chile on Friday. Well, Saturday. For some strange reason, it was several hundred dollars cheaper for our fight to have a 24 hour stop-over in Toronto than it was for us to have a two hour stop-over. Oh, and a direct flight from Toronto? Way more expensive than either option.

On Saturday, we'll be picking up kittens that I (we) are adopting. That is to say, I'll be the one formally adopting them (Andrea's place doesn't really allow pets) but we'll both be looking after them. They'll be staying at Andrea's mother's place until we go back there for Thanksgiving. We've decided to name one of kitten Baron von Whiskers, and the other Socrates. Whiskey and Socks, for short.

And I don't care what any of you think, I'm posting pictures of kittens on this blog. Learn to like it.

Not much else is new. We were back in town for Homecoming this weekend, and had a really good time. We stayed out at the cottage, so it meant that we couldn't drink as much as usual, but I think that actually turned out to be a good thing. As I was walking between Main Campus and West Campus, I couldn't help but wonder why I didn't feel like death wormed over. "That's right!" I eventually realized, "I'm not drunk and hung over at the same time."

After the football game (which Queen's lost, albeit not by much), we made our way to the Portsmouth Tavern (a.k.a. "The Ports"), where Queen's Band was celebrating. We didn't stay for long, but did stay long enough to find out that our friend Kevin is the new Boohoo the Bear (the Queen's mascott), and that he had cupped some Principal Hitchcock bum at the end of the Homecoming halftime parade. Way to go, Kevin!

We met up with some friends for dinner, and then went out to a keg party shortly thereafter. We were on the outskirts of Aberdeen, in case anything went terribly awry. I'm glad to say that nothing did - the police presence, although numerically greater, was much more low-key than last time around. The students, for their part, seem to have learned there lesson. The live-and-let-live policy seemed to work out well, and no more cars were flipped and set on fire.

On a related note, the "Save a car, flip me." T-shirts were a great idea.

Other than Homecoming festivities, we managed to make our way to AquaTerra no less than three times over the weekend. Dinner on Friday and Sunday Brunch had been planned for weeks, but Andrea didn't find out until recently that her father would be in town on Sunday. When asked what restaurant he wanted to dine at, the answer was immediate: AquaTerra.

Not that I'm complaining. If there's one restaurant that I would elect to have cater my life, though, that'd be it. Assuming you could roll me out the front door in the morning, that is.

On an unrelated note, now that the year is a little closer to winding down, I'm trying to figure out which charity should get my annual donation. There are a few I like. Amnesty International is one that I have a lot of respect for, but so is the Red Cross. I've also thought about donating to the International Crisis Group, a non-profit that advocates strategies to resolve international conflict, but think it might be better to hold off on that a bit, until I can donate a significant amount of money.

The charity that's looking the most likely for this year is the People Bridge Foundation. Basically, it's a smaller charity that works on small-scale projects designed to create opportunity for people in need.

This is a good fit for me, as I think it's easy for charity to either get lost in administration, or go to programs that pose a risk of dependance. Food aide is a good example of this - strategically applied, lives can be saved. In the long run, however, it takes away the incentive for people to produce their own food. For the larger charities, even the ones that are well run, you don't really get much feedback in terms of what your money is doing. I mean, you could look at an ambulance somewhere and think, "Hmmm... I probably paid for its last oil change," but I'd like to know where my money is going.

The People Bridge Foundation is a small charity, and deals with much smaller projects. So, good way to know where your money is going. What's more, their projects are specifically to breed economic independence. Neat.

Okay, it's late. Time for bed. Parting question... any charities that you'd like to recommend?

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Andrea and I are going back to Kingston this coming weekend for Homecoming. We're coming down for dinner at AquaTerra on Friday, we're attending the football game on Saturday, and we're going to brunch on Sunday. Other than that, our schedules are open. We'll be staying at the cottage for the weekend.

So, those of you who are either Alumni or students of Queen's, what are your plans for the weekend? It'd be good to catch up. It's been a while.