30 April 2008

ProBlogger : "Mom Blogs" the Next Big "It"

Five Reasons Why Mom Blogs are the Ones to Watch

Mom blogs are poised to become the next big “It” when it comes to the internet–they’re gathering power like no other blogging niche and will only get bigger and better. Here’s why:

1. Moms can blog at home

You don’t need a PhD, an office or a small business loan to start up a blog and this especially appeals to mothers who are looking for ways to bring in extra income while they’re at home with their children. It’s a job that they can do while the kids are napping or away at school and allows women like me who have left the work force to raise a family to feel part of the tech age–always a benefit when your days are filled with diapers, dishes and drool.

Mom bloggers don’t have to leave their day jobs and they don’t have to make enough money to live off of–all they need is a little extra to pay for soccer lessons or a family vacation.

2. Moms need the sociality of the net

I couldn’t possibly count the number of days that I’ve spent without the live interaction of another adult (except maybe the clerk at the grocery store). Women want–no we crave and demand–social interaction and for those of us whose office is our home the internet and blogging opens up a new world of friendship, debate, learning and conversation. No longer do we have to pretend to hold conversations with Steve on Blues Clues just to talk to another adult, now we can blog. Women need to read about other moms’ struggles and disasters–it’s how we feel that maybe our own traumas aren’t so bad–and there are more and more moms daily that are discovering how the world of mom blogs helps them feel connected to other women.

3. Moms have a wealth of material to use

Tech blogs are just about technology, celebrity blogs are strictly about celebs but a mom blog could focus on parenting, protecting the environment, politics, crafts, food, homeschooling, gardening, household products, design, travel or just funny stories.

They’re usually written with an emotion and personality which connects with readers in ways that other niches often can’t and they speak about subjects that naturally carry strong emotions: home, family, marriage, children, the environment–all of which encourage dedicated readers. A blog about the latest techy gadget, while interesting, doesn’t carry the emotional weight that a post about home and family does. While other bloggers may sneer over moms posting stories about life with little ones and the oddities of every day life there have been plenty of writers from Erma Bombeck to Dave Barry to Jerry Seinfeld that have built careers on noticing life’s quirks and inconsistencies and mom blogs are cashing in on this.

4. Moms are record keepers

Blog means “web-log” and most blogs are started as online journals. Moms naturally tend to be the record keepers for their families whether it’s a newsletter, scrapbook or photo album and more and more women are turning to blogs as an easy way to keep their family’s diary. Staying in touch with Grandma, recording a child’s growth, these are the reasons women are turning to blogs and even though 99% of them will never see traffic outside of their family those who blog read other blogs. And who are they going to read? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not TechCrunch.

5. Mom blogs wield economic power

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point he writes of the importance of mavens–those who are trusted for their opinions and who pass along information on what products, services and ideas are the best–and mom blogs are the maven nesting grounds. Moms want to know which products work and which don’t; they want to give an opinion on what’s worked for them and share their experiences with others and advertisers are just beginning to discover this advertising pot of gold.

Because women are generally the buyers for their homes in everything from clothing to food to minivans mom blogs talk about things that can be bought and sold, products that can be promoted and services that most households need. Proctor and Gamble, Sony or General Electric can throw up their logos on PerezHilton and that might make them look rather hip but if they can get Dooce to say she liked their stuff that’s when the sales start rolling in. You’ve heard “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? Well she who does the shopping then blogs about it rules the net.

28 April 2008

No End in Sight

No end to the questioning and the second guessing
The face in the mirror, the face on the streets,
the face when you're up, the face when you're down

And hard on yourself, and so serious,
and wanting to fix things and make them right
And feeling like you were better off leaving things alone
One of my all-time favourite blogs, Herbs N Oils, has a great article on the surprisingly varied ways you can clean with salt (plus homemade playdough recipes because, well, just cause :P )

Cleaning with Salt

For one of the cheapest, non-toxic, natural cleaners try salt. Unlike a good quality, organic salt which is best for using in your cookery recipes, you can use the cheapest common salt you can find for household cleaning purposes.

Below are a few of the hundreds of ways salt can be used in the home:

Brass and Copper : Rub with paste made from equal parts of salt, flour and vinegar.

Candles : Drip-proof by soaking candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours. Dry well.

Carpet Spot Cleaner : Rub a paste of equal parts salt, borax and vinegar into dirty spots. Leave until dry then vacuum.

Chimney : To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire.

Coffee Pots : Clean by boiling water with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt added to the pot.

Enamel dishes and cookware : Rub with a salt and vinegar paste.

Flowers : Clean vases by rubbing deposits with salt. Add a pinch of salt to vases to keep flowers fresh longer.

Gold : Rub with a paste of salt, flour and vinegar.

Keeping cut flowers fresh - A dash of salt added to the water in a flower vase will keep cut flowers fresh longer.

Iron Pans : Remove grease by sprinkling with salt and wiping with kitchen paper.

Mildrew Stains : Moisten with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, hang item in sun to bleach then rinse and dry.

Onions and Garlic: Rub hands with a mix of salt and vinegar to remove smell from hands.

Ovens : To clean oven use a mixture of salt, baking soda and vinegar. Stubborn satins can be rubbed with steel wool. For spills, sprinkle immediately with salt, leave a few minutes them wipe clean. To deodorize, sprinkle oven while still warm with salt and cinnamon. Wipe away with cloth when cool. For fires in ovens or on stove top, sprinkle with salt to extinguish, never use water.

Pewter : Cover with a paste of salt, flour and vinegar. Allow to dry, rinse in warm water, then gently polish with a soft cloth.

Poison Ivy : Kill plants by spraying a few times with a mixture of 1lb/half kilo salt to 4 pints/2 litres soapy water.

Refrigerators : Deodorize and clean with a mixture of salt and soda water.

Rings on Furniture : Remove white rings by rubbing a thin paste cooking oil and salt in with your fingers. leave for a few hours then wipe clean.

Silver Cutlery : Line pan with aluminum foil in the bottom of a pan, add enough water to cover cutlery and 1 teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Boil for a few minutes. Remove, rinse and dry.

Sink Drains : To prevent odors and remove grease, regularly pour down a strong mixture of salt and boiling water. To unblock drains, pour mixture of ½ cup salt, ½ cup baking soda and 1/4 cup cream of tartar down drain, follow by kettle of boiling water. Wait a few hours then flush with water.

Sneakers : Remove moisture and odors by sprinkling a little salt in them. (This one I'll test out on my middle son's toxic runners)

Stained Cups: Rub with salt.

Tin Baking Pans : Remove rust by rubbing with a cut potato dipped in salt.

Wicker : To whiten yellowing, white wicker furniture, scrub it with a brush moistened with saltwater. Dry in full sunlight.

Wine Stains : Blot as much as possible of rug or tablecloth. Cover stain with salt to absorb the residue. Rinse with cold water.



Earth Friendly Play Dough

* 1 cup flour (not self-rising)
* 1/2 cup salt
* 1 cup water
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix in saucepan over low heat. (It does not have to heat long.) Dough is ready when it rolls into a ball. Keep dough fresh in an airtight container. If you need to make different colors, add food coloring while mixing over heat.

No-Cook Clay Dough

* 3 cups flour
* 3 cups salt
* 3 tablespoons alum

Combine ingredients and slowly add water, a little at a time. Mix well with spoon. As mixture thickens, continue mixing with your hands until it has the feel of clay. If it feels too dry, add more water. If it is too sticky, add equal parts of flour and salt.

27 April 2008

Fire and Ice

Fire ....

Ice ...

And the aftermath

Fierce snowstorm temporarily closes Trans-Canada Highway

A stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway in southeastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario was reopened Sunday, a day after poor visibility and treacherous driving conditions forced police to shut it down.

The highway was closed for about 24 hours from Falcon Lake, Man., to Thunder Bay, Ont., as a snowstorm hammered the area, bringing high winds and up to 20 centimetres of snow.

The closure forced dozens of cars and trucks to turn around. Many drivers waited out the storm in Falcon Lake, about a 90-minute drive east of Winnipeg.

In Winnipeg, about 20 people were stranded at the Greyhound bus depot after their driver was forced to turn back from Falcon Lake.

While the highway has been reopened, a Department of Transportation spokesman told CBC News that road conditions were still far from ideal on Sunday morning.

Most highways in southeastern Manitoba were in poor shape with icy and snow-packed sections.

26 April 2008

Sioux Lookout ; Sure they always get snow for Christmas ...

Forecast Details...

Issued : 5.30 AM EDT Saturday 26 April 2008

Winter storm warning in effect.

Day: Snow at times heavy. Snow mixed with ice pellets early this morning. Risk of freezing rain. Snow and ice pellet amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind northeast 20 km/h. High minus 3.
Night: Snow ending late this evening then cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 8.

Cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries in the morning. High plus 2.

A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 11. High plus 2.

Driving Home


Time sinking slowly away with the sunset
Beyond the trees, Into a full amber moon
Froze moments spent listening to breezes
and birdcalls and a rushing spring thaw
Held nights captive, selfishlessly for us

25 April 2008

Where Mark Knopfler's touring this week ...

April 25, 2008
Helsinki, Finland

April 26, 2008
St. Petersburg, Russia

April 27, 2008
Moscow, Russia

May 2, 2008
Warsaw, Poland

May 3, 2008
Berlin, Germany

April 26, 2008
St. Petersburg, Russia

April 27, 2008
Moscow, Russia

May 2, 2008
Warsaw, Poland

May 3, 2008
Berlin, Germany

24 April 2008

Life Goes On
in a circle in a box
into the woods to get lost
In shadows of ghosts
you touch, but dont hold

Life Goes On
in a sunrise, in your babes eyes
In your hand in theirs
With your heart in the air
Life Goes On
Within You.

I ::really:: should be working

But how can I when people keep sending me these cool time wasters?


Go to either Hetemeel.com or ImageGenerator, select an image and customize the message within it.

Soldier's Cookbook from 1919-1920

From the Cooked Books blog:

A Soldier's Simple Cooking Recipes for Cooking in the Trenches and Billets (with vocabulary of French words),published by Harrison and Sons, London and printed sometime between 1910 and 1919.

The preface reads:

Tommy Atkins has the best rations of any soldier in the world, but at the same time Tommy Atkins is the very worst cook in the world. These recipes, however, will help him in his difficulties when he needs to turn his hand to cooking.

The pamphlet provides recipes for trench cooking, including a jam roll and trench cake, and also provides a glossary of French words and pronunciations for those soldiers needing to purchase supplies.

Some examples include:

Chicken...Poulet...Poo, lay

Dining Room...Sale a manger...Sarle ah monjhay

Tongue...Langue deboeuf...Longe der berf

So if you're ever looking for wonderfully quirky cookbooks, look no further than pamphlet volumes (indicated by a p.v. after the call number).

Trench Cake

Crush 4 or 5 Army biscuits into powder.
Add enough water to make a stiff paste, mix in sugar and a tiny pinch of salt with a tablespoonful of butter if available.
Knead it well, but not too heavily.
Bake on a flat hot stone which has been heated in a fire. (If you can, use a beaten egg instead of the water; it will make the cake much more tasty and light.)

Wicked Wired Photos

Wired Macro Photo winners

21 April 2008

Is this not the weirdest thing? Who needs fiction when there is science?

From: Next Big Future

Meat factories, food substitution and veganism

The Speculist talks about meat factories (making meat from stem cells) and a personal conversion to veganism or vegetarianism.

People are growing meat now

In five to 10 years, supermarkets might have some new products in the meat counter: packs of vat-grown meat that are cheaper to produce than livestock and have less impact on the environment.

According to a new economic analysis presented at the In Vitro Meat Symposium in ├ůs, Norway, meat grown in giant tanks known as bioreactors would cost between $5,200-$5,500 a ton (3,300 to 3,500 euros), which the analysis claims is cost competitive with European beef prices.

To produce the meat we eat now, 75 to 95 percent of what we feed an animal is lost because of metabolism and inedible structures like skeleton or neurological tissue. So invitro meat could be 4 to 20 times more efficient.

There has been other food substitutions:
Egg substitute - from egg whites

Margerine, a blend of vegetable oils or meat fats (or a combination of both) mixed with milk and salt, in place of butter.

Soy meat and soy protein products.

A lot of processed food:
Yoghurt, twinkies (and other chemical and corn syrup concoctions), whey protein products and bars, spam, meat slurry

Invitro meat technology:

An environmentally friendly cultured meat technology rests on four basic premises: (1) the culturing of muscle progenitor cells from farm animals of choice that are able to proliferate at a high rate, (2) the application of a growth medium that does not contain animal products, (3) the efficient differentiation of the progenitor cells into muscle cells that contain all nutrients present in conventional meat, and (4) the organisation of the muscle cells into 3-dimensional muscle structures.

Mickie's note : Just when you think you've seen it all ...

17 April 2008

How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint :

Author Alexandra Shimo-Barry, a national reporter for Maclean's in Canada, teaches readers how to quickly calculate their carbon footprints, or the amount of greenhouse gases in units of carbon dioxide, they're producing by using the following formula:

A.) Multiply your monthly electricity bill by 105

B.) Multiply your monthly gas bill by 105

C.) Multiply your monthly oil bill by 113

(if you don't use either B or C, enter 0.)

D.) Multiply total yearly mileage by .79

E.) Multiply the number of flights--4 hours or less--by 1,100

F.) Multiply the number of flights--4 hours or more--by 4,400

G.) Do you recycle newspaper? If no, add 184. If yes, add 0.

H.) Do you recycle aluminum and tin? If no, add 166. If yes, add 0.

A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H = your carbon footprint. A number below 6,000 (reflected in pounds per year) is excellent. Over 22,000? Not so great. Good is anywhere from 6,000 to 15,999, while 16,000 to 22,000 is average.

Read the entire article in Forbes for tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

15 April 2008

Recipe : Butter Chicken

This has been behind the scenes for awhile because I had to remember it. Super easy and my kids all time favourite. I make a vegetarian version with paneer and peas that works great too.

Butter Chicken

Fry 1 onion chopped until just browning, then add 1 tbsn garlic paste, 1 tbsn ginger paste. Stirfry until fragrant, then add 1 tsn coriander, 1 tsp cumin, chili powder, & turmeric (? not too sure here).

Add 1 lb chopped chicken and cook through. Add two grated tomatoes, and cook until oil begins to separate from the tomatoes.

Add 1 cup cream (or yogurt for a lighter but not as rich version), then 1 tsn garam masala, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro for serving.

I think. LOL

Recipe: Whole wheat apple muffins

Hm. Can't remember ever drooling over a picture of whole wheat apple muffins before ...

whole wheat apple muffins

Smitten Kitchen

A day and a half ... and it's only just past noon!

I love working a four day week, even if it means I work 10 hour days and my work days are packed to the hilt. The main reason? I skip Mondays - all aspects of Mondays. No time spent grumbling about Monday mornings, all those horrible things that *always* happen on Mondays, I even save time from the inevitable 'how was your weekend" Q & A. Nope, I come in on Tuesday bright and early and hit the ground sprinting.

At least I did today.

7:30 am Opened, deleted, sorted or answered the 50+ emails that had sprouted in my inbox.

8:00 Made coffee, drank coffee, read newspapers and newsfeeds. Filled brain to overflow, so posted some hopefully relevant information to my work blog and was able to think relatively coherently again.

8:30 Worked, researched, searched case files. Ignored new emails (it's hard to do you know!)

9:00 Enjoyed a wonderful light breakfast (read: snarfed back some trail mix because I was on a roll and didn't want to leave my desk just then)

9:30 Went to visit my manager and was told I was approved for my conference trip in early May -- YAAAAY, also told he has been fighting behind the scenes for me to secure a term (better! much better! really really better!) position for me when this contract ends in mid June.

10:00 Sat at my desk and revelled just a little bit, in the moment ... Ok, I revelled alot, but since there isn't a definite offer on the table just yet, I did feel kind of silly. Kind of. Then I went back to revelling again. ;P

10:30 Booked travel, more database searching, read the new emails.

11:00 Started choosing my conference sessions and couldn't resist revelling again. Ooohh, a potash mine tour ...

11:30 Time to go move my car. A beauty (eh!) of a day and as I got to my car, the guy directly behind me pulled out of his parking spot. Sweeet! Normally I'm driving and driving to find that 'good spot', all I had to do was back up!!

12:00 Back in the building and following a colleague who was delivering fresh, gorgeous smelling pizza to her floor. Suddenly had an intense craving but thinking the cafeteria probably wouldn't have veggie version today. If it was Monday, they wouldn't have, but since it was Tuesday ...Yes!! Ooey, gooey, delish four cheese with pesto!!! (and I bought an apple, ya know, to absorb all those bad calories and convert them to good :0)

12:30 Thinking I had to share ... because this DAY ROCKS and its only 12:30!!

See what happens when you skip Monday morning???

11 April 2008

Get growing!

Ottawa's last spring frost date is May 6 and has a growing season of 151 days. Thunder Bay's season begins June 1 and has a growing season of 105 days.
A summary of which crops to plant early, and which ones not to plant until after your last spring frost date:

Very early spring (as soon as the ground can be worked)

  • Onions
  • peas
  • spinach

Early spring

  • lettuce
  • beets
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • dill
  • cilantro
  • cabbage
  • broccoli
  • celery
  • kale
  • potatoes

After last frost date

  • beans
  • corn
  • melons
  • cucumbers
  • squash

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • pumpkins
  • eggplant
  • basil

10 April 2008

Morning walk

The sun, trying to break through this morning ...
theres a big gaping hole where i used to be

somewhere way outside of me

the only time \i see her is outside looking in

making destruction of everywhere she's been

Mar 26, 2008

9 April 2008

Another Chinese horoscope

Thought my Chinese horoscope was pretty cool for today:

It'll be the moment to carry out large-scale transactions
or to modify the management of your material resources.
You will take less at face value all that people tell you. (Oh Man, I hope so)

Heartwise, stunning love-at-first-sight affairs,
passionately lived adventures, and beautiful bonfires of love--
but don't engage yourself now!
(Oh come ON, why not?? LOL)

One of your children will show signs of fatigue, irritability,
and apathy; help him/her to go up-hill, because if this depressive mood isn't suppressed in time, it could end up becoming a nervous breakdown.
(I thought nervous breakdowns were my speciality :P)

8 April 2008

My stalker

I got home tonight late after going straight from work to dinner and a couple of drinks with a friend. I walked in and immediately smelled ... popcorn... ???

I'm thinkin, WTF because I just bought popcorn last night and haven't made any yet.

Go in the kitchen.

Sure enough there's the popper and holleee, there's the open bag of kernels. Woah.

Starting to feel like maybe there's a crazee ax murderer hiding in my bedroom with buttery popcorn fingers waiting for me... Then it clicked.

Hey there, Goldilocks was probably one of the kids .... Thank god, yes, it was Daniel, little bugger. He's at his dad's this week but I guess he stopped here on the way there for a pitstop.... He said he misses home (and me ♥)

I wish I had been here, but it makes me feel good knowing he wanted to come home for awhile today. Next time though, leave a note already saying you were there Daniel! LOL Oh, and put stuff away :P

Internet Search Engines

Thanks Phil Bradley!!

One of my favourites ...

The lunacy of the English language

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.

We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly,
Boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig
Is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
Grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham.
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out,
And in which an alarm goes off by going on.

So if Father is Pop, how come Mother isn't Mop?
And that is just the beginning even though this is the end.

(haven't attributed a source to this because I'm still digging for it. Anyone know for sure where this originated?)


These things are everywhere, and now I find myself with an old ratty pair of sneakers. Should I try and toss them onto a power line?

4 April 2008

Charlie Brown

I've heard this story before but never the whole thing ... I think it is an incredible tale of bravery and compassion.

From the snopes.com "true" files - Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 379th Bomber Group at Kimbolton, England. His B-17 was called 'Ye Old Pub' and was in a terrible state, having been hit by flak and fighters. The compass was damaged and they were flying deeper over enemy territory instead of heading home to Kimbolton.

After flying over an enemy airfield, a pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. When he got near the B-17, he could not believe his eyes. In his words, he 'had never seen a plane in such a bad state'. The tail and rear section was severely damaged, and the tail gunner wounded. The top gunner was all over the top of the fuselage. The nose was smashed and there were holes everywhere.

Despite having ammunition, Franz flew to the side of the B-17 and looked at Charlie Brown, the pilot. Brown was scared and struggling to control his damaged and blood-stained plane.

Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to and slightly over the North Sea towards England. He then saluted Charlie Brown and turned away, back to Europe.

When Franz landed he told the c/o that the plane had been shot down over the sea, and never told the truth to anybody. Charlie Brown and the remains of his crew told all at their briefing, but were ordered never to talk about it.

More than 40 years later, Charlie Brown wanted to find the Luftwaffe pilot who saved the crew. After years of research, Franz was found. He had never talked about the incident, not even at post-war reunions.

They met in the USA at a 379th Bomber Group reunion, together with 5 people who are alive now — all because Franz never fired his guns that day.

Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver, BC after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!!

The basic framework of this tale about a memorable act of gallantry in wartime is true: In December 1943, the Ye Olde Pub — a B-17 commanded by 21-year-old Lt. Charles L. "Charlie" Brown — took heavy damage while on a mission to bomb a factory in Bremen, Germany. While attempting to head back to England with a crippled plane and an injured crew, Lt. Brown encountered a German who, rather than shooting down the B-17, instead saluted its crew and disappeared. Nearly fifty years later, Brown located and met up with that German pilot.

Aside from pointing interested readers to a more comprehensive article covering these events (such as the one here), we don't have much to add other than noting that the shortened version of this tale which has circulated widely on the Internet (as reproduced in the "Example" block above) may include some fanciful embellishments intended to heighten the drama of the story:

After flying over an enemy airfield, a pilot named Franz Steigler was ordered to take off and shoot down the B-17. ... When Franz landed he told the c/o that the plane had been shot down over the sea.

We couldn't find any account (including those to which the two pilots contributed) that stated German fighter ace Franz Steigler had been dispatched specifically to shoot down Lt. Brown's B-17, or that he afterwards lied to his commanding officer about having shot it down. However, Brown did mention to at least one interviewer that his "heart sank" after he flew directly over a Luftwaffe fighter base, so it's possible Steigler did take to the air with orders to shoot down the B-17.

Aware that they had no idea where they were going, Franz waved at Charlie to turn 180 degrees. Franz escorted and guided the stricken plane to and slightly over the North Sea towards England.

Again, no other account of this event we've found verified the claim that Lt. Brown's B-17 was lost and flying the wrong way until Franz Steigler helped turn it around. The following excerpts (from two other accounts) both indicate Brown had already headed his B-17 towards England when he noticed Steigler's plane flying alongside him:
It seems amazing that the heavily damaged B-17 remained in the air. But it did, and Brown turned it toward the North Sea, hoping to keep it flying until he reached the shores of England 250 miles away.

Glancing out the cockpit window, Brown saw a German fighter plane, a Messerschmitt 109, flying alongside.

Still partially dazed, Lieutenant Brown began a slow climb with only one engine at full power. With three seriously injured aboard, he rejected bailing out or a crash landing. The alternative was a thin chance of reaching the UK. While nursing the battered bomber toward England, Brown looked out the right window and saw a BF-109 flying on his wing.
Some accounts do state that Steigler "escorted" the B-17 partway across the North Sea before turning back.

Research shows that Charlie Brown lived in Seattle and Franz Steigler had moved to Vancouver, BC after the war. When they finally met, they discovered they had lived less than 200 miles apart for the past 50 years!

Brown and Steigler did finally find each other in 1989 (and eventually met) after Brown placed an advertisement in a newsletter and discovered that Steigler was living in Canada near Vancouver. However, every news article we've found describing the reunion mentioned that since his retirement from the Air Force in 1972, Brown had been living in Miami, not Seattle (which would have put him about 3,500 miles away from Steigler's home):
After the war, Brown remained in the Air Force, serving in many capacities until he retired in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel and settled in Miami as head of a combustion research company. But the episode of the German who refused to attack a beaten foe haunted him. He was determined to find the enemy pilot who spared him and his crew.

He wrote numerous letters of inquiry to German military sources, with little success. Finally, a notice in a newsletter for former Luftwaffe pilots elicited a response from Franz Steigler, a German fighter ace credited with destroying more than two dozen Allied planes. He, it turned out, was the angel of mercy in the skies over Germany on that fateful day just before Christmas 1943.

It had taken 46 years, but in 1989 Brown found the mysterious man in the ME-109. Careful questioning of Steigler about details of the incident removed any doubt.

Steigler, now 80, had emigrated to Canada and was living near Vancouver. After an exchange of letters, Brown flew there for a reunion. The two men have visited each other frequently since that time and have appeared jointly before Canadian and American military audiences. The most recent appearance was at the annual Air Force Ball in Miami in September [1995], where the former foes were honored.

In his first letter to Brown, Steigler had written: "All these years, I wondered what happened to the B-17, did she make it or not?"

She made it, just barely. But why did the German not destroy his virtually defenseless enemy?

"I didn't have the heart to finish off those brave men," Steigler later said. "I flew beside them for a long time. They were trying desperately to get home and I was going to let them do it. I could not have shot at them. It would have been the same as shooting at a man in a parachute."

1 April 2008

Lineups Montreal at Ottawa Apr 1

Tonight's lineup against the Senators:

A. Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev
Higgins - S. Kostitsyn - Ryder
Latendresse - Grabovski - Lapierre
Begin - Smolinski - Kostopoulos

Markov - Gorges
Hamrlik - O'Byrne
Dandenault - Streit

Goaltender: Price

Press box/Infirmary: Koivu (fractured foot bone), Bouillon (foot injury), Brisebois.

Ottawa Senators:

Heatley - Spezza - Alfredsson
Vermette - Fisher - Robitaille
Donovan - McAmmond - Neil
Schubert - Bass - Lapointe (McGrattan)

Redden - Volchenkov
Commodore - Meszaros
Phillips - Lee

Goaltender: Gerber

Press box/Infirmary: Stillman (injured), Winchester, Robitaille

Rules + Daniel = More or less (and he's not even 13 yet!)

Rules do work on your teens - more or less

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Jackie, do you know what time it is?"


"It's 11:32. What time were you supposed to be in?"

"Uh, I'm not sure."

"You know perfectly well. Your curfew was 11:15."

"Yeah, well, one of my contacts fell out. I couldn't find it."

The following Friday:

"It's 11:41!"

"It's not my fault. Gregory had to get gas."

It's a scary world out there. We want to set limits on our teens' behaviour to keep them out of harm's way. But what do you do when your rules don't seem to be working?

The truth is, with teenagers, what you get is imperfect control. They obey, sort of. They obey most of the time.

But that doesn't mean your rules aren't working. Your rules are holding them - just not perfectly. Jackie is coming in at 11:41 p.m., not 2:13 a.m. The curfew is working; it's pulling her in. Just not exactly at 11:15 p.m.

Here's a tougher one: Next Friday night Jackie does not come in until 2:13 a.m. No call. Nothing.

Parents' biggest concern with rule-breaking is that once a rule is clearly broken, it means the end of parent control, that one tear in the cloth undoes the whole fabric of control. But they are wrong. If a rule is kept in place despite occasional instances of total disobedience, that rule still has effect. Most teens, once in a while, will totally disobey a rule.

In Jackie's case, maybe there was just too much going on that she felt she would miss out on. Yet the next time she goes out, and for many subsequent times, she will respect the curfew.

So, what should you do when your teenager breaks one of your rules?

There are two serious errors that parents can make in regard to controls.

First, they may begin a series of progressively harsher punishments to regain full control.

"Okay, let's see what you think about being grounded for two months."

This doesn't work. Parents never regain perfect control (if they ever had it in the first place). More seriously, they risk alienating their teenagers, becoming permanently perceived as the enemy. It's fine to have your child hate you some of the time because of a rule they don't like. But all of the time, over the course of their adolescence? That only invites worse trouble. You risk losing a battle that you may have been winning.

The other major error occurs when parents, incorrectly believing that they have no control, throw up their hands and either set no limits at all or, more commonly, change their own rules to fit their children's wants to the point that they might as well have no rules.

Most teenagers do not want to be rebels. They do not want to be in constant direct defiance of their parents. Teenagers prefer to sneak, make excuses, dissemble or argue.

"But Dad, that's a crazy rule. If I do what you say, I'm not going to have any friends. I will be clinically depressed and have to go on medication, and I will be home and unpleasant all the time."

Most teenagers feel far more secure if they have a solid connection to their family. Teenagers want to be able to do what they want to do, but they don't want to be estranged from their own family. They have enough anxiety to deal with.

The best response is fairly simple:

Confront them. Let them know that a rule has been broken, and that it's not okay. If this is late at night, wait until the next day for the more serious talk.

Do not get into a lengthy discussion of whether it was their fault. (This they will invariably try to do.)

Keep the rule in place.

You may, if you choose, add a consequence - usually some form of grounding. But the truth is that with or without the threat of penalty, rules still have their power.

Now, out-of-control teens are a whole different story. These are the ones who regularly stay out all night, are regularly into problem substance use, regularly in trouble with the law. That is, clearly putting themselves at significant risk.

In those cases, what I just recommended will not work. Nor will bigger punishments. Truly out-of-control teens are very difficult. Here is where parents need to employ all the help they can get - from professionals and sometimes though the courts.

Still, with most teens most of the time, rules do work, as long as you keep them in place. That is, they work - imperfectly. But that's the deal you get if you have a teenager.

Clinical psychologist Anthony E. Wolf is the author of six parenting books, including Get out of my life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager.

Ruby Island

I can't wait!!!

Three things ...

All Signs:

The first Roman calendar started the year at the vernal equinox. How sensible! Spring is the beginning of things, not the middle of winter. This Saturday April 5th, we have the New Moon in Aries, which is the best time to draw up resolutions and think about your future. Let various ideas cook in your mind -then on Saturday or Sunday write down three things you want to make happen in your life. (Even if they're unattainable.) Lose weight? (Gluttony is not a secret vice.) Exercise? (You can drive past the gym once a week.) Addicted to cold turkey? Then you can quit cold turkey! Write down three things at the end of the week. (Expect a surprise mid-term on this next Wednesday.)

Georgia Nicols