Deer on the freeway!

I only caught one traffic report this morning but it was enough to make me not take the Don Valley Parkway. On the southbound lanes there were some deer at the side of the road wandering around near Wynford Drive. Sicne I get off the DVP past Wynford Drive, I decided that I didn't want to risk a) killing or b) seeing a killed deer. I took Leslie instead and my total drive today was just over 20 minutes, a new record.

Disturbing trend

I feel sorry for the kids growing up in today's education system in the U.S. From here:

Rep. Henry Waxman says federally funded abstinence education programs that are used in 25 states contain false and misleading information about contraception, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases.

A report Wednesday from the California Democrat said 11 of the 13 most widely used programs underestimate the effectiveness of condoms in preventing pregnancy and the spread of disease, exaggerate the prevalence of emotional and physical distress following abortion, blur science and religion or get fundamental scientific facts wrong.

Alma Golden, deputy assistant Health and Human Services Secretary for population affairs, said the Waxman report took statements out of context to present the programs in the worst possible light.

"These issues have been raised before and discredited," Golden said. "One thing is very clear for our children, abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs and preventing pregnancy."

The abstinence programs, which have been embraced by President Bush, will receive $170 million in the current government spending year, more than double what the government was spending when Bush took office in 2001. The abstinence curriculum may not include instruction in contraceptive use as a condition of federal funding.

Waxman said, "It is absolutely vital that the health education provided to America's youth be scientifically and medically accurate. The abstinence-only programs reviewed in this report fail to meet this standard."

A.C. Green's Game Plan, named for the professional basketball player who said he would not have sex before he was married, raises question about whether condoms can stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, Waxman's report said. "The popular claim that condoms help prevent the spread of STDs, is not supported by the data," the program's teacher's manual says.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other researchers have found that consistent and correct condom use does protect against transmissions of many STDs, the report said.

Other programs asserted as fact sharply contested claims, the report said. The FACTS middle school program, developed by Northwest Family Services, says, "Conception, also known as fertilization, occurs when one sperm unites with one egg in the upper third of the fallopian tube. This is when life begins."

In another instance, the Why kNOw curriculum asserts "twenty-four chromosomes from the mother and twenty-four chromosomes from the father join to create this new individual," the report said. The correct number is 23 each.

Some curriculums also rely on what Waxman called damaging stereotypes about boys and girls, including that girls care less about achievement and their futures.

The Why kNOw curriculum teaches: "Women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men's happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments."

Beautiful song

I bought CDs today. I haven't done that in a long long time. One of the CDs that I bought is Sarah Slean's new album, Day One. I heard about it last week on the radio and I really loved the sound. The story behind this album is very interesting. She wasn't happy with the state of her life so she spent 6 months by herself in a cabin. There's no way I could come up with songs as beautiful as this under the same circumstances:
In my mind-storm I did carry you
Through the briars of disbelief
Through the woods of lethargy
Through a groaning dark so deep
I thought I died

In the fountain I did cool our feet
Under red and rainless skies
Singing ragged lullabies
Through the grief all advertised
In neon lights

Baby your wish is my wish
And I have only this
From now on

Baby your wish is my wish
Keep on running to the door

I hear Beauty crying in her sleep
So I bent for one more kiss
And her tears will turn and twist
We make bliss to end all bliss
And all time

Baby your wish is my wish
And I have only this
From now on

Baby - your wish is my wish
Keep on running to the dawn
Running to the door...
Keep on running to the dawn

I hear Beauty crying in her sleep
The lyrics don't do the song justice but trust me, this is one amazing song. Sometimes it's the simplest tune that gets you.
  • Current Music
    Sarah Slean - Your Wish Is My Wish

Blogaversary and other sundry events

Well today marks 2 years since I started this blog. I know that I haven't been updating it as regularly as I once did but I still read your journals and am always interested to see what you guys are up to!

September was a crazy crazy month for Marcy and me. Marcy got a new job teaching in east Toronto so we needed to find a new apartment. We found a huge 1100 square foot place in Central-West Toronto right near the 401. A week after we found this place I was offered a new job in Toronto. I'm starting next week after Thanksgiving (the real one). I'm pretty excited because it'll be a step up in a number of ways. I've loved my time here in Kitchener but it's not really practical to be commuting 2+ hours per day particularly in the winter months. It makes a lot of sense all around.

So Marcy has been living with friends in Toronto for the last month and I've been getting things together for the move during the week. It's been quite hectic and stressful but we were both looking forward to living together once again after this past Saturday.

I had booked a U-Haul truck for a one-way journey in the middle of September. I had been counting on a truck being available Saturday morning and I put that as my preference but when U-Haul called late Friday afternoon to tell me that I couldn't get a truck until 5 PM on Saturday, I was pretty frustrated and angry at the company. I called Marcy and she took down the information and spoke with the manager. He wasn't very accomodating or apologetic in any way. Naturally this posed quite a problem because we had people coming in from out of town to help us and we had elevators booked on both ends. It was a mess. We got everything packed up Friday night and Saturday morning Marcy started calling other rental places in the area begging them to give us something that we could fit our stuff into. Fortunately Carter had a 24 foot truck available that day so that's what we ended up using. Now I had never driven something that big but I think I did a pretty good job. It had a power tailgate and the ride-on-air seats that are the envy of everyone.

Now here in Kitchener, we'd had a pretty good end of September weather-wise. It'd been cool but clear so naturally Saturday morning started with a cold hard rain. That made moving extra-fun! Fortunately we had Cressa, John and Mark helping out Ian, Amanda, Patricia, Marcy and me. I can't imagine how long it would have taken us if we didn't have everyone's help. I think next time though we'll be using movers because for one thing, our apartment is essentially empty - there's so much space! We're going to need more furniture and decorating things but there's no rush to do that right now. I'm going to be taking boxes back with me every night this week and hopefully by Friday (my last day of work here), we'll be pretty much cleaned out. We're getting reimbursed for the time we're not using in the apartment here which surprised me and that will be a nice bonus.

So that's a quick rundown of where I'm at right now. It's an exciting time!