Hello all…or, you…hmm. Anyway, hi. So first off, I want to just say that what has happened in Boston is a terrible tragedy-people in Boston should know that we all the way up here in this beautiful land called Canada have you in our prayers.
I do struggle with the level of outrage that occurs during events such as this, however. It is a tragedy, but it is no more a tragedy then when people and innocents are killed in other countries throughout the world. It is no more a tragedy then when, albeit accidentally, America kills innocent civilians in Afghanistan while intervening. It is also not more of a tragedy than all of the deaths that occur in shootings in the United States every year. Yet, (I do not contend that this is always the case), often we feel the pain much more when we see someone like us-a responsible westerner-generally white and English-speaking, die in these events. I do not mean to be insensitive, but I do want to encourage more reflection, and not pure reflexivity, in this tragedy.
Anyway, I don’t want to belabor the point, because it is worthwhile to mourn these events. Macleans Magazine does point out something interesting the response, however. The magazine notes that the response indicates a change in atmosphere in the United States since the advent of 911. After the Trade Towers were brought down, there was absolute panic-everything across the nation was shut down, people were terrified and suspicious of everyone, and racism was elevated to new heights as people assumed anyone with a turban or an Indian accent was a terrorist. After the Boston attack, people were more reserved. They mourned, and were frightened and upset, but the emotion most commonly reflected on peoples’ faces was not panic, but instead resolve. People are used to the idea that events like this can happen anywhere in America. Enemies are beginning to outnumber friends, and this seems to be (rather than leading Americans to question their international behaviour), causing Americans to become more firmly dedicated to their nation’s ideological stances. This is probably a good and bad thing. Good, because America has a lot to be proud of, despite the common trend to bash American ideals as much as possible in our media. Bad, because a nation needs a people who is self-critical. That is what democracy is built on, as de Tocqueville pointed out long ago.
Anyway, I have three things listed in my title, and I’ve only talked about one. I built a new closet organizer that I purchased from Ikea yesterday-I will never NEVER purchase anything from Ikea ever again. My wife and I purchased a couch from Ikea a month or so ago (after driving all the way to Ikea and back home twice because Ikea misinformed us as to the availability). After building the couch, we discovered two manufacturers flaws-a hole that wasn’t finished, and a missing foot (we are currently propping up the back of our couch with a stack of books that I didn’t like). I also drove to Ikea for my workplace, only to discover that-again, Ikea had misinformed us on the availability of an item. What went wrong with the closet? Well, the “expert” on the system that we used (the Algott), had no idea what she was talking about, so we ended up getting some of the wrong parts. Not to mention, some of the parts were bent and warped-needlenose pliers can do wonders sometimes. I got it up, but it was tricky, and some of the drawers don’t slide very well. If you are starting to wonder whether or not this is a rant-yes, it is. Ikea may be cheap, but it is a massive corporation that sees customers as numbers. The store that I operate is small, and I know a lot of the names of my regular customers. It is this type of store that I will be sticking to. I don’t have a lot of money to push together, but I am willing to spend a little extra in the future if it means that I will be seen as a customer, and not simply another number walking in with money.
To finish-here’s a deliciously easy and very customizable quiche recipe that I have been using (especially since Quiche is one of my wife’s favourite foods!
- Beef, pork, or whatever you want to put in your quiche
- 1 Tablespoon Butter/Margarine
- 1 9-inch Pastry Shell (unbaked)
- 7 oz (roughly) Shredded cheese (whatever kind you prefer)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
- Your choice on seasonings (I use Oregano and Parsley most frequently)
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Cup Cream
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Place cooked meat in pastry shell with anything else you want
- Sprinkle cheese over filling
- Mix seasonings and pepper and sprinkle over cheese
- Beat eggs and cream together and pour over cheese
- Bake 40 minutes or until lightly browned and a knife inserted into the centre comes out cleanly