Friday, June 30, 2006

It's Crowded in Her

Last week, for the first time, I felt the fruits of my loins.

The babies have become more active. They are starting to kick. I often catch the wife rubbing her belly, trying to calm them down.

I am certain that at least one of them is a boy. They start to kick so the wife calls me over to feel it. They immediately stop kicking.

Last week, I finally caught them at it. It is a weird feeling, to have a hand on someone's stomach and have something poke up for a split second.

I few weeks ago, the wife was in the doctor's office waiting room and they became quite active. She caught another woman laughing at her as the babies were kicking so hard that you could see her shirt moving from across the room.

At least one of them is going to be a good soccer player.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Narrow Media Coverage

The Canadian media does the Canadian Forces and all Canadians a disservice in their reporting of our actions in Afghanistan. Recent Posts at Small Dead Animals and this one at Counterterrorism Blog highlight the “Deathwatch” by reporters at the Kandahar Airfield.

To be fair to reporters, it has been reported that they do not want to sit in Kandahar waiating for soldiers to die, but they are at the mercy of the news bureaus that are looking for the sensational story (there being nothing more sensational than the death of a soldier).

However, rather than blame the MSM and wail about the media, I feel it is more important to look at what can be done about it. The obvious thing for the Canadian Forces to do would be to send their own reporters out to Afghanistan.

But the Canadian Forces has no reporters, you say? Technically this is true, but as most of those on the right of the political spectrum would say, based on some of the quality of reporting we see in Canada, it doesn’t take much to be a reporter.

The Canadian Forces publishes a number of newspapers, including a national newspaper, the Maple Leaf. As well, most major bases have their own newspaper, such as The Petawawa Post in Petawawa, The Lookout in Esquimalt and The Contact in Trenton, to name a few.

Now, I agree that a base newspaper is a far cry from a national daily. Most stories are the sort you would find in a local community newspaper with a bit of a military twist. For example, instead of a local councilman opening up the new swimming pool, it will be some guy in a military uniform, probably with the title of Lieutenant Colonel in the front of his name.

However, this is not to say that the editors of these newspapers could not act as reporters. With such a small staff, (these are usually one man operations), the editor might write a number of articles for each issue, particularly if the paper is short of content to fill the space.

Why not find one, or more, of these editors who are interested in going to Afganistan and send them? The military would get a reporter not beholden to the “Deathwatch” focused news bureaus and the citizens of Canada might get more information from Afghanistan than the coverage of coffins. In addition, if the reporter is a military member then they are aware of military culture and how the system works, resulting in less confusion regarding military terms and time spent trying to understand the military mindset. The Canadian Forces might only have to do it for a few months, as the public might become more interested in the actions going on in the war and the demand of these types of stories grows, the MSM might step up.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Kittens are Good Training for Kids

The cat we got six months ago, Orion, is a bit of a monster.

Every morning, at about 6 am, he comes into the bedroom and starts licking or biting some part of the wife’s face. I hate it because I get awakened by her cursing.

A few months ago, we were outside when a deer came on to the driveway about 100 meters from us. He decided it was something to be stalked, so while I stood still and in full view of the deer, he quickly closed the distance by half and crouched down to start his “hunting”.

After about 5 minutes of a staredown, the cat decided to rush the deer, whereupon the deer took off into the woods with the cat in hot pursuit. Have you ever see a 200 pound deer run from and 8 pound cat? I have.

Just yesterday when the wife and I were coming home from work, a skunk scurried off of our driveway into the forest. A few hours later, I happened to be watching TV when movement out the front window caught my eye. Looking out, I exclaimed to the wife, “Hey, look, a skunk.”

Anyone who has had a pet sprayed by a skunk knows what a pain it can be, so imagine my concern when I see the cat come out of the trees, following closely behind. Based on the deer scenario, I make the assumption that he is think of going in for the kill, an assumption I am sure the skunk shared, as he was constantly pointing his tail at the cat in a threatening manner. We had to chase the cat part way through the forest before we finally caught up with him while the skunk got far enough away to lose him.

Actually, the cat is starting to settle down. There is less biting in the morning and he tends to sleep through the night, as opposed to chasing his most noisy toys around our hardwood bedroom floor at 2 am or dropping wet with drool toy mice on my face.

Although he is a pain, the kids will likely be much worse. Also, kittens become cats in about a year, while human take 18 years.

We have enjoyed laughing at his antics this last year. I expect to get the same enjoyment out of my kids for the next 18.