Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day at the Museum

Last October Heather asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and as I really have pretty much all the "things" that I want (ok, maybe there's an ipad like device on my wish list, but I'm still waiting for the technology to mature a bit) I told her a day together doing something I enjoy would be great.  Heather's not a huge fan of museums and such, but I am, so she agreed to take me to a museum in Denver for a day.

Then she got sick.  Several visits to the E.R, some new meds, a couple of hospital stays, and our day at the museum was put on the back burner.  Finally last week she was able to make good on the promise and so we headed up to the mile-high city.  Of course, Colorado Springs, where we live, is also over a mile high, but the name was already taken, so we had to settle for "the two kilometer high city".  It doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but our Canadian friends dig it.

Ok, sidebar.  My boss Sandy is a dual-citizen from Canada, and although she doesn't read my blog I have to give a shout out to our Northerly neighbors.  It seems Mexico gets all the attention when it comes to bordering nations, and I think it's time for a North American Smack Down.

Many people would argue that Mexicans have had more positive influence on our country than Canadians, but is that true?  The first argument would likely center around the millions of migrant workers that come from Mexico every year to fill our great need for agricultural and construction workers.  At least the kind that will work for $1.50 an hour.  I will admit that Canada has not been such a large source of workers, but sometimes it's about quality, not quantity.  No, we don't have Canada to thank for our cheap strawberries and lettuce, but what about Jim Carrey and Michael J. Fox?  Can you really compare delicious fruit with "Dumb and Dumber"?  How incomplete would your life be without "Back to the Future"?  Advantage Canada.

Some would argue that our cuisine has been greatly enhanced by our Latin-American friends.  From tacos to quesadillas, nachos to burritos, we have some great foods thanks to our migrants from the South.  What have the Canadians given us to tantalize our palates, they would ask?  Have you ever heard of Canadian Bacon?  How about washing that down with some Canada Dry ginger ale?  Ok, that's pretty much all I could come up with, and I prefer real bacon to ham going under the guise of "bacon", so I have to give this one to Mexico.

For the tie breaker we look to history.  Canadians have long been our friends, due in part to our having common ancestors, but probably stemming more from their French influence, which rendered them incapable of mounting any successful military campaigns against us.  In fact, had the Canadians been able to prevent us from getting their heavy cannons from Fort Ticonderoga, we may have lost the Revolutionary war.  Compare that with the Mexicans, who killed Daniel Boone.  It is reported that weeks before his death at the Alamo, Daniel Boone was working on the means of mass producing the coon-skin hat, which would have forever altered the face of American fashion.  We'll never know what could have been.  Canada wins.

Ok, back to my story.  Heather and I had a great day at the the museum of nature and science.  We got to learn about Colorado wildlife, gemstones, the solar system, and the difference between a good Egyptian embalming and a bad one, among other things.  We saw some cool dinosaur fossils, and I couldn't help but imagine what it would be like if all the displays came to life at night.  With no Teddy Roosevelt wax figure I'm guessing it would be badly in need of some leadership.  Whatever the case, it was a pretty awesome day.  Now to start working on getting Heather to an Art museum.