Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My Hillbilly Name Is.......

As promised.......thx barb......

Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Shelby Lynne Harley

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween all you fellow Blogger scary people (need not apply...hehe).

While searching around the Web, I found some cool links to share with all ghosties and goblinies around the world.

Ben and Jerry's Flavor Graveyard

Halloween Origins and Customs

The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows

All Recipes

Even Google got into the Halloween act..........now how about that?

My Halloween was most excellent. After a little last minute decoration shopping, courtesy of Home Depot and Canadian Tire, we gave out 95 of our 100 goodie bags. BOO!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Not The Post That I Thought It Would Be

This was a slow post day for me. Work is kind of busy, and I guess that life in general is also kind of busy. I had the idea to post some pictures of the lovely birthday gifts that I received. These pictures are here as you can see. Then, the infamous light bulb came on in my sometimes tiny head.

These two gifts were from two very special people in my life.

Of course, a little background.

It was back in 1981. We were newly engaged. It was September, and we had travelled to Toronto to meet my future mother-in-law. We had driven in on Friday , and arrived quite late. My future Mother-in-law was preparing to move, and we were going to help with the packing, and introduce me to her. For sleeping arrangements, My Sweetie had a bed, and a room. I was to sleep on the living room couch. I remember not being able to fall asleep right away, because it was new surroundings, and I couldn't quite get settled. I finally did fall asleep, but I also remember waking up in the middle of the night to a pair of big green eyes staring up at me from the floor. It was Minnie the cat. I was a little taken aback, and wondered if this animal would jump on me, and attack. But no. She just wanted to check out who this stranger was asleep on the couch.

When I awoke in the morning, there were two people sitting on the chairs that were facing the couch. In one of the chairs sat my future sister-in-law, and in the other my future mother-in-law. Now, you might think, what a way to meet your soon to be married family. But in retrospect, it was quite comfortable, and natural, and certainly not pretentious, formal or strained.

Now, back to the pictures. Those two gifts were from those two special ladies, and I consider myself fortunate to have them in my life.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fallic Boy

My Sweetie and I will be married 25 years next year. We've experienced so many wonderful things during that time together. Also during that time, we've collected (there's that word again) a number of plants. Some of the plants are more recent acquisitions, such as the huge palm leaf from my Mom's funeral, but we have some others that literally have been with us since our marriage and before (as shower gifts).

One of these little babies we refer to as Fallic Boy (I changed the spelling to save my poor blog from the AdSnoops....so it should really be p-h-a-l-l-i-c), a little cactus (now no longer little). Named Fallic Boy because this particular cactus had no other limbs except for one.

Of course, a little background.

Fallic Boy has been around for between 20 to 25 years. He was a gift from my Mom and Dad (notice it has a gender) has moved with us from Montreal to Toronto to our present location, and he survived. Well, he survived, but not without a few accidents along the way. If I remember correctly, he may have been dropped, at least once which would have resulted in a major damage to his little limb. What once was one not-so-little fallicy, ended up being a number of smaller fallic type shoots.

So Fallic Boy ended up with brothers all co-habiting in the same pot. I think the pot may have changed form time to time to accommodate the Fallic family growth, expansion, and sproutation. Sort of like kids outgrowing their cribs, and moving into big-kid beds.

So, exactly where was I going with this? Probably nowhere, but I doubt if anyone who has a cactus will ever really be able to view it the same way ever again.

I really want to visit the desert.....hmmm.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

My iPod

I am a techno geek. There, I said it. I wish all women were, then I'd have something in common with at least some of them, because I find a lot of women are not quite into this kind of thing (that goes for computers too). I love to tinker with HTML code, and experience the cause and effects of code changes. I love to be in touch with the latest technology (luv BlackBerry).

Last year, My Sweetie bought me a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) which was meant to replace my old VCR. At first I was hesitant about it, but it quickly became My Beloved PVR. This year, My Sweetie bought me an iPod, Again, I initially looked at it with trepidation (since I had an MP3 player a few years back, and never mastered the darned thing). So, the new gadget has now been named My Beloved iPod, because I have, so far, my favorite music on it....my Dave Matthews, my Norah Roberts, my Peter Gabriel, oh.....and Maneater by Nellie Furtado.

The best thing about this new giftie, is that My Sweetie also purchased a car adapter kit for My Beloved iPod (I don't have a CD player in my car, hence I rely solely on the mercy of a good radio station). This kit will amplify the contents of my iPod throughout my car.....woo hoo!

So my day so far has been spent doing the following (and I suspect that the remainder of the day will continue in much the same fashion):
    playing with iPod

    doing laundry

    playing with iPod

    picking up around the house

    playing with iPod

    having lunch

    playing with iPod

    changed the bed

    playing with iPod

    cuddled with the cat

    playing with iPod

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Creep Who Came To Visit

Did you ever meet someone who literally gave you the creeps? I did. Today. And I wasn't the only one who noticed it. The feeling was so strong, it was almost as if the vibes were emanating from this person's pores.

As usual, a little background.

A nameless establishment contacted us about a complimentary service for our home. Since we had used this company before, we decided to have them come to do what they do, and then we would decide later what we would do.

The Creepy Person arrived, and since I was busy with work, My Sweetie handled the appointment. Not long after, I came to get a cup of tea. The Creepy Person turned to say hello, and introduced himself. Even before he opened his mouth, the creepy crawly feeling slithered over my skin. I kept looking at My Sweetie who remained expressionless, and I wasn't sure if he was picking up the same vibes or not (although later, I learned that he was).

When the inspection was over, the Creepy Person went to the kitchen table, and sat down, and he looked like he was making himself comfortable for lunch, and said as much (he was probably joking, but it didn't come out that way). My Sweetie and I exchanged glances as if to say 'what the f*** do we do now???'. The Creepy Person inquired if we wanted a follow-up to complete the actual work, and My Sweetie said no and that we would decide later. The guy was all but shoved out the door, to take his creepiness with him.

This was how we were affected by this visit, but the strangest part is next.

Now, when the Creepy Person walked into the house, our sweetie kitty, CoCo, had an absolute fit. She is a calm, good natured kitty. She doesn't bite or scratch. Doesn't growl or hiss. Heck, she hardly ever meows. She will, at times, come out to visit with company. But when the Creepy Person walked into the house, she had been in the kitchen, and she hissed and spat, and slithered upstairs, and sidled along the railing into the safety of our bedroom, to take cover behind our headboard. She later buried herself under a blanket, never to be seen by the world. She even felt the creepiness. Now, for CoCo, coming from an abusive home, My Sweetie had wondered about CoCo's behaviour toward the Creepy Person, almost as if he might have sounded like her old owner, or maybe WAS her old owner. Or maybe she sensed that he was evil, or an axe murderer, or whatever.

Whatever the case, it was creepy and spooky, and the Creepy Person, who didn't even need a costume for this, will never again be allowed into our home.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

Many thanks to those thoughtful friends and family and blog family who remembered my birthday. I really appreciate the kindness. My Sweetie (xxxxx) spoiled me again this year, and treated me to a little technology......an iPod...so now I can put my Def Leppard, Dave Matthews, Norah Jones, and CSNY, all in one place.

Oh! And I also decided to give myself a new Blog template for my birthday. They had the Harbor template, and I thought that most represented me (I especially like the little lighthouse that accompanies each post). Now all I have to do is customize the sidebar to my liking.

I hope you all like the new look.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Day Before My Birthday

...and not a creature was stirring...not even a mouse (sorry tg)....Ho hum.

For the past couple of years, my birthday seems to have come and gone, like a spring snowstorm. This year, I am probably going to be pooped by the end of the big day, due to work demands. That's okay though. Can't have it all, right?

Temprarily, also, I disabled the Comment moderation function, since I can't really monitor things well enough this week....so feel free to comment away. I won't mind. I think it's jmai who says, me likey the comments. Me do!

How Do You Thank Someone Who Is No Longer Here?

Back in July, I wrote a post For My Honorary Sister, Pat. Our families became interconnected through my late Mother, and so we are, in a way, extended family.

We had just started our vacation, and we were on our boat, in the middle of Georgian Bay, when we had learned this very sad news. Unable to return in time for the service, I wrote the post.

It's now been 3 months since Patricia left us, and it is still very difficult, but we are all trying to adjust to her absence, trying to move on, especially Her Hubby.

But, it seems that Patricia is still guiding and helping Her Hubby. He might find little notes or reminders, just as I found little notes after my Mom passed away. But, there have been some odd things happening also. Her Hubby told me that he found something - a wrapped gift in an air conditioner box. Pat had bought, and wrapped the gift, and placed it in the box, knowing that the air conditioner would need to be stowed away after the summer, and before the cold weather set in. Little did I know that there was another gift in that box.

My birthday gift. A gift from the past. Eerie, yet comfortable, and special.

Even though she was going through so much at the time, she had lovingly and thoughtfully, bought, and wrapped, and placed that gift, knowing that it would be found, to be delivered in time for my birthday. And, for anyone who knows me as KittyLady, the gift was everything about cats; so typically Pat.

So, exactly how do you say thank you to someone who is not here anymore? Well, I guess, yesterday was that thank you, with the lovely time spent with Her Hubby, and knowing that I always have my private thoughts and prayers, sent to my angels who are never out of my thoughts.

They say it is not about the end but about the journey that takes you there. Well, there was a journey, and there was an end, but there is another journey waiting to unfold.

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's All About Food...Or Is It?

My Sweetie does not eat. He is the only person that I know who can go for an entire day without food or water. He doesn't get hungry, and he simply gets busy and then forgets to eat.

Not me.

I eat many times throughout the day....not copious amounts of food, but frequent foraging. I think I left a comment about this in Miss Daday's blog. From the time that I get up in the morning, it's all about food. My measuring cups are used religiously to portion what I eat. My scale is forever in the counter. My WW books are always nearby for consultation. My journal and pen are poised for me to track. My water jug is always ready to go (as do I, but that's too much information).

And so, throughout the day, I eat breakfast, then elevenses, lunch, then mid afternoon coffee break, dinner, and the after dinner surprise.

Okay, okay, sometimes I don't always do it perfectly. Sometimes I fall off, and struggle to get back on. But I like to eat.

And I never forget!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Calabar's Tag

Then I was tagged by Calabar Gal2......(getting tired here).....

1. Programmer
2. Clerical
3. Camp counselor
4. Analyst

1. Mascot
2. News reporter
3. Travel agent
4. Cruise entertainer

1. Beetlejuice
2. Dirty Dancing
3. Ghost
4. Pretty Woman

1. Montreal
2. Toronto
3. Brampton
4. Barrie

1. Survivor
2. The Amazing Race
3. America's Next Top Model
4. The Apprentice

1. Mexico
2. Dominican Republic
3. Prince Edward Island
4. The North Channel

1. cnn.com
2. cbc.ca
3. canoe.ca
4. mirror.co.uk

1. Chicken Katsu
2. Indian Nan bread
3. Tapanyaki
4. Sticky Fingers wings and ribs

1. Oysters
2. Rare Steak (I prefer my meat well done – Thank You.....ME TOO!)
3. Capers
4. Olives

1. Ice cream
2. Lemon meringue pie
3. Chocolate
4. A milk shake

1. Bedroomm set
2. Rocking chair
3. Cedar chest
4. My late Mom's sewing machine

1. A TV
2. A fireplace
3. A stereo
4. A couch

1. T-shirt
2. Track suit
3. Socks
4. Jewelery

1. England (anywhere there)
2. Mexico
3. Hawaii
4. Italy

1. Belinda Stronach
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Yoko Ono
4. Donald Trump

1. The upcoming week
2. The next answer on this list
3. How I should get ready for bed
4. Where is the chocolate?

1. My cats
2. My computer
3. My PVR
4. My gym

lattegirl, barb, Miss Daday, jmai

I've Been Tagged.....Again.....Wah!

I've been tagged by Skittles on this one, so here goes:

I have to list five things about myself that I think are weird.

1. I like dunking my potato chips in my glass of Coke.

2. I can bend the thumb on my left hand into a horizontal flat position.

3. I took a Calculus course as a pleasure course...Seriously.

4. I like to keep my my food from touching adjoining food on my plate.
(I'm a real treat at a pot luck I can tell you).

5. I can sit with my toes bent under my feet.

Note: There could be other very odd things about me, but you asked for 5, and 5 it is.

And now I tag the following.......
lattegirl, terry, Miss Daday, jmai, Calabar Gal

Yesterday, All the Boat Got Tarped in Just A Day

That subject line, for best effect, should be sung to the tune of The Beatles' ever famous 'Yesterday'. That is also how we spent our day yesterday....tarping the boat. Sounds like an easy enough task, right? Perhaps. But it always ends up taking longer than it should. And it is always a lot of work. Where are those dock boys when you really need them?

Just Hangin' Out

We started the day by visiting the storage to pick up the framing, and loading it into the car. The plan was to (1) remove any remaining important things from the boat....freezables, clothing, paper contents, and then (2) we would frame the boat so that we could get the cover on at a later time. Well, we, did all that stuff, and then the plan changed, because it was supposed to rain today (which it certainly is doing as I write this). Once the dodger and enclosure were removed, the cockpit was exposed to the elements, and we don't like that. So, we took the time to re-visit the storage place in order to pick up the winter cover (it's a heavy sucker). We arrived back at the boat, and started to sort things out. Because the cover weighs so much, we had it altered last year into two pieces. We then unroll the thing and figure out which is the fore piece and which is the aft piece (always fun). Once we got that done and got the thing up onto the boat, My Sweetie spent the remaining 5 hours adjusting, tugging, taping, tying, oh, and swearing I am sure (although I didn't exactly hear any of it).

The long and short of it was that the boat is snug for the winter. There are a couple of minor things to take care of (yeah right), but the biggest tasks are complete.

I missed my bloggie friends, although, if I had thought of it, I should have brought the laptop...there's wireless at the marina....duh!

Captain Peek-A-Boo

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Light and Fluffy Post

CoCo got da recyclin' blues

Introducing one of the loves of and in our lives - CoCo our "faded Calico". Isn't she a sweetie? But then I am biased of course. She is a true lap cat, though not in this picture. Apparently, she wants to be recycled.

CoCo is roughly 8 years old, I say 'roughly' because she was about a year and a half, when we got her in 1999 (I think). In any case, she was one of three siblings - Pepsi, Coke, and Sprite. She was Coke. When she was at the Pet store, she was with one remaining sibling, Pepsi. Sprite had already been adopted. We always understood that these little pookers had been the receivers of verbal abuse (the owner would literally scream into their little faces. So, because of that, they all had behaviours resulting from that verbal vomiting. At the Pet Store, Pepsi remained at the back of her cage, huddled in a blanket, looking totally frightened. Coke, on the other hand, came over to the cage door, and wanted to be petted so badly, and would rub along the cage door and purrrrrr so loudly. We fell in love, and brought her home. Hence was the introduction of CoCo into our home.

Our home, every inch and crevice of it, belongs to our kitties (we have 2, and BJ has been in some earlier posts, and is due for updated recognition). CoCo is notorious for finding many and varied spots for resting in.....

CoCo in her basket

CoCo on top of the world

CoCo with fleece

CoCo got such a rough life....yawn....and hey! Throw some more recycling paper over me will you? It's bright in here!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Got Allergies? This Could Be You!

Interesting picture eh? Maybe you've seen this before, or even had this done (but, I don't want to know about it okay?....too much information). I certainly haven't been fortunate enough to partake in this, so seeing this was a first for me. It's called Patch Testing (gosh I hope this doesn't start showing up in my A-D-S!).

Well, this is My Sweetie's back. My Sweetie's back has this big patch across the top with 62 numbered little dots. Each dot means something to the important people, but means absolutely nothing to us.

What exactly My Sweetie is being tested for, we don't know, and we might not know for days, weeks, heck could be years (kidding). In the meantime, he is not allowed to shower, or sweat. I leave that to you to figure out what he can and cannot do. Anyway, I thought I'd share this little gem with you.

Oh! The thing on his left ear? That's his blue tooth (otherwise known as the borg non-implant.

Have a good night chickies.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Do You Drive Like A Guy Or A Girl?

That first quiz was so much fun, and I really deserve a break today (but alas no McDonald's for me), so I decided to try one of the other little quizzes, and here is the run-down........

Your Driving Is is: 43% Male, 57% Female

According to studies, you drive both like a guy and a girl.

This means you're a pretty average driver, with typical quirks.

Occasionally you're frustrated and or a little reckless, but that's the exception - not the norm.

My Career Type is Investigative

Thanks to Skittles' Place, for posting this on her blog, and thanks to me for actually going to the link and filling out this shorty.

If you want to, you can try the quiz via the link at the bottom.

Your Career Type: Investigative

You are precise, scientific, and intellectual. Your talents lie in understanding and solving math and science problems.

You would make an excellent:
  • Architect - Biologist - Chemist

  • Dentist - Electrical Technician - Mathematician

  • Medical Technician - Meteorologist - Pharmacist

  • Physician - Surveyor - Veterinarian

  • The worst career options for your are enterprising careers, like lawyer or real estate agent.

    Monday, October 16, 2006

    PTS and Sundry Info

    1. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be involved in my friend's PTS (Personal Training) practical exam, which she passed with flying colors (Congratulations, Lutador!). She had to develop a program for a case client, Gail. Yesterday, I was Gail, and my friend was my Personal Trainer. We did some cardio, we did the bench press, the overhead press, push ups, tricep dips, cooldown. Once the session was complete, the examiner provided her critique, and also providing the passing grade. Our reward and treat awaited us at Williams Coffee Pub for a hot drink and to share a yumyum waffle.

    2. Today was our first cleaning session with our lady. After we worked out some logistics, we got started, where basically I shadowed her. That worked well. The house smells, and looks amazing. It's almost a shame to have to use the bathrooms now! Wow. She is a hard worker, very thorough, she does a lot, she works fast, and taught me a few things as well. I am so glad that we decided to go ahead with this.

    3. Tomorrow, I might be able to finish the book that I've been reading. I am so close to completing The Lovely Bones, and so far I have enjoyed it. Not quite sure yet what I am going to select next from my bookshelf, but when I know, you'll know.

    Sunday, October 15, 2006

    I've Been Tagged!

    I've been tagged by Skittles, and she was kind enough to explain what I had to do, since I am a newbie at this. So here goes:

    1. The last movie you saw in a theater.

    Pirates of the Caribbean Part 2

    2. The last movie you rented/purchased for home viewing.
    Purchased Harry Potter

    3. A movie that made you laugh out loud.

    4. A movie that made you cry.
    Lord of the Rings (all of them)

    5. A movie that was a darling of the critics, but you didnÂ’t think lived up to the hype.

    6. A movie that you thought was better than the critics.

    7. Favorite animated movie.
    Monsters Inc.

    8. Favorite Disney Villain.
    Randall Boggs

    9. Favorite movie musical.
    Mary Poppins

    10. Favorite movies of all-time.
    Dirty Dancing
    Edward Scissorhands
    Gone with the Wind
    Imitation of Life
    Lord of the Rings (all)
    Pirates of theCaribbeann (both)
    The Birds
    The Breakfast Club
    The Wizard of OZ
    ......many more

    To the following 5 bloggers.....TAG....you're it!:
    lattegirl, terry, Miss Daday, jmai, Calabar Gal.

    Boat Has A BooBoo

    Yesterday was haulout day, a cold and blustery day, but our boat was hauled. However, while it was hanging in the slings, we noticed a big crack fore and aft of the keel (this is starting to sound vaguely reminiscent of 1999, which is another story entirely). But before jumping to conclusions, like how water wouldn't cause a fracture like that, you're right. It wouldn't. But a submerged article would and could. And that is now our confirmed suspicion.

    Let's travel back in time.

    It was July 24th, and the third day of our summer vacation. We had already spent two days traveling on Georgian Bay, and were on our third day. This day would have us sailing for 7 hours to our ultimate destination, Killarney. The weather was overcast, it was windy, and we spent much of the trip motor sailing through rain bursts. We were in about 240 feet of water, when we heard a loud THUD and felt the boat shake. My Sweetie and I looked at each other in shock, trying to make sense of this (since water doesn't THUD). Now, sometimes when sailing, wind from the stern can be flukey, and cause the sail to jibe and make a hard snapping sound. Seriously, that is what we thought it was. It had crossed our minds to have the boat lifted once we go to Killarney, but they were still dealing with the after effects of a huge storm that had passed through there the previous week, and the travel lifts were not operating (in fact most establishments were still trying to resume power and re-engage docks that had floated away. It was not an emergency. We were not taking on any water, and so we dismissed any idea that we could have possibly hit something, and continued with our holiday. From time to time, we would discuss what had happened, but that was all.

    Fast forward to yesterday.

    After witnessing the cracks in the hull, we certainly have different thoughts about the whole thing. That bad storm in the area must have dislodged something....a huge log or tree or a picnic table or even, I cringed, a dead body (but that's too gross to even consider).

    So now, we play the waiting game.

    Wait until we can talk to the insurance people about this.

    Wait until the boat can be inspected.

    Wait to see if any of the ribs are cracked, because if they are, they are not easily repaired, and the boat could be considered a total write-off at that point.

    So, our season has now come to a crashing end, and our minds are swirling with what-ifs. But despite all of that, we can still look back on last summer, and know that it was a pretty good sailing season. We visited some splendid places, linked up with old friends, and made new ones.

    Now if we could only put a big band-aid to fix the booboo, we would be very happy.

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    Can I Fool the Blogger Ad Snoop?

    My blog has a problem, which means that I have a problem. Ever since I posted S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g T-h-i-n-g-s, my blog has been plagued with embarrassing Blogger ads, specifically s-i-n-e-p (first word) r-e-h-c-t-e-r-t-s (second word). I reversed the letters in the hopes that the ad snoop can't detect it. I am a little abashed that s-i-n-e-p r-e-h-c-t-e-r-t-s keeps appearing. I can't seem to get rid of it. If I look at some of my other posts, sometimes the ad changes, but when I go back to my current post, s-i-n-e-p r-e-h-c-t-e-r-t-s is still there. It's rather irritating. Furthermore, I have no use for this type of apparatus, nor do I even know what it looks like, and I don't want to know either! I prefer to bury my head in the sand on this one.

    So, I half buried my head in the sand, and went surfing. I found the following. At Steve's blog, BizarreBids.com, you can actually bid for one of the apparatus things, if you want to.

    Then, I found the following little scenario between Chris Knight (played by Val Kilmer) *swoon* and Mitch (played by Gabriel Jarret)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Chris Knight: You didn't touch anything, did you?
    Mitch: No.
    Chris Knight: Good. Because all of my filth is arranged in alphabetical order. This, for instance, is under 'H' for "toy.
    Mitch: What is it?
    Chris Knight: It's a penis stretcher. Do you want to try it?
    Mitch: No.
    Chris Knight: I'm just kidding. It's yet another in a long series of diversions in an attempt to avoid responsibility.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Small diversion there, but worth it for Val Kilmer. Where was I?

    Right, my other tactic is to plant some not-so-subtle words, like "eBay" or "Jaguar", and see what happens. I really wouldn't mind having "Jaguar" show up as an ad, in fact that would be cool. What if I put "snowbird" in my post? Hmmmm.

    And, though I have only been blogging for a short time, I have become accustomed to including a cute little clipart or picture relating to my post.

    Val and Gabriel will have to suffice. *sigh*.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    It's Friday the 13th!!!

    Happy Friday the 13th, and I hope no bad stuff happens to anybody today. But I am not superstitious, of course.

    This picture was on CANOE this morning Sock Burning with the following:
    "To ward off the evils of Friday the 13th, stand on a hill or tall building and burn all your socks that have holes in them. Seriously. (Courtesy of Blair Gable SUN PHOTO ILLUSTRATION). Personally, I think this should be a foot washing ceremony....yucko!

    At a recent party, we met a couple who live in Port Dover, and told us about the Friday the 13th celebrations that take place every Friday the 13th
    Friday the 13th, Port Dover, Ontario, Canada

    Port Dover is a small town of about 6000 people, but on Friday the 13th, this town attracts bikers from all over, and those numbers grow to about 100,000. Now I am not a biker, but I am a wanna be. In WWII, my Dad rode a Harley (which he called Matilda). To this day, I drool over bikes on the road, and sigh, because the closest thing I will ever get to riding one, as a driver, is my mountain bike.

    Get your motor runnin'
    Head out on the highway
    Lookin' for adventure
    And whatever comes our way
    Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
    Take the world in a love embrace
    Fire all of your guns at once
    And explode into space

    I like smoke and lightning
    Heavy metal thunder
    Racin' with the wind
    And the feelin' that I'm under
    Yeah Darlin' go make it happen
    Take the world in a love embrace
    Fire all of your guns at once
    And explode into space

    Like a true nature's child
    We were born, born to be wild
    We can climb so high
    I never wanna die

    Born to be wild
    Born to be wild

    Thanks Steppenwolf!!

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    Today is Skittle's Birthday!

    Happy Birthday, Skittles!

    Though we only recently met (sort of), I feel as though I have known you forever. Have a wonderful day!

    Sun Yat Fai Lok (Cantonese)
    In the Chinese Zodiac information that was on the paper placemat from the restaurant, you are a Monkey. You are clever and skillful to the point of genius, practical and given to detail, you generally have a low opinion of others. Your best relationships are with the dragon, rat and ram and worst are with the tiger.
    Note: I am Horse.

    In the Japanese Zodiac, people born in the year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the Zodiac cycle. They are clever and skilful in grand-scale operations and are smart when making financial deals. They are inventive, original and are able to solve the most difficult problems with ease.
    Note: the Japanese Happy Birthday translation was impossible for me to post.

    Bonne Fete (French Canada)
    Joyeux Anniversaire (French)
    Buon Compleanno (Italian)
    Fortuna Dies Natalis (Latin)
    Selamat Hari Jadi (Malaysian)
    La Multi Ani (Romanian)
    Feliz Cumpleanos (Spanish)
    Suk San Wan Keut (Thai)

    People born on October 12th:
    Dick Gregory (1932) - Autobiography: NIGGER!

    Hugh Jackman (1968) - X-Men, Oklahoma
    Robin Askwith (1950) - Confessions of a Window Cleaner
    Kirk Cameron (1970) - Growing Pains actor turned evangelist
    Adam Rich (1968) - Nicholas Bradford on Eight is Enough

    George W. Cable (1844) - Old Creole Days

    Arthur Harden (1865) - Enzymes of sugar fermentation

    Wendy Chamberlin (1948) - US Ambassador to Pakistan, 2001-02
    William Clark, Jr. (1930) - US Ambassador to India, 1989-92
    William H. Sullivan (1922) - US Ambassador to Iran, 1977-79

    Ante Gotovina (1955) - Croatian war criminal

    Susan Anton (1950) - Played 5000 times at Radio City Music Hall
    Chris Botti (1962) - Night Sessions
    Melvin Franklin (1942) - Bass vocals for The Temptations
    Young Jeezy Rapper (1977) - Boyz N Da Hood
    Luciano Pavarotti (1935) - Operatic tenor
    Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 Composer) - Sinfonia Antarctica

    John Engler (1948) - Governor of Michigan 1991-2003
    Dave Freudenthal (1950) - Governor of Wyoming
    Ed Royce (1951) - Congressman, California 40th 1993-
    David Wilkins (1946) - US Ambassador to Canada, 2005-
    Ramsay MacDonald (1866 Head of State) - First Labour Prime Minister of UK

    Lyman Beecher (1775) - American Presbyterian preacher
    Aleister Crowley (1875) - Wickedest man in the world

    King Edward VI (1537) - King of England 1547-53
    Lady Jane Grey (1537) - Queen of England for nine days

    Joe Cronin (1984) - Shortstop on 7 All-Star teams
    Marion Jones (1975) - Fastest woman on Earth

    Carlos the Jackal (1949) - International terrorist

    Eugenio Montale (1896 Poet) - Ossi di seppia
    Ann Petry (1908 Novelist) - The Street
    Chris Wallace (1947 Journalist) - Fox News anchor

    Essie Mae Washington-Williams (1925 Relative) - Strom Thurmond's half-black daughter
    Randy West (1947 Pornstar) - Up N Cummers, Confession of Emmanuelle

    Now, don't you feel old? I do!
    Have a great day!

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    The Missing Blackberry

    Thanks to My Sweetie for this blog post idea.

    When I was little, I remember my Mom reciting this little ditty => 'I'm a poor little lamb who has lost her way......bah...bah...bah'. That's an old old song. Well, this is a story about the missing blackberry (no, not the fruit) that lost its way, and then found its way home. This could have also been called 'How to retrieve your missing blackberry'.

    My Sweetie has been away all week on business in Las Vegas. Usually when he goes away, we are pretty much out of touch, except by cell or when he can return to the laptop to send emails. This time, he is traveling with his Blackberry, so we can keep in touch all the time, that is, until the Blackberry went missing yesterday. I got a call from My Sweetie that the device was MIA, nowhere to be found, and either it was still at the hotel room, which he was not near at the time, or it was sitting in some cab.

    What to do, what to do. Well, nothing to do on my end. Calling it wouldn't do any good. But, My Sweetie, being the intelligent guy that he is, used his boss's Blackberry to send a message to the lost lamb. In the message, he mentioned a number to call and the word 'Reward'.

    Well, gosh darn it all, didn't that message get accessed, and My Sweetie received a ringy dingy.

    Hallo? Is taxi driver. I have you Blackbeddy. We meet tree o'crock today at hotel?

    And so the cabby and My Sweetie met, the cabby got $60 American dollars, and My Sweetie got his Blackbeddy back.

    So, if your Blackberry ever goes missing, send it a message to call home (ET phone home).

    Now, imagine if you could do this sort of thing if your cat went missing, or your dog, or your kid.

    Those little labels

    Labels. Those little things that identify brands. They're on everything that we buy, and a lot of those little labels I absolutely detest. But that needs clarifying.

    Last night, while I was making dinner, I filled my time clipping the little labels from the tea towel and dish towel. Why? Because they bother me. The towels are now label-less, and hang in a much neater fashion. Some of the less interesting labels are worthy of the green bin, and that is where a lot of them go, once I get around to it.

    But, some labels I really like....as long as they are not messy, and as long as they hide away nicely when hanging on the towel rack. In our powder room, we have a couple of Nautica towels. I love Nautica. They have a really neat marketing scheme, whereby in the lower right hand corner of the towel, there is a small, inconspicuous, monogrammed N. To me, they are the Ralph Lauren of towels.

    Aside from the visual aspect of labels, there is also the comfort aspect of labels. You know the ones. The ones that make you itch at the back of your neck, or at the side of your hip. Those labels get snipped away in a flash.

    Now, of course, it is always a fashion statement to wear something with a little tag thingy stitched to a pocket, the back of a hood, or a gym shoe. It means something, a statement of something. Look at me....I paid a lot for this.

    There is always the dreaded tag, sewn onto a mattress or a chair, that says DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG OR FACE DEATH BY HANGING. So you rip it off anyway, and say TAKE THAT! We feel free, unattached, like the little tag heading for the green bin.

    Wouldn't it be great to live in a label-less world? Monogrammed markings on items instead of detestable labels. No more clipping, and cutting, and fodder for landfill.

    Ever notice that socks don't have labels?

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    The Driving Lesson Story - Part II

    This is the follow-up Driving Lesson Story, complete with another set of bizarre circumstances. Please keep in mind that this was a reputable driving school, not just Mike's drivin' school.

    I had managed to complete the classroom requirements for the driving course. The chomping ice and the kiddy toys were behind me now. I just had to survive the practical driving experience, including highway driving, or perhaps the highway would need to survive me. And I was terrified. I had driven the small back roads with my Dad, but the h-i-g-h-w-a-y was a totally different thing.

    I don't remember all of the details, but I was scheduled for a number of road sessions before I could take the exam. My instructor showed up for my first lesson. Nice guy from Jamaica, man. There was a plan of attack, whereby we would first run through the logistics of the car itself.....where things were and how to use them and when. Then, as in Steppenwolf lyrics, (get your motor runnin') get out on the highway. So, after the preliminaries, I drove us to the highway and tried to accelerate the car up the ramp so that I could merge us onto the highway....at a whopping speed of 30kph. I remember that I was being told to speed up, speed up, but my foot was frozen in one place, and I was afraid of pushing the accelerator pedal. I think that once we got onto the highway, I managed to get the speed up to 80kph or something like that. It was very embarrassing.

    The next set of lessons were conducted in the nearby neighborhood, and I use that term loosely. In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the apartment on the 21st floor. This locale was next to a rather unsavory part of town. There were cars parked on the lawns, cars on cinder blocks, junk everywhere on the lawns and streets, houses with broken windows and temporary doors. It was scary to me. But the scariest part happened during one of the test drives. The instructor had forgotten to put the student driver sign on top of the car. There was a bunch of black dudes kicking a basketball in the middle of the street, and they wouldn't get out of the way. They stood there, and faced the car. I was driving, and now had a very sick feeling in my stomach. To these guys, the car contained a white chick with a Jamaican guy, not an instructor and student. The instructor got out of the car to talk with them. There was a bit of a scuffle as I recall, but no punching, and eventually, he returned to the car and the group moved to the side to allow us to pass. All I wanted to do at that point was to go home and hide under my blankie.

    The rest of the practical was uneventful, and I eventually passed everything. It certainly wasn't a typical experience, but I survived.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Stretching things

    tg commented on my post about the Missing Man (the missing man who is still missing), and that comment inspired this post, about various stretcher events over the years. I hope not to make this morose, because if a stretcher is involved, you can bet it is verging on morose.

    Over the years, we had seen a few neighbours taken away on stretchers for various reasons, most of them unknown. When we first moved to Toronto, we had an apartment on the 21st floor. It had an amazing view and we watched some pretty wild storms from that elevation. It was during that period that the neighbour down the hall thought that he could fly (a drug induced belief), and so he perched himself on the balcony, spread his wings, and flew.....except he didn't, and he died. We moved shortly thereafter.

    We bought our first house, and it was a normal existence. No stretchers there. Our second house, however,was a bit different. We had neighbours across the street, who kept pretty much to themselves. Had 3 kids. The story goes that the family had been watching TV. The wife slumped over. Hubby thought she had nodded off, but she hadn't. The stretcher took her away. To this day, I believe she is still alive, but in a coma.

    We had a condo for a mere 5 months (a post in and of itself), and nothing to note there either.

    We sold the condo, and moved back into a house. Our neighbour across the street, Stan, was in the habit of drinking too much. This might not seem so bad, except that he was diabetic. Not good. One day, I looked out the window and the stretcher was taking him away. He had taken a diabetic attack, and had fallen down the basement stairs. He didn't come back home.

    In our current house, we had the summer stretcher event, relating to the Missing Man post. Now I have come full circle once again.

    Thx to tg for providing me with something to write about. And now I must forage for food, or something.

    Re the Google Ad on penis stretching....I didn't place that here....just so ya know.

    Sunday, October 08, 2006

    The Missing Man

    There's a man missing from our street. So, the Gladys Kravitz of Sleepy Hollow (that would be me) is out there snooping again, and who cares anyway, right? Well, perhaps, but this guy was always visible, tootling here and tiddling there (I hope no one thinks that tootling and tiddling are dirty things...they are not I assure you!).

    Let me give you some background. We own a house situated on a corner, and with the windows that we have, we have views both south and north, and some views east and west. The view of said missing man would be south.

    He is a nice guy, quiet, the typical garage guy. Each morning, the first thing, probably even before opening his eyes, the garage door opens. He'd be out there, picking stuff off the lawn, standing in the driveway while performing neighborhood watch duty, or just plain sitting near the garage entrance reading a book (and having a nip or two or three or stopped counting).

    But he's not here. The garage door hasn't been open lately. He hasn't been seen sitting and nipping either. I even mentioned it to My Sweetie, and he had no idea either.

    Now, I don't know if this is related or not (Inspector Clouseau enters), but this summer, his daughter had passed out in the kitchen. The Mom was giving the kids chips and dip (well now that might have done it - yuck), and the daughter said she didn't feel well, threw up, passed out, and was taken to hospital. I never heard what had happened, nor did I ask. But since that time, neither the daughter nor her father had been seen.

    Come to think of it, the dog hasn't been seen either!

    The Invisible Man by RENDERFLY

    My skin, changes with every whim,
    It's easier to pretend when with the crowd
    considered "in"
    White lies, hold me in my disguise,
    Cover the void I hide away from all the

    That's because...
    I'm the invisible man, that's what I am
    empty inside each new disguise,
    I'm the invisible man, that's what I am
    nothing behind the face that you find

    You see, a bit of a mastery,
    a fate that can make believe I'm anything
    you want to see
    Don't fear, but whenever no ones near,
    when no one can see or hear, I disappear
    into thin air

    That's because...

    Some day, I'll drop the masquerade,
    people will stop and say "Oh my what truth
    you dare display"

    Till then, I'll shed on another skin,
    it's easier to pretend when with the crowd
    considered "in"

    That's because...

    The missing man is missing no more. The garage door is open and he is sitting, nipping, and reading in his chair. Cancel all alerts.....:-)

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    Energy Fiend

    I heard about this on the radio, and it looks pretty cool if you want to know about caffeine in coffee and c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e
    Energy Fiend

    It's about time (full circle)

    Oh my. This is such a tough topic to discuss online, but, this is my journal, about me, and so hereto I lay down the facts. We need help. Been married almost 25 years, had ups and downs (way more ups than downs), but it's finally come to the point where we need help. We've tried and tried, but now we are at the end of our rope, and are throwing in the towel. We had discussed this a few times, but never really wanted to commit to anything, but opportunity turned around the corner, and fell into our laps. It was because of that, that we decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

    Her name is being withheld for privacy, but she is going to be our cleaning lady. I could just scream from the rooftops in joy! We met her yesterday, got introduced through a mutual friend, and we instantly connected. She comes highly recommended, does private jobs as well as some corporate.

    I know, I know. How come we can't do it ourselves? Well, we both work, sometimes extended hours. We are both busy outside of work as well, which often leaves us rushed, and with little time for anything else. Also, because we have a summer activity that we totally enjoy, this leaves us little time to really take care of the house. Sometimes even picking up things is a huge chore. This lady will be able to help out every two weeks, to do the things that we can't get around to, but it will be worth it, and I am now so very excited.

    Over the past while, various friends and acquaintances have discussed the extra help that they get from ladies who clean houses. They place them in high esteem, and value their services to no end.

    So, what are we doing to prepare for the first visit? Picking up, de-cluttering, dusting. The goal is to have the floors clear of stuff so that she can come in and work freely, without having to pick up our stuff. Dusting knick knacks and furniture is still our realm of responsibility, but she can help us with many many other things.

    I seem to recall one of my posts where I wrote about how I am a collector. Well, now I seriously have to sit down and evaluate what I really collect, because a lot of this stuff is just gathering moss unto itself. It has to end (or at least get scrutinized and confined.

    So wish us luck. This is a new experience for us, and a strange feeling for me, since (a) we have always kept on top of the cleaning (or tried to), and (b) my Mom* always cleaned her own house, while raising me and holding down a job.

    And....at least the next time someone drops by, we no longer have to run for the hills in panic, like we usually do.

    *Mom is either looking down on me shaking her head in digust, or giving me a big thumbs up. I hope it's the latter.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Burps, Hiccups, and Delights

    Like the sign says (thx Moe!), it's Friday, so be sure and give that 5 percent! TGIF! It's been a very busy work week, and now it is time to enjoy the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, a long one at that.

    TV viewing - It was a full week for me for non-reality TV, and my beloved PVR got a totally good workout:
  • America's Next Top Model
  • Survivor: Cook Islands
  • Amazing Race 10
  • The Bachelor Rome

  • Books - So, what else is left? Well, I finished one of my zillions of books on my reading list, and it was a good read. My Sweetie wants to read it when I am done, then it is up for grabs for anyone who wants it (part of the Blogger Book Club attempt). Serious! I started another book, and am halfway through that one. Speaking of books, check out today's post here (this is a link to a blog that I read on a daily basis, and I really enjoy) Skittle's Place

    Shopping - We ordered a new kitchen table set, and are going to pick up that up later today. Hope it will give the kitchen an uplift.

    Kitties - My cats are due to have their moment in the blog spotlight, so they will probably be in the spotlight over the weekend, once I transfer some pictures from my camera.

    I may be back here later...we'll see.

    Thursday, October 05, 2006

    UMs, UHs, and a Woof or 2

    Today is meeting day for me. 75% of my day will be spent on the phone. My second call of the day is worthy of a blog (let's be honest, some days I am desperate for content).

    We all say things or do things while we are speaking (note this is not like my other entry Tired Terms). We may say things like: like, mm hmm, yup, k, (or we may say nothing at all), but what we also may say is UM, and today, this little gem and it's partner UH came out in full force, to the point where it was almost a distraction.

    The presenter was very knowledgeable, but had a very monotone voice, zzzz, and this certainly didn't help with the choice of words, but during the one hour presentation, 37 slides, I heard and counted 80 UMs, interspersed with 6 UHs. Now the UM could have been placed at the beginning of a sentence, in the middle or at the end, and even in some cases, the UMs were strung together as in a succession of UMs....um um.....

    I have to give credit though (if you're going to knock something, it is always good to prop it up somehow). Toward the middle to the end of the presentation, the UMs had mostly disappeared, and were being used as emphasis, but initially, the UMs were frequent, and may have been attributed to nerves.

    Oh, and there was also the squeaky door in the background. Every once in awhile, the presenter would walk over to open a door, which of course had a squeak. Again, to give credit, the presenter never faltered, never skipped a beat, and was not distracted....and never missed an UM either.

    OH! And the dog* barking! That must have been the reason for the squeaky door opening! Sounded like a big dog with a big woof. Now the presenter sounded a bit shaky. I can visualize fingers being pointed and shaking at said dog. Mouthing the words 'bad dog' or 'shhhh' or 'come here puppy'. *sounds of barking trailing off in the distance*

    Too funny. The dog never used UM once, nor UH.

    I can hardly wait for the rest of my day to take shape.

    * The dog turned out to be a Weimariner..........I have actually met one of these beautiful dogs, since there is one at our marina....velvety smooth coat.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    How to get the breast, I mean best service in a restaurant

    Last night we tried a relatively new restaurant in Sleepy Hollow. We didn't have a recommendation about this place, other than we had heard that there is always a line up to get in. Being a Monday night, we thought we could get in easily, which indeed was the case.

    The decor was very creative and soothing, the glasses and plates were really different, the food was good.

    One thing.

    The service sucked.

    At least, at our table it sucked.

    And it possibly sucked because the air was mostly being sucked in a few tables away from us.

    That is where they were. .

    They were a pair of store-bought mammaries, almost on full display, popping up and out, save for a teenie weenie piece of so-called clothing They walked in and sat down, and from that moment on, the world stood still, at least it did for the rest of the clientele. The waiters were tripping over them selves to get anything at all for them forks, spoons, napkins, food,toothpicks, napkins, drinks, more drinks, and yet more drinks. The waitresses would walk by with a fixed and phony grin on their faces, as if to say 'what the heck have we got here?'.

    A table away from them sat a group of seniors, and you could almost hear the rapid fluttering of a few pacemakers, guaranteed.

    Even though they caused quite a commotion last night, I would probably return again to give the place a fair shot, but I would check to make sure that, next time, we got the waiter's undivided attention.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Sailing for Charity

    Check this out. These are friends of ours, Rick and Terri, who are heading to the BVIs this week, and their trip will be helping to raise money for charity.

    Sophisticated Lady Sailing for Charity

    Sophisticated Lady's home page

    Tired Terms

    My follow-up to the Driving Lessons is not ready yet, but I had this burning issue to offload. Here are some terms that I (and possibly others) tire of hearing:

    1. sounds like a plan

    2. I'm liking it

    3. walk the walk, talk the talk

    4. cutting edge

    5. it's all about the.....

    6. bleeding edge technology

    7. think outside the box

    8. value add

    9. win-win

    10. at the end of the day

    11. all on the same page

    12. singing from the same song sheet

    13. time is money

    14. we really lucked out

    15. cool

    16. I look to you to......

    17. it's a living breathing document...

    18. pushing the envelope

    19. on the radar screen

    20. here's the deal

    21. it's time to wake up and smell the coffee

    22. let me be clear on something

    23. it's a turnkey operation

    24. cookie cutter solution

    25. alrighty then

    26. same old, same old

    27. blah blah blah

    28. yada yada yada

    29. offload:-)