Wednesday, December 31, 2008

4th Time Lucky?

Well, mattress number four arrived yesterday. It's a Tempurpedic, meaning that it is a foam mattress that molds to your body impression. I think that it was the first style that I admired, but because of the price, we didn't opt for it. But, when we visited the store for what we hoped was the last time, we decided to go for it...seeing as there were so many problems with every other mattress so far.

Anyway, yesterday was the big arrival day. The truck pulled up, and two burly men carried the new monster into the house. They tried to get it up the stairs, but there was one problem. The mattress was frozen (apparently foam has a tendency of doing that), and that made it impossible to bend it in order to get it upstairs. So the newest baby had to be left on the main floor, in order to thaw, and the delivery people would return today (which they did), after the thaw, in order to get the beast upstairs.

Now, the mattress actually started thawing pretty much immediately, so we decided to get out the sleeping bags and sleep on it anyway. I must admit, it was a pretty comfortable night. Yes, the mattress has a 'smell' (it's a foam smell not a mold smell), but we were aware of this, and we also knew that the smell would dissipate with time.

Happy 2009 everybody! Here's hoping this mattress is 4th time lucky.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Strike Three!!!

This post was certainly not in the cards. I had thought that when we received Mattress #3, that all of the problems would be finished.

Not so!

Mattress #3 smelled as well. I dare not venture into the world of mold, but it would not surprise me at all if this mattress was moldy as well.

What this means is that we are getting yet another new mattress....soon-to-be Mattress #4! Yes, you read it here, Mattress #4. To make things interesting, we have decided to throw all caution to the wind and not exchange the present mattress for a traditional mattress. No. This time we are going out on a limb and try a Tempurpedic mattress. If you want to learn more about this type of mattress, you can find it on the Web, but mostly it is a foam based mattress, also known as memory foam.

We are keeping our fingers crossed on this one, and hope for no more stinky mattresses.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Am, But I'm Not and I Do, But I Don't

....a whole lot of nothing...........

I love bluegrass, but am not a Country music fan.

I like purple, but not mauve.

I am smell sensitive to women's perfumes, but not to men's colognes.

I collect keychains from every place I've ever visited, but I never use the keychains for keys.

I adore the music of Jakob Dylan, but was never a huge fan of Bob Dylan.

I am a huge Survivor fan, but I could never be on the show because I wouldn't eat bugs!

I am excited to try snorkeling, but I am afraid of fish!

Nighttime sailing is fine, but I am afraid of the dark.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Mother's Trunk

My Mother had a storage trunk. It was nothing out of the ordinary. Just a navy blue trunk in which she would store her keepsakes and build her wedding trousseau. Once she was married, her trunk became a repository for important papers, family pictures, and treasures.

Through my childhood, I would get the odd opportunity to peek into the trunk. It always sat in a very inconspicuous spot in the house. Because Mom loved to sew, she had made a special cover for that trunk, and stored extra blankets underneath.

When my Mom passed away, I inherited her trunk. It was carefully moved from her apartment into my house and then to my current house. Because it was, and still is in my mind 'her trunk', and housed her personal possessions, I never felt comfortable going into it. In the past 3 and a half years, I have only gone into it twice....once to locate important papers that were required when she passed away....and a second time, to satisfy my curiosity, and look.

During that second visit, I spent quite a few hours living in her world. I was very careful to put things back where I had found them, almost as if I was afraid that Mom would notice of things were out of place. She had treasures from all of her Grade School report cards, assorted cards for various occasions, old family pictures, clothing from my Christening and babyhood. Aside from the 'things' that she kept, I was keenly aware that she had spent her life storing away the odd memento. Whether she meant it for herself, or for me to find later, these things were collected and stored with love and thought.

I also became aware of where my packrat nature stems from.....and this is a good thing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Iggy Does It

Right now in Canada, we have a prorogued government, which means they are not sitting in Parliament, acting on behalf of the people (which would be us). The Liberal party has been in a bit of a mess. The other parties are not much better off.

Until today.

Today was the day that Michael Ignatieff made his official debut as the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I, for one, am thrilled that he has been chosen to lead. He commands a certain presence in person. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with him a couple of years ago. He has the charisma, the intelligence, and the backbone that is needed to stand up against this mean-spirited and full-on-attack government.

Go Iggy! We've got your back, as they say.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Mattress - The Final Chapter

In the mattress complaint department, I feel as though I have written about this before, except that this time we seem to have a happy ending.

For those who are not in-the-know, or who are totally lost, here is a synopsis. We purchased a mattress less than 2 years ago which began to develop a big time sag (hence, mattress #1). I first wrote this initial post about how it's not in my head

That mattress was replaced with a mattress which had a smell (hence, mattress #2). Then, there was a follow-up post it's not in my head-the sequel

Then I wrote about how the saga continues.

This is the final chapter (at least I certainly hope it is) in the saga of the mattresses. We were scheduled to receive mattress #3, and it arrived safe and sound. It is working out fine (so far). There are no sags. There is a smell, but a different smell from the previous mattress. It is comfortable.

I have to add, though, that when mattress #2 was being removed from the house, the movers should have had air masks on. I was not at home to see this, but I was told that the underside of the mattress had black streaks along the bottom (strongly resembling mold, which we all know is not good for us). Gross me out.

So, wish us luck with the new one. So far so good. Maybe it's third time lucky this time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Looks Like Winter, Feels Like Winter, Must be Winter

That title should say it all, but it does not. It's not winter...not yet anyway. We are still, technically, in Fall (or Autumn). Outside, however, it certainly looks and feels like winter.

On Saturday, we got dumped with a foot of snow (and it continues to snow as I write this post). Remember how I was whining about how the Christmas spirit has eluded me so far? Well, with all of this beautiful snow, I am starting to feel somewhat Christmas....and I did say somewhat.

What I do mostly feel is very lucky that I am in shape, because for anyone who attempted to shovel out their driveway yesterday, I suspect there were a few calls to the hospital for heart assistance. That snow was extremely heavy. The snowblower did most of the work, but what I did manage to do was to shovel part of the driveway and all of the front porch. That was sufficient for me thank you.

The snow that is currently falling is supposed to dump even more snow overnight.

I did manage to snap a few pictures of the white stuff before the snow plows came by. Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Mattress Saga Continues

Not kidding! I have written a number of posts about our mattress, and the problems we've been experiencing.

The saga continues.

At the end of my last mattress post It's Not In My Head, I mentioned a smell that was emanating from the new mattress. This smell has not really disappeared, even though we tried airing it for the past few weeks.

It's a rather disgusting smell, and between My Sweetie and I we describe it quite differently. He describes it straight out as mold (mildew). I describe it as fried food.

In any case, the mattress smells. It does not smell new (as the Customer Service person was trying to drill into us). It does not smell pleasant at all.

To add to all of this, since we don't know what the smell is exactly, we worry about toxins. Thanks to our wonderful global market, where everything that we buy is produced elsewhere in the world, it is quite possible that the materials used in this particular mattress may not have been top quality. And we get to breathe that crap.

Anyway, not to belabour the point, we are getting yet another new mattress in two weeks.

Here we go again.............
btw....when I said that we were going to get a new mattress, this translates into a replacement mattress. The company will be coming to take away the existing mattress and replace it with the same model. In other words, we had an original mattress which got replaced, and now we are having that replacement mattress replaced.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not Really Feeling It

The season has suddenly switched. We just finished Halloween, not even 2 weeks ago, and already, some of the homes in our area have sprouted Christmas lights....and red ribboned bells. The gym has some Christmas decorations at the entrance.

I have to say, I am not feeling it. Not yet anyway. Maybe it's because Remembrance day was just yesterday, but to be fair, US Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived yet, and neither has December.

Very soon, we will have snow, and that usually spawns more of a Christmasy feeling. But right now all I can say is 'bah humbug.'

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Geekdom Rules on Sunday

As if we didn't have enough computers in the house, it became apparent that another addition was on the horizon. We've been thinking about this off and on for awhile now, and I had considered asking for one for my birthday, but then thought that the money could be better spent elsewhere. As with all things, whim turned to reality, and yesterday, we brought home Silver (my nickname for the new HP Notepad....complete with Windows Vista).

Let me recount exactly how many active computers are in our home. For starters, we both have work Notepads (neither of which belongs to us. If we lose our jobs (God forbid), then we lose those machines). We each have a personal Desktop (purely for the space capacity). Actually, one of us (not me) has a separate Desktop machine (totally built from scratch) for gaming.

Okay, so we are up to 5 machines I think.

We have a very old Thinkpad that we've been using for the boat. That machine is now quite old, very slow, and, at this point, may not serve much more use than being a boat anchor.

Enter Silver. She is a simple yet pretty machine, with a 15.6" screen. The main purpose for this baby is to keep it mobile. We don't want it attached to printers and docking stations. It is meant to be our free-to-move, on-the-spot search machine, instead of having to run upstairs whenever the Web is needed.

Now, as with every new piece of technology, nothing is ever really plug-and-go. There were a few screams last night, all circling around the router's evasive username. Steam began to form upstairs. The air turned a vivid blue color. We needed to engage the wonderful world of global tech support, which accidentally disconnected us, not only once but twice. Hours later, and hopefully a few lessons learned, Silver was connecting to the Internet.

Right now, I am making this blog update from my comfy couch. The sun is trying to stream through the window, and the satellite radio is tuned to an accoustic guitar channel.

Life is good.
One thing. These types of purchases are never conducted while we sit in comfy leather chairs with lattes being served. No way. Instead, we struggle with numbers and decisions while standing in an aisle beside some cash register/computer terminal, under the harsh glare of flourescent lighting. Maybe in the future. Way!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Day After Halloween

Halloween is over, and it was a bit disappointing. Everything was ready. I had made 100 goodie bags to hand out. The front porch was decorated. We had dressed up as hippies. The weather was perfect.

Well, almost perfect. The kids didn't come. Sorry, a lot of kids didn't come. Last year, and in years prior, we had anywhere from 75 to 100 little creatures visit. Not this year. For some reason the numbers were down. It was closing in on eight o'clock, and we started handing out 2 and 3 bags just to get rid of it.

When we decided to pull the pin on everything, we stayed dressed as hippies and went to a favourite local restaurant for dinner. That was good.

.......and I love Halloween....even more than Christmas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's Not In My Head - the Sequel

It might not be in my head, but now it's in our nose. The wonderful replacement mattress, which has been providing me with restful snoozes, has an odour, an odour which vaguely resembles mildew. And we are not amused.

This started probably minutes after we received the new mattress. The protective plastic wrap was removed, and the mattress was set in place, and all of those lovely toxins started to be released into the atmosphere. My Sweetie noticed it first, seeing as he has a most excellent sense of smell. For me, I have noticed that I am sneezing more than usual, and am feeling somewhat congested (and it isn't a cold).

So, now we have a call into you-know-who....the mattress Inspector ...Mr. MI. He is due to come back and examine the situation.

Oh, and there's something else! The pillow top has already shifted!

What happened to quality assurance I ask you?
Further to all of this is the fact that we have had the bed turned down all week. All of the covers have been pulled back, right to the mattress cover. The ceiling fan runs on high to try and get rid of the smell....and still it lingers.

This grates highly on my nerves, since I detest not having the bed made. I am obsessive about having the bed made everyday. The room looks as though it is in turmoil, with the duvet and assorted pillows strewn everywhere.

I hope this ends soon.

And don't forget to check out my sidebar, which now has Google displaying Ads about Mattresses!

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Not In My Head

About 2 years ago, we purchased a new mattress set. This was an expensive purchase consisting of a king sized mattress and box spring, frame, headboard, 2 sheet sets, duvet with cover and box spring cover. It was a nice set...on the surface.

Over time, I began to notice that the comfort level for me was declining. I would get into bed, and just when I was getting comfortable, I would need to roll over. That's when the evening event would take place. I would roll and roll, back and forth, evidently trying to find comfort. When I glanced at my body impression under the blankets, I found that I was SINKING! There was a deep crevice into which I sank! At times I felt as though I were sleeping in a ditch.

Finally, I had enough. Hubby had no problems on his side of the bed. He was comfy. I thought that this was all in my head.

Until I called the company who sold us the mattress. They booked us an appointment with the MI...the Mattress Inspector. I didn't even realize that there was a job role of this nature. When Mr. MI arrived, he basically looked at the mattress from 10 feet away and said "your mattress is defective. You're getting a new mattress.". That was music to my ears. I was doing a major Happy Dance.

After some measurements were taken, and forms were completed, we were given the go ahead to pick out another, more suitable, mattress.

The waiting was the hardest part (thanks Tom Petty), but it finally arrived, after much banging and crashing to get it up the stairs...leaving the hanging light fixture dangling by two arms.

It's been about a week now. Things are better. The mattress is firmer and my evenings spent rocking and rolling are over.

Now there only remains one little issue.....a smell.....more to follow on this one.

I forgot to mention that we could have simply done a switch for the same type of mattress of equal dollar value, but we were so unhappy, that, for a nominal dollar upgrade, we got a better mattress. It has a thicker pillow top and is a taller mattress in general (interpreted this as 'the sheets now have a snugger fit'). I guess you could say that buying a mattress is like a bunch of chocolates...younever know what your gonna get!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

End of Sailing Season

The sailing season has come to an end...again. The boat has been hauled and winterized. All that is left to do is to rig the frame (and repair the broken pieces from last winter) and get the winter cover on.

Haulout is always a job and a half. There are so many things to do in advance, then there are things to do on haulout day itself, and then there are post haulout tasks. Sometimes these tasks seem like they are never ending, but the list eventually gets complete.

We have done this for many years now, with various sizes of boats. This boat, which we have had for 5 years now, is the biggest that we have had, but even with all of the extra stroage space, we have managed not to overload it. There are always the necessities that need to be onboard (safety gear, etc), but the extras were kept to a dull roar this year. I guess that's where experience comes in.

This past season seemed especially short. I don't think there was one weekend where we weren't paying special attention to the weather...ah yes the weather...which would change at a moment's notice. Fall was no different in that aspect, what with the warm summer-like temperatures one day, then snow falling the next.

...and they say that global warming doesn't exist...yeah right!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Snowing Here Today!'s only October 21st, and it is snowing outside. Big white flakes, with some of it actually accumulating on the ground. Our deck chairs are still outside. I managed to get out at lunchtime to remove the curtains from the gazebo, but I stil have to rescue my deck frog or he is going to freeze.

Last year we had snow on November 7th, which I thought was a bit early. Now I take that thought back. October 21 is definitely way too early.

Maybe we'll get all of the snow out of the way now, and there will be none left to fall in December.

*fat chance*

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Withdrawal for a Political Junkie

The lamenting is over. The decision was made. The election and the fallout from that is finished.

Since September 7th, when the writ was dropped, I was actively involved with the election process as it related to supporting our candidate. When I would finish my day of 'real' work, I would visit the office almost every day. There would always be something to do, whether it was door-to-door canvassing, literature drops, or putting up lawn signs. I also maintained the candidate's website every day.

That was just the tangible stuff. I also met, and I think I have said this before, some really nice people, a few of whom I can call my friends. As we got to know each other more, we would greet each other with a hug. When hard times fell, we would hug. We would end the day with a hug. We became huggers.

This past week I have been experiencing withdrawal. I miss my friends, my huggers. I miss the stimulating conversations. I miss updating the website. I miss the excited pace, and the adrenalin rush of having a special guest, like Frank Mahavolich or Michael Ignatieff, join us. I think of the fun that we had, and there was a lot of it, I get a lump in my throat.

Now we look forward to the aftermath, the lessons learned. We will get together and plan for the future, whatever that will hold for us. We will change the things that didn't go right, and will continue with the tings that have always worked well. We will strive to get our government back.

And we will hug.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All Over But the Shouting

It's all over but the shouting now. Election 2008 is finished. Millions of dollars were spent to bring us into pretty much the same minority government. Think of what that money could have been better spent on.

Aftermath, we are both a little beat up and very tired. The past six weeks have been quite hectic...right up to the very end. Yesterday was spent trying to get the vote out, but it was not to be. Mostly what hurt us was voter apathy...people who did not get out to vote. As they say, if you don't vote then don't complain. That pretty much sums up everything.

Politics is a funny game. The players change, and even the rules change.

The future is a little cloudy, and things need to change. That much is obvious. One thing is for sure, it will be exciting.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Remembering Mery

Many years ago, when I was starting a new career as a computer programmer, I was introduced to a lady named Mery. She was an adept programmer. Her forte was DB2 and CICS programming. She was a whiz.

The more we worked together, the closer we became. She was from Iran, and was trying to improve her English. She had a daughter in Iran, and she had made plans to return to her country and bring her daughter to Canada to live. This was a very intense time for Iran. The Gulf War was still active. As a team, we were all immensely worried about Mery and were hopeful that her daughter would be safe with her.

Mery did return with her daughter, and we continued to work together for many years. We went through some trying times together at work. But we always seemed to surface somehow.

When I changed employers, Mery and I lost touch. I think she went to work in the States, but was unsure of where she went.

Recently I was thinking about Mery. I had found a gift that she gave me for my birthday back in October 1994. I kept it in my nightstand drawer. With the world of Facebook, I decided to search for her. Instead I found one of her relatives, and through correspondence, we had managed to have Mery's and my information exchanged, with the hope that we would be able to get together.

That was not to be. We will not be getting together.

Mery passed away on September 28th.

"The Angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hands of God... "

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

There Is Always Hope

Last night there was an interesting political program on CBC, Canada Votes 2008: The X Challenge. It was a debate-style program with 4 candidates representing the 4 main political parties: Liberals (Scott Brison), Conservatives (Blaherty), the NDP and the Green.

The audience was comprised of engaged citizens who were decided voters, and, at the beginning of the program.

During the show, important audience questions were posed to the candidates, and their responses were heard, along with a small inter-candidate debate. At the end of each question, the audience was asked to rate which candidate won that particular round of questioning. At the end of the evening, one of the candidates would be the winner.

The overall winner was Scott Brison for the Liberals!!!

What was most interesting was the pre and post percentages:

Before the show, the audience revealed how they would vote:
38% would be voting CONS
33% would be voting Liberal

17% would be voting NDP
12% would be voting Green.

At the end of the show, the percentages were quite different:
52% would vote Liberal
29% would vote CONS

16% would vote NDP
3% would vote Green

These are interesting numbers. People actually got to hear Scott Brison explain the Green Shift plan, and people listened.

Blaherty came of as bullish as he usually does. Maybe people are just plain sick of bullies. After all, they wouldn't want bullies in their schools, so why have this behaviour in government??

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Love Affair with a Sweater

After Steve H. broke his own law in order to propel our nation into yet another election (and for some of us it has been an election a year), he started his (ahem) campaign with a new look. He donned fuzzy sweaters. This was supposed to create a warmer image of the man. This was supposed to display a softer side of the man who is known as king control freak.

For the life of me, I still don't get what people are in love with. The man has zero charisma. All he can announce to the public is yet another doom and gloom bully promise....fighting crime...fighting criminals....imprisoning 14 year olds.

It is known that this party cuts funding to the Arts....a big no-no. They claim that ordinary people are not interested in the Arts. But I find it interesting that while they made the Arts cuts, often the Arts are only available to the wealthy. That is the one demographic that this party caters to and is hitting at the same time. Interesting thought.

They don't give a hoot about anyone except the wealthy. They don't give a hoot about the poor and the homeless, about women, about gays. They will go to great lengths to pump buckeroos into big business....probably the same big business that pollutes our air with toxins. Oh, forgot, they don't have a plan for taking care of the environment, so it's okay to freely pollute the atmosphere. No charge!

Be careful of the bullies that you might elect into power. Don't let that fuzzy sweater distract you. And above all, beware of politicians who never look you in the eye.

Just like that box of chocolates....ya never know what yer gonna git!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Conservative = Negative

My vote in October will be for peace. This peace will, hopefully, end the constant fighting and bickering that comes from the Conservative government. Hence, my vote will not be for them.

*Caution - political rant*

Everything that I read about and hear from them is negative, and to be quite frank, I am sick of it.

Their new crime and punishment plan will put 14 year olds in prison for life (btw - I read somewhere that this affects about 1000 individuals). Crime specialists say that this will not fix the problem, nor does it address the root cause. We can only hope that one of the Cons flunkies kids shows up on this list one day.

They're cutting funding to the Arts (this affects Quebec directly). How stupid. Everybody knows that the Arts attracts tourists AND guess what, it also allows people to become exposed to culture. The keyword here is allows, since under a Cons government, there is not much allowance for anything, but there is lots of room for doom and gloom.

The Environment. The Cons have no plan, but they have lots of criticism. They will criticize anyone and everyone, in order to get THEIR point across ad nauseum.

This government is no longer moderate. Far from it. It works only for the rich and wealthy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Meat

Since I am currently immersed in the political realm, this gives me ample subject matter to write about. Today's fodder comes to us through the insensitivity of Gerry Ritz (no affiliation to the cracker, but who knows.....).

Gerry, Gerry, Gerry....what have you done?

Let's try to compress all of this into a nutshell. This shouldn't be too difficult to do. Listeria. We've been hearing a lot about the Listeria problem, and the 19 confirmed deaths that have resulted from the bad lunch meat that was consumed. Without getting into the details of listeria (since you can check it out on the Web), this has a political link.

The listeria crisis was still simmering even as the election was called on September 7th, yet the party in power ignored it. They didn't provide any safety measures and did very little to address the issue. Add to the fire Gerry Ritz...Agricultural Minister (for the Feds). He managed to contradict himself during a TV interview. That was his first problem. Then, last night, it was revealed that he managed to say some callous comments during a conference call...."This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts," Ritz said."...........And when told about a new death from listeriosis on Prince Edward Island, the Minister said: "Please tell me it's (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter."

This is only one example of the stellar candidates that are part of Steve H's closest MPs...hand picked and guarded by the chief himself. No class, no brains, no tact.

How does this affect the election? Well, 2 things. One, it provides a distraction for Steve H and his clonies, since now they have to manage general media damage control. Two, they also have to get the Cons candidate in Malpeque back on track...the one who was running against poor Wayne Easter who was called out in that statement.

Sit back and watch for more tidbits to unravel.

Quotes courtesy of Canoe.

Addendum - What is particularly interesting here is that the other day, Steve H. fired Senior Conservative Spokesman Ryan Sparrow for reprehensible comments that he made for "for the reprehensible comments he has made regarding the father of a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan". Steve H. has yet to take any action regarding Gerry Fitz.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tales from the Campaign Trail

You just never know what to expect on the campaign trail. Last night was one of those nights.

We were in an elite part of the city. Beautiful waterfront homes nestled among old trees. Sailboats were out on the water for a dinnertime race (not much wind though). Quite spectacular.

Of course, as in any area these days, renovations were visible at various homes.

We came upon one house that was in the middle of renovations, when something caught our eye. Just below the eaves there were three baby raccoons, hanging on and remaining very still and quiet. They could see us on the ground and wanted to 'blend'. Well, they didn't blend that well, because we could see them, and hear their scratching as they tried to ramble their way to their 'home' in the roof.

Later, as we were ending our visits, we could see one of the babies huddled high atop a tree.

Who knows what will be out there tonight?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Family of Sorts

Since the political world is on the radar for me and my blog, I will continue with a few stories.

In my last post I talked about when we got involved with politics. It wasn't just a fleeting thought. It was the last Federal election. January 2006. I was growing increasingly angry at what I was hearing from the 'then' Progressive Conservatives. I despised the leader, even before he became the party leader. I had to do something to vent this anger. The gym wasn't able to provide a suitable outlet. I was still angry. I needed something more.

I decided to call up the local Liberal campaign office to see if there was something that I could do. They welcomed me with open arms. There were so many things to get involved with. Door to door canvassing, phoning, office work, receptionist, signs, name it, and it had to be done.

We canvassed people's homes. A lot. Mostly, people were polite, whether or not they held the same political beliefs as we did. I probably only had one door slammed in my face. Not bad.

Of course we lost that year. The wake was not fun. People were crying, though I did not understand what at that time. The Progressive Conservatives became the Conservatives. No ,more Progressive (that says a lot).

What we didn't know then was that the future would hold a Provincial election. Again we got involved with similar activities. This time our hard work paid off with a victory. Let me tell you that victory is certainly a lot easier to take than defeat, especially with so much that goes into this very short timeframe. I felt exuberant at the win. I saw those more closely involved absolutely over the moon. Again I did not quite understand.

Now we are in another election, an election that was not supposed to happen until NEXT year. The PM even had to break the law to get it...that's how badly he wanted to thrust the country into another expensive election, during hard economic times.

Anyway, the bottom line, for me, is that I now understand the emotions of others. You can make some really good friends. There is always open-minded discussion available. There is always something sweet in the candy bowl. Sometimes there's a free BBQ. And there are hugs...they go a long way.

I want our party to win. I want our local candidate to win. I will feel over the moon if we win, and I will cry if we lose.

I finally understand.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On the Wall

We're on the wall, baby! We're on the wall!

That probably doesn't mean a whole lot to anyone, but I shall explain. During the past week, and throughout the campaign, My Sweetie and I will be volunteering time to the campaign. We will put signs on lawns. We will participate in the door-to-door canvas. We will do drop-offs. We will, again, be a Host House. I maintain the website. We put out fires. We contribute ideas. We do lots of things. There's always something to do. All of this with the same goal of getting our candidate elected.

We got involved when we moved here. I should correct that statement...I got us involved when we moved here. Through this, we met many really fine people. Each year, through Federal and provincial elections, we continued to get involved, and met more people.

This year, we each have a personalized envelope at the campaign office (for mail, drop-offs, etc).

Okay, so it's not a corner office at a ritzy office in the big city, but this is special for me.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Around and About

Things are pretty hectic around here, and will be that way until the election is over. I am busy volunteering on the local campaign. Knocking on doors. Discussing issues. Updating websites. Going crazy.

All of this in addition to my real job, which has just been busy upon busy.

So if you don't see me around here too much, that is why.

Now, I don't discuss politics on my site but rest assured that this is a big election this year. Our Prime Minister felt that it was time for a change, and we do too! Perhaps it's time that he moves on. So if you have a habit of not voting, you might want to read up on what is going on, and have your voice heard by placing an 'X' on a ballot on October 14th. it's our right.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Summer Summary

A little birdie my SIL rapped on my computer screen and reminded me that it was time to post, so here goes.

With autumn almost around the corner, it seemed a fitting time to wrap up my summer. Maybe some of you will remember this familiar little task that we used to have to do in school. "What did you do over the summer, little Johnny?". I used to hate when that question was asked, and always struggled because there wasn't much that happened.

So "What did you do over the summer, little masgblog?".

Masgblog struggles yet again. What the heck DID we do?

Well, I can tell you that we spent a lot of time watching the weather. Because we spend so much time on the boat, we were constantly acquiring weather updates, be they from the VHF, the Internet, and the good old radio. Sometimes the reports were accurate, but most times they were not. If we had stayed at the dock every time they mentioned r-a-i-n, we would not have gone anywhere, but being the daredevils that we are, with a thirst for living dangerously, we would venture out and were able to handle whatever Mother Nature dealt.

What else did we do? Diddly squat else. We worked...a lot. We went to the gym...a lot.

Oh! We met some new friends this year. The friendship sort of started at the end of last year's boating season, but it really took off this year. Very nice indeed.

So sometimes, when you have to tell that little school tale, it's not always about WHAT you did that matters.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Meet Adam van Koeverden. *sigh*. Canadian kayak athlete, and our medal hope in kayak racing at the Beijing Olympics. *sigh*. He carried the Canadian flag at the opening ceremonies. *sigh*.

He was born the year that we got married...1982, so he's just a babe, and now I feel very, very old indeed. *old sigh*

A couple of weeks ago, there was a picture of him in the newspaper, and I had to dry out the newspaper afterward from my drooling.

Anyway, like tennis, I love kayaking. This time I can say that I really do. Now, I don't do long distance kayak stuff, and I only have my little 10 foot plastic kayak, but I love tootling around the bay.

Actually, this is my third kayak in about three years. The first kayak was an 8 foot sit-on style. It was alright, but the tracking was awful and My Sweetie got very wet as soon as he sat in it. We needed something that would be suitable for each of us.

The second kayak was a 10 foot sit-in. I fell out of it twice, and had a helluva time getting both in and out of it from our sailboat and from the water (after falling out).

Third time lucky. I love the one we now have....a 10 foot sit-on.

Thankfully, this particular company makes allowances for trade-ins.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Soft Landing

We have had a soft landing back from a 2 week vacation. It was an escape from the real world to my world on the water. Tomorrow, it will be back to the working world, deadlines, meetings, deliverables. That's okay. We had our 2 week hiatus.

During the last 2 weeks, we dodged thunderstorms, and mostly had nice weather. The further inland we got, the warmer the water temperature....that was glorious, and it was also what we were hunting for....warm water and nice weather. At the end of our holiday, we had a fantastic sail back home, complete with 8-foot seas, but solid wind to give us a nice broad reach....and no tacking!

This holiday was a bit different in that we had travel companions along the way, both were boats which occupy the same dock in our home port.

For the first week, we made our way with sailboat friends who have a sailboat the same vintage as ours, just a bit smaller. One memorable part of that trip was the dinghy ride from the anchorage to a marina restaurant....the waves were kind of big for dinghy riding, and we ll got soaked. Thankfully, we were all able to laugh about it...and the other couple are still talking to us.

For the second week, we met up with powerboat friends, who were keen to experience some of lovely bays that we are familiar with. These folks have 2 children, and we would all get together for group swims, especially since their young son conquered his fear of deep water, and was able to jump in from the back of the boat with a noodle!

There were some other things which made the holiday splendid. Our solar panel, which we installed this season, worked as planned, eliminating our need to charge our batteries by running the engine every day. My new kayak is simply marvy....and I didn't fall in or out of it.

And so we are back....with a few mosquito bites, a nice tan (thanks to SPF-50 sunscreen), and a boatload of memories.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

Oh my! Who is this you might ask? It's Frank Dancevic, a Canadian tennis player.

I am not a tennis junkie. I don't play it. I don't follow it. I know very little about it. But the other night, we were at a local spot having dinner, and this picture flashed across the big screen. It caught my attention (just can't understand why).

However, let's just say that I might be paying a bit more attention to tennis from now on.


Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 14, 2008

As Fate Would Have It

In 2005, our personal year from hell, we decided, for various reasons, to move our boat to another marina. After spending a season there, we dealt with a few challenges, and so, at the end of that summer, we decided to move back to our favoured marina, only to find that there were slim pickings for slips. We wanted to go back to the same dock, which, at the time, had only one slip available....a channel slip. This meant that we would be open to the water traffic within the marina. Having little choice, we took that slip, and were there for two seasons.

Having a channel slip can be both a blessing and a curse. It is more open, and you can see more. There is constant boat traffic, but there is less foot traffic at end of a dock. As a negative, you are the recipient of exhaust and gas fumes, and you are open to potentially unfavourable winds.

In previous years, we had always been on an inside slip (which means additional tie-off options, a little more privacy, and a space for a dock box), so we had put our name onto a waiting list for an opening.

With our luck, that opening came this year, and we moved the boat three weeks ago.

This turned out to be a stroke of luck for us.

This past weekend saw high winds with higher gusts. Our trip back to the marina was challenging, but the most challenging was docking in high winds. We had assistance waiting for us at the dock and were able to arrive safely, but once we were tucked in, our friend and former "channel-side" neighbour told us his story.

He was packing up his boat from his weekend out, and saw this huge Sea Ray power boat coming down the channel having great control problems. It turns out that one of the Sea Ray's engines had failed, and this resulted in the boat losing control and hitting our friend's Prowler, leaving deep gouges in his hull, BUT if we had still been parked in the channel slip, we would have been taken out. The Sea Ray sideswiped our friend's boat then proceeded to crash into the empty dock......that we used to occupy until three weeks ago....HARD!!! Nearby boaters heard a tremendous crash as the Sea Ray hit the dock and were surprised that the dock wasn't demolished by the impact! Our boat, heavy construction though it is, would likely have been heavily damaged had it still been in the channel slip.

Sometimes fate works in mysterious ways. In this case, it was certainly in our favour.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

There Are A Million Stories In This Naked City

....well perhaps one naked story.

We were driving home last night. It was late. It was dark. It was chilly. Standing by the side of the road, we spotted a naked man. Stark naked! His face was covered with a mask similar to what the Rock Band members from KISS used to wear.

.....and he wore absolutely nothing else....not even shoes or socks!

At first we were stunned, because, after all, how many naked people do YOU see running around your streets late at night? At first we thought that he might be an escapee from the Senior home, but we weren't sure. In any case, we stopped the car and called the Police. I think we were the first caller, because dispatch kept asking us what seemed to be the same questions over and over. They wanted details....none of which we could provide except for a white naked butt and that Kiss face. That made it a bit difficult. While we were relaying whatever details we could, dispatch said 'it's okay....other calls are coming in now'. Then they hung up on us.

Now, while we were talking to the Police, a small group of teens were standing on top of a grassy hill which borders a park. They were all watching our car, and they just knew that they had been ratted on. From the corner or our eye, Mr. Naked Guy darted in front of us, crossed the street and ran up to that group of friends.....all of whom immediately dispersed into the park area. (good luck running Mr. Naked Guy).

A Police cruiser arrived and he was going to talk to a few people who just happened to be in the park at that time. We left.

This was undoubtedly a dare from a youth or two....a dare which some kid was daring enough to do (had the b*lls to do), though he was not brave enough to uncover said b*lls.....

Oh to be young and stupid (and perhaps drunk) again.

An old CSNY song comes to mind....'Teach your children well....'


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Big Five Oh!!!!

Today is a milestone birthday for My Sweetie. It's the Big 50 for him. Yessir. Half a century years old. He is now a candidate for one of the big store's Mature Outlook program (hehe). But as for any other benefits, I'm afraid there are none. Sorry Sweetie.

We celebrated his birthday quietly. On the boat at a nearby bay. The weather was gloriously hot and the water was perfect for swimming. There were loons singing last night and this morning.

So here's to My Sweetie. I hope that he enjoyed his birthday today, and I hope he's not too unhappy about being 50.

See...I told you it wasn't so bad.

Luv you....M

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Before and After

With a lack of anything worthwhile to post, yet with a yearning to update, I have this pittance of a post.

The local newspaper is delivered twice a week. Sometimes it has something of interest, like when our nephew's picture was posted with his band, but most times there is nothing much to read. Nevertheless, we always look forward to opening the paper when it arrives.

That is, if we CAN open it. Reference the BEFORE picture below.

We used to be able to open the paper quite easily. Lately though, we can barely get the elastic off, because it is wrapped around the paper so tightly. Add a bit of rain to the mix, and you end up ripping the paper off along with the elastic. We've even taken to cutting the elastic off (because the elastics are so dirty anyway). In any case the condition of the newspaper is a mess. Reference the AFTER Picture below.

We know what happens, because we have watched the kids doing their rounds. They strive to fit all of their papers into this tiny shopping cart, and in order to do this, they need to have teeny tiny bundles. Also, they need to be able to fling the papers from the road to the front door. You know the kind of fling I'm referring to. It's the wrist-snap fling. Those teeny tiny tight bundles are easier to do the wrist-snap fling.

But man don't get in the way of one of those flying newspapers. They'll knock you right out flat!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


We live in a world of entitled people, or, at the very least, people who feel they are entitled. Specific case in point. My Sweetie's new car, barely 6 months old, has damage on it. Damage which happened when he was not in the car at the time.

Someone felt that it was 'ok' to rub his black vehicle across the front bumper. There are a few scratches that are present.

Someone else also felt that it was 'ok' to fling their car door open. That left a nice little visible dent in the side door.

This kind of thing sickens me, especially since I have a new vehicle as well...barely a month old....

I guess I can expect a dent somewhere down the line. But when that happens, it will hurt.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008

George Carlin. There's a name that everybody recognizes. Who doesn't have something that flashes across their mind when they hear his name? He was just one of those comedians who was 'out there', I mean really out there. He laid it all out on a platter for all to see, and then made you think...and react. Now, you either loved what he did or you didn't, sort of like Lenny Bruce, but whatever your reaction was, it was sure to be a hard hitter.

My late Dad's birthday was today, and he loved Carlin, so it was only fitting that I created this post. Dad was a big Carlin fan. He enjoyed him so much, that he went out and bought 'Occupation: Foole' on LP (I still have that LP packed away in our basement). Everytime Carlin would do the 7 dirty words you can't say on TV or the bubbles in the bathtub skit, he'd roll with laughter.

Almost everybody did. He was that kind of funny guy. If you were fortunate enough to get to see his facial expressions, well that made it even more hilarious.

Mr. Carlin, thanks for your peculiar brand of laughter...and for being real...and genuine.

You will be missed.

Here are some of his most famous quotes...enjoy.
Always do whatever's next.

At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.

Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.

Electricity is really just organized lightning.

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

I think it would be interesting if old people got anti-Alzheimer's disease where they slowly began to recover other people's lost memories.

I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam.

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it.

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.

If God had intended us not to masturbate he would've made our arms shorter.

If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.

If we could just find out who's in charge, we could kill him.

If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten.

In comic strips, the person on the right always speaks first.

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.

Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.

Not only do I not know what's going on, I wouldn't know what to do about it if I did.

One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like.

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.

People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think.

Religion is just mind control.

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

Standing ovations have become far too commonplace. What we need are ovations where the audience members all punch and kick one another.

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.

The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.

The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept.

The status quo sucks.

The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.

Think off-center.

Weather forecast for tonight: dark.

Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?

What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?

When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?

When Thomas Edison worked late into the night on the electric light, he had to do it by gas lamp or candle. I'm sure it made the work seem that much more urgent.

When you step on the brakes your life is in your foot's hands.

You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.

Friday's Feast
One Hundred & Ninety Four

Welcome to Feast
One Hundred & Ninety Four
Friday, June 20th, 2008

Thank you for visiting my Friday's Feast. Each week, there are 5 questions featured, created lovingly by the chef. Enjoy!

If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose?
  • Europe

  • Soup
    Which browser do you use to surf the Internet?
  • IE7

  • Salad
    On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country?
  • Probably 50%...or less even.

  • Main Course
    Finish this sentence: Love is…
  • Soooo nice. The best thing in the world.

  • Dessert
    Have you ever been in or near a tornado?
  • no no no
  • Sunday, June 22, 2008

    One Year Ago

    Remember me?....we do my sweet little CoCo...we do....

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Blogging for 2 Years Now


    It really is! 2 Years! You can check out my first post from then The First Time.

    My blog was to be an outlet for me. Like a diary but not quite (have to keep some things private doncha know). I always wanted to write about something that was important to me, but I also wanted to try to capture the attention of the reader....and hold that attention. I hope I did that.

    As I reflect on some of the things that I wrote about, I have to quietly chuckle. There was the post about the Creepy Guy and Flying Ants and the NosePicker (all of these posts I cannot locate at the moment).

    I've blogged about My Sweetie who is my love and soulmate, and who always manages to provide suitable content to write about, even though our styles of writing are very different.

    I've blogged about my kitty, BJ....and of course our other kitty, Coco, who left us on what, sadly, will be one year on Sunday.

    I've blogged about my beloved parents, who I loved and I know loved me dearly. I believe they are always looking down on me and providing an invisible helping hand when I most need it.

    I've blogged about our boat and some of our sailing adventures. If summer ever gets off the ground, we'll have even more adventures to blog about.

    I've blogged about mylove of reality TV...Survivor, Canadian Idol, American Idol, SYTYWD (go Twitch, go Joshua, go Comfort), ANTM, etc etc etc....

    They say that time flies, and it certainly does. For those of you who visit, THANK YOU. I hope you stick around my blog for another year.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Friday's Feast
    One Hundred & Ninety Three

    Welcome to Feast
    One Hundred & Ninety Three
    Friday, June 13th, 2008

    Thank you for visiting my Friday's Feast. Each week, there are 5 questions featured, created lovingly by the chef. Enjoy!

    Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?
  • An least I try....

  • Soup
    What is your favorite color of ink to write with?
  • First of all, I like to write with nibbed pens instead of ballpoint, and when I use that kind of pen I like the aqua blue India ink.

  • Salad
    How often do you get a manicure or pedicure? Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?
  • I don't get either of these. In the past, I have had one or two manicures, but this is very rare. Pedicures are non-existent for me. Too much money.

  • Main Course
    Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?
  • Not to sound like a pessimist, but no....nothing, never, nada.

  • Dessert
    In which room in your house do you keep your home computer?
  • All of the computers (because there is more than one) are kept in 2 bedrooms, rooms which also server as our work offices.
  • Friday, June 13, 2008

    Poor Tomatoes

    I saw this brief heading on the Internet today:
    Ont. scientist working on inoculation for tomatoes
    .......I sure hope those poor tomatoes get better soon :-)

    Saturday, June 07, 2008


    Casual. That's a word that can be really confusing when it comes to clothing. Partner the word 'casual' with 'business' as in 'Business Casual' and I can really get myself in a tizzy.

    I grew up in the type of world where uniforms (of a sort) were in style. There were school uniforms for grade school and for high school. In the business world, it was suits....jacket, skirt, nylons, the whole bit. It may have felt like a bit of a pain sometimes, but you always felt and looked professional.

    Switch up to a time where Business Casual became toe new way of dressing in business. I remember when it was first introduced. The masses asked what constituted Business Casual. Well, as you would expect, the response was golf shirt and pants...but no jeans. The ladies in the audience sat with our mouths agape. Golf shirt? How are we gonna pull that one off? It took me a long time to ever feel comfortable at work in anything that didn't involve a jacket. Eventually I adjusted.

    The word 'casual' entered my world again recently. We were invited to a wedding reception, where the dress was casual (in fact, jeans were acceptable as well). I freaked. My closet still sported winter clothing, complete with black and navy, but nothing of a summery nature, and certainly not casual. I fretted and fretted, especially since our temperature has now hit the 90's and it's sweltering hot outside. Now I had to think about casual PLUS cool.

    I visited the local store many time in search of something that would fit the occasion, and finally found something that I am comfortable in and that I think is casual yet dressy.

    Lesson for me - SHOP MORE AND SHOP OFTEN!

    ...and always be prepared.

    Thursday, June 05, 2008

    That Invisible Kind Of Feeling

    Sometimes I feel like I am invisible. I'm not, but I am made to feel as though I am. It has happened before, and can happen anywhere, and this time it happened at a restaurant.

    My Sweetie was seated first, while I went to powder my nose (ahem). I wasn't told where we were being seated, so when I arrived at the reception area, rhe hostess and I took a walkabout the restaurant to find wher My Sweetie was sitting.

    I should have known then that things were not off to a great start.

    The waitress (I'll call her Chippie from herein) came to take our order. Chippie was a perky, smiley young thing (aren't they all?), and she outdid herself in paying an abundance of attention to the male half at our table. She would angle herself in his direction when taking his order, and didn't even bother to change her stance when it came to taking my order.

    Anyway, this continued and at one point, My Sweetie asked if I noticed that the service was slanted toward him. OF COURSE I NOTICED!!! He even said that before I was seated at the table, he was the recipient of the smilies and extra attention. Chippie and her smilies.

    When our meals came, Chippie made sure to get My Sweetie's approval for his dinner. Was everything to his satisfaction blah-blah-blah. I barely was acknowledged.

    Until it came time to pay. Chippie brought the bill, and I placed my credit card on the tray. She noticed. How could I tell? Because all of a sudden I was getting the biggest smile that you ever saw in your life. Grinning from ear to ear she was. I guess she was expecting the male diner to pay for dinner, but the female diner pulled a fast one and yanked out her credit card. Darn! "I've been smiling at the wrong person, I have!...Time to switch gears and I hope it's not too late!"

    Now, I have experienced this before, and we can't really do anything about it, short of stiffing the servers on the tip (which I still did not do), but you think they'd know better.

    Oh, and you know how they always come by after the payment and re-thank you for visiting?

    That didn't happen either.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2008

    Forked Again

    Last night I almost ended up eating rubber. Not what you'd expect from a simple BBQ right? Right.

    The culprit was a BBQ fork. This fork is supposed to tell you if your food is cooked the way you want it to be cooked. The fork was black. Hubby went to start up the BBQ and get the steaks going. Then he began deciphering the instructions on the package. Pretty simple instructions. Nothing unusual to note.

    Part way through the BBQ process, hubby stuck the fork in my steak, and walked back in the house, noting that one of the prong tips was black but the other was silver. You see there were little black rubber point protectors (which the packaging did not say anything about), and now one of them was missing.

    It either fell on the floor, or the ground outside.........or was in my steak!

    Yes, one of the little rubber tips lodged itself in my steak and had to be dug out.

    Now imagine this happening to someone with poor eyesight, or someone who doesn't pay attention to such things.

    They would have had an extra bit of chewiness with their meat.

    It all started out when a close relative decided she didn’t need a “heat-sensing” BBQ fork, because she had moved into a condo and couldn’t use a grill on the balcony – so she gave it to us.

    This dandy little device tells you the temperature of the meat you’re cooking (rare, medium, well-done) just by sticking it the meat and pressing a button on the handle. The read-out tells you how your cooking is progressing. Since I usually overcook on the BBQ, this item seemed like a no-brainer. I took it out of its original wrapper and proceeded to use it last night on the steaks. The sensors in the prongs were self-evident – somewhat overlarge black parts at the ends of the fork.

    I threw the steaks on, confident that THIS time there would be no overcooking. Stuck the fork in as the cooking progressed – watched as the readout finally registered that they were cooked exactly the way we both like them – hers done to medium, mine to medium rare! It was about then that I noticed the fork looked different – one prong was suddenly chrome metal! I turned over her steak and there it was – the rubber tip sticking in her steak. As Homer would say “DOH!”. The rubber tips were actually protective covers for each fork tip. Chagrined, I quickly removed the steaks from the grill. The rubber tips had insulated the fork’s temperature sensors. Her steak ended up REALLY well done (ugh!), mine just ordinary well done. I checked the packaging that the fork came in – no mention of removing the protective rubber covers anywhere. Plus she almost got to eat one.

    So much for modern technology – garbage in, overcooked steaks out. Hummph.

    Friday, May 30, 2008

    The Mouse Repair

    The mouse that I use for work was on the blink. It developed a clack-clack-clack on the left button, and this sound (and feel) was most disturbing. At first I thought that it was time to go mouse shopping, but I really like this particular mouse.

    Today, the mouse was behaving in the same manner. So I poked and prodded, cleaned it, tried everything.

    Still the same clack-clack-clack noise.

    I resorted to the final straw. I disconnected the mouse and whacked it on my carpeted floor a few times.

    Mouse is now fixed.

    Not the most technical way of handling things, but it seems to have worked.

    Where'd You Come From Anyway?

    Yesterday, I was driving to the gym, in a slow, casual drive.

    Thank goodness for my driving slowly.

    There was a teen walking home on the side of the street that has no sidewalk. I had him in my view, and I could tell that he was not paying attention to his surroundings. Maybe he had earbuds, but I can't recall. Anyway, just as I was approaching him, he did what I thought he was going to do.

    He started to step in front of my vehicle. Of course, I had to brake, and stop while he made up his mind whether to proceed to cross the street. He decided to stay put and waved me on.

    Now imagine if I had been one of the yahooooos who drives like a banshee. That kid might be in the hospital today.

    Moral of the story? Pay bloody attention!

    Thursday, May 29, 2008

    First Hand Road Rage

    They were approaching quickly. Two vehicles of a late model vintage. The first vehicle was a wagon of sorts. The second vehicle was a 2-door sub-compact.

    Their drivers were behaving as drivers do, except that, the first car came to an abrupt stop, and the second vehicle bumped into it. The first driver got out of his car and proceeded to whack the windshield of the second car. There was no damage, no carnage, and I couldn't tell if this was an accident or whether it was done on purpose.

    Well, it was done on purpose and this was the most blatant case of road rage I have ever seen.

    Two little 2 year olds in their toy cars......experiencing road rage at this very young age.


    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Archuleta! Archuleta!

    American Idol....ahhhh!

    I am a huge (huge I say!) American Idol (and Canadian Idol) fan. My most favourite seasons were the Fantasia season and the one and only Taylor Hicks season.

    This season, it has been a cliff hanger, with every week watching another talented person going home.

    Tonight it is down to the two Davids. David Cook and David Archuleta.

    David Cook (I'll call him big David) is a high style rocker. I enjoyed his song selections and enjoyed his performance. At one point I even thought that he would indeed win the whole thing. But there was always a little tug that said 'Hey...wait a minute! There's Little David too!'.

    Little David Archuleta (and I say little because he is a small guy and young...only 17 years old!). Little David has a voice which is as smooth as silk, and he sings with so much emotion, that he can literally reduce one to tears (as he has done with me).

    So....who has my vote tonight (but I can't vote because I'm in Canada)???....
    Little David

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    This is Just Plain Creepy

    I read this online yesterday. Then re-read it. Then re-read it again. It was incredulous to me. It reminded me of tales from another world...spooky stories told at Halloween. In fact, I wanted to post this yesterday, but I still hadn't come to grips with it. Not to say that I have come to grips with it any better today.
    So here it is...

    "Girl with stomach pains carrying embryonic twin.

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A 9-year-old girl taken to a hospital with stomach pains was found to be carrying her embryonic twin, doctors in central Greece said Thursday.

    Doctors examined the girl and surgically removed a 2-inch-long growth they later discovered was an embryo.

    “They could see on the right side that her belly was swollen, but they didn’t suspect that this tumor would hide an embryo,” said Iakovos Brouskelis, director of Larissa General Hospital.

    The girl has made a full recovery, he said.

    The embryo was a formed fetus with a head, hair and eyes but no brain or umbilical cord, said Dr. Andreas Markou, head of the pediatric department.

    He said cases in which one twin absorbs the other in the womb occurs in one in every 500,000 live births."

    ....from CNN News

    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Ants in our Pants

    Not quite, but we did spend the day evacuating carpenter ants and there nests and colonies from the basement wall. All because we repaired some of the bricks at our back wall, thus closing off their entrance. So now they're angry at us, and the ones that were already living in the basement are escaping we are doing the ant dance. The ones outside can die...or go and live somewhere else.

    So, we have destroyed a few colonies of ants that were taking up residence in the basement wall, sent a few babies to the guillotine and just basically tried to remove any trace of the little buggers.

    Someone told us to try cornmeal. It seems that these guys will eat it, but can't digest it, so they simply die from being overfed.

    hmmm I guess you can have too much of a good thing!

    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Smell Sensitive

    I am smell sensitive. I am sensitive to perfumes and lotions that have an over-powering air, so much so that I will get a headache. In fact, I can't even wear perfume, because I'll give myself a headache.

    This is especially evident when ladies apply more of the pretty, smelly stuff before they work out. That wonderful odeur (to others, not me) gets multiplied when we workout. What I end up doing is moving to different spots in class to get away from the smell.

    Now, this is particularly difficult to do when I am in a cycling class, trapped on a bike, with someone's Eau de Chanel wafting through my nostrils, invading my sinuses, and leaving me with a headache.

    So, the next time you apply your perfumes etc, be kind....k?

    Much appreciated.....

    Friday, May 02, 2008

    Burger on Top?

    It's a good thing that my hospitalized SIL isn't reading my blog today, because this one is about food. She'd be very unhappy....and hungrier.

    It's not a really long post either. This idea just fell out of the sky and landed on my todo list.

    It has to do with burgers, and how people dress them. You see, I am a fan of putting the burger on the bun and then dressing it with my favourites....cheese, lettuce, and tomato, and nothing else. Pretty much a naked burger.

    Now, there was a TV ad the other day where a burger being dressed, but they put the burger on top of everything! So the bottom part of the bun had all the fixings and then the burger and then the top part of the bun.

    I know what some smart fart is gonna say....'just turn your burger over if you don't like it!'.

    hrumph....Happy Weekend everybody.

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008


    It was the end of the day. I was nice and relaxed after returning from the gym, and had just pulled into the driveway. As I looked back as my car was reversing, I spotted something on the lawn that wasn't there earlier.

    A goose.

    Not a real, live goose, but a goose that once belonged to a neighbour. A lawn ornament. I know this because every year, this particular neighbour sets out a few phony geese on her lawn (some people do garden gnomes, she does geese).

    This was probably a prank by some of the local kids, possibly the same local kids who thought it was a joke to steal our solar rock from our front lawn last year or the year before (can't remember; old age). The rock never did come home.

    Anyway, back to the goose. Yesterday we went to try and ask the goose lady if she was missing a goose, but she never answered the door.

    We tried again, but no answer from the goose lady.

    My Sweetie happened to look out of his office window and saw that her garage door was open, which meant she was either at home or going out. So he went over, and proceeded with the goose interrogation, thus determining that the found goose was in fact her goose. It was returned to its rightful owner.

    Later, we drove past the house, and sure enough, the goose was reunited with his family, the threesome of plastic geese, protecting the tree.

    On days like this, I love living here.

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    And Her First Question Should Have Been....

    The other day, My Sweetie was trying to subscribe to a service (doesn't matter what). We were in the car using the hands free. The company we were calling was satellite based out of who-knows-where, so you can imagine the bad reception, bops and bips that occurred throughout the call (plus the lost cell at times).

    The following conversation took place (you'll just have to imagine my peals of laughter in the background HEEEEEE).

    CS (Customer Service): Yes, how can I help you?
    MS (My Sweetie): I'd like to subscribe please.

    CS: Okay let me bring up your account. What is your account id?
    MS: I don't have that handy.

    CS: Okay. Can I have your telephone number?
    MS: yes........(proceeds to provide telephone number).

    CS: I'm sorry but I cannot locate that number. Do you have an email adress?
    MS: yes. That's S as in Sam, C as in chocolate, H as in Halo, N as in Nerd, O as in ohoh, O as in ohohohoh, K as in kindergarden, AT mycar, that's M as in Mother, Y as in Yamaha, C as in Cookie, A asin Atlantic, R as in Rambo, dot net, N as in November, E as in Ewe, T as in Tartar.

    CS: okay, thank you. I'm sorry but I cannot locate that email address. Can we try your home address?

    (I am already laughing beyond belief)

    MS: 68 Berry Blvd, that's six eight, B as in Bear, E as in Ewe, R as in Raspberry, R as in Raspberry, Y as in Yuck.

    CS: thank you.

    What comes back next is bizarro.

    CS: Do you have an address in Kansas?
    MS: No.

    CS: How about Illinois?
    MS: No. I live in Canada.

    CS: Oh! My! This is the US 800-number that you called. You need to call the Canadian 800-number! (Huh?)

    By this time, both of us are just about driving off the road in a fit of laughter, having gone through almost the entire alphabet for this.

    So, her first question should have been =====> ....what country are you in?

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Mixed Messages

    Obama's support fading, polls say.
    Barracks aswim in feces, ickiness

    No wonder Obama's support is fading.

    (sometimes I amuse myself).

    p.s. - it was snowing in Barrie this morning. *snortle*

    p.s.s - I know....Omaba's name is Barack....

    Saturday, April 26, 2008

    "Outer Dialogues"

    My blogger SIL is in the hospital. She's been there before, but it is worse this time.

    For those of you who are regular visitors to her blog, please send your thoughts and prayers her way so that she sees a speedy recovery.


    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Hear the Roar

    No, not lions or tigers or bears (oh my!). The roar of life. Anywhere we seem to go, there is a roar. A dull roar of the city traffic, or the hum of the well used roads. It exists everywhere, city and country. A constant hum of whatever.

    Yesterday was a perfect day for sitting in the backyard. It was sunny and warm. The birds were singing. It was great.

    Then the roar started.

    First it was the guy changing his winter tires in his driveway. Frrrrip friiip of the nuts being whirred from the tires.

    Added to that little symphony was the guy with his power washer, trying to kill the bejeezus winter residue out of the driveway. Braaap-braaap-braaap.....annoying piece of s*i*.

    Added to this was the guy running his ATV...not running it anywhere, just running it.

    Add to this the cacophony of dogs, put outside to catch some rays, and to get the barking out of the house (go and annoy the neighbours Fido).

    So, I finally found some quiet by retreating inside the house, turning on the sat radio, and chilling.

    Today I am listening to hammering outside. No doubt someone is building something. A deck. A doghouse for Fido to bark in. Whatever.

    The only place where I have ever heard total quiet is when we are sailing...away from the dogs and the machinery and the constant noise. I look forward to this...very soon.


    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Still Remembering

    Stewart Allen Sleno
    SLENO, Stewart Allen. In memory of my dearest Dad who passed away twelve years ago. There is an ache in my heart that will never go away. What I wouldn't give for one more hug from you. Sadly missed and loved always, Maureen and Brian.
    Published in the Montreal Gazette on 4/19/2008

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Gimme More

    Every day we receive something in the mail. Some charity sends us an envelope complete with a return envelope, a donation sheet, a letter of who we are supposedly helping, and a gift.

    The gifts lately have been a 5 page notepad, with a picture of a flower or a bird or something. Or a bookmark.

    What gets me is that they ask for a minimum of $15.00 or $10.00. To offset the cost of course.

    It gets to be a bit much.

    Besides, I already give at work.

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    A Dark Hour in Barrie

    If there was ever an appropriate time for one to be dim, it was yesterday. It was okay for everyone to be dim......dimming your lights that is.

    This morning I read the newspaper to get caught up on the events that took place in the world. How the big city buildings were plunged into darkness for an hour. How accoustic musical events took place, no amps. How the Prime Minister's house did not darken for the hour.

    We actively took part in the second Earth Hour (apparently there was one held last year, but, just as with newborns, it was still in development stages). This year was quite a different matter. The people of the world chose to have a voice in what happens to our planet, turning out their houselights for just one hour, and lighting candles.

    All in an effort to try and save our poor planet....our planet which is stretched beyond all means trying to keep up with an ever growing demand on power consumption.

    At 7:55 pm, we had darkened the house, donned our warm clothes and headed out for a walk. At the corner, a family had their outdoor fireplace burning, and a mini Earth Hour party was happening. We continued our walk and noticed house after house in darkness.....a few candles glowing in the windows.People stood inside their houses and watched outside, waving to people as we walked by. We snarled silently at the homes who either didn't give a hoot about the whole thing or just plain forgot.

    We walked for a half hour, then returned home and lit the candles on the main floor, and sat in the dim light and quiet. It was rather nice. No computer. No TV.

    It didn't end at 9pm either. When the hour was over, we didn't suddenly jump up and flick on all of the lights. Na uh. We left the candles on, especially the front window candle...the one that (I hope) sent a message to all who could see it. For the remainder of the evening, we were careful about our lights, not flicking things on at random.

    In the end, the whole experience was positive, in fact it was inspirational. Just think if we could do this all the hour each night. Shut it all down. We have 8760 hours in a year. Doesn't sound like much does it? Take away 365 hours and just think what a difference that would make, not to mention our electricity bills.

    I guess that's the bottom line. Be aware and make small changes.

    .....'cause if we don't do it, nobody will.


    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    Earth Hour 2008

    Got a candle or 2? Then light them tonight.

    Do your bit with the rest of the world to get off the grid for 1 hour.


    ........8 to 9 o'clock

    ............don't forget to sign up =>

    I'll be there.....not here.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    A Little Cheese with your Spaghetti?

    Mealtime is our nice evening time. It's the time when we arrive home from the gym, hungry, talkative (sugared out), and ready to eat. Usually My Sweetie cooks. He is the better cook, and so I let him do what he does best.

    Last night was spaghetti. Spaghetti always bring back a certain fond memory, and a few of my readers will recall what I am thinking of. Maybe I'll even recount this little story in this post. For now, let's get back to dinner.

    The pasta was made, the sauce was ready. We were sitting at the table with fork in hand ready to go. Then the famous question.....would you like some Parmesan cheese on your spaghetti? Sounded like a good idea. So I picked up the container, and tried to shake out some cheesy flakes. I shook and shook and shook. One tiny little flake fell onto my plate. Most of the cheese had formed a ball, so nothing was getting out.

    Until My Sweetie decided to shake the living bejeezies out of it.

    The bottom cracked open...and there was flakey bits everywhere! All over him. All over the floor. All over the table.

    And, what else does one do at a time like this? One laughs hilariously!!! Belly laughs for sure.

    Which brings me back to a time many years ago. It was summer, we were wearing shorts, and we were at my MIL's house for a family gathering. Spaghetti was on plate for dinner.....wait, let me correct that....spaghetti was in lap.

    While the plates were being handed out, My Sweetie's portion somehow slipped off his plate and landed in his lap....teeming hot pasta, landing on his bare legs.

    People were yelling, scooping, cleaning.....not My Sweetie.

    He was off of his seat like a rocket. He propelled himself to the upstairs bathroom, stripped out of his shorts, and proceeded to try and save his groin and private parts. He didn't care about the rug or the chairs.

    Would you?

    To this day, we still convulse in laughter at this story (heck I am laughing now!)....not laughing at My Sweetie though. No. But for some stupid reason, recounting this story is sure to bring a tear of laughter to our eyes.

    But to be honest, I am not sure why we crack ourselves up on this one.

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Easter Greetings

    Happy Easter, although it feels more like Christmas here, temperature-wise.

    It was good to have a long weekend. Part of it was spent shopping, going to a ladies afternoon party, and Spring cleaning. Of course, there was the usual catching up on sleep.

    I still have a few posts up my sleeve...just have to find the right time to post about them.

    *beware the chocolate Easter eggs*

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Heads or Tails

    For blogging regularity, I decided to give Heads or Tails a try. This weeks topic is 'favourite room in the house'.

    This may seem odd, but my favourite room is the basement. Yes, the basement.

    For me, the basement is my hub of activity. Many things happen there.

    Laundry gets done there (groan).

    Scrapbooking happens there (ahhhh).

    American Idol, and all of my other shows are viewed there (woohoo).

    It's also the place where kitty, BJ, and I have a regular date. It's a regular routine for us. After dinner, I go downstairs and turn on the softer lighting. The gas fireplace is flicked on. I sit in my Mother's chair, and curl up in a warm blanky. Within minutes, BJ will come down, stand by the ottoman, and promptly jump up, plop himself beside me, and stay there for the evening.


    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Memory Background

    Someone had asked me to possibly share a bit about Natalie, who was the picture in memoriam the other day. I started to type an email, and then realized that this would be suitable for a post, so here it is.

    Natalie was a colleague with whom I worked many years ago. I didn't know much about her, except that she was nice and very smart. Time charged on. I went on to other places in the company. So did she. I hadn't seen her in quite awhile. I happened to be glancing through the newspaper on the weekend, and here was Natalie's face staring back at me through her obit. It was a little eerie to say the least.

    But, that was not the first time that has happened. Deja vu they say. One of my favourite gym Managers passed away years ago. She was only 35 I think. Again, I stumbled upon her face looking back at me from the obit.

    I still have both of those obits.

    The obits with the photos.

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Erin Go Bragh

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

    Aye, it's a wonderful day today eh? It's a wee bit chilly outside, but that's okay, because it's St. Patrick's Day. All negative things take a sideline on this day. Dig into your closet, and pull out your piece of green and don it for the day....even if you're not Irish!

    As you can see, my blog is all greened out, so don't be shy. Don your green! It'll make you feel great.

    Now, I'm not going to go into the history of the shamrock or the story of St. Patrick. Y'all know how to surf the Web. But, I will of course inject my personal affection for St. Patrick's Day.

    You see, my dear Mum was of Irish descent. Her Mother (my grandmother) came over from Ireland, and HER mother was descended from a family of orphaned children.

    Needless to say that we always acknowledged Green Day (not to be confused with environmental stuff). I remember going to school on March 17th, with green ribbon in my hair, and a sprig of real shamrocks pinned to my school tunic. Living in an ethnic area, I was one of probably 8 young lassies who showed up wearing something green....then spent most of the remainder of the day trying to explain why.

    Tonight is BodyJam at the gym. I'll be working out wearing my green, and it will be a rocking good time.

    Have yourself a really fine St. Patty's Day!