Thursday, December 02, 2010

How many computers does it take to print one report?

Technology is taking over. It's everywhere! I can't escape.

A while back when hubby was off work, he decided to go back to school for computer stuff. He already knew way more than I ever will, but decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

In our house (the house in which only TWO people live). There are 4 computers. Plus 2 laptops that we both use for work bringing the total to SIX. SIX computers. For TWO people. Even if we gave one to each of the cats and the dog, that would still be too many.

On Tuesday I had a presentation to finish for school. I couldn't prepare it on my home laptop, because hubby had formatted it sometime ago and never re-installed Microsoft office. So I used my work laptop. Everything was fine until it came time to print. I couldn't print off of my work laptop because the printer was not networked to it, only the house computers. I should mention at this point that hubby was at work, and unable to help. So I decided to put it on a memory stick and take it down stairs to the computer that was connected to the printer. When I turned it on, I was prompted for a password, (we keep all of our computers secure in case the cats try to steal our banking information... they're sneaky like that). I called Hubby and requested the password. He said that Windows was not working properly on it, and it needed to be fixed so I couldn't use it anyway.

I tried to plug my work laptop directly into the printer. No luck. My work security profile would not let me add the printer without administrative access.

I was then late for class. I attempted to remove the memory stick from the computer and ended up damaging it. Sigh. I ran around the house trying to find another and EUREKA! Success! I found one in my scrap table. I re-saved the file from my work laptop onto the new stick. I then went to the school to print off my presentation. Late is better than never right? I tried to put the stick into the school computer, but it was too big! The fancy plastic design didn't fit in the school computers! At this point I figured God was testing me and it became a personal challenge to PRINT THE DAMN REPORT.

Luckily I had brought my laptop with me, Ba-da-da-DA! The plan was to email the presentation to myself, and then open my email on the school computer to print the report. Unfortunately, I couldn't access the schools WiFi due to security problems with my work laptop. OH MY GOD.

So. I packed everything up, drove home, emailed the presentation to myself, drove BACK to school, logged on to the computer, printed the report, and ran to class.

I got in trouble for being late. I tried to explain... but lets be realistic. Would YOU believe that story? This is what happens to procrastinators who waste their entire vacation and leave the report writing for the last day. Sigh. I hope she doesn't fail me.

It took 7 computers, two internet signals, 2 printers, 2 people, 1 car, 20 kilometers, $3 dollars worth of gas, 3 hours, 2 trips through the construction zone, 2 memory sticks, and a whole lot of patience to print one report. How is that possible?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Practice of Writing - A New Experiment

Since I got my Sony Book Reader, I've been trading in most of my novels at the local Used Book Store, Book Brothers. I've managed to save up around $200 in credit by trading in all my books. Not needing to use the store credit for novels, I decided to poke around the non-fiction section to look for crafty books. After finding a number of art related books to take, I stumbled upon The Practice Of Writing by Robert Shcoles and Nancy Comley. It appears to be a text used for college English courses. Recalling my many, many posts regarding my poor writing ability and lack of grammar, I decided that maybe this book could help me actually DO something about my problem. Perhaps I can learn to express myself better. That being said, I've decided you will all be my evil guinea pigs. I will post the suggested assignment here and if you are so inclined, you can critique. I will still be writing my regular posts as well. This has not turned into a writing blog. These posts are meant to be a short-term experiment only. Be gentle, I have no self-esteem.

Part A) Assume that you are in a small group of people that you have just gotten to know and like. There are only three or four of you sitting around, relaxed. Maybe it is late at night. Because you are getting to know one another, you have been taking turns telling about the most frightening or impressive experiences in your life-a time when you encountered danger of death or injury, fear of pain or disgrace, threat of violence or accident, or something of equal importance, which you will never forget.
Set this down on paper exactly as you would tell it to the group.
I chose to tell the story of the time when Hubby almost burnt down our house. Here is part A:

Last spring we had gone to a party at a co-workers house. We ate, we drank, we made merry. Then we left. When we were a few minutes from home, my cell rang. I answered, “Hello?” A deep voice replied,

“Hello mam, this is the Chatham-Kent Fire Department calling.” I was immediately suspicious. Why would the fire department be calling me? Certain that someone was pulling a fast one I said,

“Uh-huh, yeah and I’m the first transvestite Pope. Did Cindy put you up to this?”

“No mam. This really is the Fire Department. And I really am standing outside your door with a very large axe. Are you in the area, or should I break your door down?”

“Um, I’m just around the corner. I’ll be there in 30 seconds. Please do NOT break down my door.”

I couldn’t believe it. Why was the fire department at MY house? I probably would have been humiliated at this point without the large amount of alcohol in my blood stream.
We turned the corner and there they were, along with all my “concerned” neighbors. I walked up to the man with the very large axe and said, “Hello, if you promise to put the big axe down, I’ll open the door for you”. I could hear the smoke detector screaming inside. “Can anyone tell me what happened?”

A neighbor, whose name I STILL do not know replied, “We heard the smoke detector going off and no one was home. We called the fire department just in case. Hope your cats are ok. Neighbor Dave had your cell number and the fireman said we could call before they broke your door down.”

“Err. Thanks,” I said. They probably just wanted the annoying sound to go away. The fire-fighters trudged all over my carpet with their muddy boots and discovered a candle burning, which had eventually set off the smoke detector right above it. No fires, but we were lucky. I remember shaking the fireman’s hand while simultaneously beating hubby into a pulp with the other, (he left the candle burning).

I still haven’t got the mud out of the carpet.

Assignment Part B: After you complete the first part of the assignment, imagine that in English class you are asked to write a paper about the same experience "in the third person". That is, you must tell the same story, but in this version the central figure should be yourself seen from the outside and called "he" or "she" rather than "I." This is a more formal and extraordinary ind of writing, further removed from and ordinary speech situation.

Here is part B:

She was smiling as they drove. They were laughing, and recalling funny bits of the evening, quoting outrageous one-liners and feeling merry. Unexpectedly, her cell phone rang. She picked it up and said, “Hello?”
A deep voice replied, “Hello mam, this is the Chatham-Kent Fire department calling.”
She was immediately suspicious. Why would the fire department be calling her? She was certain that the friends they left behind at the party decided to play a practical joke on her.
“Uh-huh,” she said in a voice dripping with sarcasm, “and I’m the first transvestite Pope. Did Cindy put you up to this?”
“No mam,” the man replied in a serious tone. Then, “This really IS the Fire Department. And I really AM standing outside your door with a very large axe. Are you in the area, or should I break your door down?”
Her heart race increased, and she began to panic. Was her house on fire? What was going on? Is this a joke gone too far?
“I’m just around the corner. I’ll be there in 30 seconds,” she said. “Please do NOT break down my door!”
She couldn’t believe it, but the sense that this was a plot by her friends seemed more and more unlikely. She filled her boyfriend in on the situation as they drove the few short blocks to the house. The fire department was parked on the street and her neighbors were standing outside. She would have liked to believe it was for her own best interests, but it seemed unlikely due to the fact that she disliked most of them and avoided all of them like the plague.
“Can anyone tell me what happened?” She said.
A nameless neighbor, who she believed lived next door, replied, “We heard the smoke detector going off and no one was home. We called the fire department just in case. Hope your cats are ok. Neighbor Dave had your cell number and the fireman said we could call you before they broke your door down.”
“Err. Thanks,” she said. As she turned the key in the door she could hear the blaring of the offending smoke detector. As she opened the door, the fireman pushed by her and into the house. Their boots made muddy tracks across her light-colored carpet.
A lit candle was found in the living room, which had set of f the detector above it. There were no fires, but she felt relief at their luck. She shook the fireman’s hand with one hand, and smacked her boyfriend with the other. It was he, after all, who had left the candle burning.
She ushered everyone out of the house and closed the door. Looking at the mud on the carpet she thought, ‘I’ll NEVER get that out.’

I had a hard time writing the second part. When you are writing and not "talking" more descriptive words are needed, and much more background. I had difficulty keeping it short enough to make a decent size post out of. Hopefully you are not all cursing me for the lengthy post. Let me know what you think of my experiment, or if I'm wasting your time. The last thing I want to do is put anyone to sleep. Perhaps you will want to play along with me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Top 10 Things I need to get through the day

10. A creative outlet. A way to express the billion ideas that go through my head on a given day. Like this blog, or scrapbooking, or developing an elaborate practical joke to play on my coworkers... like taping over the laser on everyones computer mice, changing the letters around on keyboards... or taking the wheels of rolling chairs and waiting for the crash. Such a satisfying sound.

9. A To-Do list. This is critical. Without written instructions I will procrastinate for eternity.... like I'm doing right now!

8. Exercise. Without it I'm cranky and generally sleepy. It also allows me some much needed down time and helps me to feel better about myself. Lately I've been so busy it's hard to fit more than the nightly stroll with the puppy, but I'm headed back to the gym as soon as vacation starts. I really miss it.

7. A quick game of be-jeweled. Warning: It's addictive. It does keep my brain stimulated and relaxes me at the same time. When I'm playing I'm in the zone.

6. A quick huff on the crack pipe... ok, not really, but I had you going there.

5. A bowl of cereal. Really. No Joke. Cereal really should be in a food category all by itself.

4. My morning coffee.

3. My afternoon coffee.

2. My after supper coffee... are you seeing a trend here?

1. A good night kiss from Hubby. I know you never read this, but you make my day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh Funny, Where Art Thou?

I've lost my funny. Do you know where it is?

I always thought of myself as having a good sense of humor. It's part of my charm, created by the desire to make my parents laugh instead of fight. Laughter eases the tension. Now that I've gotten to the point in my life where things are relatively stable, I'm happy, I have a good job.. the funny just seemed to slip right out of me. Perhaps now that I'm not in a constant state of panic I've gotten lazy? Maybe I need stress to be funny. I suppose I could find some. What if I ran into my boss' office and told him off? That would create tension, and then maybe I could make a joke about that! I am kinda laughing just thinking about how purple his face gets when he's really, really mad. Plus, he has a shaved head so I get a real kick out of watching the veins pop out of his head like an inflating water hose.

Maybe I could send out a mass email detailing what I had for lunch today, see what responses I get and make a joke about that!

Good Afternoon Everyone:

This is just a quick note to tell you all that I really enjoyed my lunch today. The grapes were particularly delish. That's all. You can go back to work now.

I feel like my posts lately are sub-standard. I mean, if I'm not funny, people will focus on my lack of grammar, spelling ability, and my obvious misuse of the English language in general. (I just noticed yesterday that blogger has spell check... so now I'm un-funny AND un-observant). Maybe the pressure to write a good post will bring my funny back. Lets give it a try...

Once upon a time there was a hippopotamus who felt discriminated against because she really wanted to be a flight attendant, but company policy stated that all animals must be contained in the cargo area of the plane....

Not very funny. I know. See? I think I've lost it forever. I wonder what happened? I think I'm burnt out. Vacation is coming. Maybe my funny will come back then. Also I think those business law classes are affecting my brain. Discrimination? Really? Out of all the things I could have chose, I picked workplace discrimination? Oh Elvis, do they even MAKE therapy for that?

Fia The Destructor

Did I mention that when we adopted Fia, we weren't sure what kind of dog she was? It was the vet that told us she was a Basenji. I've been a dog lover all my life, but had never heard of the breed. I didn't really give it much thought at the time. She was a beautiful dog, she was loving, playful, and good with children. That's all we really needed in a companion.

After noticing some peculiar behaviours, I've started researching the breed a bit. Everywhere I go there are tales of Basenji Destruction. DUN DUN DA! (evil sound effect added here). On every breeding site I went to there were multiple warnings about the breeds tendency to completely destroy everything you own, and turn it into really expensive trash. At first, I wasn't really worried. She's been a good girl, and had proven trustworthy. The only victim of her appetite for entertainment so far had been the front door mat, and I didn't really like it anyway. Although she did do a number on her crate when we first got her and thought that shutting a high energy dog away in a small confined space would be a good idea while we were at work. Not so much.

Yesterday I came home to a completely destroyed pair of shoes. My favourite work shoes. The ones I wear almost everyday. She looked so miserable about it too. Poor puppy. My suspicion is she's getting bored. Basenji's aren't supposed to be left alone. From what I've read, even 10 minutes is a risk. I found this yesterday while I was continuing my research:

23 Pounds of Trouble
Ya wanna hear a reality story? My first Basenji—whew—now that was a boy who taught me about Basenjis!

About 20 years ago, my son and I answered an ad for a Basenji for $75. When I walked into their house I saw a large pile of debris in one room and I thought at first that they were remodeling. Yeah, remodeling, right, Basenji-style!

We took home the youngster anyway and he was such a brat, although nothing I hadn't already experienced with the German Shorthairs. Besides, this guy was a little tiny thing, so what kind of damage could he do?

When I went to work, I didn't crate him. I was only going to be gone six hours and so I thought a little guy like this shouldn't need a crate. When I returned home I walked in to find about $10,000 worth of damage to the small rental house we lived in. The ball-feet were chewed off the still-standing pecan dining room table; the couches and chairs were down to the springs; drapes were down and shredded; door, window moldings, and sills were gone; the rug was torn up off the floor; and the little dear was in the process of digging through the wall to the outside. In fact, he was through the plaster, through the lathe, and had reached the cedar siding when I caught him.

Amazingly, I didn't get angry, I was just so stunned! I was quite impressed with this little Basenji's “abilities”. Needless to say, I bought him a crate.

Later that day I thought it best to take him with me when I went to pick up my paycheck. He wasn't crated in the car. I was gone five minutes at the most. When I returned (sigh) he had done a number to the inside of the car: Steering wheel chewed through and half gone; upholstery down to the springs—no piece of vinyl or cloth was where it had once been; he stripped the inside of the car. This made driving home quite uncomfortable and interesting. After that he rode in a crate.

These are just two of the multiple horror stories we went through with this little monkey. Still, I lived with and loved that little guy until the day he died at eight years old. And I thank him for teaching me his Basenji ways. Very good lessons learned, though I wish I had been more prepared for his homecoming.

Sam Anderson
Washington State

So far the destruction has been minimal. We're hoping it stays that way. My options are few but I'm looking into getting a dog walker to break up her day a bit and tire her out. It's really unfair of me to expect perfection, but she comes very close.

If you're thinking of getting a basenji, I would highly recommend them, but be prepared to make some accommodations for your new friend. I don't mind. She's worth it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Have A Nice Day

You all know how much I love my Tim Hortons. Although recently, they've been slipping. I wrote about this once before here.

I'm a big fan of quality customer service. In my teenage years I was a career waitress. I took pride in giving my customers quality service and an enjoyable experience with no hassel. I guess that's why I'm so dissapointed when people don't take the time to make sure the customer is satisfied.

Yesterday I made my after-work stop at Tim Hortons for a quick bite to eat before I went to class. I ordered an XL double-double coffee with milk, a LG chocolate milk, and a cheese tea biscuit. A simple, easy order. I pulled up to the window, handed the cashier my pay pass card and waited.

The first thing to come through the window was my chocolate milk. I took it from him, and noticed as I did so that something wet squished through my fingers.... it appeared to be whip cream. The cashier had already dropped the window, so I knocked.

Me: Um, excuse me..
Him: Yes?
Me: There's something on this... (I held it up to show him)
Him: Oh. No problem. (he hands me a napkin)

I wiped the crud off my hands and held the chocolate milk back towards him

Him: Yes?
Me: Um, could you wipe it off with a cloth or something, or can I have another one? This one is sticky.
Him: Ya. I guess. (takes the chocolate milk back through the window as if it's the most tedious chore ever).

He handed me my milk back. It was still sticky. I gave up and threw it on the seat beside me. He also handed me my card back.

Him: Have a nice day
Me: Um... I'm still waiting for my coffee....
Him: Oh. Right. Hang on.

While he's busy making my coffee... the line is piling up behind me and I can sense from the arm waving going on in the next vehicle back that people are getting impatient. I feel awkward. Finally the guy hands me my coffee.

Him: Have a nice day.
Me: Um... my tea biscuit?
Him: Oh. Did you order that? (the girl working next to him says... "Yep... a cheese one".
Him: Oh. Do we even have those?

He walks over to the display case and checks out the situation... and comes back empty-handed.

Him: We don't have any.
Me: But I've already paid!
Him: Well, do you want your money back, or would you like something else?

I've now been sitting at the drive through window for about 7 or 8 min. I think the cycle time is supposed to be less than 60 seconds. Much more hand-waving happening in the truck behind me and everyone inside the store is sitting around idle, waiting for the next order.

Me: Just give me a doughnut.
Him: Sure. (goes and gets the doughnut and hands it to me).
Him: Have a nice day.
Me: How nice of you to say.

I'm now irritated. This has been happening more, and more often of late. I even switched to the other Tim Hortons accross town. I'm actually thinking of switching to McDonalds coffee (gasp!). I wouldn't have minded all the trouble if he would have at least apologized for the wait or showed any kind of desire to help me at all.

In the big picture, this means nothing. A minor inconvenience in a world with bigger problems. But in a customer-service industry, you would think I would get some customer service for my money. Maybe even a smile.

Ok. I'm done ranting now.

Have A Nice Day.
Picture from Tim Hortons official website here

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Full Moon

The Boy missed his camping trip to come and stay with us this weekend. When I picked him up last night, I was concerned that he was missing the fun with his fellow Cubs. And this is how the conversation went....

Me: Are you sad to be missing your camping trip with Cubs?

The Boy: Not really. It's probably a good idea that I didn't go.

Me: A good idea? Why?

The Boy: It's going to be a full moon.

Me: Oh. Of course. Does that mean the warewolves will be out?

The Boy: Maybe.

Me: Are you scared?

The Boy: Not really. I could defeat them.

Me: I bet you could.

The Boy: I would hate to kill anything that didn't need killing though.

Me: That's a good philosophy.

The Boy: I would only kill it if it attacked me and tried to hurt me.

Me: In self defence right?

The Boy: Right.

photo shamelessly stolen from here

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why do I need a phone that does all THAT?

Hubby has just gotten a new IPhone 4. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how I feel about phones. If you're a newbie, you can get a pretty good understanding by reading this.
While I confess that it does some pretty nifty stuff, I'm disturbed by the amount of time that people actually spend messing around with them. Further increasing the amount of minutes a day spending ZERO time communicating with real people, in a real environment. Pretty soon we're not going to talk to each other at all. Everything will be just text, text, text.
Did you know that there is a GPS function that you can use to actually pinpoint the exact location of other Iphone users? So if I had one, and hubby and I both had the app, we would be able to find each other anywhere. The only time I can think of a useful purpose for this is in the shopping mall. After running around to all my girly stores, it would be easy to find hubby at the "man" stores when I'm ready to go. Other than that, why would anyone need to triangulate my exact location on the planet? I can picture the argument now....
Ring Ring
Hubby: You said you were going to the mall, why are you at the ice-cream store?
Me: Um... because I wanted some ice cream?
Hubby: And were you going to tell me that you were getting ice cream?
Me: Probably not.
Hubby: And were you going to get ME some ice cream?
Me: Probably not.
Hubby: See? You're so selfish.
phones can do amazing things, but why would we possibly NEED all that stuff? Can't a girl just have a calorie-fest in private anymore? Jeez.
photo shamelessly stolen from here

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Storm Chaser

Driving from The Boy's house to ours gets very boring, very quickly. It's about a two hour drive. On such an occasion, to pass the time, The Boy and I were chatting. We talked about space, and planets, and why he should be nicer to his grandparents. We also talked about what he wants to be when he grows up. Keep in mind... he's 9. He's got a while yet to decide.

Me: So kiddo, if you could be anything when you grow up, what would you pick?

The Boy: A storm chaser.

Me: You mean one of those guys who risk their lives to run around after tornado's?

The Boy: Yep.

Me: That's so cool. What made you want to do that?

The Boy: The Discovery Channel.

Me: What do you like about it?

The Boy: I saw a tornado pick up a cow on tv.

Me: Yes, I know. That was the movie Twister. We watched it together remember?

The Boy: Actually I think it was two cows.

Me: You know that's just a movie right?

The Boy: Do you think that could really happen?

Me: Um... I'm not sure. I think maybe if it was a super humongous tornado.

The Boy: Ya. Like maybe an F-10. Do they have F-10's?

Me: I don't think so.

The Boy: Maybe Global Warming will get bad enough to make super huge tornado's and then I can chase an F10 in my tricked-out trailer?

Me: Global Warming? Aren't you 9? What tricked out trailer?

The Boy: The one I'm going to get to chase tornadoes. And other storm's... but mostly tornado's.

Me: How are you going to trick out your trailer?

The Boy: I'm going to put a couch in it, and a super big tv, and one of those dopper thingies that they use to find out where the tornado's are.

Me: You mean doppler.

The Boy: That's what I said.

Me: Right. What else will be in your tricked-out trailer?

The Boy: A computer. So I can play Plants vs. Zombies. Do you think I can get the Internet in my trailer?

Me: I'm sure you can.

The conversation went on like this all the way home. I was impressed by the amount of thought he'd actually put into his plan. He was a little bummed out when I explained that he would have to take science and math all the way through school, and probably go to University. He asked if he had to take science to drive the trailer, and could he hire a meteorologist. Sigh.

The next weekend we went to the mall in Welland, where they had a hurricane simulator. It looked like this:

The Boy was so excited, he HAD to try it. It was 2 dollars. It started up and we could see his hair blowing around and he had his eyes squished shut. We asked him how it was when he got out:

Me: So how was it?

The Boy: Windy

Me: Still wanna be a storm chaser?

The Boy: Yep.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My Three Favourite People

This picture was taken last weekend. It's one of the few, rare moments when Hubby, The Boy, and The Dog are standing still long enough for me to snap one. Just as I pushed the button on the camara the sun ran away behind a cloud, so the lighting is not so good, but I'm happy with it anyway. Fia won't look at the camara without trying to lick it so this is the best I can do.

Monday, November 08, 2010

A Present For Puppy

Fia, the newest member of our Family, got a new bed this week. It's basically a giant pillow and is much more comfortable than MY bed. I'm thinking of trading her. She sleeps on our bed most of the time anyway. Maybe she'd like it better.
We are still having some trouble building a relationship between the felines and the canine. The cats basically try to ignore her, though Felix really would play with her if he wasn't worried about getting eaten all the time. Fia doesn't like to be ignored. Especially by her "competition". You can tell she would just like to put an end to it all and eat them. I believe she is aware that this would upset me because every time she chases them she looks at me with the most fore lorn expression. As if to say, "I'm sorry mom, but they're so tasty-looking, can't I eat just one? You DO have two after all...." It seems as if she wants to eat Samantha more than Felix. This surprises me. Samantha is the skinny, bitchy one. Felix is plumper and would make a much better meal. Samantha would be more of a snack really. An appetizer.

Bon Appetite!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Feast Of Crows

We're having a sort of crisis at work right now, so I've basically been here since Friday. I was up at 5 this morning and unfortunately had to stop for gas in the wee hours of the freezing November morning. Half asleep, I jumped out of the car and started filling my tank. After a few minutes, I woke up enough to be aware of my surroundings. The sound penetrated my sleep-fogged brain before anything else. The sound of many tiny crow voices screaming their CAW-CAW morning salutation at each other. It was then that I noticed how loud the sound was. It was still very dark, but as my eyes adjusted, I could see that outside of the bright fluorescent lighting of the gas bar, there were literaly hundreds of black moving shapes in the darkness. They were everywhere. I could hear the sounds of multitudes of tiny bird feet moving around on the overhang of the gas bar, above my head. There were too many to count. Nervous, but fascinated, I watched half of the flock suddenly take off and wing into the early morning darkness. That still left too many to count. I finished pumping the fuel and ran into the store to pay. I asked the clerk if it was like this every morning. She seemed unimpressed, and replied that they were there most nights until around this time. I ran back out to the truck and pulled out my camera to see if I could take some video. Because it's dark, it's hard to see them, but maybe you can get an idea by watching this....

After taking this video, I started the truck. I must have startled the flock perching on the roof because they all took off. Mass amounts of bird feces dropped out of the sky like little bombs of filth and disease (thank god I was in the truck and protected under the gas bar canopy). I couldn't believe the sound. The sheer number of wings required to make that much noise was staggering to my imagination. I don't particularly like birds (except the cute songbirds), and find them scary in large quantities. I was totally freaked out.

I've noticed in the last few years, that the amount of crows that show up during harvest time is increasing. When I drive home from work in the early evening, they blacken the sky. I will try to get you some pictures tonight. They reek havoc in the city, particularly on garbage day when they rip apart bags and drag garbage all over the streets. The city does nothing, other than advise people to purchase crow-proof garbage containers.

More crow craziness coming soon.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Introducing Miss Fia

This is the newest member of our family.

We rescued her from the Humane Society. Can you believe someone would give her up? She is a besenji mix. I have no idea what she's mixed with, but she's super cute. And so sweet. She very rarely barks, and loves to cuddle. She is happiest just being in the same room as her humans and is very playful.

We named her Fia - which is Italian for Flame apparently, because of her red coat. She looks kinda like a red fox, but hubby said I couldn't name her Foxy. He didn't want to be yelling that around our neighbourhood, as the hookers might get the idea that he was talking to them.

I was nervous about getting a dog. We're not home for long stretches of the day and I was concerned about leaving her alone. We started out with a crate. The first day we left her alone I put a big fluffy pillow in there for her and her water bowl. When we got home she was sitting in a giant pile of fluff and most of the water bowl had been eaten. She had also managed to eat the plastic tray in the bottom of the cage and some how kick it out completely.

On day number two we left the big pile of fluff in there, no water bowl and gave her a kong to chew on. She managed to rip the curtains down from inside the cage and eat the curtain rod, and the curtain.

On day number three, we moved the crate to the center of the room. We came home and she had chewed the crate until she somehow escaped and was running around the house. She bent the sides of the bars with her teeth. Luckily, nothing was destroyed, although she had collected 1 shoe from each pair that hubby and I own, and piled them on the couch... mercifully they were in pristine condition.

On day number four we came home and she had bounced the crate over to the spare bed and had eaten a chunk out of the mattress - from inside the crate. She then bounced it over to the dresser and chewed off the knobs for the bottom drawer.

At this point we decided that we could no longer keep her in the crate. Not only did she not enjoy it, but we were quickly running out of solutions, and the crate was rapidly deteriorating from her teeth of destruction. We decided to leave her out while we went grocery shopping. We left her for about an hour and then returned home to check on her. Again, she stole our shoes and slept on top of them, but chewed nothing! We have left her out ever since and she's been lovely. There have been a few times where the teeth of destruction have gotten out of hand, but nothing that would not be expected from any dog left alone.

She is a very sweet dog, and someone spent a long time training her to be well behaved. I suspect that she wore a bark collar at one point, because she is very reluctant to bark or whine. When she does she gets this surprised look on her face... as if she is unsure that the sound actually came out of her own mouth.

More doggie stories to come. Isn't she cute?

Random Strange Quiz

Someone sent me one of those weird, random question emails today. You know, the ones where you divulge useless information about yourself so we can all be idiots together? So I decided since I had to fill it out, the least you could do is read it. I'm vindictive like that.


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Not sure. I'm a cold-hearted bitch!

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yep. I write like my mom. Comes from years of writing my own notes to get out of school.


7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? No way. Not at all. Never. Ok. Maybe all the time.


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No. I'm allergic to scary.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I'd have to go with Captain Crunch. But I'm a cereal addict.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Not ever. I'm a big fan of shoe horns.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I could totally kick your ass.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Caramel Pecan Crunch.


15. RED OR PINK? Pink. Red is for serial killers, and I only do that on weekends.

16. What is the weather like outside? Bloody Freezing

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST My brother. He's an ass, but it would be nice to see him once in a while. He lives in Alberta.


19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black shoes with small heal that make a really annoying sound when I walk. I actually like the noise, but secretly I like to drive everyone crazy.
Be right back, I have to go make a couple of laps in the hall just so everyone knows I'm still here.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? cinnamon raisin bagel toasted with butter.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? lift trucks smashing into stuff.

2. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Orange. How can you be sad when you're orange?

23. FAVORITE SMELLS outside? fresh cut grass. Oh, and gasoline... which may account for the lack of brain cells I seem to have these days.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? boring conference call from work.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Ya. She kinda grows on you... you know, like fungus.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? love to watch track and field at the Olympics.
27. Hair Color? Blond. And yes, it's natural.

28. EYE COLOR? bluish greyish.

29.. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no, but I probably should.

30. FAVORITE FOOD? Anything I can put cheese on.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. I'm allergic to scary, remember?

That new one with Matt Damon... don't watch it, it was super bad.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Purple with grey and black stripes.



36. Car or truck ? Truck. I'm a redneck, what can I say?

37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? possibly my step-mother, but not sure.


39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Mammoth Hunters by Jean Auel, and the never ending business law text from my online course.

I don't have one.

41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Dexter! Who wouldn't want to watch a show about a vigilante, damaged serial killer?

42. FAVORITE SOUND? rain on the roof. And thunder.

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? God. Rolling stones I guess. I don't see any country in this selection.

Anywhere that isn't work related.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Does saying the alphabet backwards count?

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN Hamilton Ontario

47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? I'll be shocked if anyone answers back. Who has time for this crap?

That's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You Stink.

After chuckling over the adventures of Madame DeFarge over at Bateau De Banane, I was inspired to put my two cents in ( me, with an opinion? Shocker.), regarding our tendancy to... over-scentsitize ourselves. Is that a word ---->Scentsitize? Well, it should be.

I'm often told how lucky I am to have lovely pale skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. What no one realizes, is that with these characteristics comes incredibly sensitive skin, eyes, and nose.... all of these things are irritated by the general populations tendency to bathe in scents.

Well it may be a drag for some, I'm totally loving the fact that public places seem to be implementing fragrance-free policies these days. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with light, pleasant scents, and I happen to be a big fan of body spray myself. However, I will never understand why certain folks think it's attractive to drown their co-workers in eye-watering perfume and cologne.

Also, at this time, I would like to point out that I've noticed the majority of these over-scented offenders are not women, but men. Apparently they think it adds to their sex appeal. I'm hear to tell you that if you're 6 feet away from you and I can smell you, it's not a good thing, regardless of the scent. What are you trying to hide with all that smell? Did you pull your shirt from the bottom of the dirty laundry pile and think that your plastered-on man perfume would cover the stench? Well, it doesn't. Now you smell like dirty laundry AND cheap cologne. Good Job.

On one of my first dates with Hubby, we went to a comedy show. I was dressed to impress, with lovely make-up and the whole nine yards. Sitting at the table next to us was a lovely woman wearing what must have been an entire bottle of some heavy, musk-scented, eau-du-stink. My eyes were watering so badly that tears were pouring down my face and the contents of my nose were dribbling down my chin. How lovely. I was completely sure my date was ready to bolt for the door at any second. Who wouldn't want to continue dating a girl with a dripping face for no apparent reason? He probably thought I was a psychotic, high-maintenance crazy person with loads of emotional baggage and needing therapy. Just the kind of first impression everyone wants to make. Just because it's true doesn't mean I was ready to let him know so soon. I was saving that for date #3. I apologized and wiped the running mascara from my face and tried to control my dripping face. Thank-fully hubby turned out to be one of those understanding men and was kind enough to over-look my facial impression of Alice Cooper.

So please. Try to control yourself. Moderation is the key! Don't bathe in it, it just makes you stink.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Top 10 Things to do with Nine Dollars and Thirty-Two Cents

After paying the bills, the never ending cycle of credit card debt, and paying for gas, this is my total disposable income for the week.

Top 10 Things To Do With $9.32

10. Invest in an RRSP. My retirement calculator says if I invest today, in 40 years I will have $93.78. I can retire for a whole day!

9. Buy a new pair of socks. Everyone loves socks.

8. Give in to temptation and try out the new cake and shake milkshake from Tim Hortons (stone cold creamery.. now you can buy coffee AND ice cream at Timmies... isn't Canada lovely?). It's reported to be the highest calorie milkshake ever (1680 calories and 88 grams of fat... which works out to be 135% of the daily recommended value. But who needs statistics anyway? Certainly not my butt or upper thighs.... which is where the ice cream will end up).

7. Put it on the credit card and save $.08 in interest this month. Then I will have $9.40 cents of disposable income next week!

6. Buy a lottery ticket and hope I win enough to complete the magical list of things I'd do if I was a millionaire found here.

5. Borrow $0.68 cents from hubby and buy a new Wii game from Wii Share.

4. Buy the new lipstick that I've been eyeing for months and will probably never wear.

3. Send it to United Way. They can put it with the rest of their money and maybe buy a pencil or some staples.

2. Put it away for that trip to Australia that will probably never happen.

1. Change it in to pennies so that it looks like I have lots of money, throw it up in the air and dance around shouting, "I'm rich, I'm rich". Which is the cheapest form of entertainment I can think of.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flashing Hot at 29

Well. 28 and 11 months really. But who's counting.

I thought hot flashes were not supposed to start until menopause? It's October. It's freezing outside, and here I am dreaming of ice cream and for the love of GOD someone get me a cold cloth for the back of my neck!

We got our new company sweaters at work last week. Being a generally bad housekeeper, I haven't done my laundry, so today looked like a good day to try out the sweater. This is the part where I tell you it's a very pretty shade of blue, and made from Arctic Fleece. It fits just perfect, but is not so large that one could wear multiple layers underneath... so I of course, did not. Hold Please... the sweat is dripping in my eyes... there. That's better. Anyway, I'm wearing my new sweater, in a lovely shade of blue, at work today. I suppose it's a moderate sort of temperature. No one else seems to be swealtering, but I feel as though someone has wrapped me in a heating blanket and left me for dead. I imagine this is what a potatoe feels like when you wrap it in tin-foil and place it on the barbeque. Only without the pleasant cooking smell.

My co-worker suggested I take the sweater off, to which I blushed... or I would have blushed if I had not already been red-faced from extreme blood-pressure brought on by a spiking body temperature. While sitting in my office naked is a pleasant thought for my internal equilibrium, I'm sure there must be SOMETHING in the harrassment policy which forbids such a thing. The dress code for sure.

Currently I have my face pressed against the cool wood of my desk for a small measure of releif. It feels nice but is making typing difficult. I end up retyping the same sentences over and over as most come out looking like this ---> I ejd up typng het same sentnces ver andover as mos t come out lookkking like ths. It's very hard to type whilst your face is pressed against a desk. I wonder if there's a record for that. Perhaps I could become famous! But I digress.

It's five-oh-eight. Going home to burn the sweater and do something that makes me feel young.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pop Music Sellout.

I've always stood by my taste in music, protesting that I would never be a sellout. For most of my life I've been a country music fan, with some good old Southern and classic rock thrown in. Also the first two Albums by Jewel were some of my favourites. When Jewel starting recording pop music I cringed, conviced that she was abandoning her accousic-folk genre for the huge market that surrounds popular music.

Often ridiculed by my music choices, I stood by my favourite artists like glue, telling myself I was being a leader instead of a follower of popular choices. I was unique.

Recently, I've had a change of heart. Bored with the same old tunes, I set out on a search for something new, and ended up changing my pre-programed radio stations to, you guessed it, popular music. Currently I'm listening to a variety of dance music. Maybe I'm having a mid-life crisis. Artists like Ke$ha and Lady Gaga are now making their way onto my IPod somehow. Today I actually caught myself singing along to If I Had You, by Adam Lambert. Crazy.

So now I'm a sellout. I still refuse to listen to rap. I have no idea why that's classified as music. So now I have to apologize to all the people I've ever made fun of... I'll get around to it... eventually.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

To the victors, the spoils.

In some banter back and forth with one of our fellow bloggers, Silver Fox, a discussion opened up about Canadian and American History... and the .. er... discrepancies that exist depending on which country is telling the story. This inspired this post.

So. Once upon a time in 1812, there was a war between the British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada (we weren't just plain Canada back then... we were still part of the British Empire). The war started for various reasons... If your an American it started because the British drafted some of your merchants into the British Royal Navy, and bruised your dignity by assisting the native peoples against American expansion into their territory. If your a Canadian, it started because the Americans invaded, swept up our towns people into the militia, and took away Native rights and land. Blah Blah Blah.

The Americans were winning, in the beginning. They took all of Lake Erie and the shores, and much of what is now Western Ontario. However, after the British finished kicking the snot out of Napoleon, they sent huge naval armies and took the battle as far as New York and New Orleans. Both sides invaded, lost ground, and went home with nothing. The territories that were temporarily held were given back by the magical treaty of Ghent and life went on.

That being said, I find it interesting that Canadians think that the war of 1812 was a British victory, but if you check the American history books, it was an American victory.

Here's what Wiki had to say:

In British North America (which formed the Dominion of Canada in 1867), the War of 1812 was seen by Loyalists as a victory, as they had successfully defended their borders from an American takeover. The outcome gave Empire-oriented Canadians confidence and, together with the postwar "militia myth" that the civilian militia had been primarily responsible rather than the British regulars, was used to stimulate a new sense of Canadian nationalism.[106]

A long-term implication of the militia myth—which was false, but remained popular in the Canadian public at least until World War I—was that Canada did not need a regular professional army.[107] The U.S. Army had done poorly, on the whole, in several attempts to invade Canada, and the Canadians had shown that they would fight bravely to defend their country. But the British did not doubt that the thinly populated territory would be vulnerable in a third war. "We cannot keep Canada if the Americans declare war against us again," Admiral Sir David Milne wrote to a correspondent in 1817.[108]

By the 21st century it was a forgotten war in the U.S., Britain and Quebec, although still remembered in the rest of Canada, especially Ontario. In a 2009 poll, 37% of Canadians said the war was a Canadian victory, 9% said the U.S. won, 15% called it a draw, and 39%—mainly younger Canadians—said they knew too little to comment.[109]

Today, American popular memory includes the British capture and destruction of the U.S. Presidential Mansion in August 1814, which necessitated its extensive renovation. Another memory is the successful American defence of Fort McHenry in September 1814, which inspired the lyrics of the U.S. national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.[110] The successful Captains of the U.S. Navy became popular heroes with plates with the likeness of Decatur, Steward, Hull, and others, becoming popular items, ironically many of them were made in England. The Navy became a cherished institution beloved for the victories that it gave against all odds.

To my American friends, I'm going to say it was a draw. We freed a bunch of your slaves and settled them in Eastern Canada (although England ended up compensating Washington for them later... apparently your slave owners were angry at the loss of their "property". You went back to your country, we stayed in ours, and later kicked the British out (If the queen is watching, you know you really have no power right? We still respect you and your office, but we're not British, we're Canadian... although... thanks for giving us a paid holiday on your birthday, that's really terrific of you).

So we still have no army... and I think we own 1 submarine that still floats... although it was built 5 decades ago. And we're still us. I'm not sure what would happen should you try to invade again... perhaps we'll ride our dog sleds into battle. Or cows... we have lots of those eh?

It's been 200 years and we're still here. Some would think it's a miracle, with a giant military based society on our doorsteps. I think they just keep us here for our bacon. You may think they would invade just to steal our hockey team so they could stop losing at the Olympics, but perhaps they like the challenge.

note: I'm not a history major. Just going by what I learned in school... and that was a long... loooong time ago. If you have a comment about the facts (or lack there-of) in this post, please enlighten us. My main goal is entertainment, if you laughed even once, then my mission is complete. Americans, I love you, even if you are crazy and make war just for the sake of making war.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

This is by FAR my favourite holiday of the year. Why, you ask? (And even if you didn't) Because it is the only holiday where there is no other expectations other than to eat. And possibly do the dishes if you're not the cook (definitely NOT me). Christmas has the presents, easter the religion... wait, that's a Christmas thing too isn't it? Halloween has the costumes and the candy and the running around. Not on Thanksgiving. Your only obligation is to eat the ton of food that your family seems to concoct out of nowhere, and drink fine wine (well, except in my family... my mum prefers the bubbly kind with all the sugar.. I call it soda pop wine).

Turkey should come with a gym membership and bottle of rollaids. It really is low-fat, and good for you, just not in the quantities consumed on any given holiday. This year I managed to get prime rib twice, and no turkey. We are heading to hubbys parents for thanksgiving #3, so perhaps I'll see some turkey there. I really have a craving for stuffing, and no one can ever have too much pie. I could also use some cranberry sauce. What about you, are you a gravy person, or a cranberry person? There is much to say about both. I personally recommend making a turkey and cranberry sandwich. It really doesn't get much better than that.

So I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, where-ever you are. To my friends in the US, why IS your thanksgiving in November anyway? Too close to Christmas for me. You hardly have time to recover and lose the 3lbs of pie you ate! You should really consider moving it. Plus, I wouldn't get stuck working on MY thanksgiving to accomodate you. It really is very inconvenient. Take care of that would you? You must have some sort of commitee for that sort of thing.

Happy Turkey Day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My new found love for Italian Meat.

Did I ever mention that hubby is of Italian decent? This has opened me to all kinds of new experiences... Italian food and cooking... people with outdoor foyers on their houses (kind of hard to explain really... it's like a sitting room, right outside your front door... kind of useless actually), and women with facial hair. Ok, that last part isn't true, but I've heard stories.

Today we're going to talk about the meat. I was never a fan. I mean... meat that is stuffed in an intestine and hung in a dark cellar for months at a time? Sounds scary.

Hubby's parents always have this plate of meat that's freshly sliced and available for snacking. It has a variety of salami's and pepperoni. At first I shied away from the mystery meat. I had never eaten it as a child... most of our diet revolved around living in good old farm country where folk eat meat and potatoes and not much else.

However, one day while watching hubby's obvious enjoyment, I decided to be brave and try some Salami. It was the hottest thing I had ever eaten. WOW was it hot... but not right away. Before the tears there was a lovely smokey taste that was heaven in my mouth. After that it was hard to stop eating it.

I have since learned that each different Salami comes from a different area of Italy, like red wine in France. They're all lovely really, although I would have to say my favourite is Genoa. YUM.

So interested was I in this new love of mine, that I decided to get some information on what exactly was in it to make it soooo delicious. This may, or may not have been a mistake depending on your point of view...

Salami may be made out of one or more of the following meats...
  • pork
  • venison
  • beef
  • poultry

Horse? Really? Do people eat horse meat?

It is at this point in my research where I recognized, yet again, how woefully ignorant I am about cultures outside the world of North America (or inside it for that matter).

The main ingredients that go with the meat are

  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Minced Fat (MINCED FAT? How appetizing does THAT sound?)
  • Wine (It IS Italy after all)
  • vinegar
  • other various herbs depending on the region.

The word Salami actually means "salted meat". Easy enough. That's why it tastes so good... and why it causes high blood pressure. My general rule of thumb is: If it tastes good, it's usually bad for you.

In short... this sketchy, mystery meat is quite delicious but should not become a lifestyle if you value your figure... it runs around 90 calories per slice (and thin slices at that) and most of those are from fat. Yummy, but deadly.

Edit: I just realized that my title kinda sounds like the description on a porn video... but in the interests of entertainment, I decided not to change it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top Ten Things Women REALLY want from men

Top Ten Things Women REALLY want from men:

note: This is my opinion only. It certainly does not apply to ALL women, maybe not even most, and was meant to be a bit of fun.

10. TIME ALONE EVERY DAY. Yes, we love you. Yes, we want to talk to you. Yes, we want to spend time with you. We just need a small piece of time where no one needs ANYTHING and we can just chill.

9. FOR YOU TO HELP WITH THE HOUSEWORK WITHOUT HAVING TO BE ASKED. Just do it. It will save an argument later, and it might even get you a nice dinner or some kinky sex.

8. FLOWERS - yes, they die.. and we are ok with that. The point is that you thought about us during the day and wanted to do something to please us. It doesn't even have to be flowers... the best surprise I ever got was a pez dispenser shaped after my favourite cartoon character - because that means you listened and learned the things that I like and went to the trouble to show me.

7. A HUG - this is important. Women are nesters and affectionate creatures. We need reassurance that you love us.

6. THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT - sometimes we like to be mysterious. Not because we are doing anything wrong, but just because predictability is scary. If we say we're going out to do some shopping, don't give us the third degree about where we are going and what time we'll be home etc. etc. It feels kinda like an interrogation sometimes. This probably makes no sense, but trust me, if you examine your wife's comings and goings with a microscope you're asking for trouble. Just trust. And if your curiosity is driving you insane, ask, but don't dig unless you have a reason to. Conversations where you dig too much usually end up with, "I WAS BUYING YOUR XMAS PRESENT OK? " Which of course is very frustrating for everyone. And don't ask how much your wife spent at Xmas, that's just rude.

5. CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF - this is a two-income-household world my friend. Your wife is just as tired as you are. So pick up your socks, pop cans, beer cans. No, it's not hurting anything on the counter but us girls take pride in a clean house. Just think to yourself.. what would my mother do if I left my pants hanging on the banister? She'd kill you, that's what. So pick them up.

4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - did you notice that your wife painstakingly folded your underwear or made all your favourites for dinner this week? Then tell her. Don't be a caveman.

3. TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE - not because it's a "mans" job, but just because it's icky, and we don't like doing it. If we have to clean the toilet, the least you could do is take out the trash.

2. THE REMOTE CONTROL - share. You can do it.

1. GET YOUR FEET OFF THE COFFEE TABLE! No explanation required.

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's not paranoia if people really ARE out to get you.

Have you ever been in that position where you think there's a big giant joke involving you and you're the only one who doesn't know about it? No? I had one of those moments today, where I walked into a room full of people and everyone stopped talking. You could hear a pin drop.

Maybe it's because I'm so gorgeous they had to stop and stare, but somehow I don't think so.... (this affirmation comes mostly from the fact that I'm wearing baggy jeans and no make-up).

Maybe it was just one of those natural pauses in conversation that happen when everyone has run out of things to say.

Maybe they had the feeling that the exclamation that was about to come out of my mouth was soooo profound, that they all had to stop and hold their collective breath while I spoke.

So now I'm on a mission to find out exactly what the joke is... and how I can be a part of it. Perhaps there is some giant practical joke going on that I'm not participating in.

Or maybe I'm paranoid and I should drink less coffee.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Power Of Nature

The summer sky, taken after the last storm

Don't get me wrong. I love a good storm. The lightning, big peals of thunder, the sense that there is something out there that's still bigger than we will ever be. However, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.
I'm writing this because I've just returned in from outside, where the beautiful August afternoon is trying desperately to shine while purple storm clouds await on the horizon. The looming, glooming kind of purple storm clouds.
Afternoon storms have become an event around here. Several power outages at work have caused major problems. I sit here praying to mother nature to pleassseeee hold off just a few more hours so production can finish.
It's not going to storm, it's not going to storm, it's not going to storm. Come on, say it with me!
My chinese fortune cookie said that if I was nice to people, good things will happen to me. I'm going to go now and run around the office to tell everyone how fabulous they are. Do you think that's enough? How nice is nice? Maybe if I get everyone coffee the rain will hold off until I go home.
Proving once again, that coffee is the answer to everything.
Update: No Storm! Horray!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The top ten reasons why I appreciate my job.

This is an exercise in job appreciation. Because I really don't appreciate what I have as much as I should (does anyone?). Mostly I run around bitching about my job because it can be stressful sometimes. However, anything worth doing is stressful....

Top 10 Reasons Why I Appreciate My Job.

10. I learn new things everyday. This keeps my brain stimulated. I'd probably be drooling in a corner without that.

9. Occasionally I get to solve really big problems that make a difference.

8. Tim Hortons is right around the corner so I have a 24 hr coffee supply.

7. My office has air conditioning (if you knew how hot it was inside of the plant you'd understand why this is on the list. I used to work out there... not nice. Heat makes me cranky).

6. It comes with a paycheck. Fancy that!

5. I need some amount of stress to function... LOTS of that here! Functioning really well.

4. I get to boss people around. Mucho satisfaction.

3. Occasionally people realize that I know what I'm doing and the thrill of watching them look sheepish never gets old.

2. It forces me to get out of my pajamas everyday. Ok. I don't even know why that's on the list. I HATE getting out of PJ's.

1. The people I work with. Who also feel unappreciated. They have become my surrogate family... even though I'd like to run over them with my truck occasionally, it all works out in the end.

This is one of my coworkers. She makes my job easier on a regular basis and I think I would have probably quit if she wasn't here. I have no idea why she wouldn't let me take her photo (hence the blurriness... ok, so I suck as a photographer... thank god I don't do THAT for a living). I'm going to post this and send it to her as a message that she should LET people take nice photo's when the opportunity presents itself. Now the entire blogging community is going to think she has a blurry face.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kitty Kat Woes

This is Samantha

She has started to use the entire house as a litter box. I am trying to get my house ready for sale... eau du kitty-kat does not smell very attractive to perspective buyers. What do I do? Hubby is pushing to give her up for adoption. It would break my heart. No one I know wants her. I want her, but I can't have little messes all over the house! I don't know what happened. She's never been like this before. I have no way to make her understand how important it is that she NOT pee on the carpet. If only she knew that peeing on the carpet would result in a trip to the humane society, where they will stuff her in a small cage in a room with strays and other sick animals for adoption. And if she doesn't get adopted within 3 weeks, a nice volunteer lady will take her into the back room where they will inject her with a lethal dose of something that stops her little heart. AHHHH. I can't take it. My eyes are watering just thinking about it. How cruel does that sound? I don't know what to do.

The Great White Fishermen.

Hubby took The Boy fishing today.
Well, at least they caught SOMETHING. I think it's a very nice stick.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bigger Fish To Fry

Hubby sent me this article the other day. It made me laugh so I though I would share. It was in the online news at

Tue Jul 27, 10:01 AM

By The Canadian Press

CHATHAM, Ont. - Police in Chatham, Ont., have charged a woman with assault after her boyfriend was punched twice — the first time in an alleged dispute over a sandwich.

Investigators say a man made his girlfriend a sandwich Monday evening and when she only ate half, she said he could have the other half.

A short time later, police say the woman became infuriated that the sandwich was missing and punched her boyfriend in the face.

Police say later in the night the two became involved in an unrelated argument and she punched him in the chest.

A 27-year-old Chatham woman has been charged with two counts of assault.

She has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Articles like this really put life into perspective. I don't know whether to laugh, or cry at the ridiculousness of the human race. Must be a thin gene pool.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Greener Pastures

I'm 28 years old. I'm an adult. I have my own house, a car, and furniture I can jump on whenever I want. I have a grown-up job, bills, and financial responsibilities. And I'm homesick.

I miss my family. I miss my mom. I miss sitting on a tailgate with a beer and chit-chatting because I had absolutely nothing better to do. What's better than beer? I miss bonfires. You can't have those in the city. At least not the kind that I'm used too. Once we made one taller than the house. I miss burnt marshmallows. Sure, I could go camping like other city people do, but believe me - it's just not the same.

I miss having roots. I've been here for what feels like an eternity, and I have no roots. If I moved tomorrow I would not miss this place. Some of the people maybe, but I have yet to become attached to the way of life. I feel disconnected in a way I never thought possible.

Hubby does not understand my love for where I grew up. He thinks it's very quaint, like when you see a photo you like in a magazine and say, "huh, that's nice". He has similar home attachments to Welland, where he grew up. I love it there also, but it is not home. They say home is where the heart is... trust me, I have tried to relocate the feeling, but my heart is stubborn like everything else in me. I believe that comes from the Youmans side of the family.

Someone said to me a while back, "Good for you for getting out of there!" I looked at them strangely and said, "if I could go back tomorrow I would". Who wouldn't? Quiet, beautiful, lakes and rivers to swim in... ever wonder why everyone moves to cottage country to retire? Why they spend their entire lives saving to move to paradise and then show up North of 7? Because when you live HERE... THERE is the other side of the fence. You know, the greener side.

I'm in a major transition point in my life. On the edge of getting almost everything I've ever wanted. Isn't it funny that just at the time when I'm going to reach all of my goals in life I question it? I must be crazy. This is proof that you always want what you can't have, no matter how much you have to be grateful for. And I AM grateful. Grateful and homesick. I'm going to find a tailgate and a beer. Wanna play caps?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Top Ten Obvious Signs That I Need Glasses

10. I was incredibly depressed because I hit a cat on the way to work the other day. I discovered on the way home that it was not a cat at all, but a possum. Not that the possum deserves to get run over any more than a cat... but... well... cats ARE cuter and possums are pests.

9. Grass looks more like carpet as I can no longer distinguish the individual blades without concentrated effort.

8. I have to rely on the voice module on my GPS because I can no longer read road signs.

7. I am incredibly grateful for the invention of high definition television as it means I can actually see the hockey puck on the screen. Televised sports is much more enjoyable now.

6. My 300 year old accounting teacher has better eyesight than I do.

5. My fellow students think I am sooooo smart I don't have to take notes and thus can use the spare time to practice on my sketching. Thank-God they can't see my test scores.

4. My co-workers no longer park beside me. It is very easy to find my car in the lot... it's the one surrounded by all of the empty space.

3. I don't pass in my vehicle anymore because I am no longer confident on my ability to judge long term distances... cars that are far away are a little fuzzy.

2. The blinding stabbing pain that sometimes forms behind my right eye is getting really distracting. Presumably it's eye strain as I have perfect vision in my left and need a magnifying glass over my right. Perhaps I'll just tape my right eye shut and everything will be brilliant.

1. I drove past a man on a bicycle who gave me the finger as I passed him, safely I might add. Outraged, and just in the sort of mood to tell someone off, I pulled over and gave him a piece of my mind... at which point he calmly explained to me that he had been merely waving thanks in return for the generous amount of space I'd given him as I flew by his madly peddling person. Ooops.

I made an appointment at the eye doctor tomorrow. I realize you are all afraid to drive on the road now. Be at ease. When I close one eye, I drive just fine!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Daily Shout-Out

This is temporarily/ permanently on hold for very good literary reasons.... in short - I'm bored with it and have decided that it's not a good use of my very limited blogging time. When I first decided it wasn't working out I had a tinge of guilt - coupled with that little voice inside of my head that says.... "you never finish what you start". Which is occasionally true. Although, to my defense, I started breathing quite a long time ago and have been at it ever since. That's dedication.

The guilt started to recede when I realized that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want! So there! (You can't see, but I'm sticking my tongue out right now). As I have the sneaking suspicion that the only one who read them was Brink Beast (that kills me, it really does... you know what my teacher called me? She-of-little-attention-span), what was I saying - OH MY GOD, look over there! Is that a cat? No? Shame.

As I was saying, I don't think they'll be missed. Perhaps I will randomly post about randomly found blogs in the future. In the mean time - it's back to regular random happenings and my horrible photography skills. Thanks for participating in my experiment. It was a good time.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Daily Shout-Out

Ooooh, a puzzle blog. Addictive, I swear. Go visit Critical Thinking Puzzles for puzzles and more! Excersize your brain... er.. excersise... exser... do you think there's a spelling blog out there somewhere?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cat in Crisis!

Excuse the photo. Felix was not being very cooperative and I find it impossible to get a shot of him with no red eye.

Anywhoo. Hubby called me at work the other day with a rather upsetting story. Our curiously-crazy, fantastically-stupid cat Felix had gotten himself into a near death situation all by his lonesome while we were at work.

Hubby likes to eat crackers. Hubby left the cracker bag beside the couch on the end table. It was very empty, with the exception of a few choice crumbs reeking of garlic and spice. Only one side of the bag was open in a conveniently cat head-shaped hole. Our darling Felix somehow managed to cram his fat head into the opening and get it stuck inside.

I should mention at this point that the bag was plastic, but not see-through.

Somehow, in a panic, Felix managed to get all the way upstairs and finally collapsed in the hallway. This is how hubby found him when he got home from work some hours later. The bag was filled with condensation from the poor fat-heads panicky breaths, and some small amount of vomit, presumably from eating garlicky crackers - which were not intended for consumption by those of the feline persuasion. Fat-head Felix had been trapped in a bag with his own stomach contents for most of the day - judging by the amount of spit and the state of his fur. My heart almost stopped when I saw the tiny opening in the bag. How did he survive that? How did enough oxygen get in around his fat head? Maybe he used up one or two of his nine-lives.
Fat-head seems to have come through this much better than I have. He is now clean and content. All manner of items that are cat head-shaped have been removed or trashed. Wonder if he will retain a memory of this incident the next time he risks his life for cracker crumbs?

The Daily Shout-Out

Today's winner is a meme that I think I might play along with (what is the definition for the word meme anyway? Bloggers seem to have developed their own language... but I digress). The blog is Should Be Reading. Here's what the author has to say about the meme:

I think I will play along. What can I say, I love books.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Daily Shout-Out

Today's winner made my day. Funny, creative, and well written (unlike me). Please visit Unruly Helpmeet when you have the time. If you don't laugh, I swear I'll refund the price of admission.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Look What I've Got!

Hubby surprised me with a used Sony Book Reader that he got from Ebay. This is an incredibly thoughtful gift as Hubby knows my fondness for books. When I first found out about it I was very skeptical. Half the fun of reading is selecting the book from the store based on cover art, and flowery description. Plus you can't beat that new book smell. None of these features are available with the Sony Book Reader. It's just sort of... blah.

The first book I loaded onto it was Robert Jordan's The Path Of Daggers.

(I'm currently re-reading this because of the latest release in the series).

Look at this cover art:

How awesome is that? Look at what I'm missing? This is a lovely picture, but it really is much more impressive in real life. Cooked up right out of the artists/authors imagination. Sigh.
When I am reading a novel I will often flip back to the cover, or maps to help create a visual in my mind of the characters, or geographical reference. You don't get to do this with the book reader. There are zero graphics. Not that I need graphics... I DO have an imagination, but I miss them.
This is the part where I tell you I'm converted. Even though I had condemned it before I even attempted to use it, I am now an advocate of the digital book reader. Why, you ask? Several reasons:
1. It's very portable and is now a permanent fixture in my purse. I take it everywhere and use it all the time.
2.I no longer need to worry about dog-earring my precious book collection, or having it get squished up and torn on an airplane, (the fate of the most recent addition to my collection - The Sookie Stackhouse novels).
3. It's super light. Some of my novels are 700 pages or more and can grow quite heavy after an hour of reading. My hands never get sore from holding the book open, and I don't break the spines anymore by squishing them flat. Most of the time I'm not even holding it, it's propped between the bed and the wall. The reading experience is now much more comfortable.
4. I move a lot. A LOT. I have packed and unpacked the same books 10 times in the last 12 years. I've lugged them upstairs, and downstairs, in elevators, from car to car. I am TIRED of moving books. Now I don't have to. Ever again.
It was a little irritating flipping the pages so much at first. I had a hard time adjusting to the 5 inch screen, but now don't even notice. I love it. I'm converted. My entire book collection is being packed up to go to the used book store. All is right in the world.

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