Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Chrissy!

Happy Birthday MySpace Comments and Graphics

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, to our niece Chrissy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Holy cow!

We went to the post office today to pick up a parcel. It was like we just won the convection oven lottery!

Wow...look at it! Isn't it beautiful?

The Christmas gift Jacki ordered for us had been out of stock during the holidays and the store finally shipped it. We had no idea what our gift was until we picked it up today.

It is a Farberware FB-1654 digital convection/rotisserie oven. What an AMAZING gift! It has all the following features:

- double wall
- digital bake, broil, top brown, keep warm, defrost, convection settings
- 150-450ยบ F temperature control
- 120 minute timer with stay-on feature
- auto shut off
- 10 pre-programmed settings
- LED display panel
- 6-slice toaster
- non-stick interior
- interior light
- tempered glass door
- baking sheet
- boil tray
- rotisserie
- accessories
- 1480 watts
- great looks and great performance

I wouldn't be surprised if it could dance an Irish jig, too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Summer is almost here

Got this picture by email yesterday with the caption: Summer is almost here ...we can now see the deer moving around. Yep, won't be long.

It made me laugh out loud. Especially receiving it in the wake of taking 2-1/2 hours to get to the movie theatre because Toronto was snowed under yesterday.

Hubby and I won tickets to an advance screening of New in Town with Robert Downey Jr. and Renee Zellwenger. It was a nice, light comedy with an ambience that falls half-way between Fargo and Bridgid Jones's Diary. We had some laughs and generally enjoyed it. The movie wasn't a barnburner but amusing enough that we still like it today. Sometimes a 24-hour period can alter an entertainment opinion.

I burnt the palm of my hand today. I took a pan out of the oven with a good, heavy towel and set it down on top of the stove. While I was taking out the contents, the pan shifted too close to the edge of the stove. Due to having the short-term memory of a gnat, I forgot it was hot and grabbed it by the stainless steel handle to move it back. For 2 hours, the pain was excruciating. I took a strong pain killer and kept the burn cold. After melting 3 cold packs and a zip lock bag full of ice cubes, I made a paste out of baking soda and coated my hand. Eventually, the a pain abated and I am now able to use it. Hubby got me some spray, topical, antibacterial anesthesia from the drug store. I highly recommend Bactine to keep around for burn first aid. It really takes the pain away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The graphic on the Ontario tourism site is not misleading...only misinterpreted. There is absolutely no place like this (thank heavens).

Living in Ontario is one of the most frustrating exercises known to man. For reasons unknown to any rational entity, everything must be done twice in order to actually be put in place.

'Doing it right the first time' is a foreign concept in Ontario. The province should be renamed 'Mulligan' because everything is a do-over.

The first clue to realizing that whatever you need won't get done is a nodding motion from head of the person who is paid to perform the service. That motion means, "I don't care what you are paying for, there is no way in hellapalooza that I'm going to waste my time doing this. When you discover that I haven't done it and request it again, I'll get it done in my own sweet time, not yours. And...only if you've taken it to a higher level."

Ontarians might be known for moving and speaking quickly but don't mistake that for efficiency. The fast movement denotes running away from anything that remotely looks like it entails actual performance and the fast talking is the type used by used car salesmen (all horse manure).

It's been 4-1/2 years now and I just can't get used to this adversarial way of life. I hate it here. I wish I could afford to move back to Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cold & dark in Canada

It's cold and dark. In my opinion, January and February anywhere north of the 49th parallel is fit for one activity only: curling up on the chesterfield with the dog and watching movies.

The Movie Network ran Smart People today. It was great. Acerbic personalities always draw my interest. Thankfully, North American film festivals like Sundance and TIFF are giving independent film a chance and we, the viewers, are the grateful recipients of the superior entertainment.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I've just discovered RSS and Google Reader after being online for 15 years. And yes, do I ever feel like a dolt!

Over the years, I've designed web sites (back in the HTML only days), I've owned my own domain, etc., etc., etc. and, for reasons known only to the authors of chaos, I have been blissfully ignorant of anything attached to blogging and RSS.

No longer will updates to web sites clog my inbox. I will now conveniently browse through updates on Google Reader.

Glad I look reasonably good wearing a pink face :) Blushing...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Racial assault by police

My home page had the following CBC news article link posted. B.C. man alleges assault and racial abuse by 3 off-duty police officers.

Phil Khan says he was beaten because he did not provide immediate help to a man who asked for directions. (CBC). I am ashamed to call myself Canadian when I read news like this. What is even more shockimg is the Comment section.

This angers me on so many levels! I hate racism. I hate violence. I hate bureaucracies that deal with things in their own way instead of applying the law.

How very convenient for those police officers that their names are hidden from the light of day. Too bad every citizen does not have that choice when arrested. suspension WITH pay supposed to be a punishment? That sounds suspiciously like a vacation to me.

10 job search stumbles

How can a job hunter stand out in his/her market of choice? Preparing for and executing an employment search is daunting in this poor economic climate and different strategies work for different markets.

Depending on what type of career you are interested in achieving, some of these links might be helpful.

6 Job Hunting Myths Debunked

Impact letters help you stand out in tight job market

How to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market

Making yourself unique in today's job market

Rebuild your resume with five simple fixes

Anatomy of a killer resume

6 words that make your resume suck

36 beautiful resume ideas that work

VisualCV for your career

Amazing business cards

10 Secrets for Searching for a Job During a Recession

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bringing tears to a glass eye

I love this video. There really aren't a whole lot of things that can bring me to tears but this is one of them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Institute of Official Cheer

Web surfing in the mid-1990's was not as varied and entertaining as today. It was slowly transitioning from simple, text-based sites and very long lists into full-fledged, graphically-pleasing web sites.

I'll never forget the first time I came across The Institute of Official Cheer. I lingered for quite a long time, taking in all of its unique foolishness. It is a section of the domain James Lileks, the site's author, has a brilliantly unique way with words.

I can honestly say that I've experienced side-splitting laughter reading some of the sections. Perhaps it's because I'm old enough to have experienced these things in their original context. Perhaps it's because they are truly hilarious. You can be the judge.

There are quite a few more sections on this web site since my first viewing and I go back there every once in a while to experience a refresher dose of tickled funny bone. A couple of my favourite sub-sections have been made into books by the same name.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food - It wasn't all that long ago that food photography and old recipes were all like this. YUK. I'm ashamed to say that I own a lot of these types of recipe books, which were given to me by my Mom during my concerted efforts to learn how to cook in the 1970's.

Interior Desecrations - After you finish marveling at these interior design wonders, you might also want to browse around another section called The Grooviest Motel in Wisconsin. Seldom has decorating strayed so far from the path of good taste.

James Lilek's fashion pages are a hoot. If you don't have the time to look at all of them, you simply MUST check out the fashions in The Dorcus Collection.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

United States of Tara

Wife and mother Tara Gregson (Toni Collette) has an identity disorder that includes personalities like Buck, a beer-guzzling Vietnam veteran with a tendency for violence. TMN/Astral Media)

Toni Collette transitions seamlessly between the different character makeups in United States of Tara. It has a great ensemble cast who not only interact well but can actually act, too. What a welcome oasis in the great TV Entertainment Desert.

Created by: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Toni Collette (Tara), John Corbett (Max), Brie Larson (Kate) & Keir Gilchrist (Marshall)
In Canada: Mondays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on The Movie Network

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Fiona!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, dear Fiona!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Canada's neighbours

Surprisingly, the inaugural concert held by our neighbours to the south moved me. It had its ups and downs; not the greatest but not the worst, either. Of course, it was packaged with a liberal dose of jingoism but that was to be expected for a politically driven event.

I tuned in to watch because some of my favs were performing but theirs were not among the highlights of the event.

I was surprised at the performances that appealed to me most. I'm not a country music fan but I grooved to Garth Brooks' energy, even when he was singing 'American Pie'. Am I alone in marveling at this odd choice? Samuel L. Jackson proved himself to be one of the best speakers I have heard in a very long time. Surprising again, considering I've never cared for his acting.

The pinnacle, in my opinion, was reached by Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette's performance of 'A Change is Gonna Come' by Sam Cooke. It could well become an informal anthem during these troubling times.

Truly overwhelming was the perceived overall mood of the ordinary citizens. Their faces seemed to tell a story of hope and expectation. Their obvious happiness and optimism, in the face of sobering times, was so refreshing. Experience dictates things won't be good overnight but somehow their new leader has instilled in them an overriding view of the world as a positive place.

I also saw it in the faces of the people who lined the train tracks during the whistle-stop tour, while Obama traced the route of Lincoln.

The United States of America is intrinsically entangled in Canada's fabric due to geography and trade. As a Canadian, I welcome this new tone of expectant change. It will benefit us all.

Fear and suspicion has been considerably subdued. Let's all cultivate and embrace this attitude as we go about implementing the difficult changes ahead.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

10 how-to stumbles

There are so many informational sites out there showing how to do just about everything under the sun. Here are a few that might come in handy:

Free device drivers zone

Downloadable instructions manuals

Top 5 tricks for taking professional digital photos.

English Grammar and Mechanics

Easy 15 Minute Fixes

How to Clean Stuff

doityourself: DIY home improvement information

Total Beauty Videos

Sharp Brains zeroing in on fun exercises for specific weaknesses.

Guide to common home laundering & drycleaning symbols

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Damn Channel

I just found a great alternative to TV comedy programming. It's called My Damn Channel.

What is it? The best explanation is found at on their web page: About My Damn Channel:

My Damn Channel is an entertainment studio and new media platform created to empower artists to co-produce, distribute and monetize original, episodic video content. Our artists create programming for the My Damn Channel site and for syndication on today’s most heavily-trafficked online communities and social networks. My Damn Channel gives artists creative control, a complete infrastructure to rule the web, and revenue sharing. We’re ad supported and we share revenues with our syndication partners. We produce a diverse array of programming and....blah, blah, blah. Are you still reading this crap? If you really want to see what we do, then start exploring now. Bye.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The View

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is at it again.

I purposely didn't watch the View on Monday because I knew the press conferences on the weekend by both Bush and Obama would be discussed in Hot Topics and that Elisabeth would be riding her deluded high horse again.

I figured it was safe to watch it Tuesday. Not so. I haven't watched it since. Sheesh...she acts like someone attacked her first born child when her co-hosts started discussing Bush's performance as president.

This was not an isolated incident. When anyone else tries to express their view, they are met with Elisabeth's raised voice and refusal to allow anyone to speak by cutting them off.

Why does ABC continue to tolerate this? The show is called 'The View' NOT 'Elisabeth's View' OR perhaps ABC believes that Elizabeth's view is THE view. There are four other women on that show and I want to hear their views, too.

If you feel the same, why not write ABC and tell them so? Here is the link to their feedback page for television programming:

This is a follow-up posting to the one I wrote on November 19, 2008. I've now have incorporated it into this post. The text is below:

Could someone please, please make Elisabeth Hasselbeck shut up? I was hoping that once the election was over that this woman would settle down. Will it ever stop? Her co-hosts have a reason for their comments. They are comedians and political humour is the mainstay of American comedy. Elisabeth is not a comedian; she is a pathetic, hateful woman and her diatribes are painful. The underlying whining tone is like chalk scraping on a blackboard. I'm begging now. Please make her stop!

Follow-up to my rant: I emailed ABC and I'm betting I wasn't the only one writing. It stopped right away and that would not happen due to only one email. Now we get to enjoy Elisabeth, who seems to be a lovely person when she isn't riding her high horse.

Update - March 8, 2013: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, one of the five cohorts of ABC's daytime talk show The View, will not be returning to the couch next season. Viewers Found Her "Too Extreme and Right Wing"

Update - March 11, 2013: Rats! I experienced premature elation over Elisabeth Hasselbeck leaving the View. Barbara Walters made a statement on air today that Elisabeth will remain.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Latest pic of Fluffy

In case you haven't already guessed, I'm an avid dog owner. Here's the newest pic of my smiley pie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 crafting stumbles

Crafting is fun and a wonderful stress reliever. In decorating, it gives a unique and homey touch. It's nice to look around an environment and see those personal touches. The panel above the sink in this picture is framed, pierced, copper work. I took an individual, pierced metal pattern and repeated it.

Here are some links to some easy projects to exercise your creativity:

Napkin Folding Guide

Easy Dragonfly Pin

Cassette Tape Coin Purse

Aluminum Can Ornaments


Ku-Ku Leaf Card

Knotting Tutorials

Craft Recipes: clay, dough, fingerpaint, bubbles, etc.

Snow Globe Soap

Make a Bird's Nest Necklace

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Art too bad to be ignored

While stumbling, I came across a site about a museum in Massachusetts called MOBA: The Museum of Bad Art. It is a must-see!

The graphic above is a print that they sell in their online shop and is representative of what is hanging in their galleries.

If you enjoy bad art or just want a giggle, you can visit their site galleries at the following link:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A whole new world

Wow...exploring the features available on Blogger have opened up a whole new world of discovery. 'Blogs I'm Following' shows all the new posts from those blogs on the Dashboard when I sign in.

You might enjoy one in particular called design*sponge, which is a daily website dedicated to home and product design. It updates frequently and has so many interesting articles in lots of different categories: sneak peeks, mini trends, guides, podcasts, DIY, before & after, recipes and videos. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a hoot!

Our friend bought my husband a NEXXTECH™ USB-operated retro refrigerator for his birthday. What would be more appropriate for a laptop loving, Irish descendant who is Canadian? It holds 350mL cans so I guess it's off to the Beer Store to equip it properly.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Text messaging WTF?

If you use text messaging, you might want to ask your carrier about their method of pricing. Guaranteed: you are being robbed blind!

You might want to read the New York Times article, What Carriers Aren’t Eager to Tell You About Texting. Srinivasan Keshav, a professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, is one of the sources quoted.

Monday, January 5, 2009

'Twas two weeks

A friend emailed me the following take on the famous Christmas poem that is making the rounds right now. I'm sure it was written just for me since everything seems to apply!

'Twas two weeks after Christmas, and all through the house,
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste,
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales, there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store, 'twas less walk and more lumber.

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese,
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt,

I said to myself ... as I only can ...
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
"Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie - not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all ~~~ and to all a good diet !!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

10 food stumbles

While stumbling, I saw a fellow stumbler's blog where he shared his 1,000 favourite stumbling links of 2008. It was quite list! I would like to share some of my favourite stumbles periodically, too. I'll keep the list a little shorter...say about 10 every once in a while.

I hope this list of some of my favourite food stumbles inspires you to experiment. You'll notice there are no low-cal offerings on this list. Enjoy!

Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad

Warm Churros & Hot Chocolate

Outback Steakhouse Bloomin Onion

Bacon-Sweet Corn Muffins

7-Layer Dip

Individual Beef Wellingtons with Sherry Cream Sauce

The Best Lemon Bars

Springy Flower Pot Desserts

Cheddar Pac Man Crackers

French Toast Casserole

Links Updated: March 20, 2013

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I got a Kirigami Fold & Cut-a-Day calendar for 2009 and thoroughly enjoy producing the daily project. Kirigami is a combination of origami and paper cutting. The projects start out easy and become increasingly more detailed. They are very relaxing to work on.

These project-per-day calendars by Accord Publishing are very nice. I also gave Card Calendar: A Year's Worth of Celebrations and Easy Origami Fold-a-Day™ as Christmas gifts this year. I hope they liked them.