What's in my head

This is the home of your average girl in her early 30s making her way in the big city...Not really. I have thoughts. Now I have somewhere to put them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I thought of this years ago

Now we have our own celebrity "news" show...with former VJ Rick Campanelli as one of the roving reporters. Woohoo! ( that was sarcasm)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Animal obsession

I think after writing about farming for three months, I may have developed a slight obsession with animals. As we drove to ruralish Belmont yesterday for a day with the fam, I said things like 'Look at the cows. Those are dairy cows, or properly known as holsteins,' and 'Oooo, look at the horsies!'. I pulled over to photograph these goats, an action that caused my 13-year-old cousin to roll her eyes at me.
The day was kind of a bust due to the rain, so instead we went on a drive of St. Thomas, Canada's railway capital. It is also famous for being the home of NHL star Joe Thornton, the home of rising star Rachel McAdams, and the place where Jumbo the elephant was killed.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Free eats

As I began munching on the little chocholate pellets in the fondue bag (I don't have anything to dip so no need to melt), I thought of all the food that gets sent to us at work:
  • there was the fondue stuff (I was only interested in the chocolate)
  • the bottle of grape juice (apparently the 'new' thing was that it's good for your heart)
  • the Laura Secord chocolates that lasted about a minute
  • the big jar of olives from a pizza joint (it is still in the fridge)
  • and today, four lunch mate thingies (you can see we have no interest in the accompanying press release)

The free stuff is great, but do marketing people really think sending one box of miniature chocolates to a newsroom of six people (a few were away) is going to generate a story?...From a community newspaper? Keep it coming though, maybe we'll have a really, really, really slow news day sometime soon.

But the real issue to ponder: should I be eating things that have been mailed to us...? Munch, munch...

Swan love

From The Boston Globe (I've edited it). Thanks again to C for the link (no, I'm not being rude, she has no site to link to).

I had two thoughts when I read this: one - awwww this is so sweet; two - this was a slow news day.

BOSTON - Boston's beloved pair of swans -- feted by city leaders, residents, and tourists alike as one of the Hub's most celebrated summer attractions -- are a same-sex couple. Yes, scientific tests have shown that the pair, named Romeo and Juliet, are really Juliet and Juliet.
The city's Parks and Recreation Department conducted the tests months ago, but didn't announce the results for fear of destroying the image of a Shakespearean love story unfolding each year in the Public Garden.
''Each year when the swans go in, the kids immediately come to us and say, 'Which one's Romeo, and which one's Juliet?' " parks spokeswoman Mary Hines said yesterday in response to a Globe inquiry. ''It's just like one of those fairy tales; why spoil it?"
This year and last, the swans have laid eggs in the spring and then stood guard at the nest as visitors and nearby residents made regular pilgrimages, hoping to see the eggs hatch. Neither batch did. Turns out, that's because they were never fertilized by a male swan.
Some advocates involved in the heated debate on same-sex marriage took the opportunity to rejuvenate their argument, with a touch of levity.
''I think this proves that there's something in the environment in Massachusetts," Brian Camenker, director of the Article 8 Alliance, a Waltham-based organization fighting same-sex marriage, joked in a telephone interview. ''Maybe it's the water that's causing all this lunacy."
A visitor from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., suggested that the city should try to have one of next year's eggs fertilized so that Romeo and Juliet could become same-sex parents. ''I'm sure they'd probably be perfect parents," said L.D. Hollingsworth, smiling as he watched the swans grooming themselves.
(That is my favourite part)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Going, going, gone

I should have posted these photos yesterday when I got them.

I don't know who took them, but this is Finch Avenue in Toronto Friday afternoon.

The massive rain storm over loaded Black Creek causing it to...well, you can see.

The City has estimated it will cost millions of dollars to repair and take months to fix.

First they have to decide whether they're going to go with another culvert or build a bridge (I vote bridge, let nature run free).

Now 20,000 drivers who travel the route everyday have to take Steeles or Sheppard instead.

I'd hate to be a York student coming in from the west along Finch, even more so come September.

Mother Nature sure is one powerful bitch when she wants to be...

Look at my ass!

K, so it's not really my ass. But she's cute, isn't she?
She's a mini donkey that lives on a farm near Brougham. She looks a little depressed...must be because the Province wants to kick her off her farm and put up various big box stores and cookie cutter subdivisions.

Who knew you could have so much fun with patterns?

Look lady, I told you, I don't need to be adopted. My parents are right over there at the King Tut Hut buying Cleopatra key chains and tiny souvenir spoons. I'm sure you're a really nice lady and I appreciate the dress, even if it is a little on the whorish side. But this hat...what is this? A turban? I told you, I'm from Chicago. I'm Presbyterian. Now let go of my hand and give me back my Princess Jasmine underpants.

Post stolen from threadbared. To see the original click here.

Thanks to C for the link. I had to try really hard to not to laugh out loud at work this afternoon as I perused the archives. There are a number are great ones, including this one.

Money, money

No, I'm not showing off that I have *wow* 35 pounds (which is like $75 CDN). I just wanted to share that I learned something yesterday: with British money, the higher the demonination the larger the size of the bill. Fascinating, just fascinating love (you have to say it with a British accent). The thousand pound note must be huge! (I hear that word with a Scottish accent)

Europe countdown: 50 days to go...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Squirrely story pt. 2

See first part below
Unfortunately squirrel 1 was a little too brave for her/his own good. Just a short while after the previous post, s/he was found runover in one of the visitor parking spots - I know, that's gross but also sad. (There is no photo).
But then Sunday this cutie was spotted sleeping by our barbecue (my mom thought s/he was dead but as we looked closely we could see breathing). This one was less amusing: no rapelling, no exploring. S/he did attempt to walk but wasn't very good at it so instead decided to continue sleeping, which is what s/he was doing the last time I checked him/her last night. This morning s/he had passed on to baby squirrel heaven (squirrels go to a hell).

For the record, I did call the City of Toronto animal people yesterday to try to help the poor, abandoned creature but was told, 'maybe its mother was trying to teach it how to walk...how to fend for itself'. They also said if s/he was still there in the morning they'd come get it. My mother called back today and was told they had to tend to the sick animals first. It was sick yesterday, where were they?

I just have to keep telling myself it was going to turn into an evil adult squirrel and s/he died young while s/he was still young - like James Dean and River Phoenix - and cute.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Squirrely story

Background: We live in stacked townhouses, the upstairs unit has a balcony that hangs over our yard, a squirrel was seen entering said balcony with nesting items, my mother got property management to send someone to close up squirrel hole, maintenance man said no babies would be in said hole.

Begin: A day after the hole is covered I see mama squirrel clinging to balcony, scratching at the cement. I find this odd so I fetch my mother. Mama squirrel is really digging now and what does she pull out, one of her babies of course. My mother felt horrible - thinking she might have been responsible for the death of some baby squirrels. All guilt was assuaged when I came home from Habitat to find this. I hate squirrels (icky rats with furry tails), but this one is kinda cute. S/he tried to fall asleep in our screen door (the bottom is broken and there is just enough space to cling to) and then after a little while decide to explore, including rapelling up the side of our doorway.

We don't know where s/he went but it was spotted following a neighbour to the driveway and up until a few minutes ago I could hear the schrill sound the furry-tailed rodent makes. I hate that sound...Hopefully mama comes back before baby gets hurt.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Change of plans

Serves me right for being excited about my upcoming vacation.
I got a call from my flight operator and apparently the airline decided to cancel my return flight! My choices: come home a day earlier ('cause sure three and a half days would be enough time) or two days later (more vacation days would be required) or full refund. I spent the next hour at work checking other airlines (pay $700 to go somewhere that was supposed to cost me $530 - not likely) and then found a flight departing two days earlier and returning one day earlier - the times suck (who am I gonna get to pick me up at Pearson at 2 a.m.?) and it cost a bit more - but it would have to do. I called my little brother in Van and he ok'd the changes. All is now set (well, I still have to fax said operator my cancellation in writing to get the refund) and it better not need to be changed again! Grrr.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Feeling icky

I'm not quite sick, not quite well. I've self-diagnosed it as a mild case of West Nile Virus.
Let's examine the symptoms:

  • fever - check (but mild)
  • headache - sort of
  • body aches - check (and it's not from rowing)
  • eyes become sensitive to light - they're sore, does that count?
  • tiredness - check

The average incubation period is five to 15 days. The symptoms started 11 days after I was attacked by mosquitoes in Zephyr...Paranoia? I think not. I should have been a doctor.

Editor's note: I do not blame Zephyr in any way for my illness. It is a beautiful little place and I had a lovely time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New link

For the record, I find the site I just added to my links both amusing and offensive.

Roadside attractions

We are proud of some weird shit in this country.

Happy Rock can be found in Gladstone, Manitoba. How very clever...

There is also the World's Largest Lobster in Shediac, NB; the Big Pink Fish in Victoria, BC (I'll have to check it out while I'm out west...); and the World's Largest Tomahawk in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan.

This one is a family plug. Les Maisons de Bouteilles (The Bottle Houses) can be found in Cap Egmont, Prince Edward Island. My great-uncle built them.

The site also has a wanted listed. If you happen to be in Perth anytime soon, a pic of Big Ben and Ian Miller is in demand.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Doesn't soccer usually incite violence?

It's a better idea compared to...umm...paper birds! (see last paragraph)

From Reuters but edited.

Thais hope English soccer will calm Muslim unrest

BANGKOK - Thailand is dishing out free cable TV in its restive Muslim south in the hope that sports such as English Premiership soccer will calm tensions in a region plagued by violence.

Interior Minister Kongsak Wantana said an initial batch of 500 televisions would installed at village tea shops so those who can't afford cable TV can watch their favourite sports together. "Televisions and sports will help liven up the region," said Kongsak, the fourth interior minister in less than two years to be faced with ending the unrest in which more than 800 people have been killed since January, 2004.

Buddhist Thailand has tried a range of measures to curb the violence in its three southernmost, Muslim-majority provinces, including promises of development aid, martial law, and an airdrop of millions of paper birds. None of them appear to have had any effect.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I miss Peter

At 6 o'clock there was no Ian with the news of the nation. At 9 there was no Mansbridge with the stories we should care about. There were BBC broadcasters with their fancy accents who weren't going to tell me what was going on in Manitoba or Newfoundland. Please come to a deal because I miss my National, I miss the CBC I know and love. (Well, that and some people I went to school with are having to live on strike pay...).

Westward bound

In three weeks I'll be in Vancouver. I can't wait. It's been a year since I've had a week off and I so need a vacation (Montreal wasn't really a vacation, Tremblant was but it was so packed with activities -- some with Olympic diver Emilie Heymans -- I needed to rest when I got home). I am on the verge of burning out at work...the next 14 days will not be productive but alas farming is now complete.

Commence countdown.

*and in two months I'll be Europe...


I can't believe I just paid a buck a litre for gas (well, technically 99.9 but I think that's just because there isn't room on the sign for 100.5). I know, I know other parts of the province/country have been paying that much for months but...

I even drive a tiny car to be enviro friendly - see, isn't she cute? (I have to have a car for work. Honest.) Damn the SUVs!

K, rant over...

Happy National Acadian Day

Ajourd'hui, c'est le Fete Nationale de l'Acadie. Yippee! (Hey, I'm trying to embrace my culture...it's not my fault my mother raised us English).

I'm not really sure what it means, it has something to do with the Virgin Mary.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Amusing postcards

So this site didn't turn out to be quite as funny as I hoped it would be from the name but its got a few winners.

This appears to be a postcard promoting Oslo, Norway. Why anyone would bronze a toddler having a tantrum is the real amusing fact here. (Apparently he's called The Little Hot-Head in English)

I also thought this one was cute.


I always loved this bit on Leno.

Sly foxes

In my day, Brackley Beach, PEI was a nice, quiet and safe place where you didn't need to worry about your shoes or purse being stolen...by foxes.

From CP
Foxes stealing sandals, rummaging through purses on P.E.I. beach
BRACKLEY BEACH - Beachgoers in Prince Edward Island aren't just worrying about people walking away with their sandals or rifling through their beachbags as they splash in the water.
A family of foxes living near Brackley Beach, in Prince Edward Island National Park, is at it, too.
"This year we have a family of foxes that have become habituated to humans - likely from feeding - and they're hanging out on the beach and getting quite close to humans," Darlene Upton, a spokeswoman with Parks Canada, said Saturday.
"They have been reported to steal sandals, sniff around purses and take any food that's handed out to them."

For full story click here

Friday, August 12, 2005

Napoleon Dynamite?

I think that is Jon Heder (aka Napoleon Dynamite) in this Dairy Queen ad (I couldn't save the whole image as one...). Am I right?

Somebody else was sure I was wrong but then conceded that I may in fact be right. (I think he just wanted to stop discussing a blizzard ad...mmm, yummy cookie dough).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lucky TO

So the big City of Toronto doesn't want to play with AMO but yet the association is holding its annual conference there starting Sunday. If I were another large city such as London or Hamilton (k, so they're not that big compared to our fair city but still...), I'd be a little annoyed...

If you see a bunch of middle-aged white guys in suits around the Westin Harbour Castle, now you know who they are and what they're doing here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


This is one of my favourite places in the city.

I like to go for a walk along the water or sit on a rock and read or watch the ducks.

The only problem is the goose poop. (Look how dead the grass is and it's only August)

Some of the leaves have even started to fall...

Yes, I finally bought my own digital camera.

What, no tv?

The kids need something to do in St. Quentin, N.B. so they'll stop giving dead cats ceasarian sections. A 15-year-old and her 13-year-old cousin told their local newspaper about how they'd come across a dead cat, who was still warm, and they could see she was pregnant so they decided to cut open her belly and remove the kittens. In the end one was saved and adopted by the older girl.

That's a lot of work to go through just to get a pet...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Goodbye Rainbow Valley

A month ago, learning that the long standing Prince Edward Island amusement park Rainbow Valley was closing at the end of the summer wouldn't have brought a tear to my eye. For years I lived with the memory that I'd gotten my arm stuck in a turnstile at the park when I was about five or six years old (no, I was not a stupid child...). It was a frightening experience made worse by the fact that my parents were no where in sight when it happened. But recently I learned that incident actually happened at another Island park. So with that memory confusion cleared up, I am now sad to know one of the landmarks of Cavendish is closing its doors forever. No more will I drive along the main tourist drag and see the castle nestled among the trees and I guess I'll never again shop at the flying saucer gift shop. Where will Island children go now to celebrate the end of another long school year? Goodbye Rainbow Valley, I'm sorry about the mix-up...We could have had so many new memories together.

Just a thought...

Obviously I have no idea what it felt like to be a passenger on the Air France flight that crashed at Pearson but I when I saw the story in the Star about the lawsuit filed against the airline, the GTAA and Nav Canada, I was a little surprised. In today's litigious society it is safe to assume people will sue after any accident and I believe the passengers should be compensated for the physical and psychological trauma that is going to plague them for some time.

But, $75 million (so far) for an accident in which everyone got out alive. An accident where, by all accounts, it seemed airline staff, emergency workers and others responded quickly - averting a very possible disaster. An accident constantly referred to as a miracle (however annoying that became) for days after. That seems like a little much...

If you were choking and someone gave you the heimlich and saved you, but, say, broke a rib or two in the process, would you sue them for negligence?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Crack creek

from Reuters (edited for space)
High tide on Italy's cocaine river
ROME - The mighty Po river is not only Italy's longest. It also may be the highest, at least judging by the amount of cocaine coursing through its waters.
Italian scientists, trying to develop a new way of measuring levels of drug abuse, tested the river's waters for excreted cocaine, and for its main urinary metabolic by-product benzoylecgonine.
They say that the equivalent of about $400,000 worth of cocaine was flowing through the 652 km-long (405 mile) river every day.
Taking into account drug concentrations, water flow rates and populations at each sampling site, the study concluded that the average daily use of cocaine along the Po was the equivalent of at least 22-32 doses for every 1,000 young adults.
"The official figures in this area would translate into at least 15,000 cocaine use events per month. We however found evidence of about 40,000 doses per day, a vastly larger estimate," the study said.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Yum, yum

Apparently to keep cool during this hot Toronto summer, the lions at the Toronto Zoo are being given a special treat - a bloodsicle. Images of the special concotion were shown as part of a story on the CBC evening news. Fresh blood is mixed with water around a hunk of meat and then frozen before being given to the big cats. Sounds tasty...(why I watched this right after eating, I'm not quite sure...)

Despite having their own 24-hour swimming pool, the polar bears also get a frozen treat: pieces of fish and fruit in a hunk of ice dyed with food colouring that the giant animal actually holds up to chest at times to cool down its blubbery self...That image alone would almost make the trip to the zoo worth it.

Rent - the movie?

I'm obviously behind in my musical-to-movie news...I had no idea Rent was being made for the big screen. It hits theatres Nov. 11. The story of people struggling to make it in New York City is a special one for me because it was the first big musical I ever saw (despite growing up in Toronto I never did see The Phantom). It was August of 2003. Carla and I travelled to NYC for four short days. Our seats were horrible, but the show was great. Afterwards I even got a picture of me with, Matt Caplan, a member of the cast (the lead geeky guy in glasses). I'd post the pick but it's film and I don't have a scanner...

I fear Rent will go the way of Chicago with the movie version not quite measuring up to the real thing...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Double $tandard

Today the McGuinty Liberals announced they would spend $6 million to protect areas of natural heritage from Peterborough to Ottawa. In the official release it reads, "Because 90 per cent of the land is privately owned, the program will engage landowners in protecting natural areas by: Providing a $6-million grant to the Ontario Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, to acquire and secure significant natural heritage properties..."

Huh? I'm pretty sure the land in the Golden Horseshoe included in the province's greenbelt passed in February is privately owned too. Those owners weren't even consulted (unless you count large public meetings, mostly held in areas not even directly affected by the legislation, i.e. Toronto), let alone given any compensation. I'm not saying I'm not in favour of preservation but how about some equal treatment Dalt...

And the next person person to spend millions of taxpayers dollars is...

Michaelle Jean.
According to news reports the CBC television journalist is to succeed Adrienne Clarkson (another former CBC journalist) as our next governor general. It's a fine pick (if you think we actually need such a position). She's a woman, black and a francophone...way to piss off the Conservatives Mr. Martin...(I know, I'm bad...)

All the pretty horses

Despite the fact that I couldn't pick a winning horse if my life depended on it, I have a super fun time with Tiffany at Woodbine Sunday. I did learn I possess the natural ability to pick losers though...I actually did win on pretty grey horse named Lundzman in the second race but I think it was because Tiff put her money on him too (that girl knows how to pick 'em).

We also found the horse names quite amusing including Princely Pickle (loser), Cha Cha Speed, Senor Gomez and Nurse Betty. This 7 was not lucky...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Eye wonder

Recently, while working out at the gym I actually paid attention to the commercials and there was one for laser eye surgery. It made me wonder: why do they give the price per eye? They're kind of a pair...don't ya think?

Niger crisis

I don't want to get all preachy in a post but I received an e-mail last week from one of my most socially-conscious friends appealing for those of us who can to help with the crisis in Niger. It took his e-mail (and a few days) for me to finally contribute. I figured if I can spend $20 at the track, I can contribute to this...

If you want to help visit Unicef or Oxfam Canada or another aid organization. I also found a informative (as well as depressing) site about other worldwide emergencies.