Thursday, 28 October 2010

They are only young once

My twelve-year-old daughter was excited because it is her cousin's 13th birthday.  She is excited also because she will be 13 in a few months.  She said:


"Then you won't have any kids anymore, just teenagers."


Then she started teasing me:


Then I won't run to the door when you come home.

Then I won't tell you I like your songs.

Then I won't hang out with you anymore.

Then I won't go to the movies with you.

Then I won't  colour with you.

Then I won't come with you to the store.

Then I won't give you a hug or a kiss anymore. 


I thought about my two other teenage daughters.  She is pretty much right.  Dang, what a good reminder to enjoy kids while they are young instead of hurrying them to grow up.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Win a car!

Did you know that you can Google "Win a Car" and you will find sites where you can win things?  The downside is that you have to give out your information, but hey, you may win a car...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

I dubbed her "562" - now has a home

Thanks to Animal Services in Toronto East and to Elle in Oshawa.  I drove to Oshawa twice today to make sure the kitty has a home. 

Monday, 11 October 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day, I usually put the turkey in the oven and go somewhere to see all the beautiful fall leaves.  Today, I was not feeling so well, so after putting the turkey in the oven, we went down to the bluffs nearby to look at the swans and the waves and the trees on the cliffs. 

A dog was barking at this swan and he had his wings up and was barking back.  The dog got a little freaked out after that.  Dang - what is that thing?  He wanted to leave, but his master thought it was all very amusing.  Eventually, the swan assumed he had won and swam away. 

We strolled around on this, the fourth beautiful day in a row, and then went home and had a lovely turkey dinner.  The cranberries were spoiled, so my daughter made a nice, but different, mango chutney. 

Friday, 8 October 2010

John Lennon Memorial, New York City

We went to New York in May and visited the John Lennon Memorial in Central Park near the Dakota.  It is at the edge of the park and there are people there all the time.  R.I.P. John Lennon.

Learn from failure

I just got a new job. It took a lot of work. Years of study.  Tests.  My daughter is complaining she can’t get a job. She says she thinks that her resume is a failure. Well, maybe it is, I said.  I told her that I have failed at many job interviews, but it doesn’t matter. Failure shows you what you need to work on next. If you pay attention to your failure and look carefully at what you say about it, you can learn how to do it better next time. Of course, it may take more than one try.

I know I took a long time to look at what I was doing wrong in job interviews and tried to correct them one at a time. Like cracking jokes because you are nervous. People laugh, but it just made me forget what I wanted to say. Or standing up when you give a presentation. You know the answer, but only when you study what happened and why you failed can you see how you should do thing differently in the future. So she thought about it and is going to rewrite her resume. 

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. - Thomas Alva Edison

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I dumped a PRADA bag in Central Park

Yes. I did. If you find it, it is yours. Brand new. Just hot.

You see, we went to New York for a few days in May for our wedding anniversary. We had never been there before. So on the last night we were doing some souvenier shopping. We bought a snow globe with the empire state building in it and some I Love NY T-shirts.

We were heading back to the hotel and on 7th Avenue we got to the corner of 54th and there were some vendors selling things on the corner. Nothing new – they were there all day long, so we looked at some of the stuff and saw a purse that looked nice. I said I would like it and my husband said “How Much?” The old man answered $45.00, he looked skinny and nervous. He was Afghani or something with long robes and a pillbox kind of hat. In the dark I saw a triangle on the purse as my husband was passing over the cash. Prada. What? I wanted to get out my glasses. I said to the man – is this a Prada purse? He nodded, said “Oh, yes. It is.” Stuffed the cash as the sound of sirens started in the distance. A sharp whistle from two “stalls” down and each of the four vendors bent down and grabbed up the corners of the sheets that their wares were sitting on, threw the huge bundles over their shoulders and ran off down the street. All this happened in 10 seconds or so and I stood there on the street with the bag in my hand and my mouth hanging open.

Yep, says my sister when I got home. Yep, says my niece. Of course – It’s New York! Says my other sister. Well, I was stunned. So, anyway, I thought, I have a nice purse. I took it back to the hotel and was happy for about an hour. Then I started to worry. What if it was stolen? What if it was real? Just how much is a Prada purse worth anyway? I looked on the internet and found a similar purse for about $1200.00. Really? It looked like this.
I started to worry about getting it across the border. Just what I need to be stopped and held for some Prada bag. So I dumped it in Central Park. Damn. Nice bag, too.

So, what would you have done?  Would you have tried to cross the US border with what you thought might be an expensive, stolen Prada handbag?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

My Goldfish Froze!

Yesterday I gave my goldfish to a friend who has a new 100-gallon tank and no fish. Today, she told me the fish died overnight – there was ice on the surface in the morning.   Poor fish. The fish was about 3 years old and was an Oranda – a fantail. I called her a she, but I never really knew. Poor fish.

Monday, 4 October 2010

“Bad cop, no doughnut“

So, at work today I decided that in order to make the slight modification to the database was going to involve a great deal of work and paperwork, my enthusiasm for the idea began to dissipate rapidly. I thought I would go get a coffee instead. My colleague suggested I get a doughnut to boot.

Which reminds me of the time I saw a “protest graffiti” on a wall along Queen Street West. There was some kind of police brutality incident in the news at that time and the offending officer got off easy. Too easy according to the graffiti:

“Bad cop, no doughnut“

What’s funnier is that I told this story to my eldest daughter in the kitchen one day and unbeknownst to me, my youngest daughter was listening from the other room. Later, some police officers visited her elementary school classroom and, after the presentation, asked if anyone had any questions. My daughter shoots up her hand and says: “Is it true that cops eat way too many doughnuts?” To which the female officer replies: “Well, we are really trying to eat healthy snacks now and so we try to eat bagels or muffins instead.” Don’t kids say the darndest things?

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Media Girl

She sells blow-up dolls Lava-lamps and fringed fuschia pillows
Glass reindeer, optic art, fuzzy balloons
She laughs a red laugh
And smiles a white smile
At a gypsy cart in the middle
Of the big-city mall

Like a rock in a river
The crowd swirls around her
An ever-changing pallet
That paints her each day

Hair, blonde as Marigolds, flossed up in a cone
White skin, breasts mounded (plastic, you know)
Perfume wafting, deep amber musk
Tight skirt, spiked heels
Bangles gold at her wrists
And long pink legs
Crossed, dangling and lean

She knows where it's at
She's seen all the ads
She wants to get that lip thing
That makes you look pouty

Bombarded daily
With the media message
She has become
Their ultimate pitch

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Conform! Conform! Conform! Just give me paper bags.

The pressure to conform takes subtle turns, but is constant, continuous and insidious. You may not even notice it when it happens, it can be so quick and innocuous, so casual and quiet. The pressure to conform looks like this:

I was bagging my groceries in Toronto where we have a tax - five cents per bag, so everyone brings their own bags. The woman beside me leans in close, says "Forgot your bags in the car?"

"No," says I, "I like to use the bags for compost" adding, "I don't know how anyone gets by without them." (Heave huge bag onto overfull cart for me and family. )

"I just use these," she points to the clear vegetable bags. "They are good for compost" I stare, thinking, "why didn't I ever think of that?"
We blather on with a few more inanities and off we go. In the parking lot she is parked beside me, her trunk available now because she has had the forethought to back her vehicle in, while mine is the wrong way around. Whatever.
So, I start thinking - I have more groceries, we eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Our compost bag bulges to the brim every day. That puny clear bag she pointed to would break. Therefore, she is wrong, I am right. Yet, why do I feel like my giant cartful of yellow bags is somehow now a big red flag - indicating that I do not conform.  I don't really care, but...
Behind me I hear a man calling out as he runs "Wait, I forgot my bags in the car!"

So, is it me? I suppose so. Eventually, I will come up with an alternate solution. (Maybe use two small bags together?). Pressured to conform, once again.

On the other hand, how about we use paper bags instead?  Like we did when I was very young. Groceries stores would give you paper bags - free - and they would be used for garbage. Wet things went in the toilet, cans in the can garbage, potato peelings were wrapped in newspaper and if the paper bag that you had lining the inside garbage can  did get wet, you would wrap the entire bag and contents in newspaper and put it out in the outside garbage can. Then they invented plastic bags.

Now, they tax you for the bag, expect you to buy reusable bags (which I did, but forgot at home) and overall make you feel bad for using plastic bags while raking in five cents per bag. So, City Hall - why don't you really fix the problem and pass a law that will make grocery stores give us paper bags again?

Friday, 1 October 2010

What I like about Windows 7

Desktop Slideshow! Awesome.

The wallpaper on your desktop can change every few minutes. I love it.
Also, an RSS feed can be setup and you can have new desktop background images downloaded to your computer! Security issues aside, how cool is that?

Instead of the full sidebar that you had in Vista, you can choose which of these gadgets you like - just the clock, just the small slideshow, just the weather (security again), and you can drag them to anywhere you like on the screen.

Step Recorder:
This gives you the ability to "record steps" of a problem using the new "Step
Recorder". This will make it easier for techs to capture the steps to
resolve a problem or for users to record what is going wrong on their
computer. It is like a tape-recorder; you turn it on, do the steps as
it records, turn it off and it saves the file.

Prints to a wps xml-wrapped jpg file that can be ported to another
printer with no need for printer-specific information to be coded in.

More configurable! Comes with plently of presets if you are unsure of
the port you need to open to allow traffic to come in on. Also, you
can set outgoing and incoming, so that unwanted programs that have
lodged like ticks beneath the skin of your registry cannot call home
every ten minutes.

IPv6 by default:
I like this because IPv6 will auto-configure the client segment of the
IP address and there is no subnet mask needed ever. It is a
globally-routable, self-configuring, unique IP address that makes DHCP
futile, redundant and superfluous. No more problems with reserving IP
addressing in the scope (perhaps...) It auto-generates a new client
portion of the address every 24 hours to maintain uniqueness. The
host portion is static and delivered from IANA to regional deployment
centres. It still recognizes IPv4 and allows you to enter a static IP

OK. that's all for now.