23 December 2007

Mr Missing in Action ...

Or bush-guy ... I don't know what the hell he does / did out there LOL Does anybody? Anyways it was good talking to him and catching up on a bit of a life. AFter all we were friends first for a reason ...


August 1990


1990


G'nite

21 December 2007

A picture of grace ...

NOT. I bought these gorgeous boots that are definetly not the kind of thing you'd wear to go snowmobiling. More like clubbing.
They are chocolate brown, smooth and have a three inch heel - I feel oh-so hip and stylin when I wear them.

Except today. I was walking back from moving my car and stepped off the curb to cross the street. One heel slipped, I followed and completely wiped out right into a snowbank... Right in front of a line of traffic waiting for me to cross. Yup.

The guy from the first car who had the best view stopped to ask me if I was ok with this ::huge:: I'm-gonna-be-laughin-my-ass-off-in-about-5-seconds kinda look on his face... I'm fine, but my hip-stylin pride took a good hit ! I guess if I ever want to go out clubbing in these things I'll have to learn how to walk properly in them first :)

20 December 2007

Yay!


I just won a 50/50 draw at work!!! $150 smackaroos!! :)
So if, as the saying goes, good things come in threes, then this would be #2
Last night's #1 was 'excellent', this #2 is even better, so I wonder ... what will #3 be?

hummin' again ... :)

18 December 2007

Awesome

Just got a phone call.



My 12 year-old wants to know "can I make supper so that it is ready when you get home from work?" My 9 year-old daughter is keeping herself busy making jewellery for her friend for Christmas an a recent birthday and my 16 year-old still hugs me in public.

Yup, I'm a happy mom. I have awesome kids ♥

13 December 2007

Where to Watch NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL Online

From Read/Write Web :

composite logos small







"The Internet is not just a place to get the latest scores and follow your favorite team in the standings. The Web has evolved so well that it has displaced traditional media as the first-stop source for all your major-sports needs.

Except for local coverage, there’s no need to watch TV sportscasts anymore. Pardon the sports pun, but the Internet has all the bases covered — from providing the usual scores, standings, and statistics to rich, always-available highlights, interviews, streaming games, downloadable games, podcasts, extensive season and historical archives, and a host of mobile solutions from wallpapers and ringtones to live GameCasts with Audio. Best of all, there are no timetables.

WebMobileSatellite
NFLNFL Game Pass (outside U.S. only)NFL on SprintNFL Network
NFL Video GalleriesNFL Mobile InternetSunday Ticket (DirecTV)
SuperCast (DirecTV to PC)NFL Fantasy CompanionSuper Fan (DirecTV)
NFL Network video available on iTunes

MLBMLB.comMLB.com (Mobile)Extra Innings (DISH) not available
MLB.TV (basic)text messages/alertsExtra Innings (DirecTV) not available
MLB.TV (premium)Gameday Mobile
MLB.com/EntertainmentMobile Game
MLB.com DownloadsWallpapers/ringtones
MLB video podcastsMobile Web
MLB video highlightsLive audio
MLB/TBS HotcornerLive video
Baseball ChannelBlackBerry
MLB and Joost (2007)

MLB downloads available on iTunes

NBANBA YouTube ChannelNBA MobileNBA League Pass (DirecTV)
TNT/NBA Thursday on YouTubeNBA Mobile InternetNBA League Pass (DISH)
NBA Video (TV)NBA.com wireless
alerts
NBA TV on Digital Cable
Streaming via ESPN, TNTNBA.com Airplay(League Pass info)
NHLNHL.comNHL MobileCenter Ice (DISH)
NHL video highlights (via multimedia tab)wallpapers/ringtonesCenter Ice (DirecTV)
Center Ice OnlineMobile Club SMS alerts
NHL Game RadioNHL PowerShot2
NHL Channel on YouTubeMobile Web
NHL Podcasts

Sling Media

NHL video content available on iTunes

NCAANCAA On Demand (DVDs)Not availableESPN GamePlan (DirecTV)
NCAA On Demand (highlights)
ESPN Full Court (DirecTV)
College sports on Web (listing)
College sports packages (DISH)
NCAA broadcast info (listing)

Select NCAA content available on iTunes

7 December 2007

Every ::single:: time ... :)

Not that its a bad thing to have choice ...

I'm back in another fork in the road career wise. Same classification, same salary.

One path in the road leads to a sourcing officer position in the Int'l Business Opportunities Centre, talking to companies, following leads, some research, lots of admin. Would be right up my alley personality-wise and skills wise the learning curve would be relatively short. Sounds great, BUT the sourcing officer position would be staffed casual leading to only a term possibly for the next 9 months.

The other fork in the road leads to a sector officer position on the Aerospace and Defense file, high profile. It would involve lots of research, maintaining an expertise in the sector, networking with public and private companies, writing, writing and more writing, and company outreach. Woah. Major learning curve, especially with the writing, BUT the sector officer position would be staffed casual leading to an indeterminate at the end.

I have both offers on the table, verbally. Nothing has been signed.

Does this ::really:: have to happen every single time ??

Back to musing ...

Today is going to be my day ... LOL

Well, at least according to my Chinese Horoscope :

You'll be exceptionally optimistic, dynamic, and daring; no obstacle can frighten you; furthermore, you do away with your usual perfectionist tendency that sometimes hampered you. At your work, you may have some disagreements with your colleagues; try to be open-minded and keep a low figure. The family atmosphere will be light and merry thanks to the concessions you've agreed to make.

30 November 2007

It's Official ... I shop like a guy

I had always suspected this was the case, but this new article from Wharton Business School seems to spell it out in black and white :0)

When it comes to shopping, women are from Nordstrom’s and men are from Sears. Women are happy to meander through sprawling clothing and accessory collections or detour through the shoe department. For men, shopping is a mission. They are out to buy a targeted item and flee the store as quickly as possible, according to a new study by Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative and the Verde Group, a Toronto consulting firm. The study’s findings have implications for retailers that are looking for ways to tailor their goods and services to specific segments of the shopping population.” (Read more.)

From Knowledge@Wharton.

29 November 2007

Interests by Canadian City, according to Facebook

Interests by Canadian City (Through the Lens of Facebook) (graphic)

As much as politicians believe we are wired much differently across Canada,
our most popular social network suggests differently. Sure, perhaps a little more travelling and photography goes on in Vancouver, some more camping in Calgary, more dancing and sports in Winnipeg, more shopping and sports in Toronto, more cooking and art in Montreal and more hanging with friends in Halifax - but we really are quite alike as a people.

In aggregrate order of priority, Canadian interests are:

#1 - Music
#2 - Reading
#3 - Movies
#4 - Photography
#5 - Traveling
#6 - Hockey
#7 - Sports
#8 - Shopping
#9 - Camping
#10 - Cooking
#11 - Dancing
#12 - Art

Source: Buzz Canuck

27 November 2007

This is why people spend so much at Costco ...

“One recent survey reported that Costco sells to 1 in every 11 people in the United States and Canada, and warehouse clubs are estimated to be a $120 billion industry today in the United States alone. As a result, many people have had the experience of entering one of these popular clubs and leaving hours later with more goods than can fit in their car. One rational reason for such behavior is that membership clubs do offer lower prices than other retailers. However, HBS professor Michael Norton and coauthor Leonard Lee suggest a counterintuitive explanation.” (Read more.)

From HBS Working Knowledge.

24 November 2007

...

In those words
through the glass
A brilliance of colours
speak of history pasts

I see in your words
through that box
Echoes of me bounce, reflect
Then are lost

Trying to grip
gossamer strands
Is likely slowly slipping
hourglass sand ...

16 November 2007

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Scott Adams' Blog yet ...

Happiness Smoothing

Let this post be the first... If nothing else it will give you some great one-liners for how busy your workday is to people you don't know so well ... I read his stuff when I need a boost - read the comments too, some of them are ::priceless::.

M

15 November 2007

Chinese Zodiac horoscope today

Quiet love life, without clashes but without passion either.
You'll need to relax; laughter and sleep will be the most efficient ways to do it. Try to maintain affectionate relationships with your parents. Involve yourself more in your work; luck will smile to you.
In spite of many annoyances, continue your advance with the certainty that you can control your destiny.


Mickie's note: Good advice ... ♥

11 November 2007

Restless

She shook it off and for the hundredth time tried desperately to just breathe, in and out - find that rhythm that would take her back to sleep. As soon as her eyes closed, her thoughts swirled, ::again:: dark, twisting her mind until she found herself once again staring at the blank ceiling overhead.

Giving up with a sigh, she eased herself from under the blankets and pulled on the cotton pants that lay crumpled on the floor. He snuffled briefly at the intrusion to his sound sleep then lay still again.

Noticing the time on the wall clock, she groaned at the thought of a long day ahead that had just started way too early. The simple steps in preparing a cup of tea - putting on the kettle, measuring the leaves into a cup, watching the steam rise as the hot water steeped the leaves -- the motions began to calm her and release the knot that had been building between her shoulders. She pulled a wool blanket from the couch, wrapped it around her and stepped outside, barefoot onto the deck into the crisp fall pre-dawn.

The gray-purple sky was barely beginning to to lighten on the far horizon. There was absolute silence. No breeze, no birds chattering, no city noise, just ... still ... quiet ... frost-tinged air. She realized she had been holding her breath, not wanting to disturb this perfect tranquil moment. As she breathed out, warm puffs of smoky air suspended, simmered, and dissappeared.

Her thoughts from her tortured night returned, but she allowed them to sweep over her, stroking her nerves and unravelling the threads of the twisted wreckage inside. Free associated images played behind her eyelids, in wave after wave, until finally settling then falling away.

She opened her eyes and smiled. It was enough for today, that she still felt like doing that.

21 October 2007

Michelle is ...

Yeah, I couldn't resist - I had to do the Google meme thing where you search "[insert your first name here] is" and type out the first 10 results.

Here is mine today:

Michelle is stacked from head to toe

Michelle is MISSING!

Michelle is pretty worthless

Michelle is and will be just fine

Michelle is Michelle, so no worries

Michelle is happy

Michelle is spirited

Michelle is smart, friendly and funny

Michelle is sidelined at a mental hospital

Michelle is punishing herself

Hmmm, except for the stacked part, this list pretty much describes my week :0)

15 October 2007

Libra Cocktails

Snipped from Cooked Books, a blog from the New York Public Library which celebrates "all things culinary at the New York Public Library"


I was in the mood for a throwback cocktail. Something unique, something perhaps campier than the usual fare at bars and lounges. I was feeling nostalgic for a time when eggs made regular appearances in highball glasses. I began searching through CATNYP for some cocktail books from the 1940s and '50s and I found just what I was looking for: Zodiac Cocktails by Stanley S. MacNiel (1940). Organized by astrological sign, bound by wood panels and held together with leather straps, Mr. MacNiel isn't your typical Mr. Boston, and I, for one, am thankful for it. So raise a glass to all those birthday-celebrating Libras, as I present to you some cocktails. (Adapted from Zodiac Cocktails, 1940)

Libra: Its natives are just, detached, impersonal, pleasure-loving, intellectual, suave, aesthetic, amorous, and easily thrown off balance.

Libra Cocktail: 1 glass rye whiskey Dissolve 1 piece of Rock Candy in it. The juice of 1 lemon can be added, if desired.
South Pole Cocktail:

The juice of 1/2 lemon 3 dashes of Curacao 1/2 Benedictine 1/2 Apple Brandy (or Calvados) Shake well and strain into glass.
Venus Cocktail:
1 egg 1/2 glass rum 1T. powdered sugar 1 glass brandy Beat up yolk and white of egg separately. Then mix the yoke and white together. Use stem glass or ching mug, adding the spirits, then fill with boiling water, grating nutmeg on top.
Snow Fizz: The juice of 1/2 lemon 1/2T. powdered sugar 1 glass gin Shake well, strain into medium size glass and fill with soda water. Add 2 sprigs fresh mint.

24 September 2007

Need help on your family tree?

Coming Soon: The Mother of All Genealogy Databases

From the article:

A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and biologists have come up with a computer algorithm that can trace the ancestry of thousands of people in a few minutes based on a DNA sample, according to the September 2007 edition of the journal PLoS Genetics. The researchers claim that their method is 99% accurate. They plan to build a massive database of people and how they’re related.

A wide range of similar projects are in the works all over the world. For example, the Russian-British project is using DNA analysis to trace the Russian descendants of Britons who migrated to Russia centuries ago.

For the past few years, DNA tests designed to reveal where one’s ancestors came from has become popular among African Americans. The tests, which cost less than $400, work by comparing DNA to samples collected from people living all over the world. For example, if an American like Oprah Winfrey has a lot of DNA that matches the DNA of people currently living in Liberia, then she can be assumed to have descended from Liberians (which is, in fact, the case).

These are just three of the many DNA-based genealogy databases under construction.

Source: Computerworld

Thanks to an enterprising cousin, sister and other family members I know what my DNA string would probably tell me, but wouldn't this be wonderful for someone who was adopted or who had lost touch with their heritage?

21 September 2007

Anyone catch Blue Rodeo on Canada AM this morning?

And just down the street from where I work too!! Too bad I didn't know ahead of time !!

They have released a new album called Small Miracles -- you can take a listen to three songs from the new release here via Blue Rodeo Radio



They have a MySpace playlist too at http://www.myspace.com/bluerodeomusic

So far "Makes Me Wonder" is my favourite ... And I still can't believe they were so close and I had no idea!!! Grrrrrrr

18 September 2007

♫ Times they are a Changin' ♫

The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night.

The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators.

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

Mickie's note: This news makes me so so happy :) http://nytimes.com/

11 September 2007

Article from Ottawa Sun on Pump Idol

Fabulous weekend - great cause and awesome talent!!


Ottawa Sun- September 9, 2007

It's not unheard of for Elgin St. to be the site of a ragtag choir enthusiastically belting out incoherent songs.

But it's generally something reserved for after last call.

Yet, late yesterday afternoon, as local karaoke specialists Dog and Pony Sound blasted Madonna's Into the Groove into a closed-off block of Elgin, the rising and falling voices heard from inside the empty storefront adjoining Lieutenant's Pump were clearly sober. And rather accomplished, for amateurs. (Mickie's note : Well, ::of course::)

The occasion was the fourth edition of Pump Idol, a competition that brought some 30 hopefuls out Friday night and saw one of 14 finalists crowned last night.

It's all in aid of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. And it's an event that in its previous three years succeeded at raising nearly $40,000. Laura Butterworth, a former Lieutenant's Pump server who first organized the competition three years ago after learning of a friend and customer's cancer diagnosis, said she hoped this year's event would raise $25,000.

'BETTER EACH YEAR'

"It's been better each year," she said. "It has really brought people together for the cause."

Among those brought out yesterday for the evening of song and a silent auction of items donated by several Centretown businesses were co-host Eva Avila, last year's Canadian Idol champ, and guest performer Chris Labelle, a 2005 Pump Idol finalist who went on to finish in the Canadian Idol Top 18.

Last night's finalists ranged in age from 20 on up, and included at least one veteran of musical theatre as well as karaoke regulars and shower singers. And yes, each performance was properly critiqued by a panel of judges.

But, as one judge, local theatre director Lisa Bishop-Spencer, noted of the panel: "Everybody was really kind. There were no Simon Cowells."

1 September 2007

I bought a massive bag of beets from at the Parkdale market today ... Beet salad, pickled beets, and of course borscht coming up !

Russian Palace's Vegetable Borscht Recipe

Ingredients
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups onion, finely chopped (1 large)
5 medium beets
1/2 cup carrot, chopped (1 small)
5 tsp tomato paste
16 cups chicken stock
2 large potatoes
1 medium cabbage head
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh dillweed, chopped

Instructions
Peel and julienne raw beets to yield 4 cups. Peel and cube potatoes to yield 2 1/2 cups. Finely chop cabbege to yield 6 cups.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add beets and carrot. Saute, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large stock pot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add potato and cook for 3 minutes. Add cabbage and continue boiling for 5 minutes.

Add reserved beet-tomato paste mixture, green pepper, sugar, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in garlic and dill. Serve hot.

Yield: 12 servings

Credits
Recipe from: Chef Roza Gorenuk, Russian Palace Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois

27 August 2007

I am 71% addicted to coffee



If I would have had to guess I would have said more like 90%, so this is good ...

☺♥

12 August 2007

What Got You Here Won't Get You There : Everyone's Bad Habits

I love reading business or management books. Could be from when I worked at the Conference Board or it could be the 'people watching' factor. Some of the really good reads analyze people's personalities or lack there of, like Marshall Goldsmith's newish book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There". Want to get ahead professionally? You might find yourself the next director with these tips:

From: Knowledge@Wharton Business School "To Marshall Goldsmith : Thank You (and we are not sucking up)"

Simply put, Goldsmith explains, successful people often limit themselves with behavioral tics that they don't even know they have. Likewise, successful people tend to assume that the behaviors that got them this far will, in time, get them further still. They are delusional on this last count, failing to realize either that their success has come in spite of their behavioral flaws, or that their behavior is preventing them from realizing their potential, not only at work, but also in life.

Everyone's Bad Habits

Goldsmith's work centers on helping people identify and break the bad habits that are getting in their way. The meat of What Got You Here Won't Get You There is thus his elaborate and revealing discussion of the "Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top." They are:

1. Winning too much: Goldsmith notes that the hypercompetitive need to best others "underlies nearly every other behavioral problem."

2. Adding too much value: This happens when you can't stop yourself from tinkering with your colleagues' or subordinates' already viable ideas. "It is extremely difficult," Goldsmith observes, "for successful people to listen to other people tell them something that they already know without communicating somehow that (a) 'we already knew that' and (b) 'we know a better way.'" The fallacy of this sort of behavior is that, while it may slightly improve an idea, it drastically reduces the other person's commitment to it.

3. Passing judgment: "It's not appropriate to pass judgment when we specifically ask people to voice their opinions ... even if you ask a question and agree with the answer." Goldsmith recommends "hiring" a friend to bill you $10 for each episode of needless judgment.

4. Making destructive comments: We are all tempted to be snarky or even mean from time to time. But when we feel the urge to criticize, we should realize that gratuitous negative comments can harm our working relationships."The question is not, 'Is it true?' but rather, 'Is it worth it?'" This is another habit Goldsmith recommends breaking via monetary fines.

5. Starting with "No," "But," or "However." Almost all of us do this, and most of us are totally unaware of it. But Goldsmith says if you watch out for it, "you'll see how people inflict these words on others to gain or consolidate power. You'll also see how intensely people resent it, consciously or not, and how it stifles rather than opens up discussion." This is another habit that may take fines to break.

6. Telling the world how smart we are: "This is another variation on our need to win."

7. Speaking when angry: See number four.

8. Negativity, or "Let me explain why that won't work": Goldsmith calls this "pure unadulterated negativity under the guise of being helpful."

9. Withholding information: This one is all about power. Goldsmith focuses on ways even the best-intentioned people do this all the time. "We do this when we are too busy to get back to someone with valuable information. We do this when we forget to include someone in our discussions or meetings. We do this when we delegate a task to our subordinates but don't take the time to show them exactly how we want the task done."

10. Failing to give recognition: "This is a sibling of withholding information."

11. Claiming credit we don't deserve: To catch ourselves doing this, Goldsmith recommends listing all the times we mentally congratulate ourselves in a given day, and then reviewing the list to see if we really deserved all the credit we gave ourselves.

12. Making excuses: We do this both bluntly (by blaming our failings on the traffic, or the secretary, or something else outside ourselves) and subtly (with self-deprecating comments about our inherent tendency to be late, or to procrastinate, or to lose our temper, that send the message, "That's just the way I am").

13. Clinging to the past: "Understanding the past is perfectly admissible if your issue is accepting the past. But if your issue is changing the future, understanding will not take you there." Goldsmith notes that quite often we dwell on the past because it allows us to blame others for things that have gone wrong in our lives.

14. Playing favorites: This behavior creates suck-ups; rewarding suck-ups creates hollow leaders.

15. Refusing to express regret: "When you say, 'I'm sorry,' you turn people into your allies, even your partners." The first thing Goldsmith teaches his clients is "to apologize -- face to face -- to every coworker who has agreed to help them get better."

16. Not listening: This behavior says, "I don't care about you," "I don't understand you," "You're wrong," "You're stupid," and "You're wasting my time."

17. Failing to express gratitude: "Gratitude is not a limited resource, nor is it costly. It is abundant as air. We breathe it in but forget to exhale." Goldsmith advises breaking the habit of failing to say thank you by saying it -- to as many people as we can, over and over again.

18. Punishing the messenger: This habit is a nasty hybrid of 10, 11, 19, 4, 16, 17, with a strong dose of anger added in.

19. Passing the buck: "This is the behavioral flaw by which we judge our leaders -- as important a negative attribute as positive qualities such as brainpower, courage, and resourcefulness."

20. An excessive need to be "me": Making a "virtue of our flaws" because they express who we are amounts to misplaced loyalty -- and can be "one of the toughest obstacles to making positive long-term change in our behavior."

Goldsmith even includes a bonus bad habit: Goal obsession, or getting so caught up in our drive to achieve that we lose track of why we are working so hard and what really matters in life.

The beauty of Goldsmith's approach lies not just in the simplicity of his insights, but also in the clarity of his advice. Because it is our behavior that holds us back, he argues, we can change our future by changing how we act. The key to a better future likewise comes from learning to listen to what others have to tell us about our behavior. We learn best if the lessons others have for us come not in the form of "feedback" -- which focuses on an irrecoverable past, centers on judgment, and makes us defensive -- but on "feedforward," which is constructively centered on the future, and takes the form of helpful advice about things we have the power to change.

Goldsmith's message is, ultimately, a very straightforward one: The secret to corporate success is that one must be able to work well with others. If this sounds an awful lot like kindergarten criticism, that's because it is. But it's also the stuff of top-level corporate coaching, and for good reason.

Reality television shows centered on professional competitions dramatize the essential truth of Goldsmith's argument. Consider Donald Trump's "The Apprentice," or any of the other career-oriented shows about getting ahead, such as Bravo's "Top Chef," "Project Runway," and "Top Design." More often than not, these shows demonstrate that what really keeps talented people from moving forward is a fundamental inability to play -- or work -- nice. Because the gifted people on these shows are so competitive, they won't cooperate with their coworkers. Because they are so full of themselves, they don't listen to their clients. Because they are reluctant to give credit to others and tend to take undue credit for themselves, they alienate potential allies and partners. On episode after episode of show after show, we see otherwise brilliant, innovative, capable professionals failing miserably because they don't listen, they won't share, they fail to say thank you, and they refuse to say they are sorry.

That's why these shows, so appealing to individual egos in their promise of professional advancement, devote so much time to challenges that center on teamwork. In framing competition around collaborative ventures, they highlight how self-defeating the need to win can be.

Goldsmith's insights need hardly be confined to the workplace. They work at home, as he himself notes, and can do wonders for family harmony. After all, the reason Goldsmith is able to make a living teaching top executives how not to interrupt and how to say thank you is that so many people never learn these skills at home, as children. If they had, Goldsmith would be out of business. As it stands, Goldsmith has written a leadership manual that could double as a guide to good parenting and marital peace.


19 July 2007

Eat a steak, warm the planet

Meat is murder on the environment, Japanese study finds

AFP, 18 July 2007 - A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef causes more greenhouse-gas and other pollution than driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on back home, according to a Japanese study.

A team led by Akifumi Ogino of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, calculated the environmental cost of raising cattle through conventional farming, slaughtering the animal and distributing the meat, New Scientist reports in next Saturday's issue.

Producing a kilo (2.2 pounds) of beef causes the equivalent of 36.4 kilos (80.08 pounds) in carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas, Ogino found.
Most of these greenhouse-gas emissions take the form of methane, released from the cow's digestive system.

That one kilo (2.2 pounds) of beef also requires energy equivalent to lighting a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days. The energy is needed to produce and transport the animals' feed.
A Swedish study in 2003 suggested that organic beef emits 40 percent less greenhouse gases and consumes 85 percent less energy because the animal is raised on grass rather than concentrated feed.

The study appears in full in a specialist publication, Animal Science Journal.
This article is reproduced with kind permission of Agence France-Presse (AFP) For more news and articles visit the AFP website.

* The calculations don't include the cost of transporting the meat to market either, so the impact is actually even higher, for both conventionally and organic practices...

13 July 2007

D & Ns Summer 2004

A Bean Salad Recipe with a Twist

Cannellini Beans with Tomatoes & Herbs
This light, fresh salad is perfect for a picnic or BBQ. The lemon zest is an especially nice addition and adds beautiful color to this delicious, healthful dish. Makes 4-6 servings

INGREDIENTS

2 cans of Cannellini beans (or other white beans, such as Great Northern or Navy), drained and rinsed
3 or 4 tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, or any tomatoes in season)
½ medium size red onion, diced
1 cup fresh, frozen (thawed), or canned corn kernels
2 red, yellow, orange, or green bell pepper, finely diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
Assortment of fresh herbs: marjoram, basil, thyme, sage, minced
3 tablespoons vinegar, your choice (red, white wine vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar)
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes or more to allow the flavors to develop. Add salt and serve at room temperature.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:
*You can use any bean you like for this salad. White beans are just one suggestion. You can use kidney, chick peas, black, pinto – or a combination of all them!
*You may add a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil.
*Fresh tomatoes are best, and keep in mind that tomatoes don’t do well refrigerated. So, if you wanted to make this salad in advance, just eliminate the tomatoes, store in the fridge, and add the tomatoes just before serving.

Copyright © 2006 Compassionate Cooks, LLC – All rights reserved

10 June 2007

Thanks Uncle Terry ...

Satchel Paige's Guide to Longevity

To a world that marveled at his stamina as a 59-year-old pitcher, Satchel Paige often offered these ''master's maxims'' as his guide to longevity:

1. Avoid fried meats, which angry up the blood.

2. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

3. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

4. Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social rumble ain't restful.

5. Avoid running at all times.

6. Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.



7 June 2007

Canada Rocks! Now with our own Billboard!

Billboard launches Canadian chart

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Billboard, the music trade weekly, is launching a new singles chart known as the Canadian Hot 100 today measuring the top songs in Canada.

The chart will be a compilation of the Canada Digital Songs chart, which ranks the top-selling downloads in Canada as measured by Nielsen SoundScan, and the Canada All-Format Airplay chart, ranking the songs most played on Canadian radio as measured by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.

The Canadian Hot 100 will be included in Billboard magazine, as well as on its billboard.com and billboard.biz websites.




3 June 2007

How to Whistle using Your fingers ...

The following are step-by-step instructions on how to whistle using your fingers:


How to whistle loudly using two fingers

"I find the easiest two-fingered loud whistle to do is to use my index
finger and thumb of my right hand. Here's how to do it:

Loosely touch the tip of your bent index finger to the tip of your thumb.

Rest the bottom of your joined fingers (if you're using your right
hand, the thumb is to the right) on your lower teeth with the tips of
your loosely joined fingers pushing against the bottom part of your
tongue (which pushes back).

Your lips should be pressed down against your fingers. The joined
fingers make the "V" into which you blow (you should blow slightly
down).

It definitely makes a shrill sound that gets louder as you blow
harder. Of course, this method works best if your nails are short."

Whistling Lessons
http://members.rogers.com/l.hamilton/lessons.html



Fingered Whistle

"Tuck away your lips
First, your upper and lower lips must reach over to cover your teeth
and be tucked into your mouth. Only the outer edges of your lips are
visible, if at all.

Choose your finger combination
The role of fingers is to keep the lips in place over the teeth.
Experiment with the following combinations to discover which works
best for you, depending on the size of your fingers and mouth.
Regardless of your choice of fingers, their placement is the same:
each are placed roughly halfway between the corners and center of
lips, inserted to the first knuckle. (Again, this will vary depending
on the size of your fingers and mouth.)

Your options are:

a U-shape created with thumb and middle finger, or thumb and index
finger, of either hand.
right and left index fingers.
right and left middle fingers.
right and left pinkie fingers.

Now that your fingers are in place, be very clear on these two matters of form:

1.) Your fingernails should be angled inwards, towards the center of
the tongue, and not pointed straight in and towards the back of your
mouth; and 2.) your fingers should pull the lower lip fairly taut.

Draw back the tongue
Now comes the crucial part of the whistle.

The tongue must be drawn back so that its front tip almost touches the
bottom of the mouth a short distance behind the lower gums (about 1/2
inch/1 cm). This action also broadens and flattens the front edge of
the tongue, allowing it to cover a wider portion of the lower back
teeth.

The sound is produced by air flowing over a bevel, or a sharply angled
edge. In this case, the sound is created by the upper teeth and tongue
directing air onto the lower lip and teeth.

Blow
Steps 3 and 4 follow each other very closely, if not simultaneously.
Inhale deeply, and exhale over the top side of the tongue and lower
lip, and out of your mouth. Some extra downward and outward pressure
by the fingers onto the lips and teeth may be helpful. Experiment with
the position of the fingers, the draw of the tongue, the angle of the
jaw, and the strength of your exhalation. Adjusting with these will
bring success.

Start off with a fairly gentle blow. You'll produce a whistle of lower
volume at first, but you'll also have more breath to practice with if
you don't spend it all in the first three seconds. As you blow, adjust
your fingers, tongue and jaws to find the bevel's sweet spot. This is
the area of maximum efficiency, where the air is blown directly over
the sharpest part of the bevel. Once you locate the sweet spot, your
whistle will have a strong, clear tone, as opposed to a breathy,
low-volume sound.

Listen for these sounds: as you practice, your mouth will learn to
focus the air onto the bevel's sweet spot with increasing accuracy.
You'll probably hear the following: a breathy, low-volume tone that
suddenly, as you adjust your fingers, mouth, or jaw, will switch to a
clear, full, high-volume tone. Success! You're on the right
track--your task now is to reproduce the mouth and hand position that
led to the better whistle."

How To Whistle Loudly
http://www.natwilson.com/stuff/whistle.html#intro
http://bluebones.net/whistle/

====================================

This site teaches you how to whistle using your hands:

Two-Handed Whistling
http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~thompson/whistle.html

(originally posted by Google Answers)

1 June 2007

8 Things About Me Meme

I was tagged in this meme from a library group ...

1. I love staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning on the weekend watching old movies.

2. When I was in high school I wanted to be a journalist, followed by a person who designs sets for movies or theatre.

3. Since I was a teenager I have loved jazz music. My mom brought me to a club once when I was playing clarinet in the school band and I was hooked.

4. I often wish I had gone on to university. I wanted to be an Environmental Technician at one time -- imagine the salary I could command now if I had followed that path!

5. I don't like straws. And I often forget to tell restaurants or bartenders not to put one in my drink. But then I get to complain about the fact for like, a good ten minutes anyway ...

6. I love the taste of green tea. Straight up, no sweetener, no milk.

7. I have a pink sweater (that still fits me @@) that my Dad bought me when I was 16. It is the only piece of clothing that I've kept that long.

8. In high school I was in love with the music of Patsy Cline and The Doors. And then the whole jazz thing, my taste was (still is) pretty weird LOL

31 May 2007

Biking - pros and cons

























ProsCons
Great exercise that almost anyone can doHoly hanna, that last hill is a b&*^%!!!
Very little equipment - a bike
and a helmet is all you need
My clunky mountain bike and plain blue helmet look so crappy next to the 'pros' with their zippy ten speeds and touring helmets ... bastards :)

The view on one side of the parkway :


The view on the other side of the parkway:


The feeling of satisfaction when you are really clipping along at a great speed, feeling the wind and taking big gulps of fresh air ... The feeling of wanting to trip up the next 'pro' who glides by with seemingly no effort ...

29 April 2007

Dinner tonight ...

Homemade Tortillas
(quick method using a food processor)


Substitute up to half of the white flour with any other flour of your choice. Keep in mind that whole wheat flour may need a little more water to moisten it enough.

3 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil or shortening (I usually use olive oil)
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water

1. Combine oil and flour in food processor until crumbly (1 min)
2. Dissolve salt in warm water. Pour down feed tube a little at a time until dough forms a smooth ball but is not sticky (add more flour if sticky). Dough should clean sides of bowl. Process dough so ball turns about 25 times.
3. Turn out into bowl and freeze. If using immediately, dough needs to rest at least 30 minutes before using or it won't be elastic enough.
4. To use: Roll dough into 16 small (or 8 larger balls) about the size of a golf ball. Roll out onto floured surfaced or use a tortilla press. Cook in a dry frying pan (i use my cast iron pan set on medium) and cook until each side is lightly browned (couple of minutes per side)

Cover w/ tea towel until ready to serve.


Black Bean Quesidillas

Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 12 minutes - N/A Makes 4 servings
1 red pepper
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
19 oz (540 mL) can black beans
1 cup (250 mL) salsa
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped coriander
1 cup (250 mL) grated Monterey Jack cheese, preferably light (or just use cheddar like i did LOL)
8 (7-inch/17.5-cm) whole-wheat tortillas (see recipe above)

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Core and seed pepper. Dice into 1/4-inch (0.5-cm) pieces.
Heat oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onion. Stir often until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in pepper and garlic.
Cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
Rinse and drain beans, then add with salsa and cumin. Stir occasionally until beans are hot, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, mix coriander and cheese.
Place a tortilla in a medium-size non-stick frying pan set over medium heat. Spoon one-quarter of bean mixture overtop. Sprinkle with one-quarter of cheese mixture. Cover with a tortilla. Press down. Cook until bottom tortilla is golden, about 2 minutes.
Using a large spatula, flip over. Brown other side, 2 minutes. Place on a baking sheet. Keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Cut quesadillas into quarters.

First published in Chatelaine's 07/2002 issue.


Mmm Mmm Mmm delish :)

12 April 2007

The Universe by Jonathan Harris

This site is absolutely fascinating ... I could waste so much time here :0)

"As humans, we have a long history of projecting our great stories into the night sky. This leads us to wonder: if we were to make new constellations today, what would they be? If we were to paint new pictures in the sky, what would they depict? These questions form the inspiration for Universe, which explores the notions of modern mythology and contemporary constellations."

UNIVERSE [3.14.07]
REVEALING OUR MODERN MYTHOLOGY
By Jonathan Harris









19 February 2007

Chris's Rink


Chris's Rink
Originally uploaded by mickiegirl.
Chris' entry into the CBC Backyard Rink contest. The top right picture features the homemade Zamboni (note the hose running out the top of the mop handle). Bottom left is the penalty box and the hockey team using the rink that day are the local girls' hockey team "Ice Angels" Good luck Chris!

7 February 2007

Sioux Lookout Bound ...


Well, technically not bound but here, cause I`m already in Sioux, but I took a couple of pics on the way

even though the Bearskin planes are small (20 seater I think) they are still bigger than flying with my Dad in a four seater Cessna ...


31 January 2007

What was the #1 song playing on the radio the day you were born?

From: This Day in Music

What was #1 the day you were born?

Mine were :

Hey Jude - The Beatles on the US charts

&

Those Were The Days - Mary Hopkin on the UK charts


Interesting ...

27 January 2007

Nectarine Preserves

I'm going to try this in the bread machine (preserves setting - cooL!) with nectarines, orange marmelade and 1/2 the sugar and all the lemon juice... wish me luck.

Recipe: Amber Pear Preserves



Nikki - Atlanta 11-19-2006

This recipe is a true treasure and is over 125 years old. Our family has had it over 40 years and passed it on to all our friends, who have done the same.
You're in for a treat!

AMBER PEAR PRESERVES
Makes 4 half pints

4 cups under-ripe pears (always easy to find)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Peel and chop pears. Cover with sugar and lemon juice: let stand overnight.

THE NEXT DAY:
Place into a large, heavy pot and simmer approximately 2 hours or until pears have turned an amber color. Go by the color more than by the time. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Pour into 4 half pint sterilized jars, and seal. Place into boiling water bath for 10 minutes to ensure a vacuum.

Place onto rack to cool.

16 January 2007

Backyard Rink

1 tarp 40 x 100
(because i have little, if no, sense of dimension)
every scrap piece of lumber and the 3 logs in the yard
staple gun and lots of staples (i swear, that's it -- its a goddam engineering ::miracle::)

finally by Dec 30, skating..then of course the heat wave & back skating Jan 11



Jan 15 2007




the snow helped round out the edges a bit, and I had to cut alot of the tarp edges off because I had so much extra fabric (no sense of dimension, remember?) I had to use the pieces to stuff around leaks... I have no idea how I got water to stay in there...

~~~~~

And it is so worth it to skate in the wee hours of the morning under a cloudless night sky when there is absolute peace and quiet but for the scrape of your skates...

12 January 2007

Uncle Frank's Place in History

I was doing some research on the name and era that Uncle Frank's was built in... Why? Ummm, just cause... (the librarian in me coming out i guess ;-)

Anyways, I found one of those goldmine links with amazing historical pictures, all of Thunder Bay and the Northwestern Ontario area. I did a few searches and quickly found a few good ones...

http://www.nextlibrary.com/tbpl/archive/archive.html



CNR Ticket 1938



Gold Rock Mine, (~1938)




Port Arthur's Docks and C.N.R. Station 1945



New Dock at Lake Sulphite Pulp and Paper Co. (~1938)

life in a year


Georgia Nicols' Libra Forecast for 2006

The test of good manners is to be able to put up pleasantly with bad ones.
Wendell L. Willkie (1892 - 1944)

The Year 2006

In 2006, Saturn is in Leo for the entire year for the first time since 1977. (Many will see a correlation.) This will give enduring form to creative expression! (The movie Star Wars, which opened in 1977 has become part of our culture's artistic icons.)

Saturn will encourage a concrete expression of theatre and the arts at both personal and civic levels. It will also encourage a stricter more traditional methodology in schools.

Jupiter's passage through Scorpio will alter how we deal with death. In the 50s, we built schools and playgrounds for the Baby Boomers. This year we will lay the groundwork to help them die with dignity and loving support. (Death will be a big business by 2013-14.)

In many ways, new opportunities will arise out of situations of loss. "May the Force be with you."

The Envelope Please...

No one is more affected by their surroundings than you. You'd live in a pup tent rather than suffer with overhead fluorescent lighting. You have impeccable taste. You appreciate the relationships of colour, composition and texture. Your bathroom towels match. Your wardrobe is tastefully coordinated; you always know what colour is 'in'. But dahling, your antennae are finely tuned to more than your environment, you know people as well. You're a natural psychologist. (It comes from years of people watching.) Others seek your good counsel. Partnership is of course, paramount to you! You want somebody in your life. You hate fighting and loud noises; you need harmony. You're the epitome of charm, tact and diplomacy. And you always look fabulous! (Needless to say, we can take you anywhere.)

Your Shady Past

Around 1989 was a turning point. You needed to create a home for yourself. This is a major deal for your sign. (You don't do drab.) In the early to mid 90s, children became an increasing focus. Your hands were full. Nevertheless, you stepped up to the plate in 1996 (looking runway wonderful) and grabbed your career in both hands. This increased ambition might have taken its toll on relationships. C'est la vie. One does what one can. But things did improve at home that year. Around 2001, travel, publishing and education offered exciting opportunities. (You took them.) Then came 2003-04, when some heartfelt dreams came true. Last year, relationships picked up. This was important for you, because you're not a sign that can go it alone.

Which brings us to 2006

This year you will work harder than ever to create the life you've always wanted. You're testing the Dream Machine. Whatever standard of justice matters to you, you will claim it. Whatever you've wanted to own, you will buy it. That's why it's important to be clear about what you need and want. If you're working, you will earn more money this year. (This is one reason you can buy all these goodies!) Not only will you enjoy what you acquire; you'll learn more about yourself by what you do to get these things, and what you do to maintain them. Let there be no guilt! You earned the right to get this stuff. For the last few years, you've been in a strong position. You've taken your power. This strong influence continues to be in play this year. You're not the financial wizard Taurus is; be careful about going into debt so deep you're drowning. But do look forward to wonderful purchases that please and excite you. You appreciate beautiful things; and you love to tastefully decorate your living space. Enjoy your good fortune.

Is the future like the present only longer?

Your optimism holds next year; in fact, if you can believe it -- it increases! However, by 2007-08, you will start to pare down your belongings. It will feel right to do so. The opportunity to de-clutter your life will be a welcome one. At the same time, expect to travel more in 2007-08. An increased optimism plus a belief in your future encourage you to explore writing and educational opportunities. (Write that book.) Happy times with siblings and neighbours are also on the menu. Gosh.

In a galaxy far far away...

A couple of years from now, real estate investments (whether speculative or to live in) look cherry! Around that time (2008-09) everything to do with home, family and where you live will be enriched and rewarding. Nevertheless you will enter an entirely new scene around 2009-10. That will be the beginning of a new 30-year cycle for you. (Reminiscent of 1980-81.) Through all of these years and into the future -- your creativity is hot. Act now and explore whatever opportunities are at hand so that you can make the most of this promising future. Ta da!

My Mantra for 2006

Things are good, and getting better!

Be the best you can be

You have a deep sense of fair play and honesty. Because of this, you might attract selfish or overly independent people to you. It's as if they yearn to learn balance and integration from you. You're aware of your own needs separate and apart from the needs of a partnership. You're intelligent and can embrace inconsistencies. Your subtle appreciation of justice and of what is fair teaches others how to keep their own identity in the context of a relationship. You can also teach society how to be civilized. The greatest legal minds surely have Libra in their charts. Your appreciation for beauty, design and fashion create a beautiful environment for your family, your friends and indeed, the world. You teach others the serenity of a comfortable, harmonious atmosphere. Live long and prosper!

Stuff Every Self-respecting Libran Knows

Your ruling planet is Venus. Your symbol is the Scales. Libra is a Masculine Cardinal Sign. (The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They're the signs of the changing seasons - the switch hitters. They initiate things. They're idea people. They make things happen. "Let's invite everyone over for dinner!" Sound familiar?) Libra is an Air Sign and it rules the Kidneys. (Drink lots of water.) Your sign rules the Seventh House, which governs Marriage and Partnerships. Even though you love beauty and are hip to fashion, I won't comment on gemstones because there's disagreement about them. (But many of you are partial to the colour dusty rose.)

Libra in the Bedroom

You're a deliciously sexy sign and you surrender easily to love. You have imagination; and you appreciate subtle nuances. (You know what a feather can do.) Air Signs are often kinky. You love drama and a great setting. You've got the boudoir thing down pat with candles, mirrors, lace, and transparent, highly flammable whatevers. (Shee!) You like lots of pillows and comfort. You have an eye for beauty. You're never vulgar; and because you like to please, you know how to satisfy. The small of your back is erotic. (The kidneys --remember?) You're all charm and gentleness but sometimes you're an animal! (Cute for contrast.) You understand the art of seduction. You tease, but you like to be persuaded. (But you can be shy to express what you want.) Afterwards, you love to sleep. And sleep. And sleep.

Lucky Days in 2006 for Libra

The days below are perfect times to go after what you want - whether it's a date, a major financial decision, or a job. Make note of these dates and use them to your advantage. These are the days when the gods are with you. (Some signs share a day.)

January
19, 20, 21
February
16, 17
March
15, 16, 17
April
11, 12, 13
May
9, 10
June
5, 6, 7
July
2, 3, 30, 31
August
22, 23, 24
September
19, 20, 21
October
19, 20, 21
November
16, 17
December
13, 14, 15

Celebrity Birthdays

Libra (September 23 - October 22) 2006

September
23
Ray Charles, 1930
24
Jim Henson, 1936
25
Catherine Zeta-Jones, 1969
26
Jane Smiley, 1949
27
Avril Lavigne, 1984
28
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1972
29
Madeline Kahn, 1942
30
Martina Hingis, 1980
October
1
Jimmy Carter, 1924
2
Lorraine Bracco, 1955
3
Gwen Stefani, 1969
4
Anne Rice, 1941
5
Bob Geldof, 1954
6
Britt Ekland, 1942
7
Vladimir Putin, 1952
8
Matt Damon, 1970
9
John Lennon, 1940
10
Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1974
11
Joan Cusack, 1962
12
Hugh Jackman, 1968
13
Kelly Preston, 1962
14
Ralph Lauren, 1939
15
Mario Puzo, 1920
16
John Mayer, 1977
17
Alan Jackson, 1958
18
Pierre Trudeau, 1919
19
Ty Pennington, 1965
20
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
21
Carrie Fisher, 1956
22
Catherine Deneuve, 1943