28 December 2008

Got my passport and going to be spending some time on a big boat :) #37 checked off and a bunch more to come!

27 December 2008

Drifters - Gordon Lightfoot

I dont believe in miracles if its all the same by you
Your wishes would come true if I had my say
Whether its right or wrong the words of every song
Remind us of a love we knew where love should not go wrong
In yesterday
Hang on ye drifters now you got so much to go and gamble on
Watch out for the shifting sand where ever you may ramble

Even now as I look back and see all thats come to pass
I cant remember how it was I got here
Look around this place theres a smile on every face
Were somewhere in the afterglow out there among the stars
Out there among the bars

Hang on ye drifters now you got places to go and people to meet
Watch out for the shifting tide where ever you may travel.

I know I should not complain because lifes been good to me
It feels real good to be stranded on my own
Be that as it may be we are what we are
Ill find you in the afterglow out there among the stars
Of yesteryear

Hang on ye drifters now you got so much to go and gamble on
Watch out for the shifting sand where ever you may ramble

All you drifters now you got places to go and people to meet
Watch out for the shifting tide where ever you may travel.

26 December 2008

Wind howling outside is matching my mood and here at some ungodly hour where I feel I am really blessed with a close family and good friends, but where something else is colouring it grey and wintry like the weather outside. Again, wondering clueless or could care less but really neither one is good,,

16 December 2008

Summer Fly - Hayley Westenra

In another younger day I could dream the time away
In the universe inside my room
And the world was really mine from June till September
And if it wasn't really so I was lucky not to know
And I was lucky not to wonder why
'Cause the summer time is all that I remember

A summer fly was buzzin' every night
When I was young
In the gentle world my childlike senses knew
And the world was just my cousin
And the wind was just the tongue
In the voice my lonely moments listened to

And I look at me today all the dreams have gone away
And I am where I never thought I'd be
Seein' things I never thought I'd see happen to me
And I lie awake at night till the darkness turns to light
Hearin' voices callin' out my name
Callin’ over and again the same message to me

Cryin' who's your partner, who's your darlin', who's your baby now?
Who wakes up at night to pull you in
It don't matter, you'll just make him lonely anyhow
Don't know why you even try to win

Cryin' who's your partner, who's your darlin', who's your baby now?
Who wakes up at night to pull you in
It don't matter, you'll just make her lonely anyhow
Don't know why you even try to win

Cryin' who's your partner, who's your darlin', who's your baby now?
Who wakes up at night to pull you in
It don't matter, you'll just make him lonely anyhow
Don't know why you even try to win

1 December 2008

What I'm made on my lunch hour Monday :)

Müesli Bread

I used pumpkin seeds and raisins with the multigrain flour, regular white flour then baked in a regular oven. It was fabulous & field tested by 3 different people who all agreed :P

1 egg , beaten 1
1 cup water 250 mL
2 tbsp butter 30 mL
2 tbsp honey 30 mL
1 1/2 cups ROBIN HOOD Best For Bread Multigrain Blend 375 mL
1 cup White Flour 250 mL
1/2 cup Oats 125 mL
1 1/4 tsp salt 6 mL
1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 mL
1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast 6 mL
2 tbsp dried cranberries 30 mL
2 tbsp raisins 30 mL
2 tbsp sunflower seeds 30 mL


ADD ingredients to machine according to manufacturer's directions. Add cranberries, raisins and seeds at "add ingredients" signal or with other dry ingredients.

SELECT Whole Wheat Cycle.

27 November 2008

The MOST humuliating moment of my life ... so far

I saw my psychologist again (visit #2) and we had our chat, I had my cry and she recommended a book. Next day, I called up Chapters Rideau to see if they had it and sing glory they did. Only one copy but the clerk promised to put it aside for me. Great, Lovely, Lets Go.

Glitch came when I went to the counter that afternoon to pick it up. I was beat, beaten down tired that day, still trying to process some of what the doctor told me and plain exhausted. I just wanted to pay and get the hell out of there.

Problem is, she couldn`t find the book. She asks me the title, twice, it's not at the cash. So they go to check the shelf and literally yelled the title over the counter to the girl: It's "The Emotionally Abused Woman"!! OMG @@ I swear and this is not my imagination in overdrive, EVERY SINGLE HEAD in line turned to look at me. I felt about 2 inches tall and just wanted to dissappear into the floor.

Instead, I closed my eyes for a second, took a deep breath, then opened them again. One of the 'helpful' clerks shows up with three other suggested titles and quietly asked if one of those would 'work'. *UGH* I paid for my other books and realized it'll be months before I'll get the guts to go back in there ! I think I'll be able to laugh at this one someday :P

26 November 2008

Needs - Collective Soul

All around me I see what weakness has made
Too much tomorrow I think I'll take all today
Am I a poison, Am I a thorn in the side
Am I a picture, perfect subject tonight

I don't need nobody
I don't need the weight of words to find a way
To crash on through
I don't need nobody
I just need to learn the depth
Or doubt of faith to fall into

Here I slumber to awaken my daze
I find convenience in this savior I save
Am I a prison, Am I a source of dire news
Am I a picture perfect reason for you

I don't need nobody
I don't need the weight of words to find a way
To crash on through
I don't need nobody
I just need to learn the depth or doubt
Of faith to fall into

In this time of substitute
It's my needs I've answered to (All the while)
And the hope that I invest
Still turns to signals of distress (All the while)

I don't need nobody
I don't need the weight of words to find a way
To crash on through
I don't need nobody
I just need to learn the depth or doubt
Of faith to fall into

You're all I need
When the water runs deep
You're all I need
Now I cry my soul to sleep
You're all I need [4x]

25 November 2008

Utopia in the Desert
by Matthew Craft / 11.24.08
Forbes magazine

Abu Dhabi wants to build the world's first car-free, green-powered city by 2016.

Two years ago the investment fund of the oil-soaked city of Abu Dhabi handed Sultan Al Jaber $4 billion and a 2.5-square-mile parcel of desert. It was a starter kit.

Jaber, a petroleum engineer, had proposed that with all of its wealth from selling oil, Abu Dhabi should dive into alternative energy. At first he and his staff figured they'd use the land for solar and wind projects and to accommodate new businesses. Then, as often happens in the United Arab Emirates, they began thinking on a grand scale. Construction equipment and pilings now cover the spot, 11 miles east of downtown Abu Dhabi, that will become Masdar City. Jaber plans it to be the world's first carbon-neutral city, where 50,000 people will live and work without cars or fossil fuels. It will be built by 2016, he says. The first component, a research institute affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is scheduled to open next year.

Jaber, 35, is now the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Future Energy, the government enterprise that runs the project. "What better investment can Abu Dhabi have than putting revenues from the oil sector into a future-energy sector?" he asks. The U.A.E., as one of the world's richest countries (per capita), is the land where outlandish dreams test the laws of physics. Developers unveil wonders: man-made islands shaped like palm trees; a ski slope inside Dubai's Mall of the Emirates; a hotel, the Burj Al Arab, that rises from the water like a sail; the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper, half a mile high.

Even alongside those feats of engineering, the master plan for Masdar City, created by the London architect Norman Foster, looks audacious. It describes a city on 23-foot-high stilts. Light-rail lines run overhead, and small shuttle cars carry people underneath the platform on which the city sits. Close-packed buildings shade narrow streets in a tight collection of blocks meant to evoke ancient Arab towns like Aleppo, Syria--though in the mock-ups it all looks more like a computer motherboard.

The planners have designed the city's buildings to burn 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity per person a day, compared with an average of 54 across the U.A.E. The streets' shading should cut temperatures by as much as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, and heat pumps will move surface heat underground to trim the demand for air-conditioning by 30%. The city will get fresh water by solar desalination of seawater and by catching dew, and with conservation and recycling it will cut its consumption to 40% of the regional norm. Solar energy, wind turbines and other alternative power sources will provide all the electricity needed to run Masdar's research labs, homes and factories. Those labs and factories will in turn be exporting post-petroleum energy technology decades before Abu Dhabi's wells run dry.

"The scale and speed with which they want to get this done is amazing," says Nicholas Parker, chairman of the Cleantech Group, a green consulting firm. "No jurisdiction in the world has made this kind of commitment with this magnitude and within this kind of time frame."

18 November 2008

"Wintersong" - Sarah McLachlan

The lake is frozen over
The trees are white with snow
And all around
Reminders of you
Are everywhere I go

It's late and morning's in no hurry
But sleep won't set me free
I lie awake and try to recall
How your body felt beside me
When silence gets too hard to handle
And the night too long

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

Oh I miss you now, my love
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas,
Merry Christmas, my love

Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and I see
Your star up there

And this is how I see you
In the snow on Christmas morning
Love and happiness surround you
As you throw your arms up to the sky
I keep this moment by and by

17 November 2008

Square One - Tom Petty

Had to find some higher ground
Had some fear to get around
You can't say what you don't know
Later on won’t work no more
Last time though I hid my tracks
So well I could not get back
Yeah my way was hard to find
Can't sell your soul for peace of mind

Square one, my slate is clear
Rest your head on me my dear
It took a world of trouble, it took a world of tears
It took a long time to get back here

Try so hard to stand alone
Struggle to see past my nose
Always had more dogs than bones
I could never wear those clothes
It's a dark victory
You won and you are so lost
Told her you were satisfied
But it never came across

Square one, my slate is clear
Rest your head on me my dear
It took a world of trouble, it took a world of tears
It took a long time to get back here x3

14 November 2008

Mushroom Gas ?

Fill her up please, and make it myco-diesel

AFP, 4 November 2008 - Will the Ferrari of tomorrow be fungus-powered? A reddish microbe found on the inside of a tree at a secret location in the rainforests of northern Patagonia could unlock the biofuel of the future, say scientists.

Its potential is so startling that the discoverers have coined the term "myco-diesel" -- a derivation of the word for fungus -- to describe the bouquet of hydrocarbons that it breathes.

"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Gary Strobel, a professor of biology at Montana State University.

"The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel that anything we use at the moment."

The study is published in the peer-reviewed British journal, Microbiology.

Read the whole article

6 November 2008

We hold these truths to be self evident

Georgia Nicols' weekly for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Since 2005, you're in a new sandbox creating a new world and a new identity for yourself. Naturally, this involves a lot of trial and error because your life is a work in progress. Lately, you feel stifled by certain partnerships and close friendships. You want to make a break for freedom, or alternatively, your current situation could make your partner want to fly the coop. ("So long! And thanks for all the fish!") Because of this some partnerships will end now. Not all, but some. The rest will definitely have to undergo some changes which necessitates a need for some kind of reevaluation. Which totally makes sense when you think about it since the fact that people change means relationships have to correspondingly change Capice? ("We're fatter now.")

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

You feel increasingly restless. What is quietly building up within you is a kind of rebellion. You might not even be completely aware of this yourself. However, you know you have a growing dissatisfaction with certain things happening around you. There's no point in remaining dissatisfied. Factoid. Therefore, you have to drag these fuzzy feelings out into the bright light of day and clearly define and label them. Once you know exactly what you're dealing with -- you'll know what to do. If you see a change that will benefit yourself and benefit others as well -- no-brainer! Just do it. ("Does this mean we can get the hot tub?")

5 November 2008

Lightbulbs Could Replace Wi-Fi Hotspots

Lightbulbs Could Replace Wi-Fi Hotspots

Boston University’s College of Engineering is launching a program, under a National Science Foundation grant, to develop the next generation of wireless communications technology based on visible light instead of radio waves. Researchers expect to piggyback data communications capabilities on low-power light emitting diodes, or LEDs, to create “Smart Lighting” that would be faster and more secure than current network technology.

This initiative aims to develop an optical communication technology that would make an LED light the equivalent of a Wi-Fi access point.“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said BU Engineering Professor Thomas Little. “This could be done with an LED-based communications network that also provides light - all over existing power lines with low power consumption, high reliability and no electromagnetic interference. Ultimately, the system is expected to be applicable from existing illumination devices, like swapping light bulbs for LEDs.”

Source: cellular-news

24 October 2008

Men in white erase mouse memories

Scientists target mouse memories to erase

October 24, 2008 at 9:44 AM EDT

WASHINGTON — It seems like a movie plot, but scientists have developed a way to erase specific memories in mice while leaving others intact and not damaging the brain.

By manipulating levels of an important protein in the brain, certain memories can be selectively deleted, researchers led by neurobiologist Joe Tsien of the Medical College of Georgia reported in the journal Neuron.

While some experts have suggested there could be value in erasing certain memories in people such as wartime traumas, Dr. Tsien doubted that this could be done as it was in mice. He also questioned the wisdom of wiping out a person's memories.

"All memories, including the painful emotional memories, have their purposes. We learn great lessons from those memories or experiences so we can avoid making the same kinds of mistakes again, and help us to adapt down the road," Dr. Tsien said Thursday in a telephone interview.

The study focused on a protein called alpha-CaMKII involved in learning and memory. The scientists manipulated alpha-CaMKII activity in the brains of genetically modified mice to influence the retrieval of short-term and long-term memories.

Mice that were made to recall things such a mild electric shock at the same time that the protein was turned up in their brain seemed to lose the memory of the shock while not forgetting anything else, the researchers said.

"The human brain is so complex and dramatically different from the mouse brain. That's why I say I don't think it's possible you can do the same thing in humans," Dr. Tsien said.

"However, if that happens in my lifetime, I wouldn't be surprised either."

22 October 2008

Valuing nature

Snipped from Crunch may spur rethink of nature as 'free'

Reuters, 21 October 2008 - The worst financial crisis since the 1930s may be a chance to put price tags on nature in a radical economic rethink to protect everything from coral reefs to rainforests, environmental experts say.

Farmers know the value of land from the amount of crops they can produce but large parts of the natural world -- such as wetlands that purify water, oceans that produce fish or trees that soak up greenhouse gases -- are usually viewed as "free".

... And there are ever more attempts to mix prices and nature.

The European Union set up a carbon trading market in 2005 to get industries such as steel makers or oil refineries to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, blamed for global warming.

Ecuador has asked rich countries to pay it $350 million a year in exchange for not extracting 1 billion barrels of oil in the Amazon rainforest.


The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has shifted from traditional gross national product to a goal of "gross national happiness", which includes respect for nature.

And in U.N. talks on a new climate treaty, more than 190 nations are considering a plan to pay tropical nations billions of dollars a year to leave forests alone to slow deforestation and combat global warming.

"We want to see a shift to valuing ecosystems," Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim said. Oslo has led donor efforts by pledging $500 million a year to tropical nations for abandoning the chainsaw and letting trees stand.

Deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions by mankind. Trees soak up carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, as they grow, and release it when they rot or are burnt, usually to clear land for farming.

UNEP's Steiner said long-standing objections that it is too hard to value ecosystems were dwindling as economists' ability to assess risks improved.

A report sponsored by the European Commission and Germany in May estimated that humanity was causing 50 billion euros ($67.35 billion) in damage to the planet's land areas every year.

And a 2006 report by former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern said that unchecked global warming could cost 5 to 20 percent of world GDP, damaging the economy on the scale of the world wars or the Great Depression.

Read the entire article

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cassoulet

From: Allrecipes.com

Vegetarian Cassoulet

"This is a vegetarian version of the traditional French dish. If you are home while this is cooking, give the beans a stir every couple of hours." I've got some great 'Tuscan' herbs I want to try out with this recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound dry navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups mushroom broth
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh lemon thyme, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh savory
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and carrots in oil until tender.
  2. In a slow cooker, combine beans, carrots and onion, mushroom broth, bouillon, and bay leaf. Pour in water if necessary to cover ingredients with water. Tie together parsley, rosemary, thyme, and savory, and add to the pot. Cook on Low for 8 hours.
  3. Stir in potato, and continue cooking for 1 hour. Remove herbs before serving.

19 October 2008

15 October 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, an international call to action for bloggers to raise awareness on issues of poverty:
"Poverty is not only a pressing issue, it is a complex one. It's easy to think that there isn’t much an individual can do. Fortunately this isn’t the case at all. With activities ranging from advocacy and professional contribution to charity and financing, there is in fact many ways that we can act."
The idea is that bloggers sign up to blog about poverty reduction today.

This year's Blog Action Day has dozens of organizational sponsors and supporters, including the United Nations Millenium Campaign.

For more information:

Wikipedia article on Poverty in Canada

Canadian Council on Social Development's Urban Poverty Project

National Anti-Poverty Organization

Child poverty in Canada at same level as 1989: Oct 9 2008 - CTV report

13 October 2008

"Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs." ~Vaclav Havel

9 October 2008

Natural Air Freshening Strategies from 7th Gen

Indoor Air Clean-Up

Via: Seventh Generation

Open WindowThere's perhaps no month as filled with ritual as October. As we make our annual journey across the weeks between summer and winter, there are gardens to put to bed, leaves to leap in, pumpkins to carve, and homes to ready for the coming cold.

For many of us that means sealing windows, adding weatherstripping to doors, and adopting other strategies that tighten our dwellings to better hold their precious warmth. That's a good thing where energy conservation is concerned, but a well-sealed home traps more than heat ― it can trap odors, stale air, and other olfactory nuisances, too.

To mask the smelliness, we often turn to air fresheners. From aerosols and plug-in units to potpourris and scented candles, fragrance products are a $9 billion a year industry. Yet researchers sniffing out the truth about them have found that such products frequently contain more than a pleasant scent.

According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, the fragrance products industry relies on over 3,000 different chemical compounds to create its olfactory wonders. These include flammable propellants like butane and propane; terpenes, xylene, benzene, and other volatile organic compounds; petroleum distillates like naphthalene; and chemicals like phenol, cresol, and paradichlorobenzene. Recently, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigation of air fresheners found that nearly a third of the samples tested contained phthalates.

These and other ingredients are combined in air freshener formulas to create products intentionally designed to fill our homes with invisible airborne fumes that linger in the air where they can be repeatedly inhaled. And manufacturers aren't required to tell us exactly what's in the air fresheners we buy. Instead, most hide their ingredients behind generic label terms like "fragrance" and "scent agent." When we use these products, we have no way of knowing what we're really breathing, and in winter's sealed-up homes, our exposure to them can be nearly constant.

For a safer choice, stick to natural air freshening strategies. Here's a list of our favorite ways to deodorize your domicile:

  • First, track down and eliminate the sources of any persistent bad odors in your home. Since many foul smells are the result of molds or microbial action, spraying or scrubbing trouble spots like trash cans and compost collectors with undiluted 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide will often remove the foul smells. Vinegar is another useful natural antifungal and antibacterial agent.
  • Use natural mineral borax and/or baking soda to deodorize surfaces and other places in your home. Because baking soda removes acid odors and vinegar takes care of alkaline smells, a combination of the two is often all you'll need to deodorize as you clean. Lemon juice is another great deodorizer.
  • Open windows and doors for a few moments now and then during winter to replace stale indoor air with a fresh supply from outside.
  • If odors persist, make your own air freshening spray by combining 5-10 drops of an essential oil like lavender, lemon, peppermint, bergamot, balsam, eucalyptus, tea tree, or sweet orange in a spray bottle with two cups of water.
  • To scent indoor air, place a drop of your favorite essential oil on a light bulb prior to turning it on or add a dozen drops to a bowl of water placed on a radiator. Fragrant dried herbs, cinnamon sticks, or cloves boiled in a pot of water will also release a fresh smell.
  • Place a couple of drops of essential oil on your vacuum cleaner's exhaust filter to freshen exiting air. A few drops of lemon juice on your vacuum cleaner bag will do the same trick.
  • If you burn candles to scent air make sure yours are made from beeswax or other natural waxes like soy rather than petroleum-based paraffin wax. Choose candles with lead-free wicks and naturally-derived scents. And use them sparingly ― natural candles may be safer but they're still filling your air with small amounts of combustion byproducts.
  • Problem situations can sometimes be helped by an air purifier that contains an activated charcoal filter. Don't use devices that generate ozone, which is a hazardous pollutant.

2 October 2008

The Sound of - Jann Arden

No I will not lay down
I will not live my life like a ghost in this town
I am not lonely swear to God Im just alone
Im back on my feet
I can just close my eyes and forget everything
My house is empty every memory blown away

Oh the sound of the wind throught my bones makes me laugh
At all the bodies I kissed and never knew
Oh the soung of a lovers sympathy falling down to the floor
Just barely out of reach from me

No I will not go back
Every word thats been hiding inside of my head is running blindly
Look behind me nothings left
I can sit in a room
I can hear myself breathing and be quite amused
Life is simple like the wrinkles on my skin

Oh the sound of the wind through my heart makes me glad
For all the ones that never knew my name
Oh the sound of a lovers sympathy
I had to go could not stay here
They were always out of reach from me

1 October 2008

Last Saturday morning as I drove up to Wakefield I heard a CBC program about Google and how the innocuous sounding company is looking to control everything digital : identities, music, books ... everything and everywhere. A library of life on earth as it can be recorded.

My reaction ? Cool ! That would make me part of a place in time, part of history of mankind possibly at its greatest in a long time. I use mail, documents, spreadsheets, this blog, iGoogle, and of course, search. If I hadn't given up on Google reader I probably would have been using that too.

Security issues ? Yeah, but Meh, I'm a speck in the white space and a really small speck at that. Besides, I know people. ;) I just think it would be nice to imagine, 200 years from now, someone 'discovering' me or this time and place through my eyes. And hopefully looks back on a time that was troubled but passed.

I was just using Picasa, yet another Google product - Wow I really am 'Google-fied' LOL
Hiding my Heart - Brandi Carlile

So this is how the story went
I met someone by accident
That blew me away
That blew me away

It was in the darkest of my days
When you took my sorrow and you took my pain
And buried them away, you buried them away

And I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face under the morning sun
But like everything I've ever known
I'm sure you'll go one day
So I'll spend my whole life hiding my heart away
And I can't spend my whole life hiding my heart away

I dropped you off at the train station
And put a kiss on top of your head
I watched you wave
I watched you wave
Then I went on home to my skyscrapers
Neon lights and waiting papers
That I call home
I call it home

And I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I've ever known
I'm sure you'll go one day
So I'll spend my whole life hiding my heart away
And I can't spend my whole life hiding my heart away

I woke up feeling heavy hearted
I'm going back to where I started
The morning rain
The morning rain
And you know I wish that you were here
But that same old road that brought me here
Is calling me home
Is calling me home

And I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I've ever known
You'll disappear someday
So I'll spend my whole life hiding my heart away
And I can't spend my whole life hiding my heart away

30 September 2008

I don't have a clue if this is worth going through
If I can stand to wait for more than just crumbs from you

Writing words like If and When and then off you go again
To think and take apart, create, while all I do is know and wonder, ache

But I won't stay on hold waiting for you to sit alone in your room to call
I'm torn between wanting to be that part of your life & wishing we'd never met at all

You who has it all together even when everything came apart,
for now, to hold you, I'll hide away my heart


29 September 2008

Concordia Launches Canadian Women Artists' Database - The first of its kind in the country

MONTREAL, Sept. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Concordia University is proud to announce the launch of the Canadian Women's Artists History Initiative. This initiative establishes, for the first time in Canada, a centralized, publicly accessible, online database of Canadian women artists. Other projects from the Initiative include a documentation centre and fostering of scholarship on the subject.

This kind of archive has long existed in countries such as the
United States, Australia and the U.K., but never before in Canada. 200 entries have already been completed in the online database. Each entry provides biographical information, major sources for research materials and a detailed bibliography of texts and writings about the artist.

The initiative will officially launch during the inaugural conference of
the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative. Connections will take place from October 2 -4, 2008 in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (1515 Ste. Catherine St. West).

For further information: on the Database or the conference, please visit

25 September 2008

I have no idea how 101 Cookbooks does it

Heidi always seems to just ::know:: what sort of recipe to post and when. This soup is just the ticket for my sleepyheadiness today :0) And when I'm finished making it I can post a picture to the scavenger hunt ! ~ Win-Win ~

Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

5 tomatoes, cored (if necessary) and quartered
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, quartered
extra-virgin olive oil
5 plump cloves of garlic, unpeeled
fine-grain sea salt
2 - 3 cups light vegetable stock or water
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position 2 racks in the middle of the oven. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, alternately you can just rub them down with a thing glaze of olive oil.

Arrange the tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Coat the bell pepper and onions with olive oil and put them on the other baking sheet along with the garlic, place the pepper skin side down as well. Give both sheets a light showering of salt, then bake until the tomatoes start to collapse and the onions start to brown and caramelize, about 45 minutes. Turn the onions if they start getting overly dark on the bottom .Check on the garlic as well, once the cloves are golden and oozy inside, pull them from the oven.

Peel the garlic, dump all of the roasted vegetables into a big, high-sided bowl, and puree with a hand blender. Alternately, use a conventional blender or food processor and work in batches. Blend in a cup of the stock, and keep adding the rest 1/2 cup at a time until the soup is the deisred consistency. I like a little chunk and texture to this soup particularly if the weather has a bit of a chill, but smooth or chunky is your call. Add the paprika and a bit more salt if needed - adjusting to your taste.

Serves 4.

(OMG I just re-read the recipe and actually started drooling ... LOL)


Thought I had this no-sleeping-thing licked last night. Was in bed, fast asleep by 11. That almost never happens.

Should have known. Up at 1:00, and 2:00 and 4:00, 4:30, 5:15 at which point I gave up. Can't seem to shut off my thoughts, even the good ones keep my mind spinning.

Guess it's time for the paper and pencil by the bed routine again, give my brain a chance to offload instead of just swirling ideas and plans around and around and around and around and around.

Or a camera. I actually had the strongest urge in the wee hours to wander to the park and photograph the sun rise. At least it may have justified another restless night.

If you are speaking to me today, don't be surprised if I make 'urg' sounds and walk away in the middle of the conversation. I swear it's not you.


22 September 2008

Via ResourceShelf : Genealogy: Historic Canadian ship passenger lists go online

September 19th, 2008

The records of millions of British emigrants who sailed Canada in search of a new life are now available online through The records of millions of British emigrants who sailed Canada in search of a new life are now available online through Ancestry.co.uk.

The Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, the originals of which are held by the Library and Archives Canada, contain over seven million names.

18 September 2008

Blind Dates ... LOL


Geeks need apply !

I saw this job posting this morning. Looks like the government is getting creative ! LOL

Your Challenge

Geeks and techies need apply!

The Information Management Services Branch of the National Research Council, Canada’s foremost national science and technology institution, requires a Database administrator.

Are you a Computer System Technician, Developer/Programmer or Database Administrator with a track record that demonstrates potential for growth and who is currently seeking a new challenge?

You might be our kind of geek if…

You have installed, configured, maintained Windows servers and Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS)

You are a self-starter, have an aptitude for details, excellent troubleshooting skills and a proven ability to work as part of a team. These qualities will be critical when it comes to identifying problems with the development of scripts used to create the physical data warehouse and date mart data base structures.

You are focused and know what is required to succeed and have what it takes to work independently. This skill set will serve you well when it comes to serving as the principal database monitoring analyst and obtaining agreement or persuading colleagues on the resolution of technical issues.

You are skilled at conceptualizing, analyzing and prioritizing. We'll rely on your troubleshooting expertise to quickly get to the bottom of a problem and suggest possible resolutions.

You understand the differences between MS-SQL Server and Oracle databases and how to optimize SQL queries for use against each.

You enjoy the challenge of resolving difficult functional or performance related issues and can use multiple resources to determine the best possible solution given our environment.

You are an adventurous type of person who enjoys problem solving

Why be an NRC geek?

Work – Life balance is important to you: NRC offers flexible schedules and working arrangements designed to enable employees to reconcile professional and personal responsibilities.

Location, location, location: NRC is located close to downtown and major bus routes; the Montreal Road campus offers free parking, proximity to NCC bicycle paths, restaurants and shopping centres; the campus setting is perfect for lunch hour leisure activities such as, running, in-line skating, volleyball…etc.

16 September 2008

Life comes crashing back down to ground
Turns you away from the stars and back round
to the past to your future the way it should be
As I sit here wondering what I happened to see

Watching the start of another season, a restless winter alone
thinking it will probably again be me here on my own
Tasting the snow, revelling in the beauty of it all
Skating away on a river rather than wait for a call

Boring reading to most of you I know ... :0)

Selected chapters that I plan to read from a new Fraser Institute report Breath of Fresh Air : The state of environmental policy in Canada. I find it interesting that the report devotes two large chapters to lessons we can learn from the USA.

Executive Summary :

The purpose of this book is to outline several market-based environmental policy options, and to explain why the enactment of such policies would improve environmental quality and natural resource policy in Canada. In this book, the authors provide examples of the direct application of market-based policies. These policies include the strong protection of property rights, the use of environmental pricing, the application of cost benefit analyses, and the devolution of the power of decision making to local agents who are most closely connected to the issues and more easily held accountable. The book concludes by describing how Canada can learn from the policy experiences of other countries.

Chapter 3 - Water and Wastewater in Canada: Tapping into Private Sector Capital, Expertise, and Efficiencies

Chapter 10 - Forests: The Private Role in Public Rights

Chapter 12 - Can America Teach Canada How to Protect Endangered Species?

Chapter 13 - Free-Market Environmentalism: Lessons from the United States

14 September 2008

Harvest Moon predictions - an outboard motor on my butt ??? :0)

All Signs:

The Harvest Full Moon takes place on Monday, Sept. 15, at 5:13 a.m. EDT (2:13 a.m. PDT.) It will be in Pisces. Whenever a Full Moon takes place, the Sun and the Moon are in opposite signs. And because they're directly opposite each other, there's tension set up between them, which means this axis of tension is operative in our chart depending on where the Sun and Moon fall. (It's different for each of us.) If we just focus on the tension and let it grab us by the throat, then we suffer. But if we can learn how to handle the tension of two opposing areas in our lives, and somehow work out a compromise, then we'll have fewer cavities and never gain weight if we eat in the dark. In a nutshell, it's learning how to make the best of a challenging time. (But true happiness of course, is a positive cash flow.)

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is an interesting time for you because three planets -- Mercury, Venus and Mars -- are all completely opposite your sign, which totally focuses you on partnerships and close friends. This makes everything smooth and cozy; whereas usually Mars encourages competition, irritation and fighting. You have this going on right now in addition to the Full Moon, which could introduce problems with co-workers and your job and your self-confidence about how you do your work. Busy you! You're dealing with several fronts. (This defeated Napoleon, but fear not -- he was a Leo, you are an Aries warrior.) The truth is that when it gets hot in the kitchen, that's when you really start to cook! Oh, yeah.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

A gaggle of planets now galvanizes you to work. You're running around giving orders and talking to everyone because you're full of ideas. You're also feeling aggressive, which means you're delegating a lot and telling everyone else what to do. This means you're getting a lot done! That's the good part. (You love yourself when you're productive.) However, this Harvest Full Moon on Monday the 15th disturbs the equilibrium you have with friends and groups and possibly even with children. Your only recourse is to be patient. You can't tell everyone what to do! Restrict your aggressive, gung-ho nature to work and be more easy-going with your pals and your kids.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

Mercury, Mars and Venus want you to play, flirt and enjoy leisure activities like sports, movies, the theatre, dance and mini-vacations. Many are also active with children. (This is the fun part!) However, this Harvest Moon makes everyone notice you for some reason. Some aspect of your private life is now public. (Check your zipper.) Expect tension between your career and your external world versus your family and your domestic world. You can't keep both camps happy. Just accept this and do your best. It might be the eye-opener you need to get a better balance between home and career. Ya think?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

You're active at home. Chaos and activity due to renovations, residential moves, or visitors promotes tension even though repairs and redecorating are exciting because you like to feather your nest. This is also a good time to entertain at home. However, the Harvest Moon on Monday the 15th creates tension this weekend until Wednesday. It could make you slightly accident-prone because you're distracted and a bit anxious. Take 11 deep breaths. This separates what went before from what you're going to do next. It helps to keep you in the moment. (Avoid arguments, especially with siblings.)

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Your hair's on fire! You're super-busy with short trips, studies, reading, writing, buying and selling, negotiating and talking to everyone. And that's the basics. You're handling lots of other details, too, depending on who you are and what you do. This week the Full Moon forces you to focus on cash flow, earnings, debt, taxes, insurance situations and anything to do with shared property. Clean up your paperwork! Pay your bills. Organize stuff and tackle filing or whatever you wish you would do to keep track of things. If you do this you'll feel mentally clean, on top of your scene and more confident. And you'll love yourself! Believe me -- I know.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You feel tension this week because this Full Moon is 180 degrees opposite your sign. (Ouch.) Since every Full Moon is an opposition of the Sun and the Moon, this means Virgo is part of this formula. (You can run but you can't hide.) This provokes tension with others partly because you're not sure who to put first, your interests or the interests of others. It's a challenge. By nature, you like to serve because you're good at it. Think of this: If you don't take care of yourself and your own business, you'll be of no use to anyone. (Like putting on your oxygen mask first before you put it on your child. Same thing.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

You're running around with an outboard motor on your butt because Mercury, Venus and Mars are all in Libra. You're charming and diplomatic (Venus); you're talking to everyone (Mercury); and you're so energetic you're a bit pushy (Mars). But it's all good. The bummer part is this Full Moon aggravates your work scene and tests your self-confidence. You're second-guessing yourself because of old patterns of self-doubt and feeling like navel lint. Fortunately, the challenge of any Full Moon is only about five days. Five days?! Aaaggh! Not to worry. On Monday the 22nd, when the Sun enters your sign, you become an action hero! Ta-da!

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Right now you're juggling a lot of things that are very much behind the scenes, secretive or certainly private. You're doing things and planning things that people don't know about. You like secrets so this isn't stressful for you. In fact, it's a fabulous time for you to research anything. However, the Full Moon this week (Monday the 15th) could cause problems with friends or groups. Whatever occurs might make you reassess some long-term goals. You're very future-oriented right now. You've got big plans. The problem is these plans are in a nascent stage and not yet ready to hatch. This is very frustrating because you're a person of action. You're in the movies: "Hurry up and wait."

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

You have lots of plans in the fire; and Mercury, Venus and Mars encourage discussions about these plans with others. Sports and physical activities with others are a great way of letting off steam. Get out and be active because you'll feel better. Never forget that physical activity (especially outdoors) boosts your optimism and confidence in yourself. In fact, optimism and physical activity are survival issues for you. Expect problems juggling your career versus your home scene because of the Full Moon this week. Consider this a reality check on how to balance these two areas of your life. We all need balance (especially a positive one at the bank).

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Parents, bosses, teachers and VIPs play a strong role in your life right now because Mercury, Venus and Mars are at high noon in your chart. This means you're talking to important people; your ambition is aroused; and others are impressed with you. So far so good. However, tread carefully because this Harvest Full Moon is mildly accident-prone for you. It makes you distracted and a bit anxious and that's why you could break things or even hurt yourself. It doesn't have to happen if you are focused and patient. Don't get your belly in a rash over anything. When the annals of history are written, all of this is peanuts. (And you know this.)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

This is a wonderful time for travel, taking courses or getting further education or training, as well as exploring ideas and experiences related to politics, religion and philosophical subjects. Some of you are also very focused on publishing, the media, and racial issues. (You have a universal spirit and you're always trying to make the world a better place.) Don't be too perturbed about disputes with shared property, inheritances, taxes or cash flow right now because this is a temporary hiccup due to the Full Moon this week. By Wednesday the 17th, much of this agitation will diminish or disappear. The good news is this Full Moon could amp your sex drive. (Now that's a thought.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Oh boy! On Monday the 15th, the only Full Moon in your sign all year takes place. It's that Harvest Full Moon! This is why you feel more emotional, more anxious, more eager, more hopeful, more fearful, and you're eating a lot of Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream ice cream. (Steve is funny.) The downside is this makes you tough to live with. Tension with partners and close friends is unavoidable. The upside is this could provide a window for you to really see what's going on in your closest relationships. Generally we take things for granted. You're not doing that right now. In fact, you want to improve your closest relationships. You're beginning to see how much you say without talking.

12 September 2008

Want information on natural health products ?

Canada: Health Canada Provides Easier Access To Information On Licensed Natural Health Products

From the story:

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, launched a new online database that will improve access to information on licensed natural health products. The Licensed Natural Health Products Database will allow Canadians to quickly and easily search for more detailed information on natural health products that have been authorized for sale in Canada.

Direct to Database

Source: Medical News Today

11 September 2008

Another Place to Fall - KT Tunstall

Are you blind
Blind to me trying to be kind
Volunteering for your firing line
Waiting for one precious sign
The flicker of a smile
You should try it just once in a while
Maybe it's not quite your style
Simply too easy to do
And you might not see it through
See it through

Find yourself another place to fall
Find yourself up against another brick wall
See yourself as a fallen angel
Well I don't see no holes in the road but you
Find another place to fall

Are you proud
To have founded a brand new behaviour
With hatred and hurt as your saviour
But nobody's choosing to follow
So you choke back the tears and you swallow
Men who have ruined your life
You consume them with minimum strife
But now you have got indigestion
The antacid calms is a question

Find yourself another place to fall
Find yourself up against another brick wall
See yourself as a fallen angel
Well I don't see no holes in the road but you
Find another place to fall

There isn't much more I can say
For I don't understand the delay
You're asking for friendly advice
And remaining in permanent crisis
Affection is yours if you ask
But first you must take off your mask
When you're back's turned I've decided
I'll throw it away just like I did

Find yourself another place to fall
Find yourself up against another brick wall
See yourself as a fallen angel
Well I don't see no holes in the road but you
Find another place to fall
Well I don't see no holes in the road but you
Find another place to fall
Well I don't see no holes in the road but you
Find another place to fall

I believe in Karma

And so I believe that the guy who ripped me off by appealing to ::my:: sense of decency and just human nature will get his in an equal manner. Maybe he already is and thats why he pulls the scams he does. I also believe that I don't have to waste any more energy on thinking about this guy.

But you could ask him =:>

The last business name he used was Fine Line Renovation Services, he charged me $950 to remove mold. dry wall and assess the damage in my basement, otherwise known as "mold decontamination" and currently listed in the yellow pages. I know, I am a DUMBASS, trust me you could not kick me any harder than I've been kicking myself.

His schtick ? Handsome man and once had his 4 year old son in the car because "he picked him up from daycare and was on his way home". Should of known. Who brings their *kid* to a potential business transaction ? Yeah, don't comment on that one either.

You can fool me once because I am sucker for the little guy but I'm tripping you if I see you on the streets of Ottawa Rob Hurlbut. I hope at least $500 falls out of your pockets for me, because that's what the ::fair:: price should have been and I'm still being generous.

I figure Karma could use a little help on this one.

10 September 2008

Besides, you feel healthier ! :0)

Eat less meat to combat climate change, warns UN :


People should eat less meat to help combat the effects of climate change, the world's leading expert on global warming has claimed.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said people should aim for one meat-free day a week, before scaling down their consumption even further.

Dr Pachauri, whose panel won a Nobel Peace Prize last year, said: "Give up meat for one day a week initially, and decrease it from there.

"In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity."

The UN estimates that meat production is responsible for almost a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cows, in particular, emit methane which is 23 times more effective as a global warming agent than carbon dioxide.

While the process of producing animal feeds is also harmful to the environment. Dr Pachauri, a vegetarian, said people needed to look at every aspect of the their lives in terms of its environmental impact.

He said: "We really have to bring about reductions in every sector of the economy."

On Monday, he will address an event hosted by animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming, which has calculated that if the average UK household halved meat consumption that would cut emissions more than if car use was cut in half.

While Dr Pachauri's comments are likely to be met with opposition by many in the food and restaurant industry, Masterchef presenter and restaurateur John Torode offered his support.

He said: "I have a little bit [of meat] and enjoy it. Too much for any person becomes gluttony.

"But there's a bigger issue here: where the meat comes from. If we all bought British and stopped buying imported food we'd save a huge amount of carbon emissions."

Source: The Telegraph UK

8 September 2008

Hello it's me I'm hoping to see
if there is a spark a flame
something to see if down the line
a friend that might turn into something more

because this open door that has been damned
one too many times with too hard a slam
Has a soul behind peeking round a bend
wondering if this time there might be a gentle hand

to hold

(For D and her dating angst)

7 September 2008

Under The Weather - KT Tunstall

Under The Weather - KT Tunstall


Under this national rain cloud
I'm getting soaked to the skin
Trying to find my umbrella
But I don't know where to begin

And it's simply irrational weather
Can't even hear myself think
Constantly bailing out water
But still like I'm gonna sink

Coz I'm under the weather
Just like the world
So sorry for being so bold
When I turn out the light
You're out of sight
Although I know that I'm not alone
Feels like home

You say you feel like a natural person
You haven't got nothing to hide
So why do you feel imperfection
Cut like a sword in your side

Coz you're under the weather
Just like the world
And I need somebody to hold
When I turn out the light
You're out of sight
Although I know that I'm not alone
Feels like home

Coz I'm under the weather

Bring it on - I'm ready Baby !!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Ever since last year, you've entered a two-to-three-year window of dismantling much of what you created since 1996. You're getting rid of what is no longer relevant in your life in terms of people, places and possessions. This is often painful. You don't let go easily. Fortunately, Mercury, Venus and Mars are in your sign right now boosting your confidence, and giving you extra charm and vivacious energy. You're keen to talk to everyone. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, your home scene can improve as never before this year. It's a wonderful year for real-estate deals. Your home is a source of joy and increased value for you.  (Great year for real estate.)  

I'm looking forward to looking at my house as a "source of joy and value" rather than a cluttered money pit :P - Mickie

2 September 2008

Never used to be this way

I never used to be this way,
I used to look at every day
As another chance to embrace the world,
instead of the cold
Used to think that love could be found
Truly as simply
As looking into someone's soul
and asking them to see me

Never used to question
when things went wrong, where love was
Thought that everyone came back
after the same kinds of loss
Now I know that the earth isn't round
and instead of opening my arms to the air
I find myself looking into faces
and running scared ...

29 August 2008

One of my alltime favourites - sorry about the Christmas reference this early ;P

River - Sarah McLachlan (Wintersong)

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
But it don't snow here
It stays pretty green
I'm going to make a lot of money
Then I'm going to quit this crazy scene
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I made my baby cry

He tried hard to help me
You know, he put me at ease
And he loved me so naughty
Made me weak in the knees
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I'm so hard to handle
I'm selfish and I'm sad
Now I've gone and lost the best baby
That I ever had
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river
I made my baby say goodbye

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

25 August 2008

40 Goals

My fortieth approacheth. I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry. Just kidding :P Actually, I've been making a list of all the things I want to do (or at least make an attempt at doing) starting on my birthday in 54 days - give or take an hour or two.

Suggestions are welcome :)

1. Buy a canoe
2. Keep in touch more regularly with friends
3 - 10. Catch the following live music / acts :
Kathleen Edwards
Blue Rodeo
Ari Hest
Buddy Guy
Wafik Nasralla
The Trews
Richard Thompson
Collective Soul
Sarah Brightman
Edible Rex
11 - 20. Travel to:
Quebec City / Ile d'Orleans
New York City (buy a beer on the subway!)
Calgary (visit Ange and my family )
Vancouver (visit Nyla and Lurch ;P)
Chicago for the blues scene (this one is a bit of blue sky dreamin')
Nova Scotia (Uncle Terry and the cousins!)
Algonquin Park / Provincial Parks - Bonnechere, Murphy's Point, Sandbanks ....
Boston or eastern seaboard
Thunder Bay
21. Get a raise ;P (or even better, a raise AND a permanent position!)
22. Write more musings, maybe set one to music
23. More camping ! More fishing !
24. Go ice fishing for the first time
25. Road trip! Two weeks with a map of Canada and United States and just go ! Somewhere, anywhere !
26. Sing in a band 'professionally'
27. Not embarrass my kids so much (I'll hold off on getting the motorcyle until I am 41 ;P)
28. Bake more
29. Finish house renos
30. Throw housewarming party/ies !
31. Set financial plan / budget to save for my own business
32. Go to a Sunday jam at the Rainbow
33. Take music lessons
34. Notarize my will / living will
35. Take a cooking class
36. Try something I never have before (but not bungee jumping, you kidding me ??!)
37. Get my passport
38. Eat vegan for three weeks straight
39. Stop biting my freakin nails once and for all
40. This last one I guess I'll know when I do it :)

22 August 2008

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread

Via: smitten kitchen

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread
Gourmet, July 2008

Nothing could be easier than making this cracker, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell people you slaved all day over it because they’re going to be impressed, really impressed, and I see no reason not to milk it.

I think you could easily swap the rosemary for other herbs, such as thyme or tarragon, or punch it up with black pepper or other spices, but personally, I like it just the way it is here.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

20 August 2008

I can't forget how you pushed me into something
Talked me into forgetting that I wasn't ready to choose
Said you were willing to take anything, told me I didn't have to,
So I didn't and you left me sitting alone in the dark
Watching the person I knew dissolve in the night to miss you,
You whose heart never changes, but whose colours do

19 August 2008

Look up !

Then take a picture ! But wait until Friday :) Skywatch Friday, a really fascinating blog of pictures and videos that people from around the world send in of their skies. A simple but inspirational idea that produces some amazing photos. What a wonderful idea ! I love the Zen Moment pictures ...

The premise is simple, the new round for submissions starts each week, Thursday at 7:30 GMT. Simply take a picture which includes the sky, post that picture on your blog, then come to the Skywatch Friday site and put your picture, link and name (or pseudonym) in the relevant place :

The Story - Brandi Carlile


All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
Yeah you do and I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth

Is hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

Oh yeah, it's true... I was made for you.
I tired of wearing my heart on my sleeve
To have it paraded around for all to see
Waited for you to make your move, tell the truth
Instead of hiding behind the status quo

18 August 2008

New Templates Gallery in Google Docs

Recently, the Google Docs online office suite added a gallery of hundreds of templates for use with its applications. Users can now select “From Template” within the “New” menu of choices to access starter templates for documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

via Web Worker Daily

15 August 2008

And the week isn't over yet ...

Horoscope for this week (August 10 - 16)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In one way, you are the most social sign in the zodiac. You need the company of others. This week will be challenging because your relations with groups of people (conferences, conventions and meetings, as well as friends), is subject to confusion, betrayal, deception or just fuzzy thinking and disappointment. Someone might be critical of you or vice versa. It's unfortunate that our society equates criticism with intelligence. It has created paralysis of the negative. It implies that contentment and happiness and easy-going spirit are naïve. What hogwash! Be forgiving with yourself and others. Wait until next week to conclude what really is going down. We all love you.

14 August 2008

Ohh, so cool ... what would you do with one of these for the day ?

Invisibility cloak 'step closer'

An illustration of a person wearing an invisibility cloak
For now, the invisibility cloak remains a thing of science fiction
Scientists in the US say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people invisible.

Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around 3D objects making them "disappear".

The materials do not occur naturally but have been created on a nano scale, measured in billionths of a metre.
The team says the principles could one day be scaled up to make invisibility cloaks large enough to hide people.

Stealth operations

The findings, by scientists led by Xiang Zhang, were published in the journals Nature and Science.

The light-bending effect relies on reversing refraction, the effect that makes a straw placed in water appear bent.
Previous efforts have shown this negative refraction effect using microwaves—a wavelength far longer than humans can see.

In order to have the 'Harry Potter' effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths
Ortwin Hess

The new materials instead work at wavelengths around those used in the telecommunications industry—much nearer to the visible part of the spectrum.

Two different teams led by Zhang made objects made of
so-called metamaterials—artificial structures with features smaller than the wavelength of light that give the materials their unusual properties.

One approach used nanometre-scale stacks of silver and magnesium fluoride in a "fishnet" structure, while another made use of nanowires made of silver.
Light is neither absorbed nor reflected by the objects, passing "like water flowing around a rock," according to the researchers. As a result, only the light from behind the objects can be seen.

Cloak and shadow

"This is a huge step forward, a tremendous achievement," says Professor Ortwin Hess of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey.
"It's a careful choice of the right materials and the right structuring to get this effect for the first time at these wavelengths."
There could be more immediate applications for the devices in telecommunications, Prof Hess says.
What's more, they could be used to make better microscopes, allowing images of far smaller objects than conventional microscopes can see.

And a genuine cloaking effect isn't far around the corner.

"In order to have the 'Harry Potter' effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths," says Prof Hess, "and it's absolutely thrilling to see we're on the right track."

13 August 2008

What a difference a day makes ...

Complete (well, 95 % complete :P) reversal of my outlook from yesterday:

I was able to go into the outpatient clinic this morning to get my broken foot looked at and Sing Glory Glory Hallelujah I do not have to have surgery to pin the bone, it is not completely fused but it is fusing. I no longer have to sleep with the damn thing on and it can come off at the end of August. No sports though until October, with the exception of skating and hockey !! (YAY because those are the only sports besides biking that I normally do anyways)

My savings account is still pitiful but I've booked an appointment with a financial advisor to help me decide what to do with the mutual funds I received in the separation settlement.

I've found out that my old job as an LS-3 will soon be available and my old manager has talked to me about my interest in the position. Umm, hell YEAH!

My daughter's sore throat has just gotten better, just like that. Lots of water, tea and orange juice seemed to have drowned the bad bugs out of her system and she is back to feeling her energetic, spunky and entertaining self.

I had such a great evening with my kids last night and great long telephone conversations with J and D and L and I am almost all the way healed heart-wise ( damn stupid heart gets me everytime :P )

Going camping & fishing this weekend with my troupe, and even though I can only afford one night, I think it will be a nice getaway for us -- at least I'm getting out of the city :)

So ...

*Big breath* Big SMILE - ready once again to fire full speed, straight ahead !

12 August 2008

I'm vexed. Fed-up. Done. Wanna-go-home.

Damn foot in a damn cast and no word when my foot is going to be operated on or when the freakin contraption is coming off.

Evil mould is growing as I write, creating new life in unreachable corners behind my finished basement walls and floors.

My savings account is fast becoming depleted to fight the evil stuff instead of being put to its intended use of beautifying my crumbling house.

My house has been in renovation-mode since I broke my foot a month ago which means there is a bathroom cabinet in my kitchen, two ceiling fans in my living room (on the floor) and about 300$ worth of trim in my basement which may or may not be useable anymore as well as no immediate plans or money left after the mould removal to get any of the stuff installed.

My daughter has had a fever for the last couple of days and now has a sore throat which most likely means infection which will probably mean more time off work without pay.

My last "relationship" has to be described as such and I'm not even capable of being friends with the guy, which really bothers me.

I live too far away from home to go back for the weekend and just dump my woes on my sisters' laps.

*Big deep breath* At least I can get away this weekend with just my kids and trees and campfires and fishing rods and hopefully put my lately-pretty-sucky-life on hold for awhile, even if I can't really afford it. I'll try to come back with my regular happy outlook, but it might be a tall order :P

I just love that old stuff ...

I subscribe to a blog called "Cooked Books" which pulls cookbooks and food related media from the archives of the New York Public Library (NYPL). I find their posts really interesting. Below is a menu card for McDonnell's Drive-In, a popular drive-in restaurant in Los Angeles throughout the 1930's and '40s. How restaurants have changed !! Can you imagine seeing this as a menu option today?
The card below is a listing for McDonnell's Chicken in the Rough: half a fried chicken (unjointed), shoestring potatoes, a jug of honey, and hot buttered rolls. Total cost: 50 cents.

They had me at "jug honey."

Thought this one was funny -

Copyright in Canada R3TV Episode #53


Grant Lawrence asks which Canadian artist should pen the new Hockey Night in Canada theme; Shane Nelken tries his hand at writing it himself; Kathleen Edwards' hockey-heavy new video "I Get the Dough, You get the Glory" Mickie's note: Kathleen Edwards' video with Marty McSorley and Jim Cuddy is hilarious too ! Looks like they had such a blast filming it :)

9 August 2008

Ok, I suck at dating. I guess that's not something someone strives to be good at, like someone on Twitter said recently, "that would be akin to being 'good' at breaking up with someone ... to be good at something you'd have to do it all the time" but still, I am soooo out of touch with men's signals lately it's not even funny any more.

I either think the guy is interested in me and he's not, or I think he's not interested in me and he is @@ and by the time I've figured it out he's moved on. Geezus ... Why do I bother ? LOL And the online dating thing, ugh.

Well, except for ZombieHarmony , love their headline LOL : "Because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely"

Search Zombie Singles
I am zombie seeking zombie
with who is

and is interested in:

8 August 2008

A recipe in honour of the SL Blueberry Festival

I'm missing out on the annual Blueberry Festival in my hometown right now ... "crap". Especially since the Fireman's Social is going on this weekend featuring Edible Rex, the band my sister sings for and who ::totally:: rock ! *Damn* "Crap!" :) Oh well, I'll just make a big batch of these blueberry bars from Deb's Smitten Kitchen site and celebrate the festival that way :0)

Blueberry Crumb Bars (via: Smitten Kitchen TM)

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Recipes like this make me wonder why I don’t use AllRecipes.com more. After seeing a blueberry crumb bar on another site, I immediately wanted to make them but the first recipe seemed overly fussy. I knew there was a simpler way to do it, and lo and behold, All Recipes had it. Once I swapped the shortening for butter–of course–and dolled it up with some lemon juice and lemon zest, they were just as heavenly as the 176 commenters promised they’d be.

I could imagine easily swapping another fruit or berry for the blueberries–I’m especially thinking something tart like sour cherries or cranberries in the fall (I’d use orange instead of lemon with cranberries). But if you have blueberries on hand, do not miss a chance to make these.

These are easiest to cut once chilled, and store even better in the fridge than they do at room temperature–something unusual for cookies!

Yield: I cut these into 36 smallish rectangles

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon

4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Brilliant timing Deb, thanks! :0)

6 August 2008

Letters for my Grandmother Mary Agnes

A letter my Mom shared with me today about her mother who passed away June 26, 1991. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, about to be a single mom, overwhelmed and almost completely unaware about alot of what she was going through with her mother who was suffering from senile dementia. She had written the Alzheimer's Society to thank them for their support, yet never mailed the first or second letters. I opened the email at work today and immediately broke down, remembering my grandmother as my mom describes before her disease and feeling the loss with my mother all over again.

I've included her letters, my response and my uncle's response to me - a small, public, family embrace in very fond memory of a wonderful woman who left us way too early. (I've xx'd out some details for privacy sakes)

- M

26 June 1993

Dear Sir/ Ms:

On 26 July 1991, I wrote you a letter expressing my thoughts and feelings about my dear mother. I never did mail this letter to you.

It has been 2 years today since my mother died and I still miss her very much. It's time to mail my July 1991 letter.

Thank you for your help.

26 July 1991

Alzheimer's Society

I wrote you a few months ago to thank you for providing me with information on Alzheimer's and other related memory diseases. I wrote that the material had helped me so much in relating and understanding on how to handle talking and approaching my mother who was diagnosed as having either senile dementia or Alzheimer's disease - it seems no one was really sure because the closeness of both diseases.

When my father died in 1967, I was living in British Columbia and, at that time, I had not been able to come home for several years. My father was never sick; all his life he never had any problems and never had to see a doctor. This time, he was sick for a short while and he knew he was dying. My mother was with him and he held her close to him with love. His death happened very fast. It had hurt me so much to see my father at the end because he wasn't like the father I had remembered At his funeral, because I had been away from him so long, I made a silent vow that I would, no matter how hard it would be financially, to try to visit my mother at least once a year. This I have done over the years and in the past year, I have been home several times.

In May 1990, my new husband and I flew down to Nova Scotia to visit my mother and family. At that time, my mother was having difficulty in remembering things and problems with reading. I tended to joke with her at that time as she used to say she wanted something 'different'. Somehow we always managed to find out what the 'something' was and we had a wonderful time laughing about it together. We took her everywhere with us - to museums, to the Fortress at Louisburg, to dinner, for coffee and it was fabulous to spend all that time with her. Looking back now, I am every so grateful that we had that time together. Being the youngest daughter, I always had a special closeness to my mother and her with me. We held each other and said "I love you" and she was pleased that my husband was "such a good man". She had difficulty in reading English and Polish (she was born in Poland) and had difficulty in forming words. At that time, I did not realize that this was a beginning of a major problem.

My brother was and had always been living at home with my mother. After we (my husband and I) came back , I phoned home quite often as I always had before to see how things where and how everyone was doing. My brother indicated that since I had left, things had really gone 'downhill'. My mother's memory loss had become more severe and at times she was very aggressive. His main worry was that she would wander off, sometimes late at night, and not remember where she was. At one time, a 6 ft. policeman brought her home and she pushed him aside with so much strength that he fell back. She would spend a great amount of money buying dolls of all kinds (she called them her 'babies') and she would become very angry if any of these dolls were moved to another location. She would be walking down the street and slap people that she met. Her sister came to visit and she told her that she hated her and wanted her out of the house. She would get up at midnight, get dressed and go to church or to the legion to see her friends and would become upset because the door was locked and she couldn't understand why. She was shown a picture of her husband (my father) and she didn't know who he was.

One of the saddest things that happened to her was that she forgot how to knit and crochet. She always did these things and was so very good at it - she produced beautiful baby sets, afghans, dollies, slippers, etc. and she so loved to make things.

All these things I heard over the phone and my heart cried out to my mother. People complained about all her dolls and "Why was she buying all these dolls and placing them all around the house?" I thought about it and realized that I felt that if she wanted these dolls, then Why Not? - it was making her happy, no one was being hurt! But through all of this, the one who was suffering the most was my brother. He was always at home, always there to try to handle things that he didn't know how to deal with. He lost weight and became very stressed.

In November 1990, my mother was placed in the XXXXX Mental Hospital for observation and care. It was determined that she was a danger to herself and others. At Christmas, I phoned my brother once again and found him in a state of severe depression. The hospital had phoned and said that my mother was to come home. Txxxxxx (my brother) was beside himself; he knew that if she came home, he would not be able to give her the care she needed and that he would probably be admitted to the hospital himself because of a nervous breakdown. He just couldn't handle it any more. It was a sad Christmas - I felt so torn between my family (my husband and I - our first Christmas; two of my children who were with us) and my family at "home". I phoned again just after Christmas and found that my mother was being kept at the hospital so a sigh of relief was felt by my brother. His work was suffering, his health was suffering and he didn't know what to do.

In February of 1991, I flew down to Sydney again and spent some time there helping out my brother and visiting my mother in the hospital. The first day I arrived, my older brother W took me to the hospital directly from the airport and I saw my mother there. At first, she didn't know who I was but at subsequent visits she remembered me always. She would hold me and tell me how beautiful I was. After each visit, I came home and I cried. I cried for what she was going through - my mother, a vibrant and wonderful person who everyone loved, who dressed so well and was a friend to everyone. Now here she was - her quality of life was gone, her dignity was taken away and it wasn't fair! I wanted her back! - I wanted her the way she was!

The literature I received from the Alzheimer's Society had helped me greatly. I must admit, though, the first time I saw my mother there, all knowledge just flew away and emotion took over. But as time went on, I found that I was able to talk to my mother and even understand her reactions to things. I am thankful for the knowledge I gained from reading the material because although it was hard, my mother and I still retained the closeness that we had had. She didn't always recognize my brothers or my sister, but she remembered me.

Incidentally, I found the care she was receiving at the hospital was excellent. Both staff and other patients provided wonderful care for her. I had never been in a mental hospital before and it was quite an eye-opener - so much suffering, so much pain. The wonderful thing about it was that when we visited the hospital and were taken to the visitor's room, all other visitors of patients and the patients themselves treated us as family. We were all there together in pain, in love and in understanding.

Shortly after I arrived back home again, my mother was placed in a Nursing Home. So in my mind, I pictured visions of a lovely room with all the things she loved around her. I needed to know that she was happy where she was. She was to be 80 on 4 July 1991 so I wrote her a short graphically letter to let her know that we would be driving down to see her on her birthday. I put a picture of a car, a birthday cake and a big heart in the note thinking perhaps that she may be able to understand the pictures if she couldn't understand the writing.

Our plans were made, we were to leave on the 28 of June and would arrive in plenty of time to see her on her birthday and I was so looking forward to holding her again and being with her.

On the 26th of June, my brother phoned - Mom had died that morning. At the end, my mother couldn't walk, couldn't talk and couldn't eat. - her heart stopped beating. I flew home again.

Emotions ran high. I felt hurt, anger, guilt and love. I saw my mother, this time, in a funeral home. She looked so beautiful, so at peace. Her skin was so soft and wrinkle free. All of our family had been blessed with 'younger looks' - never looked our age. And my mother, she sure didn't look that she was almost 80. I looked at her and felt again that it was so unfair - she should have lived to 100, she shouldn't have suffered like she did and she should not have died alone in a nursing home.

No one should die alone - they should know that they are loved, understood and cared for, and even though the quality and dignity of their life is taken away through no fault of their own, they should be aware that someone is there who cares and loves them, someone who doesn't judge them by their present actions, someone who looks at them as still a wonderful person, who understands their pain and frustration - someone who knows, someone who cares, someone who loves.

I didn't say goodbye to her then and I don't think I'll ever say goodbye to her. I know that the next time I fly home (probably within the year), I'll expect to see her there. Yet, even though her body is lying in a cemetery, I know she'll be at home. The memory of her will always be there - her smile, her laughter, her love. And I know that I will miss her always.

Yours truly,



Mom, this letter is going to stay in a special place -- in my heart or in a box printed out somewhere ... my life was so involved with being pregnant at the time that I didn't see even 1 tenth of what you and T were going through at the time.

Thank you so much for sharing this (even though it made me all teary-eyed at work and I had to go beg for some kleenex)

Love you lots and lots ♥ and for forever and ever



Hi M,

You're not alone,,,,anyone who reads this letter can't help but get teary eyed. Your mom was sensitively gifted to capture all the pain and emotion of that time and get it all down on paper. Thinking back, we were all so relieved to finally get our mother into the nursing home but once she got there she rapidly went downhill and lived for less than five months. Oddly enough, when she was in the hospital which was an institution for the mentally ill, she seemed to do fine probably because she was allowed more freedom to move about. The restrictions of the nursing home seemed to sap her will to live. But she lives on in our memories of happier times...
I'm sure your mother has already shared this letter with your brothers and sisters and I know the next time each of you see your Mom you'll give her an extra big hug!

Attached is an old pic of our Mom, Mary Agnes ... love, T (
my Uncle)

Mary Agnes Wojick c. 1953