27 June 2008

Happy, Shiny People at Sea

My lucky, beautiful and talented friend Claudel won tickets to the 'secret' Great Big Sea show at local pub Heart and Crown in the Byward Market in Ottawa. My brother tipped her off to the show and the contest, so she brought him along with her fiancé, Bruce. I still don't get why I didn't get an invite ;0P On page 3 of an article that appeared in the Citizen today called Many happy days at Sea, there was a write-up of briefly why she won the tickets.

Way to go girl !!

Ottawa Citizen June 27, 2008

Claudel and my brother

Snugglin with Alan

It's all about the Guinness

Great Big Sound
"Funnyman" by KT Tunstall

Locked inside your head
Do you realize the things you said
Never made sense?

We can sit here and laugh
But we don't know the half of it,
In your defense

We've been talking a while
And it seems to me each time you smile
Lights are coming on
But they don't burn too strong
And they won't stay for long
And then they're gone again

Do you remember that night
When I had to play your angel
Saving your soul?
Even though you were holding on tight
A part of you was taken by the demons below

When no one to lose
Said you feel like a bruise
On a beautiful body.
And all the damage you do
Is so honest and true
I don't want to feel sorry for you

Funnyman, gotta try to be something wonderful
Funnyman, listening to the world turning on its sail
Turn it into a brand new universe
Funnyman, you could never be anything else.

25 June 2008

When your kids are driving you nuts ...

Things to Remember When Your Kids Are Driving You Frickin’ Insane

From: The Cranking Widgets Blog

Watching a small child slowly grow into an actual, real-live person is an interesting thing. They watch you so intently when you speak, drinking it all in. This gives way to imitation as they take on your specific habits and behaviors (which they’ll then mold to fit their own personalities and such). There are times when I’m blown away by how much my son acts like me, enunciates words as I do, even the slightest mannerisms look like mirror images of myself. It’s one of the first times as a parent that you truly realize how heavily you influence your kids, down to their very essence as people.

Now, all that touchy-feely crap aside, there are times when the whole “learning everything” bit can get a little exhausting. The most common example is the “Why?” phase that hits right around 3 years old (I’m hip-deep in it as I write this). Just for those of you who either don’t have kids or have forgotten how this tends to go, I’ll give you a short example of the kind of thing I mean:

Holden: “Daddy, what is that car?”
Me: “Which car, buddy?”
Holden: “That red car.”
Me: “Hmm, well, it’s a car - and it’s red. What about it?”
Holden: “Where is it going?”
Me: “I don’t think it’s going anywhere, buddy - it’s parked.”
Holden: “Why is it parked?”
Me: “Well, whoever owns it probably doesn’t need to go anywhere right now.”
Holden: “Why don’t they need to go anywhere right now?”
Me: “I’m not sure buddy.”
Holden: “Why aren’t you sure, daddy?”

My feelings during these exchanges don’t resemble annoyance so much as they resemble that mushy brain sensation you get after working an 18 hour day. (Mickie's note: I still get that feeling when my 13 year-old wants to share everything he's learned from the Discovery Channel lately - in a 2 hour conversation @@) The trouble is, I don’t assume he’s asking these questions to annoy or bother me (because I’m fairly certain he isn’t), but it still grates on me. And when it does, I try to keep several things at the forefront of my mind to help me understand where he’s coming from. These also offer the pleasant side effect of stopping me from becoming short or impatient with him.

  • He doesn’t know what I know - This may sound like real jackass talk, but it’s true. Your toddler, no matter how many MENSA representatives are knocking down your door, probably knows less about most things than you do. He’s watching a huge world take place around him and he’s trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
  • He’s asking because he thinks I know everything (or close to it) - For all the times I’ve told my son “I don’t know”, I can actually come up with acceptable answers to the vast majority of the questions he asks. And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that even a toddler knows to ask the guy/gal who has the answers. Telling your child you don’t know something when you really do but would rather not go into it is something that should be used sparingly.
  • He probably isn’t trying to annoy me - Obviously, sometimes he is. But those are rare cases. Kids are extremely transparent in this respect: when they ask a question, it’s usually because they’re curious about the answer. I know a few adults who could benefit from implementing such a habit, don’t you?
  • He likes to talk to me - It’s so easy to get distracted by all the crap that goes on around us. Even driving along in the car with my boy, I’m thinking about work, the next blog post, getting a new pair of shoes, what to cook for dinner, etc. When your kids ask you inane questions, it’s probably because the like your attention and would like some right then.

Like I say, I realize there are times when my son gets in a bad mood and gets pissed off and wants to get the old man riled up. But if you were to take all of the times I have gotten riled up v. the number of times he was trying to get me that way, you’d notice a grave disparity between the two figures. This is something that makes me sad to think back on, but does well to motivate me in dealing with him now, or when I’m at my worst.

How Facebook Works

From: MIT Technology Review July/August 2008 / By Alan Zeichick

The social network's technology manages a vast and rapidly expanding web of connections for its millions of users.

Facebook is a wonderful example of the network effect, in which the value of a network to a user is exponentially proportional to the number of other users that network has.

Facebook's power derives from what Jeff Rothschild, its vice president of technology, calls the "social graph"--the sum of the wildly various connections between the site's users and their friends; between people and events; between events and photos; between photos and people; and between a huge number of discrete objects linked by metadata describing them and their connections.


The middle tier consists of caching servers. Even 800 database servers can't serve up all the needed data: Facebook receives 15 million requests per second for both data and connections.

Read the rest of the article (I understood about 30% of it, but it was still interesting to see the architecture)

23 June 2008

I can only assume Canadian supermarkets are the same or worse

Via: Docuticker, a daily update of new reports from government agencies, ngo's, think tanks, and other groups.

Greenpeace Launches Seafood Report and Interactive Website
Source: Greenpeace

Greenpeace released a new report showing that most U.S. supermarkets continue to purchase seafood with little consideration for the health of fish stocks they sell and even less concern for where or how seafood was caught, or for the effects on the wider marine environment.

Supermarkets feed the growing appetite for seafood in the U.S. and ring up approximately $16 billion each year in seafood sales. Consumers buy half their seafood at supermarkets, yet as this new report reveals few supermarkets meet this consumer demand with any regard for the marine environment.

Greenpeace reviewed the sustainable seafood policies and practices of 20 top U.S. supermarkets. The research for this report began with a review of publicly available information on supermarket’s seafood policies - supermarkets’ websites, corporate social responsibility reports, annual reports and press statements, and by surveying the seafood available on supermarket shelves, fish counters and freezers. Supermarkets were then given the opportunity to update and correct any information through written comments and in meetings with Greenpeace.

Supermarkets were scored on their overall policy on sustainable seafood, active support for sustainability initiatives, labeling policies, public promotion of sustainable seafood and the Red List seafood they sell.

+ Carting Away the Oceans (PDF; 9.8 MB)

And people wonder why I am so picky about my seafood :P - Mickie

RIP George Carlin †

Some great quotes by American stand-up Comedian, Actor and Author George Carlin who passed away today at the age of 71.
  1. Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town

  2. When cheese gets it's picture taken, what does it say?

  3. If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten

  4. When someone asks you, A penny for your thoughts, and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

  5. When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day?

  6. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor

  7. Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things

  8. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

  9. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

  10. What if there were no hypothetical questions?

  11. Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

  12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization

  13. Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.

  14. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

  15. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?

  16. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

  17. I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it.

  18. May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.

  19. Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

  20. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?

  21. Electricity is really just organized lightning.

  22. "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

  23. Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.

  24. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

  25. Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?

  26. Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.

  27. I recently went to a new doctor and noticed he was located in something called the Professional Building. I felt better right away.

  28. Why is the man (or woman) who invests all your money called a broker?

  29. I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

  30. There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.

  31. The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.

  32. Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

  33. The only good thing ever to come out of religion was the music.

  34. I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.

Recycle your plant pots at Loblaws stores

Via: ecochick

Have you been feverishly gardening, planting your perennials, annuals, baskets, bins, veggie gardens? And do you have a pile of leftover plant pots and flats to show for it?

Don't pitch them - take them to a Loblaws chain store (so Loblaws, Independents, Great Canadian Superstore, etc.). Make sure it's one that has a a garden center, because those ones have a recycling bin where you can drop off the pots. They'll use them for next year's plants. Which is awesome, because much of the plastic used in these pots isn't easily recyclable, so if you put them in the streetside bins they might end up in the landfill. Booo! So bring 'em back and get them reused. Your garden will thank you for it.

17 June 2008

Government of Canada Supports Solar Water Heating for Ottawa Homes

Yeah, I'm late, tis true but this is surely one of the better late than never sort of things.


On Tuesday, June 10, the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program, along with Sustainable Ottawa Community Energy Co-Operative Inc., will be announcing additional incentives to Ottawa residents who install solar hot-water heaters in their homes.

Homeowners who install the systems will be eligible for grants from the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, matching grants from the province of Ontario as well as additional incentives from Sustainable Ottawa.

For more information, contact:Rock Radovan (Sustainable Ottawa) 613-614-7538 rradovan@sustainableottawa.ca

For information on the ecoENERGY programs, please visit the ecoACTION Website at www.ecoaction.gc.ca

16 June 2008

Square One

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 through 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

- Tom Petty
So hard to come down to earth
to city and stone

So hard to face the fact that
you might always be alone

in thinking the way you do
in curious bout the world

and why it works
why people come along to just be there

when you need them to or when you dont
when you tell them to or when they wont

and the lessons that are hard but are yours to learn

6 June 2008

Well, fates have a way of shaking things up ... In Thunder Bay tonight after being stranded, literally .. roads washed out and there is NO way out of TBay tonight. So hanging out on a Friday night instead of a Tuesday or Wednesday ! SWEEEETTT!! Thunder Bay just won't be ready for this ! LOL
Going to be another sleepless night
fuckin wonderin where the hell my head is at
That I keep wandering around in self sabotage

That my need to decide and
the time I need to take to do that
is the thing that always gets me in the end

5 June 2008

Just have to wait and see how this weather forecast pans out camping-wise ;0) Couldn't get Ottawa weather of 29 & 30 degrees, now could I? LOL Still, not toooo bad for northern Ontario.

June 6
June 7
June 8
June 9
June 10
June 11

Light rain Sunny Variable cloudiness Variable cloudiness Light rain Sunny
High 18°C 19°C 19°C 19°C 20°C 22°C
Light rain
Variable cloudiness
Variable cloudiness
Light rain
P.O.P. 80% 0% 20% 20% 80% 0%
Wind E 25 km/h SW 20 km/h N 5 km/h S 5 km/h SE 15 km/h SW 5 km/h
Low 11°C 12°C 12°C 12°C 11°C 10°C

Helen Austin - Childbirth Song

This is brilliant

4 June 2008

My baby is so sweet. She always knows I'll miss her when she is going to be going to her Dad's, so she'll leave me little 'notes'. Some of them don't have words, but I know what she's sayin ♥

Edward Burtynsky

Oil Sands

Here at work, our 'Sustainable Development' division is offering a showing Manufactured Landscapes, a feature length documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky makes large-scale photographs of ‘manufactured landscapes’ – quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams. He photographs civilization’s materials and debris, but in a way people describe as “stunning” or “beautiful,” and so raises all kinds of questions about ethics and aesthetics without trying to easily answer them.

From his website:

"These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times."

...I hope I have time to catch it tomorrow ... His still pictures are really, truly striking so I can just imagine what the movie will be like.


Cool free stuff happening in Ottawa this weekend

Because of course, I won't be here ... Pfft! Oh well, Ill be back for the really important stuff, like the Dragon Boat Races, Canada Day and Bluesfest :P

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. So don't put your unwanted bounty pieces in the garbage. Set them out at the curb on Give Away Weekend. For you treasure hunters, tour your neighbourhood, community and city to find those hidden gems.

Spring Give Away Weekend will take place Saturday, June 7 and Sunday, June 8, 2008

Treasures could include:

  • Books, CDs and DVDs.
  • Old furniture and small appliances.
  • Construction materials - including drywall and hardware such as nails, bolts and screws.
  • Kitchen gadgets, dishes, cutlery, pots and pans.
  • Unwanted gifts.
  • …and more

Please consider safety when deciding which items to set out to the curb.
The Consumer Product Safety Bureau of Health Canada advises that used children's items such as baby walkers, yo-yo balls, cribs, car seats, strollers, playpens, bath seats, mattresses, blinds, toys and other child-related items should not be placed out at the curb.

Rules for setting out the treasures

  • Place items at the curb.
  • Place stickers or signs on items with the word "FREE".
  • Ensure any items that you want to keep are away from your setout treasures or tucked away safely in your garage.
  • At the end of the day, bring any uncollected gems back to your home.

Treasure hunting etiquette

  • Respect other people's property, don't walk on people's lawns and gardens.
  • Take only the treasures marked free at the curb.
  • Don't discard previously picked-up treasures on another person's lawn.

We wish you best of luck in finding those treasures. It's another way to RETHINK GARBAGE, protecting our most precious treasure - our environment.


It is also Doors Open Ottawa this weekend when buildings of architectural, historical or functional significance open their doors on June 7 and 8. They are elaborate embassies, peaceful places of worship, mind-blowing museums, green gardens, amazing artist studios, sensational science labs and more.

The list of buildings participating in 2008 is now available!

Since the first annual Doors Open Ottawa in 2002, over 300,000 visits have been recorded during the City's largest architectural and heritage event.

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr. Suess

3 June 2008

'Cool Clouds' by Léa

My daughter took pictures on our way out to supper and to watch some of game 5. Great shots! (And through the windshield too @@)

2 June 2008

If I was going to get a tattoo it would be one of these ...

The 'Born to Read' is my favourite followed real close by 'Read or Die' :0) Maybe I could get one on my back and one on my ankle ? ;P