22 December 2011


Sometimes I still miss you
so much I'd burn through
every bridge just to get to
a place to have you
see me as the one who
but one part of two.

But for me to be she
is not something I'll see
a place I'll never be
where I'll never stand
or hold your hand
So I burn inside instead

11 December 2011

Ever notice how your horoscope is more interesting than what actually happens?

My astrologer of choice (the one I have a free email subscription to) is Georgia Nichols. Her predictions sound like they could actually happen and her comments always give me a chuckle. But, wow, my life should be this interesting:

Last week's prediction

All Signs

On the whole this is a mellow week. To be sure, as we approach the Full Moon on Saturday, Dec. 10, there will be a build-up of tension on Thursday and Friday. But hey, we deal with a Full Moon every month. So this is nothing to be too anxious about; we just have to be aware. The Full Moon is in Gemini, which means Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces and Virgo will feel its impact more than other signs, but everyone will feel it. It's easy to underestimate how the Moon creates constantly changing feelings. Some people show it; some people don't. (I think a lot of this depends on whether you are fear-based or beer-based.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Many of you will enjoy tweaking your digs or redecorating because you're entertaining at home and having fun times with family. No question. (You love good conversation in a beautiful room with candles, good food and drink.) However, be careful driving and walking because the Full Moon at the end of the week is an accident-prone situation and this will manifest most strongly on Thursday and Friday. Think twice before you say anything or do anything. (Did you know that the origin of the word scruples means "to hesitate?") You might save yourself some grief by pausing to have a sober second thought.

Last week's actual events
I was supposed to get a Christmas tree on Sunday but didn't, drove all the way out to Rockland from Carelton Heights to pick my daughter up from a sleepover, braved the mall briefly with her (mostly for window shopping and alot of "I can just make that" statements) and ended Sunday with a bit of tidying and finishing up school assignments. During the week I attended every class because it is the last week of review before finals week and I even made peace with the class bully. I got some Christmas decor out of storage and thought about where it could go, but that's as far as I got.

Maybe I followed her advice subconsciously and actually thought twice before speaking or drove more carefully to avoid accidents. I ::did:: renew my car insurance and the week ::was:: pretty quiet. But there was no entertaining and I didn't trip on my own feet (like I usually would).

And This week's prediction

Weekly Horoscope: Sunday, December 11, 2011

All Signs

Last month I talked about the Mars attack we're all experiencing until next autumn. (For clarification, Mars will be in one sign for eight months instead of six-to-seven weeks, which it normally does every two years.) Naturally, this means this energy (and Mars is just energy) focuses on the same place in each of our charts for months. Oy! Kinda like a stuck record or CD. Read on to learn how each sign can best handle this influence because by now you surely can feel there's a disturbance in the Force. (And yes, I know, the Great Lakes died for our sins.)

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
This is a most curious time for you and will continue to be this way for months ahead because deep unconscious urges and ideas are bubbling to the surface now. This stuff surprises even you! Past behaviour patterns, old fears and insecurities and worries might haunt you. (What's with this?) Literally, your unconscious thoughts are surfacing! Now, here is the eye-opener: Why are these thoughts and urges hidden in your subconscious? It must be that you're denying their existence and their validity. In turn, this means you have to face aspects about yourself you would rather deny. But hey, we all do this. We all have these aspects. (I've been keeping mine in a shoebox under my bed for years.)

Ohh, a disturbance in the Force, that can't be good. What will this week actually be like? Will I be haunted by my deep unconscious urges and have to release them after years of pushing them down? Will it be on YouTube? ;)

I have a week of final exams to get through, there won't be much time for mulling over hidden insecurities and I believe I've done a good job about dealing and accepting most of my demons over the past year or two.

But let's see what the future actually brings :) It looks like it'll be interesting!


5 December 2011

Poets - Tragically Hip

Spring starts when a heartbeat's poundin' 
When the birds can be heard above the reckonin' carts doing some final accounting 
Lava flowin' in Super Farmer's direction 
He's been gettin' reprieve from the heat in the frozen-food section (yaa-Aa)

Don't tell me what the poets are doing 
Don't tell me that they're talkin' tough 
Don't tell me that they're anti-social 
Somehow not anti-social enough, all right 

And porn speaks to it's splintered legions 
To the pink amid the withered corn stalks in them winter regions (euyeaaah)
While aiming at the archetypal father 
He said with such broad and tentative swipes why do you even bother (yeeaaah)

Don't tell me what the poets are doing 
Those Himalayas of the mind 
Don't tell me what the poets been doing 
In the long passes over time 

{ Instra } 

Don't tell me what the poets are doing 
On the street and the epitome of vague 
Don't tell me how the universe is altered 
When you find out how he gets paid, all right 
If there's nothing more that you need now 
Lawn cut by bare-breasted women 
Beach bleached towels within reach for the women gotta make it that'll make it by swimmin' 

24 November 2011

Tetes a Claques distraction

Every now and then a good Tetes a Claques video will make you forget all of your problems :)  I introduced a new group of people to this episode yesterday in plant maintenance class. We were supposed to be looking at blueprints but needed a five minute brain break. My favourite is the classic Willy Waller 2006 in the Oncle Tom collection. If you even understand just a bit of French, I suggest you watch the french videos. Something gets lots in the english translation.

"Woah minute Oncle Tom"




16 November 2011

Kolochi or Kolochy or Kolochki (from the beloved Easterners)

Ahh, technology. My cousin Kevin saw my posting on Twitter about my plans to bake my way through this year's Christmas list and suggested the following recipe. My waistline is in big trouble soon...

(Kevin's notes: This is from my mother, probably from Annie P., my grandmother.
So its either Polish or Czech)

Kevin has an amazing grandmother, second only to mine. Annie taught me how to make perogies many years ago and her recipe is still the absolute best! To say she has spunk is a huge understatement!



1 Tsp. Sugar
1/4 cup. warm water
1 tbsp (tablespoon) dry active yeast
1 Cup milk
1/4 tsp. butter or vegetable shortening
1 beaten egg
3- 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp melted butter
raspberry or apricot jam or poppy seeds
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp. melted butter

Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in warm water, sprinkle yeast over water, Let
stand 10 minutes or until frothy.

In a small saucepan, heat together; Milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt and
butter, until butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl combine dissolved yeast mixture and beaten egg.
Gradually beat in 1-1/2 cups flour/ Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
Gradually  stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough,
slightly sticky. Turn dough onto floured board and knead until dough
is smooth and elastic. Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to
grease all over. Cover and let rise until dough is doubled in bulk.
(About 1-1/2 hours)

Meanwhile, prepare topping by mixing together sugar, flour, cinnamon
and melted butter until it resembles coarse meal. Set aside.

Punch dough down and cut into 24 - 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a
ball, place on greased baking sheet. Cover loosely, let rise for 1

After they have risen, make a small indentation in each ball, brush
with butter. Fill with about 1/2 tsp. jam or poppy seed (Which ever
you like) Sprinkle with topping.

Bake in 375 F oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown.

(Thanks so much.  Easier to read yours than mom's.  One change you should make to your typing is the yeast.  It is not 1 pkg or 1 tsp but 1 tbsp (tablespoon))

14 November 2011

Easy Whole Grain Flatbread / Mark Bittman

Making this tonight! - M

The simplest bread is nothing more than water and flour. Heat some olive oil in a pan—you can add other flavorings, too—and this basic formula becomes a quick flatbread that’s ready in the time it takes to cook dinner. The idea comes from the recipe for socca (also called farinata), the Mediterranean “pizza” made from chickpea flour (see the variation below [2]). Chickpea flour and buckwheat flour are certainly options for the main recipe, too, but whole wheat flour and cornmeal are far more common and equally delicious.

A couple of technical details. The resting time for the batter is optional, but it results in a more complex flavor and a creamier, less gritty texture. If you’re in a hurry, though, just let the batter sit while the oven heats. It’s still awesome. And though a round pizza pan with a lip is ideal, a 10- or 12-inch skillet also works well; the bread in the smaller pan will need less oil, will be a slightly bit thicker, and will take another 5 or 10 minutes to bake. You can bake the bread up to several hours in advance; warm it a little if you like—or not.

Quick Info:
Makes: 4 to 6 appetizer servings
Time: A bout 45 minutes, largely unattended (longer for resting, if time allows)

1 cup whole wheat flour or cornmeal, or chickpea flour (also called besan; sold in Middle Eastern, Indian, and health food stores)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil (see the headnote)
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (optional)

Put the flour into a bowl; add salt; then slowly add 1 1/2 cups water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Cover with a towel, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. The batter should be about the consistency of thin pancake batter.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 450°F. Put the oil in a 12-inch rimmed pizza pan or skillet (along with the onion and rosemary if you’re using them) and put in the heated oven. Wait a couple of minutes for the oil to get hot, but not smoking; the oil is ready when you just start to smell it. Carefully remove the pan (give the onions a stir); then pour in the batter, and return the skillet to the oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the flatbread is well browned, firm, and crisp around the edges. (It will release easily from the pan when it’s done.) Let it rest for a couple minutes before cutting it into wedges or squares.

Easy Whole Grain Pizza. When the bread is done, top as you would pizza, using a relatively light hand. Smear a thin layer of tomato sauce on first if you like, then add a sprinkling or crumble of cheese and thinly sliced vegetables, cooked meat, olives, onions—whatever. Turn on the broiler and put the pan under the heat until the ingredients are hot and bubbly. Let rest as above, then cut and serve.

Easy Socca or Farinata. Crisp on the bottom, custardy on top; chickpea flour is authentic, but whole wheat flour produces lovely results. You’ll need a deep 12-inch pan or skillet. Increase the water to 3 cups and add up to another 2 tablespoons of oil if you like. Bake as above, but longer—closer to an hour. To get a crisper top, set under the broiler for a couple of minutes after the bottom is nicely browned. Let cool a bit in the pan, then slide a narrow spatula under the bottom to remove it. Cut into wedges and serve.

Source URL: http://content.markbittman.com/recipes/easy-whole-grain-flatbread
[1] http://content.markbittman.com/books/food-matters
[2] http://content.markbittman.com/recipes/easy-whole-grain-flatbread#pizza

7 November 2011

Leek, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata

Leek, Mushroom and Cheese Frittata (from Foodland Ontario)

This versatile light supper, lunch or brunch frittata is easy to make and ultra-flavourful with its garlic-and-herb cream cheese. Serve with crusty multigrain bread and sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.
Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 4


1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 cups (500 mL) sliced halved well-washed Ontario Leeks (2 to 3)
2 cups (500 mL) sliced Ontario Mushrooms (about 4 oz/125 g)
1 pkg (113 g) cream cheese with garlic and herbs
6 eggs
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each of salt and pepper


In large ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until softened.

In bowl, beat cream cheese to soften. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into skillet and stir gently with wooden spoon to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook until set and lightly puffed, 8 to 10 minutes. Broil until lightly golden, about 2 minutes.

Tip: To broiler proof your skillet, wrap handle in foil.

26 October 2011

Water & Wastewater Techician


Level: 01 Hours
ENL1813TCommunications I45.0
MAT8001Math Fundamentals45.0
SAF8710Occupational Health and Safety45.0
WWT1000Water and Waste Water Chemistry75.0
WWT1001Hydraulics for Water and Waste Water45.0
WWT1002Water and Waste Water Plant Maintenance 160.0
Level: 02 Hours
ENL1819TReporting Technical Information60.0
WWT2001Preventing Water-Borne Illnesses45.0
WWT2002Water and Waste Water Plant Maintenance 275.0
WWT2003Industrial Waste Management60.0
WWT2004Water and Waste Water Microbiology75.0
WWT2100Water Resource Management45.0
Choose one from equivalencies:Hours
GED3014General Education Elective45.0
Level: 03 Hours
GIS1003Geographic Information Systems (Gis)30.0
WWT3000Environmental Law60.0
WWT3001Water Treatment for Water and Waste Water75.0
WWT3002Sewage and Waste Water Treatment75.0
WWT3004Water and Waste Water Operations30.0
WWT3103Water and Waste Water Sampling and Analysis75.0
Choose one from equivalencies:Hours
GED3014General Education Elective45.0

Astrology for October 26, 2011 (G&M)

October 26, 2011 Globe & Mail (Toronto)


Not only is there a new moon on your birthday but Mars, your co-ruler, is well placed too, and if you are in any way ambitious you will enjoy some kind of career or work-related breakthrough. You deserve this success

ARIES (March 21 - April 20):

Don’t try to convince yourself that everything is fine when you know it is not. Today’s new moon will force you to face up to a situation you have been trying to ignore. Deal with it and then move on.

TAURUS (April 21 - May 21):

You need to get over any sense of embarrassment you might feel at revealing your innermost feelings. Even if you are the kind of Taurus who rarely gets emotional you must let it all out. Scream if you have to.

GEMINI (May 22 - June 21):

If you want to enjoy a more healthy lifestyle now is the time to get started. Anything you begin over the next 24 hours will work out for the best, so long as it is within the bounds of possibility, of course.

CANCER (June 22 - July 23):

The new moon falls in the most creative and dynamic area of your chart, making this one of the best days of the year for getting things done. Draw up a plan and follow it step by step. Success is guaranteed.

LEO (July 24 - Aug. 23):

You can be rather sensitive, especially where criticism is concerned, but as from today you will feel a lot more positive about what kind of person you are and what kind of things you are doing. Criticism? Ignore it.

VIRGO (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23):

You will have no difficulty at all today letting others know what you think and how you feel. But don’t go too far. Some things are better kept to yourself. Think of the embarrassment if they were made public!

LIBRA (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23):

Today’s new moon indicates that recent efforts and sacrifices have not been in vain. What you gain over the next two or three days will make up for what you lost earlier in the year – and then some.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22):

The new moon in your sign means that if you focus your energy in a single direction you will achieve something remarkable. Choose a path and believe it will lead you to the kind of success you know you deserve. And it will.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 - Dec. 21):

You need to overcome a fear that has been holding you back. It’s important that you face up to it now because a few weeks hence you will be eager to move forward and you must be in the right frame of mind.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20):

Someone you meet on your travels today will become not only a good friend but also a colleague (or co-conspirator!) on a project that is close to your heart. Together you will make a singular impression.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19):

You are on your way up in the world. Yes, really, it’s true. Today’s new moon indicates that if you have a plan and if you make a serious effort to follow it there is nothing you cannot accomplish. Be brilliant.

PISCES (Feb. 20 - Mar. 20):

The new moon in your fellow Water sign of Scorpio will endow you with confidence and no end of good cheer. Try not to take anything too seriously but, on the other hand, be serious about your desires.

Sick Muse - Metric

Watch out Cupid
Stuck me with a sickness
Pull your little arrows out
Let me live my life

You better watch out Cupid
Stuck me with a sickness
Pull your little arrows out
Let me live my life
The one I'd better lead
All the blondes are fantasies

And we looked at them eleven ways
You said, "Look at me". And looked away
And you wrote the song I wanna play
I'll write you harmony in C

Everybody,everybody just wanna fall in love
Everybody,everybody just wanna play the lead

Watch out Cupid
Money is a sick muse
Pull your little arrows out
And let me live my life

She said, "I'm with stupid"
Money is a sick muse
Pull your little arrows out
Let me live my life
The one I'd better lead
All the blondes are fantasies

And we looked at them eleven ways
You said, "Look at me". And looked away
And you wrote the song I wanna play
I'll write you harmony in C

Everybody,everybody just wanna fall in love
Everybody,everybody just wanna play the lead

8 October 2011

Forever ain't never

forever ain't never
just long enough to sever
to choke out the air
what dreams floated there

20 September 2011

McDonald's, are you listening?

Garbage in the streets drives me bonkers. Ask my kids how often I've picked up coffee cups, straws and foam containers during my walks or bike rides. There is just so little justification for producing it most of the time. Plastic trash is the main reason why I usually avoid McDonald's. I broke down tonight because I'm a  broke student who needed a place to study with internet access for cheaper than a Starbucks coffee (ALOT cheaper). Also, they have lattes now. Yay.

I brought my own cup in (actually I forgot it in the car and had to go back and get it :S) The girl preparing the latte got the order but didn't notice I had my own drink container. I had them pour the drink into my cup and they threw the plastic one out. It got me thinking again of an idea I've had for a while. 

Outside Thunder Bay is Cousins restaurant, who will sell you a pie in a 10inch aluminum tin which you pay a small deposit for. Bring it back the next time and get your next pie in a new tin, leaving the dirty one behind and paying for just the pie. 

What about applying a similiar concept to McDonalds for coffee or other drinks? The Happy Meal toys were a huge collectors hit with the toys, but the last thing our plastic-ridden world needs  is more of the stuff or even the cute little TY animals (although I still have one because I can't part with Chocolate the Moose). 

My idea is for McDonald's to produce Happy Drinks which are actually just the container, a stainless steel container for hot drinks or recycled plastic "bike water bottle" style. The customer pays for the container on deposit and voila, less garbage and less new plastic that ends up on the street. If you happen to find one on the street, return it to any McDs and make a couple bucks!

Yes, they would have to have enough clean containers and more storage, but the transportation system is already in place to deliver the disposable cups, right? Why not deliver clean, sanitized cups  from a washing depot of sorts? Ok, that part I haven't quite figured out yet but this next element of the idea might make up for it.

In addition to creating "collectible" Happy Drinks you could also offer customers who bring their own cups in the chance to change the music If they are staying in the restaurant. They could have a selection of music stations to choose from up there with the menu choices. Seriously, I'm sitting in a McDs right now and I would dearly LOVE to change the tunes they are playing.  McDonald's would have to completely eliminate having disposable cups eventually but they may be gutsy enough to revolutionize the takeout industry they created to begin with.

So. Happy Drinks. Happy for you, the individual. For the company. And, (most importantly in my books) for the earth. That's pretty freakin Happy :) 

I actually pitched this to Starbucks on twitter awhile ago but they never called. LOL 

 Michelle Aura 

leave a deposit to use one of yours. Have similar stock available at each store. You could even have amazing store-to-store designs to vie 4

 Michelle Aura 

 I tweeted about your stores recently. What if you did away with plastic altogether? Use a real cup, bring your own mug or

 Michelle Aura 

 I do ask and get a real cup but I am so often the only one in the entire coffeeshop - it makes no sense to me...

 Michelle Aura 

Dear Starbucks or Tim Horton's: be the first coffeeshop to actually be a coffeeshop and NOT offer "paper" cups. Imagine!