Tuesday, August 30, 2005

weather report

Today at work, I received no fewer than four copies of the same email, warning about an "impending storm." Apparently, it's supposed to rain tonight, and get windy, some kind of remnant from Katrina. I have a feeling that folks around here are going to be all kinds of disappointed if we don't lose power tonight. It's odd. In January 1998, our town was in the path of that huge ass ice storm that pounded Ontario and Quebec. Personally, I lost power at my apartment for a week. Fortunately, after four days, I retreated to the suburbs where my parents had power (they had, however, lost their cable for a day or so).

I think that everyone's been watching too much cable news coverage of what's happening to those poor folk down in Louisiana and Mississippi and they fear it could happen up here. I hate to tell them but it's not. The worst thing that could happen is this 2 inches of rain they are forecasting could hit within a two hour period and the downtown core's toilets will be backed up. It's gross and it's messy but it's happened before during summer storms and it'll likely happen again.

Now, just in case we do some big flood, we have picked up the boxes of cd's and lp's that were piled on the basement floor and piled them up on top of plastic storage totes. It's highly unlikely that we'd get flooded (we're on the top of a hill) but you can never be too safe when there is all kinds of Japanese vinyl involved, can you?

a note about Klaus
I should mention that Klaus is doing much better. Still not 100% out of the woods but very much improved. We also picked up a new tank tonight for the smaller fish to move into. It's in my office, set up, right now (if I wanted to, I could touch it with my right hand). We plan to move Klaus into it tomorrow and, if all goes well, the other two will move in on the weekend.
when snails attack...

I've written here before, about the fish tank we inherited when we bought our new house. In the 3 months that we've had the fish, we have had a few casualties. The first one, about 10 days after we moved in was caused by ick, we bought two catfish and found out later that they don't like living with goldfish and they both died. The last fish we lost was also a victim of ick. She was sort of small and we think may have had ick when she came home from the store. We have learned a lot about fish the past few months and have had a pretty healthy group of fishies just recently.

Recently, I mentioned that we had picked up a small fish tank and two small fish. The tank was going to live in my office but we ended up returning it so the two small fishes went to live in our big tank until we found a suitable smaller tank. They entered the tank when it was a little grubby. We were having trouble keeping the tank clean due to a problem with our filter. Once the filter problem was addressed, the tank was really clean. This was good for us and for the fish but the two apple snails we have were a little hungry, I think.

Last night, one of the snails had little Klaus pinned into the corner of the tank and was eating his fin. I noticed it happened while I was saying "good night" to the fish. I managed to knock the snail off and Mark got Klaus out of the tank but I was really upset. Like, really upset, so angry at the damned snail that I was crying. A while ago, our catfish, Carl, was really sick and died while we were at work. When we got home, the two snails were going to town on his "corpse." Carl was on the bottom of the tank and the two snails were sitting on him. He was sick/dead and while it upset me to see that, Mark told me that this was to be expected in the "animal kingdom" and I accepted this. Last night though, Klaus wasn't sick, just tiny and caught in the corner (Klaus liked to stay up near the surface of the tank "eating bubbles"). This was a vicious attack and it really really upset me. It feels silly saying this but it's true. It upset me because I hadn't seen it earlier and I felt like I could have prevented it if I'd been paying closer attention. It also bothered me because Klaus was just starting to get comfortable in the tank. Yesterday morning when I was getting ready to feed them, I noticed him in the bottom of the tank in the morning, playing with Ani and Feargal (our other two small goldfish). Right now, Klaus is in a fishy "hospital" on the kitchen counter. He's still alive and swimming around, "Finding Nemo" like, with a mangled fin and a healing sore on his right side. I'm not entirely sure that he'll make a full recovery but I'm hopeful.

Thinking back about it last night, I remembered that over the weekend, I saw Goldie and Roger (the two biggest fish in the tank) hitting the snails on their shells. I just figured that they were looking for food but now I think it was something different, that the snails were getting aggressive because the clean tank meant a lack of food for them. Once the snails were removed, the rest of the fish seemed a lot happier,last night when we got home, they'd been hanging together in one corner of the tanks. This morning too, they were all over the tanks and they looked a lot better, happier if you could say that you see if a fish is happy or not. I'm concerned about Klaus right now but not to the point of distraction. What I hope is that when I get home tonight, he's swimming around his little bowl a little bit more than he was this morning and that he'll eat some dinner. If we're lucky, in a few days, he'll be healed up enough to either go back into the big tank or we'll get that smaller tank we intended to get for my office. Goodness, I feel like such a weiner. Oh, about the snails, they've been disposed of in a far more humane way than they probably deserved. I shouldn't fault them really, they were just hungry I know but still... friends shouldn't literally eat their roommates!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

awoken by the dog on wheels

Several weeks ago, we picked up a small "home theatre system" for our bedroom. It's got 5.01 and we needed a dvd player for the bedroom and this was a good deal. The box was open in the store so we got it for under $100. Not bad huh? Now, the sound is pretty good as our bedroom isn't huge and it's been working rather well. The odd time, when you use the remote to turn it off, it'll come right back on again, or vice versa. Other than that though, no serious complaints.

Last night, I had the tv on before bed. When I turned the tv and the stereo thing off, the stereo was set to the tv audio mode. At 4:20 a.m. I heard that "snap" sound and then beginning part of Belle and Sebastian's "Dog on Wheels" (I had left disc 1 of Push Barman to Open Old Wounds in the player). Somehow, the stereo had turned itself on, switched to disc player mode and started playing. I groped around for the remote and quickly shut it off, just as Stuart started singing "When I was a boy I was confounded by you..."

We can't figure out if either our house is haunted or someone in the neighbourhood owns something that operates on the same frequency as our bargain stereo. Either way, we both fell back asleep for 15 minutes, until the alarm went off again. If I was a normal "up at 6:30 a.m. person," I might have been pissed off. I'm not pissed though, I was just startled, really. If it happens again tomorrow, I might be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

paint and sky

paint and sky
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Recently, here in good old K-town, we've been lucky. On Friday, when it seemed like everyone around us was bombarded with heavy rains, we experienced a little bit of mist. What we have been seeing around here are some gorgeous clouds. Last night, while Mark and I were out doing errands, I snapped this picture of some weird looking clouds. The sky really looked like it might turn black and rain but it never did.

One of our errands involved returning a small fish tank we had picked up on the weekend. A few weeks ago, we got a little tank for our bedroom (and put a really pretty red beta - named Dr. Zoidberg - in it). When we were at the pet store on Saturday, we saw this little starter kit and thought it would be nice for my office. We picked up two little tiny goldfish for it. When we got home, we discovered that the kit was a piece of crap. Dr. Zoidberg's tank had an external filter, a light, it was basically a nice miniature of our large tank. The one we got on Saturday was no where near as nice, it was actually sort of weird and came with all kinds of warnings about how the filter was hazardous. For now, the two little fish we got (Klaus - named for the fish on American Dan and Feargal - cuz he looks "sharkey") are in the big tank with the rest of the fish. Later this week we may pick up another smaller kit but for now, everyone seems to be getting along in the larger tank.

That's enough fish talk for this morning I guess. I'm off to the dentist shortly (fun huh??). Not a nice way to start the day exactly but at least I'll get it over with early.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Last night Mark and I went up to Kingston Family Fun World. It wasn't really fun, it was actually kind of sad and spooky. The nice thing is that I took a lot of photos. Lately, I'm getting back into taking photos again, must be this whole flickr addiction thing. Anyway, here's one that I took of the two of us, as we were heading back to the car last night. I like the light on it and was glad to see that Mark actually smiled (because he almost never smiles in photos).

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

robin and agnes

robin and agnes
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
I had visitors this afternoon, in the middle of my lunch. It was one of those times I was glad that I usually eat at my desk. A colleague, Robin, stopped by with her baby daughter, Agnes. Although Agnes is 20 weeks old now, I had not been formally introduced to her yet. Isn't she cute?

Today's been a good work day so far. The past couple of days actually. The phones have been kind of busy and there's a lot of running around happening but the days are going by quickly and that's always a good thing. It's a good busy, if that makes sense.

Tonight we are planning to go out for dinner with Joe. We were also out with him on Saturday. He's doing really well these days. They have him doing regular exercises and going to physio for his pain management and he's feeling quite good. I think we're going to Red Lobster for dinner, he's got a hankering for some fish or seafood. We picked RL because they have an abundance of handicapped parking and it's all one level. Joe's using a walker, quite well I might add, but we haven't tried any steps or stairs yet with it. I don't think we want to for a while. Right now, he's doing so well just getting out of the building and into (and out of) the car, we don't want to chance any kind of set back.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Do you ever wake up feeling great and then, you get some bad news and it feels like you've had the wind knocked out of your sails? It kinda sucks and that's how I'm feeling this morning. It started out when I read my email and saw that Lizz Winstead's by-all-reports-totally-terrific father had passed away. Reading her online guestbook left me a little choked up and very moved.

About an hour later, I get phone call here at work. One of my all-time favourite volunteers, someone who I've worked with for years and felt was a friend, not just a volunteer, passed away over the weekend. He was an elderly man and his death was caused by a very serious (and thankfully brief) illness but still, I have that kicked-in-the-gut feeling right now.

It's just one of those weird days, yanno? On a more up-beat note, this morning I received an email from someone I haven't seen in a while and hopefully I'll get to see him for a bit on Thursday evening.

Hopefully, this afternoon, I'll have my shit a little more together than it's been this morning. I have stuff that I need to get done and I won't be getting much of it done if I'm still feeling like this. Mondays, sometimes they just bite.

Friday, August 12, 2005

friday, the 12th

That doesn't sound nearly as spooky as Friday the 13th, does it? Whichever it is, whenever it is, Friday's are always good. I try not to be one of those people who wish the week away but honestly, being one of those Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30 types, by the time the alarm goes off on Friday morning, I'm a little relieved.

This week was unbelievably weird. It was busy but in a halting way. Every once in a while, odd tasks would be given to me. I got through it though, in more or less one piece. I shouldn't say that actually (and no, I'm not back-spacing to erase it), I'm actually feeling quite good as it happens. Mark, on the other hand, is still feeling the after-effects of the heat stroke the other day. It would seem that he has a small bug or something as his ears and nose are a little plugged. The nose thing you can almost live with but it's hard to work when you can't hear.

Now that the weekend is here, of course it started to rain. It's a very nice soft rain, I can see the drops hitting my office window. I'm not complaining about the moisture, goodness knows we need it. Everything is really burned and dead looking around here. Flower beds are wilted and sad looking, lawns are brown. It's not good.

The weekend hold many possibilities and few commitments. Of course, at some point, we'll visit Joe. I have a bag of clean laundry for him and he's talking about wanting to venture out of the facility and into a restaurant. This would be his first trip off the property since he arrived on July 5. I can't remember the last time we got him to go to a restaurant so that would be a nice treat for him. It would surely beat the swiss chalet take-away we brought to him a couple of weeks ago. We want to see my mum at some point too this weekend. As I mentioned earlier in the week, we didn't get a chance to see her on her actual birthday on Tuesday.

It's possible that we will get ambitious and take more cardboard to the recycle centre and unpack a butt load of boxes, it's also possible that we will lay around the house like third base and do nothing. A third possibility would be to go for a mini-road trip somewhere. I don't know what we'll do exactly and at the moment, I'm not that bothered. I'm just happy to have two whole days to myself!!

And, oh yeah, here's this week's edition of Friday's Feast:

Did you sleep good last night?

I did, thanks for asking. It took me a while longer than it usually does to fall asleep but when I got there, I had a lovely peaceful sleep.

What is your current computer desktop image?

It's a picture I took of our goldfishies, swimming around in their tank, trying to avoid having their picture taken!

When was the last time you planted something, what was it and where did it go?

I can't remember, honestly. Last summer I transplanted some rhubarb that my mum gave me from her garden. When last I saw it (at our old house) it was growing well and the new folks should have a bumper crop this year.

Main Course
What's your favorite condiment?

I'd like to be all sophisticated and say something fancy, with like chipolte or wasabi in it but it's good old Heinz ketchup.

Share a quote that you like, for whatever reason.

"And then one day it happened
She cut 'er hair and I stopped lovin' 'er"
- Billy Bragg, Walk Away Renee (version)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

it's all about the pace

I work in a pretty good place. The people I work directly with are very nice, we have a really spiffy office (new paint, carpet and furniture were installed at Christmastime) and the work we do is interesting and challenging, at times it's even fun. Ordinarily, it's busy but it's a pace that I can keep up with. This week though, I've been struggling to keep up. Next week, most of the folks in our office will be out on the road, all across the country, presenting seminars. It's way more fun and interesting than I've made it sound, trust me. Anyway, leading up to this week away, there are about a billion things that need doing. This year, I'm not directly involved with getting them done but I'm the ringer, so to speak. I've been blasting out last minute group emails, keeping the web pages updated and doing little things to help with the flow. In addition to all of that, the stuff that I actually work on is getting really busy too. Do you ever have those days that fly by quickly and you know you're working hard and getting stuff done but at the end of the day it doesn't look like you did? Yeah, I've had 2 of those days already. Looks like today might be number 3. Lucky for me, most of what I'm doing, I like doing, I just hate the feeling that you can't breathe, or pee.

Mark is feeling mucho bettero today. He slept really well and woke up in a good mood, not so achey, almost normal. Of course, it's just disgustingly hot here again today (well it's really humid) so he's going to have to be careful today or he'll end up sick again. As for me, I feel good. Maybe I'm actually starting to adjust to the weather, how sick would that be?

Oh, btw, for those of you who are interested, the other day I was going on and on and on about my friend Justin's band's cd. Well they have just launched a website and you can check it out by going to http://www.pushbuttonauto.com. You can look at a couple of videos and download some of their songs, you can also mail order their stuff if you like it. It's very very good and I can't stop gushing about it, it's really that good!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

happy birthday to you

Today is my mum's birthday. Due to schedule weirdness I didn't get to see her today but I'll see her on the weekend. Thinking about it now, we probably wouldn't have been able to do it anyway, we didn't get to see Joe tonight after work. Mark picked me up and we came straight home. The poor guy is feeling really crappy again. It's another bout with heat stroke we think.

I talked to him mid-day and he was feeling very sick. Business was slow so I suggested that he stay home and get some fluids into him, have a nap, and just chill out. We had a small dinner of salad and a sandwich and he's definitely feeling better now. Hopefully in the morning, he'll be up to going to work.

Other than Mark feeling yucky and it being my mum's birthday, there isn't much to report. Work has been really busy the past two days. It's a good kind of busy though, the days are going quickly. I don't always feel like I'm accomplishing much at times but, when I look at it, I actually am. Funny how that goes huh??

Monday, August 08, 2005

red sky at night

red sky at night
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
I snapped this earlier tonight. It's pretty dark so you can't tell exactly how pink it was. The whole back yard was pink and I noticed it while standing in the kitchen. I grabbed my camera and snagged a few shots.

I love clouds but when the sky looks like this, I know we're in for a doozy of a hot day tomorrow. Should be fun, huh??

Thursday, August 04, 2005

oh happy day!!

My copy of Caravan Songs arrived in the post today. It's the first piece of new vinyl to come into the house since we've moved. Sadly, the turntable is not hooked up. I'm not even entirely sure that I know where it is. One of the lovely fellas on the hefner list has smartly made mp3's of it and is willing to send them to other listers who can prove that they have purchased the 7" (because other saddos like me either don't have their turntables hooked up or don't have one at all -- yet we buy vinyl, it's a sickness isn't it??). The funny thing is, before I even read that email, I'd already taken a picture of it with my camera phone. It's all a little eerie if you ask me. Not that you did or anything, just sayin' is all.

In other musical news, when my friend Justin was here visiting from Australia (by here I mean Canada, I didn't actually get to see him this visit), he mailed me a copy of his loverly new CD. His band is called Push Button Auto and their new CD is called A Gun and A Girl. I don't think they have a website (do they??) but I found a neat little article here about them. If you like fuzzy pop music with clever lyrics, you may want to check them out. I can put you in touch with Justin, just drop me an email and I'll hook you up. I'm sure he'd be happy to do some mail order business. As I mentioned to Justin in an email today, it's been a long time since a CD made me smile like this one did. It's just a fun fun good good album. I really like it!!

Other than new music stuff, there's not much happening today. Joe's really settled in to his new surroundings and is very happy. I'm not just saying that either, he's told us as much and he really wants to stay there. He's enjoying the company and he's getting proper, supervised exercise, which is something we know he's needed for ages but couldn't get him to do. All's well that ends well huh?? I think I'm gonna toddle off to bed now. The turntable will have to wait until the weekend, I didn't realize until just this moment, how late it was getting!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

the grind

I have returned to the working world today. In my absence, I was booked into a 9 a.m. meeting. 9 a.m., after a long weekend, after a week's vacation...it wasn't pretty. Fortunately, I wasn't alone in my confusion. We were discussing an upcoming events and apparently, a lot of stuff happened last week when I was away. Anyway, talk about jumping in with both feet.

As I expected, the day is sailing along pretty quickly. I am sifting through 230 emails (not too bad when you think about it) after the junk stuff was removed. Also, as I expected, I'm a little brain-dead at the mo so, here's another one of those goofy "things" I've grown so fond of just recently...swiped from Busy Mom:

Take the quiz: "What type of designer handbag are you?(pictures)"

You're Brighton. You are always in style and very ... bright. You tend to look on the good side of things. Stay that way!

Monday, August 01, 2005

the last day

Tomorrow we're back to work. I thought that I'd likely sleep really late this morning to make the most of the last day of our little holiday but I didn't. I've been up for a while, not doing much of anything. Not doing much of anything is almost as good as sleeping and, sometimes, if you're lucky, it comes with coffee.

We don't have big plans for today. Mark has an appointment with the dentist this afternoon. I'll more than likely visit my folks' (who live around the corner from the dental office) while he's there. Hopefully, we won't feel the urge to make any more big splurges at the home improvement centre today. Goodness knows, we've spent quite enough money over the past few days already.