Wednesday, November 30, 2005

where's the sun?

innisfil sunflowers
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Last night, after work, it was dark when Mark picked me up and pouring rain. We had a bunch of stuff to drop off at his dad's place and a whole slew of errands to do. Being sick on the weekend really messed up the progress we were making on our "to do" list. We left Joe's at 5:10 p.m. (or so) and didn't pull in the driveway until 7:55 p.m. That's a long day for us (given that we go to bed at 9!). We were both pretty soggy when we got in, soggy and tired. Tired but a little keyed up. Keyed up just enough to not feel like getting ready to sleep. Eventually we did, of course. It was late though and I tossed and turned a lot in the night.

Tonight I should sleep better, we have fewer errands to do tonight. One thing we do have to do, is bring in our bubble snowman / santa thing. I think we're going to take it back to the store. The plastic bubble part of it doesn't seem to be able to tolerate the cold Canadian winter weather. Given that we live in Canada and have cold, winter weather, this is not a good thing. As cute as it was, it's no good to us if it falls apart.

I needed to see some sun today. When there's no sun, one must make the best of it and "settle" for sunflowers.

It's dark down here in the basement. It's dark outside too so I don't know that being in the basement makes it any worse or better. We have light coloured paint on our office walls, full spectrum light bulbs in the fixtures, holiday decorations all over the place (including sparkle lights) but it still seems dark today. At least when we had a little snow on the ground, cloudy days were still bright.

"Get used to it" is, I suppose, something I should do but yanno, I just plain old don't feel like it!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


The snow is gone.

The winds are here, so is the rain.

Outside, the world looked pretty on the weekend, today it looks dark, dull, mean.

The wind blew so hard last night that our bubble snowman / santa deal on the front lawn nearly blew away. If we hadn't secured it so well, it probably would have. It sprung a leak yesterday too. The seams split in a couple of places and the little "snow balls" inside started blowing across the porch. Mark had to tape up the holes to stop the bleeding.

I was home from work yesterday, back at it today. I slept a lot yesterday. I woke up with Mark, sent him off to work at 6 a.m. or so. Less than an hour later, I was asleep again and stayed that way until around 11 a.m. I felt better for the sleep, slow moving but better. Today I feel better still, not moving much quicker than yesterday but at least I'm at work.

Tonight we have errands to run after work. I hope that the huge rains stop by then. I hate running around in the rain, it's no fun at all. At least when it's snowy, you can sing "winter is a marshmallow world" to yourself in your head. "Rain, rain, go away" is not nearly as much fun.

Monday, November 28, 2005

dysfunctional card

new video card
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Over the weekend, Mark picked up a new video card for my computer. We recently upgraded our monitors and wanted to upgrade the video card too. I had to take a picture of it because I was in awe of the fact (silly I know) that it had it's very own built-in fan.

Poor Mark, the plan was for him to put the new card (an ATI X800 I think, I'm no good with all the names) into my machine and take my "old" ATI 9800 card into his machine. This way, we'd both have PVR on our machines, blah blah blah...well, we think that something is wonky on the new card. First off, it was supposed to come with some kind of adapter and it didn't, so Mark had to go back to the store to pick it up. Once he had the adapter, the dual monitor thing wasn't working properly. He picked up a second adapter yesterday and the same thing happened so we're thinking that there is something wrong with the actual card. We have to wait until later in the week to get a replacement. It's working okay right now but it's not doing all the stuff that it's supposed to be doing. Fun times huh?

As far as the new monitor goes, it's soooo nice to finally have a flat panel screen at home. I may not have to buy a new desk afterall. Once the new monitor was installed, I got a huge chunk of desk top space back. Now all I need to do is get my office properly organized and cleared of cardboard boxes. I think that'll have to wait until my vacation (which starts on December 16).

Saturday, November 26, 2005


It's a winter wonderland outside right now.

I wish I felt better because it looks like it would be lots of fun to just run outside and make snow angels. I've been up for a while now and the snow hasn't let up. I like days like this, it's pretty watch. Not so pretty to shovel later on when it's done but that's okay. It's supposed to warm up again on Monday so it'll prolly melt by then.

Well, other than making coffee and mixing together some oatmeal muffin mix (and baking them), I haven't done much today and I don't plan to do much more. My schedule includes much sipping of hot water beverages and sitting on the sofa, watching the storm.

I love lazy Saturdays (even when I'm sick with a cold)!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

good mail day

good mail day
Originally uploaded by Julep67.

All week I've felt a little off, like I've been fighting a cold. This morning when I woke up, I really didn't feel like going into the office. My whole body ached, I had a bit of a headache and a sore throat. I convinced myself that once I had a shower and got dressed, I'd feel better. I actually did feel a little bit better and went off to work.

Once I got to work, I stopped feeling "better." Better was never great but it was okay. Once I got to work, I became very warm and felt fever-ish. The sore throat got a bit worse and I became dizzy whenever I had to go up the stairs (down was okay for some reason). I muddled through my morning, actually got a lot of stuff off of my desk and left for home at lunchtime.

Before I left the office, I called ahead and ordered some noodle soup from our favourite Vietnamese place (it's just around the corner). I got home about 45 minutes ago and have a belly which is full of very hot soup, a couple of sweet shrimp and some very yummy noodles.

Oh, the good mail thing...yeah, when I got in the door, I saw that my latest mail order had arrived (yay!!). If I'm gonna be feeling lousy this weekend (which hopefully I'm not but one never knows when one has a sore throat and cough) I might as well have some new stuff to listen to!

sad day

Sad news but, unfortunately, couldn't call it "unexpected."

Best loses fight for life

MANCHESTER United led the tributes to "one of the greatest footballers of all time" after George Best passed away.

The 59-year-old United and Northern Ireland legend died at the Cromwell Hospital in west London at 12.55pm, after suffering multiple organ failure.

A spokesman for the hospital confirmed: "After a long and very valiant fight Mr George Best died this afternoon in the intensive care unit at Cromwell Hospital.

"The thoughts of all staff at Cromwell Hospital are with Mr Best's family at this time."

Born in Belfast, Best played for United from 1963 to 1974 and his finest hour came in 1968 when the Red Devils became the first English club to win the European Cup.

Best made 180 goals in 474 appearances for United and also won two league championships, in 1965 and 1967.


A statement from United read: "George Best was one of the greatest footballers of all time.

"Naturally athletic, tough, confident and blessed with genius, his career was one of the brightest stars of its generation. His gifts were legendary.

"For the goals, the audacious dribbles and all the wonderful memories, Manchester United and its legions of fans worldwide will always be grateful.

"We feel a deep sense of loss but his spirit and his talent will live on forever."

Sir Bobby Charlton, a director at Old Trafford and a team-mate of Best's during his time at the club, said: "Manchester United's glorious history has been created by people like George Best.

"Anyone that witnessed what George could do on the pitch wished they could do the same. He made an immense contribution to the game, and enriched the lives of everyone that saw him play. It is a very sad day.

"Football has lost one of its greats, and I have lost a dear friend. He was a marvellous person and my thoughts are now with his family."

The club will open a book of condolence tomorrow morning at Old Trafford.

Natural talent

The Irish Football Association led the mourning in Best's native Northern Ireland, for whom he made 37 appearances and scored nine goals.

IFA chief executive Howard Wells said: "This is a sad day for football. George was a complete one-off with a natural talent rarely seen since.

"I had the privilege of entertaining him when I worked in Hong Kong and I also saw one of his early internationals for Northern Ireland, in 1964. He had this incredible balance, speed and grace. He was the best I had ever seen."

IFA director of coaching Roy Millar added: "He was an icon of Northern Ireland football and he will be remembered for his performances for Northern Ireland and Manchester United. He was the most talented footballer Northern Ireland has ever produced and he was a world star."

Best spent his final hours in hospital surrounded by his loved ones.

His family, including son Calum, 24, and father Dickie, 87, had kept an all-night vigil at his bedside.

This morning floral tributes started to arrive outside the private hospital. Alongside the flowers were several United supporters' scarves and a football shirt bearing the name Best and the number seven.

Best was admitted to Cromwell Hospital on October 1 suffering from a flu-like infection.

His health deteriorated rapidly when he developed a kidney infection, but he then rallied and his condition was thought to be improving until the early hours of Friday last week when he suffered a severe setback.

He developed a lung infection and was put back on a ventilator in intensive care, but remained alert.

His condition deteriorated further on Wednesday night after which his consultant, Professor Roger Williams, said there was no longer anything doctors could do.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

marshmallow world

marshmallow world
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
This morning, I was awake before the alarm went off. The first thing I did was sit up and open the curtains, I could tell it had snowed through the night but it didn't look like much (even though I didn't have my glasses on).

When I got up and started moving around, I could see that we had just had a light dusting of snow. It was enough that even at 4:45 a.m., it seemed bright outside and it was quite pretty, I must admit.

By the time I was getting ready to leave the house, it had started snowing again and the roads were completely covered. I'm not sure how much of it will actually accumulate today but the roads are horrible. In good old Kingston fashion, there are no plows out and you can tell that no sanders have been out either. It's a slimey mess that's getting worse by the minute.

I worry about Mark on days like this. He's an extremely good driver but still, having to be out in the storm, with all the idiots who freak out and forget how to drive the first time we have a snowfall is hard on the nerves. Hopefully, the sun will pop out later this morning and it'll be melted by lunchtime!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

flurries?? fuggettaboutit!!

We just got home. I say just but it was more like 40 minutes ago or so. We had a bunch of errands to do after work. I must say, when the weather is like this, brisk and crisp, I don't mind being out and about. It's always a little over-warm in the stores but it's so nice to step out into clean, cold air. Nothing feels better than a lung or two full of that good stuff. Especially on a night like tonight, when the sky is clear and beautiful!

Imagine my surprise when I sat down in front of the machine and read (on the ever-reliable Environment Canada website), that a heavy snowfall warning was "continued." I didn't even know that there was that needed continuing. I know that the area all around is supposed to get buried in the white stuff tomorrow but I don't think we'll see much, if any of it. Now that I think about it, the warning might have been related to all of the traffic we saw this evening. There's nothing quite like a storm warning to thrust folks into panic shopping!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

secret santa

Thanks to Alison, I have signed up to be a secret santa. It'll be soooo much fun, you should to it too (or not, no pressure -- I just think it's going to be fun!!)!!

Secret Santa Project

Monday, November 21, 2005

snow globe

bubble snowmen
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Last week, on Monday evening, we threw up our holiday lights. I saw threw up because we really rushed it. The forecast called for rotten weather and we wanted them up before that settled in. Well, the storm never happened but we started a trend. Almost everyone on our street has their lights on now. It's looking really pretty.

Tonight, we put out our Santa snowglobe. We picked this up earlier in the fall. Santa is leaning over a big slow globe. The globe has two small snowmen in it and there is snow blowing around inside it. It's really neat and now it's set up on our front porch. I haven't done the inside windows yet but that will be my project for the weekend I think.

Right now, it looks really cool and fun and bright. With the days so short now, it's nice to see a little bit of funky light on our street!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

s'no way!

It's serious, I mean it. We've flirted with flurries all week but right now, the white stuff is sticking to the ground. It's sticking to the rooftops, it's a crappy looking "winter wonderland" out there. It's too early, or it seems too early anyway. I know we put up our Festivus lights on Monday but still...snow?? yikes.

This kind of weather makes me want to stay in the house and listen to music. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but I have a list of things I need to / would like to accomplish and they all involved actually leaving the house. With any kind of luck, the snow will be gone when we get up in the morning.

As far as music goes, I've been listening to a lot of stuff lately. I had gone through a talk radio / television period earlier in the year. Honestly, it made my head hurt. Recently, I've stuck to reading my news (and watching the daily show -- hello, I do too know it's fake!). I find that listening to happy music makes my head hurt less and it's easier for me to concentrate when I'm at work if I'm humming (in my head) along with some nice little tune.

Do you ever get stuck on a particular song?? I mean, like you cannot stop listening to it?? I've been stuck on 2 songs this week, "Soldier Girl" (the UK single version from the little ep) by the Polyphonic Spree and "Art Class" by Superchunk. They aren't very similar but I guess that they aren't all that different. It's like a couple of weeks ago, for some really weird reason which I can't pin-point, I couldn't stop listening to George Michael's (yeah, so what, shut up!!) "American Angel" and "Saddest Quo" by the Pernice Brothers.

Little meaningless weird coincidence, last week, I read a review of the Magic Numbers and made a mental note to check them out (they were compared to both the Spree and B&S). On Saturday morning, we get to Ottawa and my brother asks me if I'd heard the Magic Numbers. Well, as it happens I say, I hadn't. So he played us their CD and it's really good. I know that some reviewers say that the guy's vocals are thin (I personally don't think so but then I like other "thin-voiced" boy singers so there!) but I really like their sound. Reviews don't mean a lot to me when I actually like something. It's a warm, sunny sound. Can't we all just use a little more sunshine in our day?? I have a feeling that "Forever Lost" might make it into that "can' stop listening to it" category next week. Unfortunately, there is really no way to predict what the sticky track will be. If the snow stays around, I might get stuck on Savage Garden's version (cuz it's soooo cheesy) of "Last Christmas" and the Damned's "There Ain't No Santa Claus." Only time will tell I guess!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

yeah huh, we ate it!!

On Saturday, we took a little roadtrip to Ottawa to see my brother. His birthday is coming up (on November 19). For the first time in a long time, Mark and I both had a Saturday off together and we knew that Pat's band (the Glads, they are excellent!!) had an out-of-town gig on his actual birthday (in Montreal -- check them out!!) so we thought we'd take a chance and see if he was around for a visit. Lucky for us, he was!!

For his birthday, we got him a copy of the Warriors (director's cut) and a bag of actual Keyspan Park peanuts. Hey, if the Warriors are going to spend the movie trying to get home to Coney Island, the least we could do was give Pat some Coney Island snack food!! I think he liked it. We used to rent it all the time. When we were kids and VCRs were new, it was one of the few movies in our video store that we liked so I remember us renting it every once in a while....can you dig it??

Pat joined us for a jaunt to IKEA where we spent entirely too much money (not really) on stuff we really needed for the house. Afterwards, we took him out for birthday lunch. We splurged on some extra calories and ordered a mile-high mud pie and an ice cream cookie avalanche to split three ways. Goodness gracious but we were wired after that. It was a lot (and I mean A LOT) of sugar.

It was good though. When Mark and I got home, we were still buzzed enough on the sugar that we put up some of the curtains that we'd purchased and assembled the lights we bought (three table lamps for the living room, two desk type lamps for our bedroom).

Yesterday, we put up some shelves we bought and I shortened up some of the curtains. We had a bunch of errands to do too so it was busy. This morning, I really didn't want to get up. It didn't feel like we had a rest this weekend. I guess we didn't but it was good. The house is looking terrific, like home again...finally.

Oh yeah, tonight, because Mark heard that we were supposed to get snow or freezing rain tomorrow, we put up our holiday lights outside. We bought some of those LED lights, four strings of 35. We had enough to run them across the front of the house along the eaves and around the railing of the porch. They look terrific. We also bought one of those big inflatable Santas (he's holding a snow globes that has blowing snow inside it!) a couple of months ago but we won't put that up until at least December 1...or this weekend. Depends on how long we can wait. It's kind of nice, now that the days are so short, to see the neighbourhood starting to light up again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

autumn sunrise

autumn sunrise
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
This morning, as I walked into the kitchen to wash out my coffee mug and get ready for work, I noticed a weird pink glow creeping across the room. I looked toward the window and then ran for my camera. I was lucky to get outside and snap a few photos before the pink glow disappeared.

It's true, that old saying about "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning..." It's been cold and rainy and miserable all day. Too bad that the day couldn't have stayed as beautiful as it was earlier. I'm just glad that I caught some of it with my camera.

Last night, I was looking through the list of numbers on our caller id and noticed that Mark's dork brother had called yesterday. He had last called in July and left a completely obscene and ignorant message on our voice mail. Mark returned the call and told him to never all our house again (this guy is a totaly headcase -- occasionally he'll call Mark's dad, 9 times out 10 he's looking for money, I tell you, this guy is a bum). At first I wasn't sure it was his number because his name didn't show up, only the number. I can't imagine that he intended to call us directly. He's such a moron, he probably forgot that Joe has a different phone number because, hello, he's living in a long term care facility!!

Speaking of Joe, I'll be seeing him in a few hours. When we can (weather and health permitting) we go out for dinner on Wednesday nights. Tonight, I'm not sure how much Joe will able to eat. He had a dentist appointment this afternoon and is getting a new tooth. Apparently, on the day his mother died, one of his front teeth just fell out. From the shock I suppose. When he went into the hospital in July, he lost the tooth and we're just now getting around to replacing it. I'm sure he'll feel better when he gets it, he's got a bit of an Alfred E. Newman thing happening right now. He is having a busy day today, he's supposed to have a haircut today too. Watch out ladies, he'll be a whole new guy!!

Monday, November 07, 2005

weird weather

after the storm - spooky sunset
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
Now, I know that we did not have anything nearly as bad as what those poor folks down in Indiana saw over the weekend but we definitely had some weather weirdness yesterday.

Our Sundays have a bit of a newish routine to them now. We get up in a lazy-ish fashion (meaning we don't set the alarm) and then grab coffees at Tim's and head over to see Joe. We stay and visit for as long as the coffee lasts. By the time the coffee's gone, he's usually ready for us to leave anyway. After we leave Joe, we go and finish off any errands we need to do. Yesterday, while we were out erranding, we realized that the temperature was 20 degrees, in November. Hello?? Tell me again Mr Bush, how there is no such thing as global warming... anyway, by the time we got home, we were roasting. Mark and I opened up windows and a lovely breeze was blowing through the house. We settled down for some lunch and, about half-way through our meal, realized that it was dark outside, we needed lights on in the living room. Yikes.

I don't know how many different storms rolled through town yesterday. It seemed like one would just finish and another would start up. This went all all through the night last night too. The way the wind howled kept me awake for most of the night. In the rain, I kept running outside and snapping pictures. The sky was really bizarre and I didn't come close to capturing it. What I did get was some neat shots of a huge-ass rainbow. I could see the whole arc of it (although I couldn't get it into a single camera shot). I was able to get a little video of it though, which is pretty neat. I gotta say, given what we saw of it on the edge, I can't imagine what it must be like to be in the middle of a storm like that.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

bright-eyed and hiccup-y

Just recently, I have not had many opportunities to sleep in. This morning was one of the few mornings, in a long long time, that I could have slept in. Unfortunately, I'm awake right now. My body just doesn't understand that I'm not working today and that I could have slept for at least another hour. Also, until just a moment ago, I had the hiccups. I'm not sure that this is important, it' just something that happened.

This morning I'm going to a memorial service for a friend's father. He died last Saturday after a 6 month battle with cancer. He was a heck of a nice guy and I expect that there will be a huge crowd. Both he and his wife come from very large families, lots of brothers and sisters, many nieces and nephews, grandkids. As much as I just hate going to things like this, I know that the service will be really nice, knowing his kids like I do, I know it will truly celebrate his life. Even still, things like this are always sad and hard to deal with. You'd think that the older you get, and the more of them you go to, they'd get easier but they don't. Wonder why that it is.

Anyway, I suppose, if I was smart, I'd take advantage of the fact that I'm up early, go do some laundry or something. Of course, I'm not smart and there is an old repeat of Law & Order on right now, one I particularly like and have only seen once before so....yeah, no laundry, not yet anyway.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

happy first of the month!

I should have probably popped in and wished you all a happy halloween yesterday but I didn't. We did have halloween here yesterday though, wishes or not. Approximately 130 little trickertreaters knocked on our door last night. As this is our first year in the new house, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Last year, we were living on the "main street" of our neighbourhood. It's quite busy and I would get around 100 kids at the door. We're now on a side-street and I saw a lot more traffic last night than I ever remember seeing before. Our street was full of cars and vans and there were groups of kids all over the place. Even the parents got into it, many of them were in costume too. It was nice to see.

We had pretty good decorations at our place. You know that they are good when you really scare the little wee ones. We only had a couple of kids who wouldn't come up onto the porch. Mark had set a strobe light up, in the basement window, so it flashed on the steps. I also had a lights display in the living room window, a glow in the dark skeleton (with flashing green eyeballs) hanging in the door and we had this weird skeleton wind chime too. He had a motion sensor and whenever you went near him, he would shake and make spooky noises and flash lights - red ones from his eyes and blue ones from his mouth. We hung him on the porch in such a way that his head would bang against the hand rail. It made the whole thing vibrate a little bit. It was pretty entertaining for the kids I think.

For the last 20 minutes or so, I handed out 2 bags of chips to each kid, to try and get rid of them, so I only have about 6 bags left. The worst thing to me, about halloween, is having all of that junk in the house. By 7 p.m., it was all over. I took the decorations down this morning. Guess we'll soon have to think about the winter holiday decorations next. It's really hard to believe that it's November already.