Thursday, January 31, 2008 case you thought I was full of it

Just fyi, folks in the states often complain that we send crappy cold weather down there way. Apparently, all of this business with the snow is coming at us from a system over Arkansas of all places!!

Kingston - Odessa - Frontenac Islands
3:47 PM EST Thursday 31 January 2008
Winter storm warning for

Kingston - Odessa - Frontenac Islands upgraded from winter storm watch
Snow heavy at times is expected across all of southern and eastern Ontario with a possibility of freezing rain and ice pellets along lakes Erie and Ontario on Friday.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A low pressure area over Arkansas is getting organized and setting its sights on southern Ontario. As the low moves east across the southern states then curves northeast towards the Ohio Valley tonight it is expected to tap into a lot of moisture and energy from the gulf of Mexico. As a result it is likely that this low will intensify into a significant winter storm as it moves into southern Ontario later tonight and Friday.

liberating exhaustion

There is something sort of liberating about being a calm center in the midst of a mob of folks who are freaking out.

Since 4:47 a.m. today, Environment Canada has been reporting winter storm watches. We are supposed to be getting a huge dump of snow tonight, or tomorrow at sometime. Unfortunately, before this warning was issued, Mark and I had already decided to do our errands tonight. We were out doing our errands with half of the city I think.

Last night, we stuck around the house waiting for Bella to arrive. We could have gone out after she arrived but 1 - I think that would have been shitty to leave her in an empty house on her first evening here and 2 - Mark was completely fried from driving a cab in white out conditions all day.

A couple of places we went to (the pet store for fish food and doggie treats and the dollar store for some work stuff) weren't overly busy. The grocery store though, and the bulk barn, nutso. Folks were freaking out. I saw a woman at the grocery store pile 4 huge packages of toilet paper in her cart. I'm not sure if she's thinking that she'll be snowed in until spring but she had this terrified look in her eyes that was a little disturbing.

Fortunately for us, we only needed a few things so we could roll around the store and take our time. Honestly, the panic in the faces of some of these people was unbelievable. The storm isn't even supposed to start until tomorrow. Honestly, if you get that freaked out over a snow storm, perhaps you are living in the wrong part of the world.

Lucky for us, we know how to take a bit of snow in stride and we're home now, toasty warm and ready for whatever the weather throws at us tomorrow. It'll be pretty funny if it's all much ado about nothing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

bella's here

We are once again dog sitting for our friends. The lovely Bella (a gorgeous and sweet natured Blue Tick Hound) is once again staying with us. This time, she'll be here for the entire month of February.

We looked after her for a couple of weeks in late November / early December. We'd never met Bella before that visit. We knew her owners' previous dog, Morgan, quite well (I'd known Morgan since she was a puppy) but Bella was a stranger to us. When she arrived in November, she was pretty nervous and it took her almost the first week to really chill into being here. It had to be odd, new people, a completely different place, city noise versus country quiet. I wasn't surprised.

Tonight though, she whimpered a tiny bit after Jamie dropped her off but it was really not long at all. Right now, she's sleeping in her basket. I placed it next to the furnace vent so she's toasty roasty warm. The house she lives in is a lovely log cabin on a remote lake north of here. They heat the house by wood stove so there are no blasting forced air hot spots to snuggle on. Her owners have gone to the Caribbean for a holiday. I guess she's sort of on one too, I joked with her owners that she's getting to spend a month in the warmth as well.

I'm so glad that she's here again, we really missed her.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

spoke too soon

so Mark thinks that Butthead is actually sick.

On the weekend, I noticed that his lip was red. He'd been tossing gravel around like Roger used to and I spotted a little boo-boo on his mouth. Mark added extra salt to his water on Sunday during the tank cleaning. It's possible that he's just a little over salted.

Tonight he got some tank medicine stuff added to his water and he seems to have chilled a bit. Would you ever have thought that a little fish (well, not really so little) could cause such a ruckus!?


Butthead is really living up to his name tonight. When I got home from work, he was sitting on the bottom of the tank, under the heater. I put some food in his tank (cuz it was fishie dinner time) and normally, he is all in that food like, well like a goldfish on the food. Tonight, Butthead didn't even look in the direction of the food. I left the room and fed the rest of the fish and changed my clothes. When I came back, he was still sitting under the heater and the food was on the gravel in the tank. If he was all clenched up, I'd have been really nervous but I think he's playing possum (if fish can play possum). I sat down at my desk and moved over toward his tank and watched him. Eventually, in a sort of f-you move, he dramatically turned around, disturbing some gravel and creating a wave which recirculated the food.

For a few minutes, I actually thought that maybe he was sick. I see now that he was just being sulky and weird. Sulky and weird is normal Butthead behaviour. We keep discussing getting him a little tank buddy but seriously, I don't want to put a little fish in there and find it dead the next day because Butthead has anger management issues.

Such a wiener is butthead.

Monday, January 28, 2008

work stuff

Over the past week or so, I've had to go for a few different training sessions. The sessions are really informal, one on one meetings which I've booked with colleagues which will help bring me up to speed on some of the unfamiliar aspects of my new job.

On Thursday, I went for a session at our central office. This office contains a lot of the support services folks and it's a place I visit several times a week to drop off documents and financial stuff. I usually hit it at the end of the day, on my way home so it's a quick dash in and out. Thursday morning, I had some time to wander the building a bit and say hello to some folks. The reaction was very sweet and warm. Honestly, you'd have thought that I'd been away in Siberia for a year. Lots of hugs and smiles and words of encouragement and support for me in my new role. These folks are genuinely sweet and caring and just incredibly kind.

Today, I went for another session about some of our financial reporting processes. This time, I was in my old building. It was the first time I'd been back in their since I dropped my keys off during the holidays. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel a little strange. The place is so familiar and yet, I no longer have a corner of it to call mine. I don't miss it though, it's a busy building, bustling I guess you could say. Lots of folks everywhere, lots of equipment, it's a hive of activity and at times, a flurry of stress (if stress can be flurried).

After my session, I had to go see one of my current co-workers about a work-related matter. She's splitting her time between our office (in the sweet cottage) and the central office. Along the way, I got to say hello to a friend of mine who I miss a lot (probably one of three folks I miss most) for a minute. On my way out, I stopped by my old area. My old boss was on her phone with her back to the door when I walked by her office so I didn't stop in for a hello. I was able to have a little visit with my two close work buddies (the other two folks I miss the most). It was the first time I'd seen them since the holidays and it felt really nice to see them face to face. We had a quick natter (we've been keeping up via phone) and while it made me realize that I do miss them, I don't miss working over there like I thought I might.

My new job is so different from what I was doing before. The environment is less frantic but the work is just as challenging. I actually feel like I have a little bit of time to absorb everything I'm doing. Toward the end of my old position, I was feeling a little bit like I was on auto-pilot. I never had time to stop and reflect or review what I'd been doing. That's not a good feeling, jumping from one thing to the next willie-nillie. I mean, more often than not, it was juggling multiple big projects at the same time so there was not a lot of wiggle room for days off or getting sick.

The one amusing (to me anyway) common thing I keep running into since I've moved on, is the counting. The first week, everyone I'd talk to would be "so, is this day three?" and after that it was all "so, week 2 huh?" It feels a little like when someone has a baby and for the first little while they are "so many days old" and then that gets upgraded to "weeks" until they are a couple of months old. I guess I'm still in the infancy of this new job and folks are counting along for me. It's encouraging for sure but I can't help but smile a little about it too. It's cute.

my officemate

For no good reason, I took this little video the other evening of our fish, Butthead. He wasn't always a butthead but we started calling him that a couple of years ago. Originally, his name was Skid and he had a buddy named Mojo. Skid had a growth spurt and started picking on the other fish in the tank so we decided to isolate him. It was either that or let him beat the living crap out of the other fish. For a while he lived down in the basement, in Mark's office. When Chocolate died in December, we moved him upstairs, into the tank she'd been in.

He's got a bit of a 'tude at times but I think he likes being upstairs. He definitely gets more attention and he is fed on a more regular schedule. That has to be good because seriously, there is not much that goldfish like more than eating.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

please give me just a tiny break

what kind of a moron even starts a suit like this?

Nude Butt Could Cost ABC $1.4 Million

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a 2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue.

The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares to take a shower. The scene depicted "multiple, close-up views" of the woman's "nude buttocks" according to an agency order issued late Friday.

ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The fines were issued against 52 stations either owned by or affiliated with the network.

FCC's definition of indecent content requires that the broadcast "depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities" in a "patently offensive way" and is aired between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The agency said the show was indecent because "it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs -- specifically an adult woman's buttocks."

The agency rejected the network's argument that "the buttocks are not a sexual organ."

Friday, January 25, 2008

go away now

Sometimes when I don't hear about something for a while, I secretly hope that it's stopped, gone away. Unfortunately, not having heard about Fred Phelps for a bit didn't mean that he had grown a heart and a brain. You would have to expect that someone who speaks like he does would believe in hell. I don't actually believe in it but, if I did, I would imagine that someone like Fred Phelps would end up there for the pain he's inflicted on folks over the years.

Shame on you Fred Phelps.

Heath Ledger's Funeral Is No Place For Bigots

New York, NY, January 24, 2008
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), responding to the Westboro Baptist Church's plan to turn Heath Ledger's death into a homophobic spectacle, said the actor's funeral "should be no place for haters, and especially a gay basher like Fred Phelps."

Phelps and his virulently homophobic church have vowed to picket the actor's funeral, objecting to what they view as the actor's support of homosexuality through his starring role in the film "Brokeback Mountain." It is a time-honored strategy for Phelps, a notorious hater who uses high-profile funerals as a means to promote his unique brand of bigotry to the masses.

"It is time to say to Fred Phelps and his ilk, enough is enough," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Heath Ledger's funeral should be no place for haters, and especially a gay basher like Fred Phelps. It is outrageous that the Westboro Baptist Church would attempt to turn the untimely and sad death of a Hollywood celebrity into a homophobic spectacle."

Since the summer of 2005, the Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church has picketed the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with placards reading "Thank God for Dead Soldiers." Phelps believes that the soldiers represent a nation tolerant of homosexuality, and their deaths are God's punishment for their sins. The group also routinely rails against Jews, Catholics and other minority faiths.

In October 2007, a federal court ordered the group to pay $11 million to the father of a slain Marine after it was found guilty of violating a right to privacy and inflicting intentional emotional distress.

Members of the WBC first gained national notoriety when they appeared at the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard bearing signs reading "No Fags in Heaven" and "God Hates Fags."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

buh-bye Dennis

I was saddened to read this but not entirely shocked. I really have a lot of respect for Dennis Kucinich.

Democrat Kucinich quits US presidential race
Associated Press
Thursday January 24, 2008
Guardian Unlimited

Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who proposed a US Department of Peace and pushed for impeachment of vice president Dick Cheney, is abandoning his second, long-shot bid for the White House.

In an interview with Cleveland's Plain Dealer newspaper, the liberal six-term House of Representatives member said he was quitting the race and would make a formal announcement on Friday.

"I will be announcing that I'm transiting out of the presidential campaign," Kucinich said. "I'm making that announcement tomorrow about a new direction."

Kucinich has received little support for his presidential bid. He got 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, the first in the election season, and was shut out in the Iowa caucuses a few days before that.

Kucinich, 61, also faces a tough fight to hold onto his other job - congressman. He faces four challengers in the Democratic congressional primary March 4, and earlier this week he made an urgent appeal on his Web site for money for his re-election.

His also decision comes a month after his youngest brother, Perry Kucinich, was found dead.

Kucinich brought the same sense of idealism to his second run for president as he did in his first bid. He said he was entering the race again because the Democratic party was not pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war.

Since winning a seat in Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been one of its most outspoken liberals, opposing international trade agreements like the North America Free Trade Agreement and marching with protesters during a meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle.

As a presidential candidate, he proposed a Department of Peace and supported universal healthcare and gay marriage. He also pushed for impeachment of Cheney.

At a debate in October, Kucinich delivered one of the night's lighter moments when he confirmed seeing an unidentified flying object at the home of actress Shirley MacLaine. With a smile, he said he would open a campaign office in Roswell, New Mexico, home to many alleged UFO sightings.

Kucinich married British citizen Elizabeth Harper in 2005.

on and on and on

I feel really terrible for the poor WGA Members who are still on strike. I also feel pretty bad for me because I really need a new episode of "the office."

I don't know if this a good thing or not but I'm finding all kinds of stuff on you tube these days. For some reason, I went looking for Betty White stuff (cuz she's the best) tonight and found this clip. I have Donny and Marie barbie dolls but don't have a Betty White doll. that's a little sad I think.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


view from my desk
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The fancy ass hockey rink that they are building here in town is supposedly almost ready to open. It is not something I've supported in it's current format. When the city council first started talking about it, the complex would actually be a conference facility with restaurants, hotel rooms, meeting space and some sports space thrown because in Kingston, you can always use another pad of ice.

It's a bit of a white elephant and I think it's caused a fair bit of division here in our tiny town. The thing is scheduled to open next month. The folks running the joint are announcing some upcoming concerts. Now I have said all along, that it would be highly unlike if anyone I actually liked enough to go see would play in this new barn.

So one of the "big shows" that have been announced is a concert by that infamous sk8tr grl from the west end of town. I mention this because Mark had one of the great minds of our nation in his cab today. The guy says to Mark, all serious like, "yanno why that Avril Lavigne show will sell out at the LVEC?" Mark doesn't really say anything so the fellow says, "Cuz EVERYONE in Napanee will go to that show, fer shure!"

Well now, why didn't I think of that!? If you want to sell out a hockey rink, every week, just keep booking "home town" acts that can sell the place out with their friends and neighbours. I think that just makes sense.

gotta sort the good fruit from the bad fruit

I found this today. I hadn't seen in a long time and really, it's probably my favourite Hefner video. It's simple. The song is lovely and so is the video.

This article amused me a lot. Suck it kids. Some of us "old folks" are probably using some of this before you are and some of us have been "online" since before you were born.

Youth Vs. Adults in Gadget Wars

CHICAGO (AP) — Scott Seigal was awakened one recent early morning by a cell phone text message. It was from his girlfriend's mother.

His friends' parents have posted greetings on his MySpace page for all the world to see. And his 72-year-old grandmother sends him online instant messages every day so they can better stay in touch while he's at college.

"It's nice that adults know SOME things," says Seigal, an 18-year-old freshman at Binghamton University in New York. He especially likes IMing with his grandma because he's "not a huge talker on the phone."

Increasingly, however, he and other young people are feeling uncomfortable about their elders encroaching on what many young adults and teens consider their technological turf.

Long gone are the days when the average, middle-aged adult did well to simply work a computer. Now those same adults have Gmail, upload videos on YouTube, and sport the latest high-tech gadgets.

Young people have responded, as they always have, by searching out the latest way to stay ahead in the race for technological know-how and cool. They use Twitter, which allows blogging from one's mobile phone or BlackBerry, or, a site where they can download videos and TV programs.

They customize their cell phones with various faceplates and ringtones. And, sometimes, they find ways to exclude adults — using high-frequency ringtones that teens can hear but most adults can't, for instance.

Nowhere are the technological turf wars more apparent than on social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, which went from being student-oriented to allowing adults outside the college ranks to join.

Gary Rudman, a California-based youth market researcher, has heard the complaints. He regularly interviews young people who think it's "creepy" when an older person — we're talking someone they know — asks to join their social network as a "friend." It means, among other things, that they can view each others' profiles and what they and their friends post.

"It would be like a 40-year-old attending the prom or a frat party," Rudman says. "It just doesn't work."

It's a particular quandary for image-conscious teens, says Eric Kuhn, a junior at Hamilton College in upstate New York, who's blogged about the etiquette of social networking.

He accepted his mom's invitation to be Facebook friends and has, in turn, become online friends with other adults she knows. But so far, he says, his 16-year-old sister has declined to add their mom "because she thinks it is not cool."

Lakeshia Poole, a 24-year-old from Atlanta, says "my Facebook self has become a watered down version of me." Worried about older adults snooping around, she's now more careful about what she posts and has also made her profile private, so only her online friends can see it.

"It's somewhat a Catch-22, because now I'm hidden from the people I would really like to connect with," she says.

Lauren Auster-Gussman, a freshman at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, says it's particularly awkward when one of her parents' friends asks to join her social network. She thinks Facebook should only be used by people younger than, say, 40.

"I mean, I'm in college," she says. "There are bound to be at least a few drunken pictures of me on Facebook, and I don't need my parents' friends seeing them."

There are ways around the problem.

It's possible on some sites, for instance, to limit what someone can see on your profile, though some users think it's a pain to have to deal with that.

"That is the beauty of Facebook and other online social networks. If you want to only interact with your peers, then you can adjust the settings to only allow that," says Katie Jones, a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University, who's studied ways prospective students use Facebook to contact students at colleges and universities they're interested in attending.

It's also possible to simply decline or ignore an adult's request to be an online friend. Or adults could back off and only use social networking to contact their own peers.

But it's not always so easy to relinquish that control, especially for parents of teens, says Kathryn Montgomery, the author of "Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce and Childhood in the Age of the Internet" and mother of a 14-year-old.

"As parents, we have to figure out where to draw the line between encouraging and allowing our teens to have autonomy, to experience their separate culture, and when we need to monitor their use of media," says Montgomery, a professor of communication at American University.

She says it's especially important to help young people understand that social networking is often more public than they think. Sometimes monitoring them is the best way to do that.

Sue Frownfelter, a 46-year-old mom in Flint, Mich., thinks it's less of an issue for parents who discover technology with — or even before — their children. Among other things, she has a blog, uses Twitter and has a Chumby, a personal Internet device that displays anything from news and weather to photos and eBay auctions.

Her children, ages 9 and 11, begged her to allow them to have a MySpace page, because she does. Instead, she suggested, a social networking site for kids that allows parental monitoring.

"I can't imagine my life without technology! It has truly become an extension of who I am and who my family will likely be," says Frownfelter, who works at a community college.

Still, in today's world, parents are finding that the urge to stake out technological turf is starting at a very young age.

Jennifer Abelson, a mom in New York, says her 2-year-old daughter asks every day if she can play on the "'puter" on such kid-oriented sites as and

"She's constantly telling us 'I will do it!' and 'Go away!' if we try to interfere with her 'working,'" Abelson says.

"It's pretty amazing to see technology ingrained at such a young age. But I know she's learned so much from being able to use technology on her own."

Martha Irvine is an AP national writer. She can be reached at mirvine(at) or via

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

frozen rain barrel

frozen rain barrel
Originally uploaded by Julep67
If you were concerned that I had changed my journal and would be exclusively reporting on dead celebrities from here on out, worry no more! I just got pre-occupied by surprising deaths in the news for a few days. It does happen sometimes, to me it happens anyway.

We're getting a big ass snow storm right now. I thought it was supposed to arrive earlier in the day but the brunt of it waited until folk were heading home from work to appear. It's days like this when I'm particularly glad that I don't have far to go at the end of working day.

Speaking of working, I'm still really liking my new job. I know it's only 2.5 weeks in so I shouldn't be surprised but I actually kind of am. I really enjoy going in to the office in the mornings. The days fly by but in a good way and the work is really interesting. It's pretty good actually. A very nice change and I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record talking about it.

Speaking of broken records, I've been finding lots of music on my computer that I had all but forgotten about. Right now for example, I'm listening to something that I haven't heard in years, Stereolab's "Emperor Tomato Ketchup." I was scrolling through a list of albums on my computer and stopped randomly on it. I'm really really enjoying the feeling of being almost hynotized by it. It's no hypnotoad but it's sort of what I needed tonight, even if I didn't know it until just now.

shocking and sad

Everyone was tweeting about this on twitter and I must say I'm a little shocked by this. I feel particularly sad for his daughter, she's 2 and she won't remember him at all.

Actor Heath Ledger Is Found Dead
By Sewell Chan

The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon apartment in Manhattan owned by the actress Mary-Kate Olsen, according to the New York City police. Signs pointed to a suicide, police sources said. Mr. Ledger was 28.

At 3:31 p.m., a masseuse arrived at Apartment 5A in the building, at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, for an appointment with Mr. Ledger, the police said. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of Mr. Ledger’s bedroom. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger naked and unconscious on a bed, with pills scattered around his body. They shook him, but he did not respond. They immediately called the authorities.

The police said they did not suspect foul play. The police said they believed Ms. Olsen, 21, was in California and said it was not clear why Mr. Ledger was in her apartment.

Mr. Ledger, a native of Perth, Australia, won acclaim for his role as a co-star in "Brokeback Mountain", a 2005 film. The film, based on a short story by Annie Proulx about two cowboys who fall in love, won critical acclaim. Reviewing the film in The New York Times, the critic Stephen Holden wrote, "Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.

Mr. Ledger met the actress Michelle Williams while filming "Brokeback Mountain." The two actors fell into a romance and moved to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, where their comings and goings were widely noted by paparazzi. They had a daughter, Matilda Rose, who was born on Oct. 28, 2005. The couple separated last year.

In an interview in London for an article published in November, Mr. Ledger told The New York Times, "I feel like I’m wasting time if I repeat myself." He said in the interview that he was not proud of his latest role, in Todd Haynes’s "I’m Not There," in which Mr. Ledger was one of a half-dozen actors depicting the musician Bob Dylan. "I feel the same way about everything I do. The day I say, ‘It’s good’ is the day I should start doing something else," said in the interview.

Calls by The Times to Mara Buxbaum, a publicist for Mr. Ledger, and Steve Alexander, the actor’s agent, were not immediately returned this afternoon.

Thomas J. Lueck contributed reporting.

Monday, January 21, 2008

so long, sam the butcher

First Suzanne Pleshette and now Allan Melvin. It's not a good week for 70's TV actors, is it?

I always liked "Sam the Butcher" but never knew that Allan Melvin also was the voice of Bluto.

Veteran TV actor Allan Melvin dies in L.A

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Allan Melvin, a character actor known for appearances in such TV staples as "The Phil Silvers Show," "All in the Family" and "The Brady Bunch," has died, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

Melvin succumbed to cancer on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, the paper said, quoting his wife, Amalia. He was 84.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in New York City, Melvin got his big break on "The Phil Silvers Show," which ran from 1955 to 1959, playing Cpl. Henshaw, the right-hand man to Silvers' Sgt. Ernie Bilko.

He went on to play Archie Bunker's neighbor Barney in "All in the Family," and different roles on at least eight episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show." Fans of "The Brady Bunch" knew him as Sam the butcher, the boyfriend of Alice the housekeeper.

Melvin also worked in cartoons, providing the voices of Magilla Gorilla in the Hanna-Barbera series of the same name and Bluto on "Popeye," the Times said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


The other evening, Mark and I were talking about TV related drinking games and the "Bob Newhart Show" came up in our discussion. I was saddened to read about Suzanne Pleshette this morning. I always liked her and thought that she did a terrific job as Karen's mum on Will & Grace.

US actress Suzanne Pleshette dies
US actress Suzanne Pleshette, best known for playing the wife in 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show, has died.

Pleshette was nominated for four Emmy Awards over 30 years and also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds.

In recent years, she had parts in TV comedies Will and Grace and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

She was 70 years old and died of respiratory failure at her Los Angeles home, her lawyer Robert Finkelstein told the Associated Press news agency.

The actress had chemotherapy for lung cancer in 2006.

Pleshette started her career in Broadway in the late 1950s before moving into TV shows such as Dr Kildare and movies including The Birds, in which she played Annie, and Nevada Smith with Steve McQueen.

Pleshette provided the voice of reason amid the eccentricity of The Bob Newhart Show from 1972-77, earning two Emmy nominations for best TV comedy actress.

She also won acclaim for playing property tycoon Leona Helmsley in a TV movie in 1990.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

another snowy day

new year's snow
Originally uploaded by Julep67
It is a winter wonderland outside our door right now. It's getting cold too. Really cold, the forecast tells us so. At least it's not snowing anymore, that's something.

We had a pretty lazy day around here. I was up in the night for a while which was no fun. I woke up, wide awake, at 4 a.m. I sat up in bed and thought, all week, when the alarm went off, I wanted to throw it through the wall. I could have slept for Canada, seriously. Here it was, Saturday morning (well night nearly) and I was wide awake. I was able to get back to sleep again after an hour or so and did sleep in 'til 8:30 a.m. All day though, my clock has been a little off and I've felt a little sleepy.

When I was up at 4 a.m., I did make a little to-do list. Much to my surprise, I actually crossed a couple of things off of it. I did clean the bathroom and I also baked some cookies. I may even get the laundry sorted and hit that as soon as I get up tomorrow morning.

I must say, I absolutely don't mind hibernating a little during these winter storm weekends.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

we crawl part II

ooh...TVT uploaded it onto youtoob which is easier to use than the other place that they had this posted.


The polyphonic spree, we crawl.... I just love this song and think it's so nifty that they did a video for it and that the video is so cute and warm and fuzzy... just like the spree...

'night all

under pressure

Something weird was happening around here today.

When Mark picked me up this morning, he had a bit of a headache. He took a couple of tylenol and we got in the car and headed toward my office. About 1/2 way to work, he sort of yelped (we were stopped at a light at the time). A full blown migraine had kicked in at that moment.

He parked the cab after he dropped me off and went home to bed. When I phoned him at 2 p.m., he was really groggy. Apparently, he'd taken his migraine meds when he got home. He slept for a couple of hours and woke up feeling much better. Ginger Ale and toast called his name so he got out of bed and ate something. Out of nowhere, he got pounded with a second headache. He was in the middle of a drug hazed second nap when I called. By the time I finished work he was sort of functioning again but only enough to pick me up and drive home.

I ran out for soup and more ginger ale after work. He had some soup and more toast and his stomach and head are settled at the moment. Tomorrow he'll have the migraine meds hangover but hopefully that'll be all he'll have. The weather report looks sort of sketchy so I hope he doesn't get slammed with another one tomorrow. We really spoke too soon I guess. Just last week Mark and I were talking about how he hadn't had one in several weeks. It was too much to hope that they were gone I guess. They are really rotten and I wouldn't wish them on anyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

figuring stuff out

figuring stuff out
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I have been on a steep learning curve when it comes to the MP3 player I got for Christmas. When I first got it, I just plugged it in, threw a bunch of stuff on it and thought that was it.

Boy was I wrong.

When I deleted stuff off of the unit, it didn't delete from the menu on the player. I found a firmware update for it, got some accessories in the mail (like a charger that works independent of a USB connection) and spent several hours on the weekend learning about syncing stuff. Boy did the thing work better once I figured out how to use the correct tools.

No tool am I any longer. It sounds better, the songs which are actually on the player are actually listed on the menu and I can play it over the stereo in the van without it sounding like poopie. All is well in the tune department again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

sad tomorrow

I might not be sad tomorrow but I may be sad on Friday.

I've been keeping a really close eye on the forecast because if the weather cooperates, we'd like to go see Shanker + Romps on Friday evening.

It might just be nice, if I can keep my fingers crossed between now, and then.

Monday, January 14, 2008

baby check this out

Mark gives me a call each night after he's dropped the cab off. Once he's in our van, he calls me to let me know that he's en route to pick me up. He does this so I'm not waiting outside in shitty weather (if the weather is shitty - which it was a little today). Tonight when he called, I'd stepped away from my desk and he got my voice mail. In his message, he commented on how much happier I sounded in my outgoing message at nouveau job than I did at my old job. I was a bit surprised because I thought I sounded the same but then, I'm hearing it in my head and not in someone else's so what do I know. I think he's right though, I'm much happier now.

Of course, happiness can be sucked right out of you by the air in the mall. What is up with that? Tonight we finally went shopping for some new shoes for Mark. He noticed that one of the large department stores had their shoes on sale (from a flyer in the paper on the weekend). When we got to said store, the shelves were literally empty. We decided to check out a sporting good store which was in the same mall. I didn't expect to find much there because I thought it was one of those overpriced stores. Boy was I wrong!! Mark got two pairs of really nice, New Balance shoes for less than one pair at the department store.

The only down side of the whole thing was the air quality in the mall. We both felt oxygen deprived and a little nauseous. I still feel weird right now, itchy and off. Not a great description I know but that's what it feels like.

Thank goodness for TMBG. They are helping me screw my head back on straight.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I finally broke down and baked banana bread today. I had this ripe bunch of bananas taunting me for a week and I finally mashed 'em up and baked them.

Other than that, and a little cleaning up in the kitchen, I did very little today. It was great.

We slept in and spent a good chunk of the day in jammies watching movies. Yesterday with the headaches really knocked us both out so it was nice to take another day and do very little.

It was a pretty uneventful weekend but I quiet like them like that.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

whimper and a smile

Today started out with a whimper.

Mark woke up with a migraine. I woke up with a headache.

We had a very lazy, medicine hazed morning and this afternoon, we puttered around the house. I did some laundry, Mark worked on a computer.

Tonight, we went to the pictures. It was nice to get out amongst the masses and see a film in a theatre. We saw Juno. It's a good as you've heard. I really enjoyed it.

Apres movie, we stopped off for noodle soup. Our heads are clear now and our noses a little runny (from the soup) but we're both much better now than we were when we woke up this morning.

All in all, a good day was had by us.

Friday, January 11, 2008

we crawl

I had a good mail today. After Christmas, I found a guy on ebay who was selling accessories kits for the mp3 player Mark gave me. The gear arrived today and it's quite cool. One of the neater items (and the one we were most looking forward to arriving) is an FM Transmitter. I plugged the player into the lighter in the van and we could tune into the player using our radio.

It sounded pretty good. The stereo in our van is nothing to write home about it but still, it was nice and it worked. Sometimes when I order things on ebay and they are inexpensive like this stuff was, I worry that it won't be any good. This stuff was good, all of it. It fits my mp3 player (which is a Sansa e280) and it was a fabulous deal. I'm a happy kid right now.

In other happy Friday news, the Spree have released a new video from their Fragile Army LP. It's for the song "We Crawl" and it's lovely.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

almost friday

almost sunset
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I apologize if I am starting to sound like a broken record but you know, I am really really really really enjoying my new job.

Everything about it is very different and at the same time, there is a lot of similarity in the work. I am loving my office, loving the new building, loving the ladies I am working with, it's all very very good for me.

Now, don't get me wrong, I worked with some absolutely amazing and wonderful people in my last job. They were probably the best thing about it. I liked the work and I think I was good at it, there was just a missing "X Factor" for lack of a better way to describe it. I kept waiting for that to happen, for something to click but it never did. I was in that job for almost 2 years but it seemed like so much longer.

Alas, it's history as is this week, almost. Time flies when you're having fun doesn' t it?!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Originally uploaded by Julep67
Today was a blustery day.

This was my first "weird weather" day in the new building. There were times when it felt like the wind was going to pop the windows out and pick the building up and carry us off to Oz. That didn't happen but yanno, it could have!

This January haw and the weirdness that has followed it should not be a surprise. At this time last year, I took this photo during a thundershower:

not your typical january storm

Today was my first day in the office "on my own." The person who is training me was off today. It was sort of nice to be there alone. When she's there, I'm trying to get as much stuff out of her brain as I can so today, I could actually assess what I needed to do and actually got a few things done. It's a busy spot but I like it. Right now (and this works perfectly for me) they are in a lull period so I can take my time a little bit, figuring stuff out. Tomorrow, the training person will be back and I'm sure she will be able to answer some of the questions I've got. Lucky for me, everyone is being very patient and helpful. The best thing for me right now is that I'm not dreading going to work in the morning. That feels really good.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I need to scan stuff

For the past two days, our local tv news folks have been showing some archival footage from the '98 Ice Storm. The storm left us without power for several days and it was cold and creepy. I can remember almost every detail of the time we were without power. It was an experience that I would not want to do over but at the same time, it was absolutely unforgettable.

Watching the coverage on TV has got me thinking about digging out my photos from the storm and scanning them. I may try to find them this weekend. For years I've thought about doing that but just never did it, the time I now I think. 10 years is long enough to wait don't you think!?

Day two at my new job was awesome but it flew by again. I was feeling a little flustered and overwhelmed by the end of the day but I know that is partially because I am still trying to figure out what I need to be doing and when I need to be doing it. In a few weeks I know that I'll have found my groove but right now, I'm just trying to pick the brain of the lovely lady who is training me, as much as possible. She'll be in one more day this week with me and I'd like to make the most of this opportunity.

In other news, I'm absolutely in love with the Juno Soundtrack. We've not yet dragged our sorry asses out to see it but maybe Saturday that would be a fun thing to do.

Monday, January 07, 2008


After 3 weeks of vacation it felt a little bit strange going back to work this morning. It also felt a little weird going into a new building. Good, but weird.

The building I'm in now is lovely. It's really a cottage and it's very bright (even though today was rainy it was still bright!) with lots of windows and plants everywhere. My office is really airy and the space is open so there is (again) lots of light because I have 3 big windows. It's very pretty and once I get settled, I know that I'll love it.

The day flew by really quickly (as first days usually do). There's a lot to absorb but I really like the stuff I've been working on so far. The best thing about this job is that it's really self directed. There are certain things which need to be done each week or each month but for most the part, whoever is in this job can figure out a schedule for themselves. I like that.

Anyway, I'd write more but I'm completely braindead at the moment. I'm off to bed.

Oh, btw, did you see, Monsieur Crocker is back!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


On my last day of work before the holidays, as a reflex, I threw my office keys into my bookbag. A few days ago, I realized that I still had them. I'm starting a new job tomorrow so I won't be needing them anymore. I stopped by the office over the weekend to drop them off (just leave them on my old boss' desk). It felt very strange to be in the building, knowing that I wouldn't be working there on Monday. I've been working in the same building since June 1996 (although I've worked in several different rooms in the building) so it may feel a little weird tomorrow.

Probably it won't though. I'm excited. I have a bag of "desk stuff" all packed up to take in with me tomorrow. When I started bringing stuff home with me in the days leading up to the holidays, I was a little surprised at how much stuff I'd accumulated. Given that I've had many office moves over the years, I travel pretty light compared to some folks but still, it piles up.

So tomorrow is kind of like the start of the new year for me. New year, new job. I'm happy about it. I'm really looking forward to it actually.

On a completely unrelated topic, tonight, Mark and I watched the season premiere of "Law and Order." I was happy to see the dreamy Jeremy Sisto join the cast but during the first half of the show (it was really two episodes aired together), one of the victim's names made me giggle every time I heard it. I couldn't help but think of "Towel Room Locker Fights: The Blinding of Larry Driscoll" from the Simpsons. I'm a child, I know. Bite me.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

particularly sick

I'm not a fan of cats, I have an allergy to them. Given a choice between a dog or a cat, I'll pick a dog everytime. Having said that, I wouldn't wish this on any cat, allergies or not.

Teens charged with microwaving cat to death
Four teenagers from the Edmonton area have been charged with breaking into a house and killing a cat in a microwave.

Police in Camrose, southeast of Edmonton, say a home was broken into twice while the owners were away for the holidays last month.

During the second break-in, a cat from the home was put into the microwave and then cooked to death, Insp. Lee Foreman said.

Four teens between the ages of 13 and 15 have been charged with several offences including breaking and entering, theft and unlawfully killing an animal. They are scheduled to appear in a Camrose court on Feb. 7.

None of the teens lives at the home or is related to the owners, Foreman said.

"I've been policing for over 25 years and I've never encountered anything quite like this," he said. "It's very disturbing. It's especially sad given the season."

A family friend who was looking after the house while the owners were gone found the dead cat in the microwave.

Friday, January 04, 2008

pat and jan's tree

pat and jan's tree
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Over the past year or so, we have taken to watching the local news at 6 p.m. on tv. Nothing of any real importance or excitement is ever reported on the broadcast, in fact, most of the news is about stuff going on in Belleville. Primarily, we are watching it for a laugh.

Neither of us is particularly crazy about our current city council or the mayor. Last night, on the news, they ran a clip of the Mayor speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon. Harv was delivering his "State of the City" address to these folks. Apparently, the city is considering a tunnel for the third crossing. We had a good laugh about that. They keep putting off the third crossing. In 1964, 44 years ago, they realized that it was necessary but rather than do anything about it, the city keeps commissioning study after study. The tunnel suggestion should spark more debate and postpone the project even further.

I should probably be angry or disgusted but I continue to be amused instead. It's good to know that our council / mayor are good for at least one thing.

to be continued

I'm a little disappointed that the late night talk shows have gone back on the air this week. Don't think though, that this disappointment will stop me from watching the daily show next week but I think it's unfortunate that it's come to this.

It seems pretty clear to me that the networks are wrong, the writers are just asking for their fair share. Wouldn't it be nice if the networks pulled their heads out of their asses and settled this thing soon?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

stupid is as stupid does

christmas night
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I think that the cold weather has created a frozen brain phenomenon.

Earlier today, we went out to do a couple of errands and it seemed like everywhere we went, folks were moving in slow motion. I know that I wasn't moving super fast (which may have made it seem like folks were moving more slowly than they actually were), some folks seemed to be moving backward they were wandering around so slowly.

Going out earlier in the day, I figured that it wouldn't have been as busy as it would be during the post-work-day time slot. I don't call it a rush hour around here because Kingston doesn't really experience anything close to what rush hour looks like in a bigger city.

It actually was a little comical after a while. It seemed like many customers at costco were having trouble driving their buggies around. We witnessed many near-miss incidents in the produce section.

Outside in the parking lot was more frightening because of the snow. When we were walking around the parking lot, I noticed that a lot of drivers (primarily women - sorry girls) seemed frightened to be driving. They had this weird look of fear in their eyes and were gripping the steering wheels like they would fly out of the vehicle if they let go. Personally, I think if driving makes you so nervous that it shows in your face and your body language, it's probably not a good idea for you to be out in traffic. I say this all of the time, I know, and I know that I complain about the stupid a lot but seriously, when you are out in public, wake up!

The temperature is suppose to start to rise tonight. Hopefully if things thaw out a little bit, folks will perk up a smidgen.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

snow fence

snow fence
Originally uploaded by Julep67
it's cold enough to freeze your winnebago!

I cannot get over how chilly it was today. It was a lovely bright sunny day, the snow was sparkly and the temperature was just this side of making the snot freeze in your nose. Not to obsess over the weather too much (because, you know, there is no such thing as climate change), it's supposed to go up to plus 13 next week. Minus 25 today, plus 13 on Tuesday. Insanity.

Mark went back to work today. I head back on Monday. Today I did some more decluttering. When I packed up the ornaments and tree and stuff, I'd forgotten to put all the wrapping stuff away. I now have a huge (organized) bag of wrapping paper, tissue, gift bags, ribbon, tags. It's all ready for next year. Our gifts are all put away now too.

Tomorrow morning I plan to get my laundry room sorted out (it's where I store all of this stuff - at the moment, it's just stacked up in the basement) and do a little more housework. I'd like to spend the next two days cleaning and have the weekend free to put my feet up. If the weather cooperates, I'd like to get a movie on Saturday. We've had a pair of passes that we picked up at the CAA last summer and it would be nice to use them to see either Juno or Charlie Wilson's War.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

new year's snow storm

new year's snow storm
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Once again, we are buried under a thick blanket snow. At least the weather has been having the good sense to dump on us when there are holidays and weekends. Storms on non-traditional work days does help to keep the number of serious accidents down.

We had a quiet little new years here at home. I spent almost all day yesterday packing up christmas and doing housework. Mark worked all day and had planned to work early this morning (going out at 3 a.m. to catch the end of the party rush) but last night when we saw the weather forecast, he changed his mind.

I'm so glad that he didn't work. I don't know what the main roads are like but it's been snowing here all day (and the snowfall warning has been extended so goodness only knows how much longer it'll continue) and the plow has not been down our street yet. I've only seen one or two vehicles go up the street all day. Our driveway is in pretty good shape - our neighbour plowed it out early this afternoon. Tomorrow morning it shouldn't take us long to clean up the rest.

Last night, we watched some season 3 episodes of the Office and then saw Dick Clark and the whole ball drop shebang from New York. Dick looks good considering all he's been through but watching him was a little sad all the same.

Anyway, we're trying to get back on schedule tonight so I will be heading off to bed soon. Hope you all had a happy new year's eve and wish you the very very best for 2008!!