Friday, May 30, 2008

time to launch

When you live in the Fresh Water Sailing Capital of the World, like I do, you drive by a lot of marinas and frequently see a Boat Lift in action. At this time of year particularly, folks are getting their boats into the water for the season. Marine Travelift have some really innovative systems for moving boats around. I just sent the link to their site to my friend who works as a boat builder on the Cataraqui River. I thought that he’d be interested to see the photos they have posted on their website of the different systems in action.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

mid week observations

sweet peppers
Originally uploaded by Julep67
how is your week going? quickly? mine too!

Earlier today, as I said goodbye for the day to a colleague who works a reduced appointment, I was reminded of a Roger Waters lyric, "Life is long but it goes fast."

My week's been flying by but I thought I should stop for a moment and make note of a few things that caught my attention this week:

1. The death of Sydney Pollock. I enjoyed some of his films but mostly I'll remember him as Will's dad on Will & Grace. I like to think that he must have been a lot like George Truman - a sweet, lovely, funny man.

2. R Kelly's trial. FINALLY. Send him to prison as soon as possible. I cannot believe how long this has dragged on or that folks still listen to his music. A few years ago, when I first heard "we r in need of a musical revolution," I shouted my agreement with Esthero when she sang, "Tell me why - A grown man can rape a little girl, but we - Still hear his shit on the radio - A grown-ass man can videotape a little girl, but we - Still see his mug up on our video screens" It's bullshit and it needs to be dealt with soon.

3. The Canadian weather station on Mars. A very cool reason to be proud to be a Canadian during a week when some of us may be ashamed of the actions that our government have taken in the past.

capturing memories

Have you ever had Photo Cards made to use as a holiday greeting or just to use as note cards? Before I did it myself, honestly, I thought that the idea was a little bit cheesy. Looking back, I realize that I didn’t understand how creative I could be with them.

The first year we used them for our winter holiday greeting was in 2005. Earlier that year, we’d taken a long weekend / road trip to New York City for a music festival. While we were there, we visited all of our favorite spots, including Strawberry Fields in Central Park. During that trip, I was able to capture a really lovely shot of the John Lennon Memorial Mosiac "Imagine." As you may be aware, every day, folks leave flowers and trinkets at the mosaic and they are arranged in beautiful ways, each day different than the rest. On the day we were there, a peace symbol of flowers was laying on the mosaic as well as a couple of sun flowers, an apple, a guitar pick, a penny and a cigarette. When we got home and saw the photo on the computer, we knew that we’d use for our greeting card with the simple caption "Peace" beneath it.

Every year since then, we’ve done a card of our own, with one of my photos. It’s so easy to use an online vendor, like CardsDirect to design your personal greeting card. You can create your own message, or use one of theirs in your card. You could also chose to leave the card blank inside if you’d like. The cards are sold with lovely envelopes as well.
greeting cards

With summer vacations just around the corner, it’s likely that you’ll have your camera out to capture all of your terrific family memories. You too could use these photos to include in customized party invitations or thank you cards. Literally the possibilities are endless.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


A Picture/Video Message!
Originally uploaded by Julep67
How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty busy. I worked a 14 hour day on Friday and then was back at it for 6:45 a.m. on Saturday. It was all in support of a very good cause though. I was helping out my old team with an event, working registration for a conference.

The building we were in is a gorgeous, 120 year old limestone beauty. She has a clock tower and everything. It was really cold in there on Friday though. Convocation will take place there next week and they were testing a temporary air conditioning system in the morning before we got there. For the first 3 hours I was there, I had my event shirt on, a t shirt over that and my jacket on top. I was afraid of being warm but in fact, I was freezing cold to my bones and had a tough time warming up when I got home.

The same thing happened yesterday (minus the A/C testing). The doors had been open for the caterers and it was damp and chilly inside. When I got home yesterday afternoon, I sat in the sunshine on the deck for about 30 minus, thawing out. Crazy.

Fortunately, it seems that the weekend was a success but I'll know for next year to wear more layers!!

The rest of our weekend was full of errands and getting stuff done around the house. I finally bought my annuals yesterday so this afternoon I found a shady corner of the yard and filled all of my planters. Sam was pretty fascinated by the whole process, he loves dirt!

Mark pulled our bikes out of the shed to access any damage that the squirrels may have caused. So far, the tires seem to be keeping their air and both bikes are okay after an oiling and general tune up. If the tires continue to hold up after some test drives around the neighbourhood this week, we may both start riding back and forth to work. It'll be good exercise and should save us some money at the pumps.

Looking back on the weekend, I must say, when I have to work for a chunk of it, I get a lot more done in the remaining time than I probably would on a normal weekend. Funny how that goes, isn't it?

iphone cover

I got a new cell phone this week. My contract was up at the end of May and it was time for a hardware upgrade when I signed my renewal. Some friends had suggested that I postpone the renewal until later in the year (just renew for a few months) until the iphone is available here in Canada. My service provider is not going to carry the iphone and I didn’t really want to wait so I got an LG Rumor. A friend of mine in the States has noe though and she loves it. With my new phone (and with my mp3 player I got at Christmas), right away, I started looking for protective covers for them. They can get scratched up very easily if you’re not careful. Given how the iphone works, I can’t imagine not purchasing some kind of iphone cover to protect it. I saw a really cool invisible cover for them advertised at Zagg. You can get a back cover, front cover, or a full cover and when you remove it (although I’m not sure why you would), it doesn’t leave any sticky goo behind.

Friday, May 23, 2008

inspector sam

inspector sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I really like this time of the day. I've been up for a while, had breakfast, lunch is made. I'm practically ready for work and the house is quiet.

I can hear Sam pouncing around in the living room. From the kitchen, the sound of the CBC on the radio is muted. I can hear that it's on but can't quite make out what they are saying.

Today will be a long day for me today. From 2 to 9 pm, I'm volunteering to work at an event. I'll be there again tomorrow morning, before 7 am but hopefully finished up by 10 am. It's work related so I'll get some lieu time for it. I'll be helping out the ladies from my previous job. I was on the events crew and while I miss the folks I worked with, and the work to some extent, I don't miss the crazy hours and the insanely hectic pace.

Since my review yesterday, I've been thinking a lot about my current job. It's busy but not so busy that I forget to pee (this used to happen all of the time in my old job). I work with amazingly talented, wonderful women and feel valued and appreciated. The space we work in is quiet. Kind of like the quiet I'm experiencing right now, here at home. It's not frantic (well not much) and stress-filled or cramped.

I am very lucky to have this job and to work on this particular team. I'm saying this now, publicly, so I won't forget it. It's easy to forget how good you've got it when you do have it good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Originally uploaded by Julep67
short weeks go by so quickly!

good stuff that happened today:

1. had an excellent performance review at work - I love my new job and the ladies I work with and they seem to love me too so it's a giant love-fest. I'm lucky and I know it.

2. used my brand new purse for the first time. one of those ladies who loves me brought me back a gorgeous purse from NYC. it's blue and fabulous.

3. got a new phone tonight. My contract was up so I could get a new camera and I chose the LG Rumor. I'm having a lot of fun with it so far.

bad stuff that happened today:

1. nothing (not to me anyway)

so yeah, thursday = great day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


new fence boards
Originally uploaded by Julep67
For the past few days the weather has been chilly here. Damp and cold. I've had a really difficult time regulating my temperature. For the most part, I've been cold, frozen actually. This morning my hands were so cold that my fingers were aching.

I just got back from a reception. I think that there were about 150 more people in the room than should have been there so the place was toasty. I'm now overheated but I know that I'll cool down soon. It actually feels not too bad, being this warm.

It's a short week at work so my timing feels slightly off on everything that I'm supposed to be doing. In a way, I'm glad that it's already Wednesday but in another, I'm freaking out because hey, it's Wednesday already!!

Thinking about how I'm feeling today, I would say that there seems to be no pleasing me which is about as odd as me being cold all of the time. Something strange must be happening in the universe and I'm just caught up in the middle of it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

it's official

in the new gazebo
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Sam is officially feeling better. This afternoon, he had a nap with Mark. After the nap, he started chewing on stuff and barking at nothing again. He's back!!

He's been really quiet and sleepy for the past few days and I know that part of that was the drugs working their way out of his system. I expect that he'll still be a little less than normal for a few more days but he's up to his old tricks again so I think the worst is over.

Speaking of worst, this was a very cold weekend. Today was particularly chilly. It got damp in the house to the point where I had to turn the furnace on for a few minutes. Bananas!

Fortunately, we were able to get the yard cleaned up and put back together (for the most part) yesterday. Things are really lush and green after all of the rain we've had and honestly, we probably would not have accomplished as much as we did if it had been really warm outside but still, I shouldn't have had to wear woolly socks and three sweatshirts outside this weekend.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

on the leash

on the leash
Originally uploaded by Julep67
and on the mend!

For a guy who never had a leash on before we picked him up at the end of March, he's been wonderfully patient and very obedient all weekend. From the time we picked him up on Friday morning until this morning, he was wearing his harness and leash (well we took the leash off when he was sleeping but all waking time was with leash).

He's been sleeping a lot since his surgery but his incision looks good. Nice and clean actually. So long as we can keep him from licking it too much it's pretty good.

While I've been playing doggie nurse-maid, Mark and Andy constructed our new gazebo-holding-platform in the back yard. It looks great. We were able to sit out in it this afternoon during the rain and we didn't get one drop on us.

It sort of feels, sounds and smells like being at the cottage so we're really enjoying it. Given how chilly and wet the weekend has been so far, we have been able to get a surprising amount of outside stuff done. Most importantly though, Sam's healing nicely and should be back to his old tricks (although hopefully with less chewing on furniture) later on next week!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

easty westy

easty westy
Originally uploaded by Julep67
According to the vet's office, our boy is doing very well.

I called the office just shortly after 3 this afternoon and he got through the surgery and came out of the anesthetic without any problems. He was going to have his dinner at 5 and we can pick him up after 9:30 tomorrow morning.

We're so anxious to see him that we are literally counting down the hours. I cannot believe how weird the house feels without him in it. It actually feels quite empty. I will, however, take advantage of his absence tomorrow morning to get some housework done. It's a lot easier to clean and stuff when he's not around.

It'll also mean that I will have that sort of thing done early and I can have the whole rest of the day to hang out with my puppy.

hello dad I'm in jail

hello dad I'm in jail
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I'm feeling nervous and guilty at the moment.

In an hour or so, we'll be taking Sam to the vet's for his surgery. He's not had anything to eat since last night and he was looking at us both with a really confused look this morning. It was like, "hey, I have breakfast when you have breakfast - where's my breakfast?"

So that's the guilty.

The nervous is just about the whole surgery thing. It'll be weird to be away from him tonight. I have tomorrow off so we'll pick him up in the morning and then I'll be home with him all day. Still, it's going to be a really long 24 hours. I miss him already.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

done sniffin'

done sniffin'
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I seriously wish I was done sniffin'!

I am getting really sick of allergies. For the past few days (well since Friday I guess), I can't tell if I have a cold or just really bad allergies. Today I'm feeling really fuzzy and weird and I'm tired of my eyes itching and my nose running.

It's not fair!!! Yeah, I know that lots of stuff isn't fair but I really don't think it's fun when you feell fuzzy and weird on your birthday. Yeah, that's right, Happy birthday to me!

The birthday after a big milestone birthday feels a little ordinary. When your birthday also is falling on a Tuesday and you have to be at work and have allergies, it sort of feels like just another day. I think that this weekend will feel more celebratory. It's a long weekend around here and I have Friday off too so it should be a good one.

Tonight we're having dinner with my folks which will be nice. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks so it'll be good to have a visit and a meal that doesn't involve anyone having to do dishes. Other than that though, it's just sort of a sniffy tuesday 'round here!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

sew sorry

got sewing machine?
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We've had a very busy few days. We've been working outside a lot so I've not been in the house and hanging around the computer much.

I do miss it a little but we're having a great time getting our back yard ready for the summer so I don't feel too badly about it.

Sam is good. sleeping in the door way to my office right now. I think we wore him out pretty good in the back yard earlier tonight. He'll sleep well I think, I hope so anyway. He has his surgery on Thursday and I want to keep him healthy!

Expect to see more photos from the dump this week. We went to the dump on Saturday and this time I remembered to bring my camera.

spring dreaming

Every spring, toward the end of April, a friend of mine packs up her family and drives to South Carolina for two weeks on the beach. She meets up with other members of her family, sisters and brothers, in-laws, nieces and nephews and her folks. I’ve seen the photos from the vacations that they have and I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous. Two entire weeks, after a winter like the one we just experiences, spent at the beach, well it just seems heavenly to me.

Over the weekend, I was doing some planning and research about spring vacations. Of course, planning a spring vacation for this year is a little late but I’m thinking about 2009. I’ve never been to South Carolina but I have heard many wonderful things about the Hilton Head area. Hilton Head SC has a huge variety of properties and accommodations to choose from. The area boasts some gorgeous golf courses, tennis, surfing and boat tours for folks who like to keep busy. The beaches are lovely too. It looks like the perfect spot to relax in. If you’d like to learn more about Hilton Head holiday rentals, you can visit (just like I did). It’s a pretty easy to use site and the photos will have you day dreaming about your spring vacation in Hilton Head South Carolina.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

tuckered out

tuckered out
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Mark has been doing the majority of the leash training with Sam. I'll help put the harness on and I'll take control of the leash when we are going to the van but Mark's been the patient one. Mark's worked with Sam, slowly coaxing him off of the steps and down the driveway. On his own with the puppy though, he wasn't able to get that far.

Tonight, after dinner, we decided to go out as a "family" and try to get all the way to the "far corner" of the street. See, our house is closer to one end of the block than the other. Our goal tonight was to get to the far corner and back. Mark was putting out the recycling and I had Sam's harness on him. Sam was absolutely vibrating at the door, whimpering a little and very keen to go see Mark. I stepped out onto the porch with him but was a little nervous when I saw a neighbour out with her gorgeous (and fast growing) Klee Kai puppy.

Sam was so well behaved though. He didn't bark or growl or whimper at the puppy. I led him down the driveway and we stood with Mark and I spoke to the woman from across the road. We talked about the dogs and training and both puppies were really well behaved.

Without any bother or fuss or coaxing (or treats) we took off on our walk. I walked ahead of Mark and Sam and Sam just followed me, all the way to the corner. Now, he did stop and sniff every car that was parked along the road but he didn't get distracted by kids on bikes or people walking. He was so well behaved I couldn't believe it. I think it conked him out though because he's sleeping at my feet right now. I don't care what other folks might think, I know that he's the most awesome dog around!!

mechanical stuff

Earlier tonight, our neighbour had a bunch of cars and trucks parked on his side lawn. This particular neighbour is a very talented and friendly mechanic. There are usually a couple of vehicles in his yard but it's not an obnoxious thing. This guy can sniff out a deal on parts like nobody’s business and will either show you how to repair your car yourself or will do it for you for trade.

I was telling him about this great website where you can purchase BMW Body Kits. I think that this particular site is great because it’s very easy to use and the way that they have categorized their items is very intuitive (you don’t have to be a super mechanical person to figure it out) which is nice! Also, unlike some parts sites I’ve looked at, they have parts for older models (I found one place that only sold parts on cars that were 3 years old or newer). An easy to use site combined with the best prices you’ll ever find on these BMW parts means that you’ll never have to source out another supplier!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

surviving wednesday

lovely surprise
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I'm having a much busier day today than I thought I would when it started. funny how that happens huh?

Sam's visit to the vet last night was good. The first time we went, we met with a young female vet. Last night we got to see the vet who owns the place. Apparently, he owns three clinics here in town. He is an amazing guy, really patient and just terrific with Sam. When Sam got his first shots a few weeks ago, we had to distract him with treats while he was getting stuck. Last night, he became extremely calm and docile with Dr Ross and didn't even flinch during his shots. He even went off with him (eagerly) when they left to get some blood. I was impressed with both Sam and Dr Ross.

Sam did a little barking when we first arrived and were waiting to go in but overall, he was good. I'm glad that he doesn't hate going there because he's got to go in again next week for his surgery. He seems to really like all of the folks who work there which makes me feel good. We may sign him up for some doggie day care sessions over the summer. Apparently they have an agility course and he'll be able to play with some other dogs (which is not something he's done since he moved in with us).

So yeah, other than being busy and Sam having a good appointment, there's not much news to report.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

ice water bowl

ice water bowl
Originally uploaded by Julep67
A cute little Sam story for Tuesday...

Sam loves ice cubes.

When he hears the ice maker crunching out cubes into a cup, he comes running from wherever he is in the house or in the yard.

Yesterday afternoon, we stopped in at home for a few minutes before Mark's appointment. While we were home, I filled up Sam's water bowls. On the deck, he has a big green one. Whenever I give him water, I throw in some ice cubes too.

On our way out, I called him in and was just about to close the back door when I saw that he had taken his ice cubes out of the bowl and lined them up in a row at the top of the steps to the deck. It was a very tidy line up. Of course, when we got home and he ran outside, they were gone. Someone must have stolen his cubes.

Crime is a terrible thing.

cold hands

lovely surprise
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I must have the warmest heart around because my hands have been freezing all morning.

Blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of spring. The evenings here are really chilly and our office building (an old cottage) gets very damp and cold overnight. By the time the building warms up, it's warm outside and then it's too hot so you open the window and the midges fly's a weird cycle of spring.

Yesterday, Mark went to the eye doctor's for an exam. While he was there, they did a new test on him where they take a photo of his eyeballs. The test is mandatory and costs $28 and no insurance covers it, nor does the government. Fine, no problem $28. At least for $28 they should email you a copy of the photo but they wouldn't. We asked and they said no.

While we were at the clinic, a big fender bender happened out on the road. The clinic is in a really busy spot which used to be a traffic circle when I was a kid. I was with Mark because he was getting drops and wouldn't be able to drive home and I just read a book while he was in with the Doctor. I had to laugh when the accident happened because lots of folks clammered around the window to watch. I advised the ladies to not look outside lest they be called upon later on to go to court. The more that I think about though, I doubt very much that the police (who eventually arrived to redirect traffic) would be looking for witnesses at an eye clinic.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I can't believe I ate my bed

I can't believe I ate my bed
Originally uploaded by Julep67
This was what our living room looked like on Friday when we got home.

Have I mentioned that Sam's being "snipped" in a little over a week? We're hoping that some of his more destructive tendencies will be curbed after that. If it doesn't help though, we may be forced to either confine him to the kitchen, or to crate him during the day. We really don't want to do either because he loves to look out the window when we're away but if he's going to continue to wreck stuff, we'll have no choice.

The weekend was pretty good. Got many little things done around the house and realized how many more little things there are exactly which need doing.

All in good time I suppose. Had a fair amount of time for vegging out and sleeping a little more than I normally do and that felt good.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

another one bites the dust

Now I do know that small labels get sucked up by larger labels all of the time. They don't exactly disappear but being an imprint on a larger label isn't quite the same as being a smaller independent label, is it? I have bought so many albums by Too Pure and Beggar's Banquet artists over the years that I can't count. I also have a lot of stuff by 4AD folks too but... well, it's just not gonna be the same is it?

A farewell to Beggars Banquet's indie charms

The label that's home to bands such as Stereolab is to fold, with its acts moving to 4AD. Sad news indeed, but not a disaster

Sad news arrived yesterday afternoon, in the form of an email titled "sad news". Two of the UK's best-known independent record labels will cease to be, after 4AD announced it was "expanding" and enveloping the artists currently signed to subsidiaries Too Pure and Beggars Banquet. 4AD is currently home to the Breeders, Beirut and Scott Walker, so it's hardly a monstrous major. Still, these are labels that will be missed.

Beggars Banquet began life as a record shop in south west London that concentrated on mid-70s punk such as the Lurkers, who provided the music for the label's first ever release. Considerable success followed with Gary Numan, and, to a lesser degree, the Fall, while the current roster includes St Vincent and Stereolab. Too Pure began later, in the late 1980s, and went on to discover PJ Harvey, who released her debut single Dress through the label in 1991.

Today the label is synonymous with Singles Club, a monthly mail out of singles and 7"s that one blogger at, described as "amazing slices of heaven".

The official line is that restructuring at parent company Beggars Group, which is also home to XL Recordings, Rough Trade and Mo'Wax amongst others, means that the rosters from Too Pure and Beggars Banquet will be absorbed into 4AD. But whether they'll be equally resourced seems to be in doubt.

There are worse things that could happen to a band than to shift from one Beggars group imprint to another, of course. Too Pure and Beggars Banquet haven't actually gone under, so to speak. And at least they're not at the mercy of Terra Firma. Will you miss these two famous labels?