Friday, January 30, 2009

got carrots?

got carrots?
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Today is some kind of holiday for the school kiddos 'round here. I think it's a professional development day for the teachers so most of the folks I work with, who have school aged children are off today. lucky them, it's been another snowy day in paradise.

There are only 2 of us in our office today and earlier today, we were wondering why were here. It's almost impossible to get anyone on the phone today AND, to add insult to injury, our laneway has not seen a shovel in a couple of days. The snow was above my boots (I wore my low boots today because it wasn't supposed to be so snowy) when I got here at 7:30 a.m. Since then, we've had a few more inches of snow and the path to our door has about 7 inches of snow on it. Charming huh?

At one point this morning, we literally could not see across the street, I thought that our windows had fogged over. Of course, now the sun is shining again but still, we feel like we should be at home!

Been hearing good news for friends at York and in Ottawa this morning. Congratulations to all y'all for surviving these terrible strikes. Hopefully the students at York won't be losing their year. What a massive mess that turned into. The OC Transpo thing has been pretty horrible too. At least in our town, it's small enough (and the transit is shitty enough) that if they were to strike, it wouldn't be as crippling as it was for Ottawa. Hopefully, the buses will be back on the roads soon and things will get back to normal.

One last note before I get back to work, for those of you who may find yourself in K-town, and at a loose end on Valentine's Day, there is an awesome fund raising event taking place for our friends Kirsty & Scott Milne and their awesome boys (Tanner, Rhys & Kobe). Scott was in a hockey accident on Halloween and suffered a spinal cord injury. He's making remarkable progress in his recovery and truly is a super hero to all of us. If want to get your dance on, or bid on some fabulous auction items, join in the fun!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

bert and ernie

It's storming here as I type this. Snow. Lots of it. It's everywhere!!

I think we're supposed to get close to 20 cm before it's all done. It's on days like this that I'm particularly grateful for our fab-o, snow plowing neighbour Tommy. He's awesome and he takes very good care of our driveway so we literally only have to shovel steps and porches and small laneways. The dogs must be happy with all of this snow too. Sam is probably sprawled out in the middle of the yard, rolling in it and eating it up. It's very cute.

Have you seen any of the new Conchords episodes yet? We saw the first one and have the second one in the DVR. I was a little disappointed that the song at the end was recycled but it was one I really liked so I quickly got over it. Thought I'd share this with you, it's a little interview from CNN with the lads. I had no idea that much of their inspiration came from bert & ernie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


gracie snoozes
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I would really rather be snoozing right now than doing what I'm doing. It's not that I'm having a bad day or anything, I just could have used some extra sleep this morning. When we're having a few days of cold weather like we're having right now, it's tough to make yourself (at least I think it's tough) get out of a cosy warm bed.

Of course, usually, once my feet hit the floor, it's over and I just get on with my day. Today though, for some reason, I am in a foggy funk of some sort and keep thinking about how nice it would be crawl back under the comforter. Alas, I'm in the office, just finishing eating my lunch, plowing through my to-do list.

Boring stuff huh?? Well prepared to be excited, Red Dwarf is back!! Exciting stuff huh? Apparently they are doing an easter special. If you haven't seen Red Dwarf (but you watch Corrie), it's the show that our Lloyd was on before he was on the Street. Anyway, Mark is bound to be excited because it's going to be on just before his birthday. Talk about an awesome early birthday gift and it won't cost me a penny!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

puppy smack

In our house, we refer to "beggin strips" and "snausages" as puppy crack. We don't buy them very often and when we do, we give them out very sparingly because the dogs just go insane for them.

If these treats are puppy crack, I think cookie dough is like puppy smack. Yesterday afternoon, Mark went out to do some errands. While he was gone, I started tidying up in the kitchen. While I was doing this, I decided to bake up a batch of chewy skor toffee bit cookies because I had some skor bits in the cupboard from Christmas. I was almost done baking (the second to last sheet was in the oven, the last one was on the table, ready to go into the oven) when I went outside with the dogs.

The whole time I'd been baking, Sam was going in and out but Gracie wouldn't go. I guess it was the cold and she kept whining so I thought that if I went out too, she'd go, do what she needed to do and the whining would stop. So I'm on the deck with the dogs, Sam jumps up on me and gives me an "eskie hug" and was being very sweet and cute. Next thing I know, he's back in the house and it's just Gracie and I on the deck. I pop my head in the door and see that Sam's managed to scarf down 5 cookies worth of dough. He was lightening fast, I couldn't believe it.

So now Gracie's back in the house and Sam's got a taste for the dough. He kept trying to get more, or get some fresh cookies, he was almost instantly jumpy. You could almost see the sugar going through him, if I wasn't so pissed about it, it would have been funny. Fortunately, he wasn't sick after eating all of that dough. The only side effect we noticed that was that he full of more "piss and vinegar" last night than he normally is. Weiner.

Movie Review: So, on Saturday, we watched "In Bruges." I loved it! We laughed and laughed. I can see why the screenplay is nominated for an Academy Award. The dialogue was fast and witty and the story has some nice twists. I figure it's a good movie if I never stop to see how much time has elapsed/is left. This film just whizzed by. Very enjoyable. On Colin Farrell, I can't say that I'm a massive fan of his. The only other film of his that I can recall seeing is "A Home at the End of the World" and I thought he was very good in it. He's also great in "In Bruges" but the best performance (IMHO) belonged to Brendan Gleeson. Definitely worth a watch if you like black comedy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

bad case of the drips

The temperature is hovering around zero today and everything is melting. We have gigantic, scary looking icicles hanging on our little cottage office. When you look out the window, it feels a little like you are standing on the tongue of a big monster, peeking through his teeth. The icicles drip constantly so it's also as if he's drooling before he starts chewing on you and swallowing you. yuck.

We're supposed to see a return to frosty-ness tomorrow though so all of this melting will make for many frozen icy surfaces in the morning. ick.

Because it's Friday, I thought it would be appropriate to have a musical interlude. Now, I don't only listen to music on Fridays, I listen to music every day. I'm not a very good video watcher though. I would say that I'm a mid-sized fan of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Today, I saw an article about them "taking a break, not breaking up" and there was a link to a video for "Is This Love?" (not to be confused with Alison Moyet's "Is this love?"). I love the song but had never seen the video. I now love the video too. It's cute and clever and colourful and parts of it literally suck.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

nice parking

nice parking
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Kingston is great. Downtown Kingston is particularly great, especially in the winter. The city does a terrific job on snow removal. As you can see from my photo, they leave a lovely, thick, trench of snow between where you park your car and the sidewalk. This makes errands really pleasant. I love nothing more than having to step into a wet, slushy mound of snow to get from the car to the walk. I have long legs and can usually maneuver it without getting a soaker but what do older folks do? Or little kids? It's a disgrace, I think.

By the way, the truck in this shot, belongs to the parking ticket lady and it was in an illegal spot. I guess it's a "do as I say, not as I do" thing with the by-law officers.

I know that for the most part, if we Canadians didn't have weather related things to complain about, we'd be a pretty quiet bunch of folks. I really don't hate winter but I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of our municipal government. They seriously need to pull their heads out of their asses and pay attention to what folks think are the important issues instead of spending more and more money on a glorified ice rink that many of us didn't want.


...sorry 'bout that. The city has just been bugging my butt recently.

Hope you're having a good day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day at my desk

Inauguration Day at my desk
Originally uploaded by Julep67
So, yesterday. It was quite a day wasn't it? The world feels like a smarter, slightly less evil place today. I guess that's because our lovely next door neighbour has a leader who inspires his people with hope rather than intimidate them with fear.

During the inauguration, I was at work. I watched the coverage via cnn and facebook. It was a neat way to experience it. I liked how everyone's status updates were scrolling along the side of the screen. It was particularly cool to read comments from folks all over the world). Luckily, we logged on pretty early in the morning (an office mate was watching too) because it seemed that folks were having trouble watching once everything got started. I have to say that I didn't experience any issues with the feed, it was really great actually. Last night, we watched some parts again because we'd DVR'd MS NBC's coverage. It was nice to be able to zip ahead of parts we didn't need to see again, and rewatch things we particularly liked (like Aretha and the speech).

Overall, just being able to feel hopeful about things again is nice. After 8 years of frustration at the US Administration and the negative effects it's had on Canada, it'll be nice to be dealing with intelligent people again. The Bush administration was so anti-logic that it made me want to smash my head against a wall on more than one occasion. I can only imagine how tough it had to be for people actually living in the states.

Of course, now the hard work begins. Once the sweet love hangover passes, the clean up starts. I have a lot of faith in Mr Obama and the team he's assembled - if anyone can get America back on track, he can!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration of President Barack Obama

Even though I'm not an American, I'm really excited about today. Well, actually, I'm really excited about tomorrow.

The world has become increasingly messed up with each day that passed over the last 8 years. Only good things can come of having a legally elected, inclusive, transparent government in the States.

Just as when bad shit happens to them, it happens to us, the opposite is true too. I don't expect that the mess will be cleaned up overnight but I do believe that positive change is on the way and not a minute too soon.

Happy Inauguration Day everyone!

Friday, January 16, 2009

a little friday fun

So far, I'm having a great day. The heat is on, the sun is shining and I'm really accomplishing a lot. It feels really great. And it's Friday! Technically, it's now Friday afternoon so that means that I only have to wait a few more hours before I'll be home with my dogs (and Mark) for the whole weekend.

For over a year now, there has been a major construction project underway just north of our house. It's going to be one of those giant box malls which I'm not a massive fan of but, there is a really nice grocery store going into it. It's our favourite flavour of grocery store and it'll be way closer to our house than any other grocery store in town. They are opening up today so we're going to head over after work and do our weekly shop. Some folks in town are upset about the store opening because the owners are closing another store when this one opens. The old store is in a low income neighbourhood and most of the current customers can walk there. This new store is not easy to get to by walking and it's not easily accessible by public transit (such as it is right now). Hopefully, there will be a shuttle service, or the city buses will change their route to make it easier for folks to get to the store. I'm just really looking forward to shopping in the new store and not having to trek out to the west end of town for groceries anymore.

In honour of FoTC returning to TV on Sunday (I cannot wait!!), here's a little clip to make you smile:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

outted in winter

practically empty lot
Originally uploaded by Julep67
As I stood outside the office this morning, trying to unlock the door without removing my mittens, I could hear this really weird, loud beeping sound coming from inside. I was a little weirded out by it because we have an alarm system and I thought that maybe someone had broken in.

When I got inside, the emergency light was on in the stairwell and the alarm was all messed up. I realized that the power was out. It was still warm in the cottage so I figured it couldn't have been off for very long. I was the first person on main campus to report an outage to our physical plant folks (they are across the street from us and still had power). They told me that the city had no idea what happened but that it was widespread. I started phoning colleagues, and could feel the building cooling off. It was a bad feeling, it reminded me a lot of the ice storm of 1998. Fortunately, about 45 minutes after I arrived, the lights came back on. We were going to have to venture out into the freezing cold and find somewhere else on campus to work if that hadn't happened. It would have made for a very long day I think.

I saw a small piece on the local newspaper website about the blackout. Apparently, the city have no idea what caused it. That doesn't exactly make me have lots of confidence in our local utility. The temperature is supposed to drop to minus 32 tonight (it is minus 22 with the wind chill right now). That has to be causing a massive strain on everything but we should be able to rely upon this stuff when we need it the most. I think I'll keep an extra sweater by my bed tonight, just in case.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

suck it

Originally uploaded by Julep67
sick of seeing pictures of my dogs?

if you are, I'm sorry. actually, I'm not sorry. if you don't like it, you can suck it!

the blowing snow can suck it too. it's pretty windy right now and I can see folks walking up the street in front of my office and they are pretty bent over so it must be tough walking. did I mention it's snowing too? yeah, fun. tomorrow it's supposed to be snot-freezing-in-your-nose cold so that should be fun.

I don't totally hate winter. actually, I like a really cold, bright day. I like those really frigid days which sometimes come after a big snow fall. the days when the snow is cleaned up, the sidewalks and roads are clear and the sun is shining and it's really super cold are the ones I like best. the frosty air feels good in my lungs and the sun makes me smile.

because literally, all we've been doing recently is playing with the dogs, working, sleeping, doing errands or doing chores, I've not been really inspired to write here. today, partly I guess, out of a feeling of something close to obligation, I felt like I should at least share another cute photo of Sammy and say hey and ask if you have a favourite kind of winter day?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

little laundry helper

little laundry helper
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Earth Wind and Fire, via my MP3 player are encouraging me to "sing a song" but I think that if I were to start to sing along with them, with my head phones on, I'd be asked to either stop or leave by my coworkers. I'm pretty sure that I sound a bit (but not much) better than Rosa from WB Superstar but it wouldn't be very good for anyone else, all the same.

Thinking about Rosa reminds me though, that American Idol starts up next week. I love the first few weeks of 'da Idol because of the auditions. There are many folks who should not be trying out, who do, and this pleases me. A few them are cringe-worthy and most of them will make us laugh a little. In deepest, darkest, coldest January, doesn't everyone just need a little giggle?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

activity ball

activity ball
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We had barbecued ingredients in our dinner tonight. It was so awesome! For the first time in a while (probably since November some time), Mark grilled us a bunch of veggies for our pasta. The weather was really mild today and yesterday's ice was almost gone so it was a great opportunity to fire up the bbq.

The dogs were pretty impressed too. As I've mentioned before, they live in hope: hope of food being dropped on the floor. The odds of dropped food increase significantly when the food has to be transported from the deck to the kitchen. Add to that, an icy in spots deck and well, they were pretty excited. Of course, Mark didn't drop anything so they had to settle for kibble for dinner.

Tomorrow, Gracie goes back to the vet for the second half of her booster shot. She was really well behaved for the vet the first time we took her (in mid-December), I'm not too worried about tomorrow. The only thing that mildly concerns me right now is the weather. We're due to get another dump of snow over night and into tomorrow. Of course, it might never happen so I'm not getting too bent out of shape about it. I just don't like driving around in anymore than is absolutely necessary when the weather is bad.

Even though it's technically winter and this type of thing is to be expected at this time of year, I'm hoping that it stays mild. It would be really nice if we could keep barbecuing all winter!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

where's my nap?

nye wrestlemania
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The world outside my window this morning looked a lot like a skating rink. Getting to work was slow but safe, walking from the car to the door of my office was probably the most dangerous part of the journey. I was happy to get inside without falling.

Right now, the sun is shining and the sidewalk looks dry. This is good. I hate ice. Hate. I feel sick to my stomach whenever freezing rain is in the forecast.

The weekend was nice. We went out for a beautiful sushi dinner on Saturday night, yesterday we watched some movies: The Wrestler and Slumdog Millionaire. Quick reviews: Mickey Rourke is amazing, the Wrestler is okay. He's the best part of the movie, in my opinion anyway. Slumdog Millionaire is easily the best movie I've seen in a very long time. Period.

We're all of us moving a little slower than we'd like to be moving in our office. I think it's that 2 week break, you have to stop and think about stuff before you do it. Stuff that normally you just do, without thinking. It's weird but it'll be all back to normal tomorrow I'm sure.

Please don't be alarmed if, at some point later today, you hear feet stamping and me whining about wanting a nap. I think one of the things I liked best about my holidays was the napping. I'll miss the napping, in a big way.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

happy new year

gracie models
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Is everyone having an excellent 2009 so far?

We have been having a great day here. I finally took down the Christmas tree this morning while we watched the Tournament of Roses parade on the tv machine. Over the past few days, I'd taken down almost all of the decorations, except the tree. It feels good to have it down and packed away. I was able to clean the living room and rearrange the furniture again so that's kind of nice. I still have a bunch of ornaments in one of our spare bedrooms which need to be packed away but I think I'll do that tomorrow. I want to sort through stuff this year and maybe give some of my old ornaments to someone who is crafty and can do something with them.

Last night was a quiet evening for us. We had a nice dinner together and then just watched some tv. I know that we were up later than normal but we didn't make it to midnight. New Years isn't a massive deal for us so we don't usually make a big thing of being awake at midnight.

One thing I did do yesterday was go to the grocery store for the first time in over a week. It was kind of snowy and bitterly cold (and it was early in the morning) so it wasn't busy when I got there. As I was leaving it was filling up though so I'm glad I got it done when I did. I'd been advised by one of the ladies at our local pet store to go in after Christmas for discounted rawhide treats for the dogs. While I was there buying candy cane shaped rawhides at half price, I picked up a little sweat shirt for Gracie. She's really sensitive to the cold so I thought I'd find a sweater for her. I picked up a little pink "Roots" hoodie for her. I'm not much about labels so the Roots thing didn't matter to me as much as the price and the quality of it. It was on sale and it is really well made. She looks absolutely adorable in it. Fortunately, she doesn't mind wearing it which is great because it's been quite cold here for the past couple of days.

So yeah, the new year is off to a quiet, peaceful, productive-ish start in our house. I have a feeling that 2009 is going to be a good one for us, I hope it's good for all of you too!